Friday, June 26, 2009

2009-02-18 - Honolulu Weekly

Pooled over

of Montreal brings sparkle and glitter back to Honolulu
of Montreal

of Montreal / In the Clubs

The band of Montreal born out of the artistic hub of Athens, Ga., home to the Elephant 6 music collective, seems to virtually re-incarnate itself musically every couple of years, picking up different kinds of fans with every release. Most easily described as indie pop, of Montreal’s sound has gone from mellower, more acoustic to pleasantly danceable to crazy techno-pseudo gay-glam-pop (imagine the lyrics, “We can do it soft core if you want/but you should know I take it both ways” in a disco fabulous male falsetto), utilizing more electronic tricks and kicks as time goes on. Bryan Poole, founding member and sidekick (as well as bassist and vocalist) to front man Kevin Barnes’ brainchild, summarized the evolution of Montreal’s sound over a phone interview with the Weekly, saying, “[Barnes] had a dogma about only listening to stuff from like 1967 or 1966 and anything after that was crap. We were really into psychedelic bands of the ’60s ‘cause they were just weird, [but Barnes probably realized] those bands were embracing the technology of the day and creating new worlds of art. If those bands were around today, they would just embrace everything. And we’ve always had this love of Bowie and Sly and the Family Stone. [Barnes] started writing these more funky songs and this character possessed him for a while and wrote a bunch of songs and so it’s just kind of like, ‘Fuck it, it’s OK if it sounds a little bit like Prince.’ And that’s all right.”

Poole, a University of Georgia political science major originally from Nashville, Tenn., and of The Olivia Tremor Control, took a few years off from of Montreal to play with Elf Power and work on his solo project, the Late B.P. Helium. His newer side project, with Macha’s Josh McKay, Tiny Sticks, plays house parties with covers of and music inspired by the ’80s band ESG. Since of Montreal, as Poole described matter-of-factly, “is basically Kevin’s thing…I’m just a supporter when Kevin needs me,” hearing about of Montreal’s collaborative side project that organically formed last year, Instant Witch, peaks one’s curiosity as to how it might sound. “We kind of present ideas on the fly…I have a couple of ideas, and one of them’s turned into this Afro-beat song.”

No matter what song or album encapsulates your favorite version of of Montreal, one fact that remains is that a live show is sure to be a spectacle. As Poole described, the band’s goal is to create “One freaky dance party…A dance party [Salvador] Dali would want to go to for a good time.” Melting guitars? Maybe. But costumes play a big factor, too. Poole re-called that “the tour before [this one], I had this Brian Eno thing with these big wings that this girl had been making me. It kind of turned into this glam superstar that would take flight every night.” But not wanting to get boxed into being the wing man, so to speak, Poole shared that, “Lately I’ve had a style that was weirdly influenced by Avril Lavigne. I don’t know why. You know it’s wearing a loose tie and a vest that belonged to my grandfather and no shirt, and wearing some nice pants to actually look somewhat masculine…hopefully a rockin’ hot dude. Before I had the wings, it was an all pink thing, fishnet top and these awesome designer pink pants. God, I wish I could find some more…”

While the band loves playing in the Islands (really, who doesn’t?), of Montreal will only be here for two days and play one show. “Hopefully we can make a lot of friends and go back and chill out,” hinted Poole. So make it worth of Montreal’s time and make way for grandpa vests, shiny stuff and possibly lots of pink. Find some costumes—both for yourselves and maybe the band—and don’t be afraid to show that you enjoy having a good time. The band members “like people having fun and boogying.” And don’t forget to save a place for Dali. Poole promises that for the Honolulu show, “We’ll make it as freaky as we possibly can.”


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