Du Hot Club de Bizarre - Crescent Ballroom - 5/8/2013
Du Hot Club de Bizarre
May 8, 2013
Turquoise Jeep looks and sounds like a novelty act at first, but that doesn't quite explain their appeal. What they're really doing with their bizarre slow jams and paeans to stretchy pants and choreographed dance moves is hitting the basic tropes that make R&B so durable -- sex, euphemisms for sex, memorable hooks over dance music -- at their most ridiculously basic. They're funny, but they deliver the experience they're parodying while they parody it.
Du Hot Club de Bizarre, two packed days at Crescent Ballroom, is everything that makes a music festival a music festival, and nothing else. It's two days long (Ra Ra Riot and Man or Astro-Man? headline tonight); there are booths and beer, and indoor and outdoor stages to walk between; there are lots of different-sounding acts; it has a name. It might seem like a novelty -- like a few separate shows glommed together on short notice -- but you'll get the experience anyway.
That disjointed feeling was at its most acute before the sun finished setting -- Turquoise Jeep, opening the show on the outdoor stage, set a raucous tone that had little in common with, say, of Montreal's raucous tone, culminating in a four folding chairs and some audience participation... lap-dancing? Imagine the old SNL Chippendales sketch, only Patrick Swayze might be a little too into it.
Which isn't to say they weren't a success; Flynt Flossy was not the only person wearing a "Flynt Flossy is my Favorite Rapper" T-shirt, and by the time Turquoise Jeep's hip-swiveling, just-kidding-but-seriously set was over they'd probably sold more of them. They exited with a final dance-off, a triumphant set of I-say-Turquoise-you-say-Jeeps, and not as much time as you'd think for Devendra Banhart to get set up.
Ducking back inside, in the meantime, earned you a chance to catch ROAR, who followed up Turquoise Jeep the only way anybody knows how: by performing in drag. It could have been the Spector-approved wigs or the sheer volume inside after watching Turquoise Jeep play outdoors without live instruments, but their loud, woozy sound, and yearning melodies were exactly the right kind of disorienting.
The wrong kind of disorienting came a little later, when a crowd that had already begun drinking for Turquoise Jeep went out to watch Devendra Banhart.