“Team DFA” (aka Kate and David who seem to go to all the events featuring DFA artistts was back in action recently.
By Kate Anthony. Photos by David DeSanto
I get annoyed when people say a certain genre of music “all sounds the same.” This is especially true when they sat it about reggae-– one of my favorite kinds of music, and one that decidedly does not “all sound the same.”To this notion I simply say, if you listened to it more, you wouldn’t think so.
Therefore, I know this is going to sound hypocritical, but I think most of the “new-era disco” (my phrase, meaning music that sounds like the erstwhile techno / new wave fused with 70’s disco) sounds an awful lot like. I’m talking, to name a few:The Rapture, Chromeo, Friendly Fires, Cut Copy, and yes, Holy Ghost!
Mind you, I am not saying I don’t enjoy the music; I very much do. But to me, after a while it all starts sounding kinda the same. Except for the vocals, which is why I thanked god for them earlier.
For me, vocals are the one thing that can actually distinguish a band that otherwise employs standard-fare techniques.And let’s face it;the new-era disco bands really do employ some pretty familiar-sounding techniques.Again, not that I’m dissing them.I love the music. Really.
What distinguished Jessica 6 the other night (and presumably, every night) is singer Nomi Ruiz.She is a sight to be seen, tall and thin with jet black hair, very skimpy black clothing and towering black boots. And her voice is, well, distinct.The band did a fine job supporting her and keeping the beats pounding. But really, what people are in it for when they’re watching Jessica 6 live is Nomi.
Speaking of that, taking a cue from LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, Holy Ghost! brings a full roster of real musicians – oooooh – with them onstage for their live shows (this night, borrowing Jessica 6’s drummer). In addition to the ubiquitous keyboards, there were bass and electric guitars, and yes, an actual drum kit.
And thank god for that, too.Because I agree with Alex, who recently told the Dallas Observer how he feels about musicians who get onstage and stand behind computers the whole time;“Yeeeaaah, I’m not paying for that.”
There’s also no paying for Holy Ghost’s cover of the 80s Ministry classic, I Wanted to Tell Her. Recently recorded (and distributed for free, as so many of Holy Ghost!’s recordings are) this version features fellow DFA labelmates The Juan Maclean and singer Nancy Whang.True to the original yet still uniquely Holy Ghost!…
Oh, never mind. You had me at “Ministry.”