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Friday, June 19, 2009

Indie-minded folks can only resent corporate sponsorship for so long. Especially those of us who flock to such roving blowouts as Bacardi B-Live, which delivered Thunderheist, Matt & Kim, A-Trak, Steve Porter, Major Lazer, and a smorgasbord of freebees to the House of Blues last night.  

I’m guessing that for many folks, the B-Live party was incentive to retreat away from knee-jerk anti-everything postures. Without doing so, it would have been difficult to enjoy the complimentary cocktails, buttons, sweatshirts, and headbands that were being liberally passed out.  

Even for recovering alcoholics who dislike free merch, it would have been wrong to deny the spectacle. The set consisted of the most phenomenal jumbo prop I’ve ever seen - a 15-foot tall, extravagantly lit, three-dimensional throwback ghettoblaster. If it were real, the thing would require more D batteries than currently exist on earth.

And of course there was the show itself. Though I had a tooth extracted yesterday and had to leave early on account of a looming codeine overdose - and was hence unable to catch A-Track at midnight and Major Lazer (Diplo + Switch) after that - I did peep the first few acts.

Montreal electro duo Thunderheist (along with an added drummer) played for a mostly empty room, but prevailed nonetheless. Not only is their front chick Grahm Zilla the cutest dancehall instigator since Kid Sister, but the girl can belt in person, making such cuts as “Jerk It” ring with an authenticity that hardly comes through on record.

I won’t say much about Matt & Kim, except that I went in as a skeptic and left as a fan despite their abusing one of my favorite Dead Prez songs. Their sound is primitive, but their cuts are catchy and their fans adore them. They’re like the hipster Ike and Tina, only I suspect that Kim could kick the crap out of Matt.  

Before viewing this video, just consider one thing: as fringe dance music graduates to 1,000-plus mega-venues and gets coddled by deep-pocketed sponsors, will it continue to attract proud alternative hordes? I’m personally fine with it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the scene’s removal from underground clubs ultimately leads to its decline.

Lastly - I just want to give a shout out to chubby male teenagers in slip-on sneakers who take their dancing hella seriously, and to all the girls who came out last night sporting that ironic slutty Hilary Duff look. I see you.

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