Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Art Brut Interview & Show @ The Music Hall of Williamsburg June 23rd

Eddie Argos brought a band to The Music Hall of Williamsburg before Art Brut headlined a performance there on June 23. It was back when the venue was known as North 6, “before it was cool” as he explained that night, playing in the lobby with the Art Goblins. On stage Argos led Art Brut through almost a decade of songs since they “Formed a Band,” as their first hit says.He took to tweaking his lyrics with updates of older ages and how modern art now makes him want to buy things from their merch table, which included comic books and an original painting by Argos himself, along with T-shirts. The increased tempo of live performance brought out the punk rock roots of the band and Argos’s banter throughout the set kept things thoroughly entertaining.

The night began with “Clever Clever Jazz” off their latest release Brilliant! Tragic! Argos took center stage with his heart still firmly on his sleeve and the occasional trademark entreaty to his band members, “Ready Art Brut?” This group is clearly having a blast making music with Argos as the everyman frontman. While playing bass, guitars and drums, they took to echoing the lead vocals with callbacks, freezing in place and having fun with exaggerated facial expressions to play off each other. Highlights included early classics off the first release Bang Bang Rock & Roll, “Formed a Band” and “Modern Art” to “Direct Hit” (It’s a Bit Complicated) and “Alcoholics Anonimous” (Art Brut vs. Satan). The latest single “Lost Weekend” was a solid fit while a new song “Atlanta Girls” was offered up after playing it live only a few times before. After asking it they had a curfew, Argos allowed requests so the encore included “DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshake” and “Emily Kane,” the romantic tribute to the one who got away. Argos said his teen sweetheart actually “rung him up” after hearing the song although now a married woman, which he simply attributed to the power of rock ‘n roll. 

 The concert ended after midnight with “Post Soothing Out,” the crowd obligingly raising their handsup when asked by Argos while he acknowledged the warm up bands, individual band members and the fans. I was obviously way too excited about going home with the postcard souvenir! Interview write up here.