Of Montreal made a speedy return to Athens to help out local music venue, Nuci's Space, with a karaoke benefit concert. Elf Power, a fellow Elephant Six band, and Dark Meat, the 16+ member psychedelic super-band, also performed. Of Montreal was the only band that did the actual karaoke.
Before I talk about the actual show, I'd like to share an amusing anecdote about silly music snobs. My friend and I arrived early and grabbed a spot in front of the stage. Not long after, a guy with a camera struck up a conversation us but lost interest quickly. I talked about how happy I was to see almost every song from the April 24th performance up on Youtube.com. He said,
"Huh. Haven't seen those."
A couple of other men joined him within a few minutes and began talking about the "kind of people" that Of Montreal attracts in a disdainful fashion. He also made a note of how great their live shows are.
"Yeah," said the camera man agreed, "Have you seen them on Youtube yet? They're awesome."
My friend and I had a good chuckle out of that one. Nice, dude. So he lied to his friends about seeing videos; big deal. But the "kind of people" Of Montreal attracts? What an ass-hat. It goes without saying that this guy just stood there like a big rock for the duration of the show because he was way too busy being hip to (god forbid) let loose. He should have given his good spot to someone who actually wanted to have fun. "The kind of people..."
Anyway: end of rant. Onward!
For those of you who have not seen Dark Meat live and crave a wild musical experience, I highly recommend seeing them when you have the chance. This insanely large ensemble group consists of a trio of lady back-up singers, a horn section, a lead singer/guitarist, bass guitarist, flutist, a girl who doesn't really play anything besides the tambourine but has screaming pipes of the likes which have rarely been heard, a drummer, and a keyboardist who provides an amazing contrast to the insanity of everyone else by sitting at his stool with the straightest look on his face. If I have left anything/anyone out, and that's a big totally a possibility, then my apologies are given in advance.
Everyone looked fantastic. They sounded even better. This is a band that will rock the hell out of you. I wish that I could you give you a list of the songs they played, but unfortunately I wasn't familiar enough with their music before hand. Camera Man, however, was bitching that they didn't play enough from the album; in that case, I suppose any previous familiarity wouldn't have helped much.
It doesn't take an expert, however, to realize that Dark Meat is a glorious jumbeliah of music, attitude, oddities, and spirit. Jim McHughes, the lead singer/guitarist, introduced each song with an rather bizarre summary. Though I don't remember any of them verbatim, I believe this mock-summary shares a fraction of the same spirit:
"This song is about a psychedelic nanny and her vacuum as they slide across a rainbow and into the thicket of a revolution!"
I ordered the album promptly the next day. w00t.
Elf Power only took ten minutes or so to set up. That by itself is awesome. I don't want to sound like they were anything less than fantastic because I'm not writing much about them; that's not the case at all. They know their audience, they played the favorites, and they made it sweet and simple. I occasionally swing by the Elephant 6 message board and see people criticizing them for being 'dull' or 'hum-drum.' I don't know what the hell those people are talking about - Elf Power has never disappointed me.
Then it was time for Of Montreal. When everyone was in place, the MC announced that they were going to show us how to rock some karaoke and Kevin Barnes said, in his (very distinct) voice,
" 'Ello, Everybody, this is Spinal Tap in the UK!"
They actually played "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight" from the film. It was great fun, yes sir!
I couldn't stay for all of the Karaoke. It was standard fare; occasionally you had someone sing something well (wee!) and everyone else did drunk renditions of random indie music and Guns 'N Roses. Most of the singers were funny and occasionally there were a few whose wild shenanigans made me think, "Are they really doing that?! No...wait! What the hell, yeah, they're really doing it!"
Even better, though, were the in between gags by the hilarious MC. Out of his many costumes, my favorite was the giant, clownish fat-suit. He waddled out, clasped his hands, and said, "I don't know about all of YOU guys, but I just LOVE Smucker's JAM!"
So anyhow, if you ever get a chance to see Of Montreal do their own set or show, do it. Their live shows are fantastic.
All in all, it was a great evening.