Thursday, May 5, 2011

Not from the Commercials: Phoenix- Lasso

Fear not (unsuspecting)masses (all 12 of you in America---Hi there!! and 2 of you in Germany---Guten Tag!!). If you've been wondering, "When will he get off this bands-from-the-other-side-of-the-pond kick?" today you have your answer.

Not today.

Making it three for the last three posts (We Were Promised Jetpacks- Scotland, Two Door Cinema Club- Northern Ireland) today's band, Phoenix, hails from France.

And I know what you're thinking: Phoenix? He can't mean Phoenix? As in the band that said "yes" more times to allowing Lisztomania's use in product and sit-com commercials than the girl that sat in the front row of English class senior year?

Waaait for it...You know the one...Moving on.

Naturally, then, the reaction is, "What on 'Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix' is worth my reading and listening time?" Well, funny you should ask. I've thought about that for you. And it only occurred to me after listening to all of 'Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix' this weekend with someone else (as I turned it on naively thinking it would be harmless enough) to realize that 'Lasso' is sneaky in all the ways that 'Quiet Little Voices' isn't.

I put on Phoenix for the upbeat bass, the not so heavy guitars, and the voice of a lead singer that iPod thought it could easily market across all demographics. So really, how penetrating could've the music turned out to be? Let's just say when 'Lasso' came on I definitely had a I-won't-turn-this-if-you-don't-turn-this moment that I know I felt, and hoped the other person didn't.

Fact is, when your main song is used for hocking mp3 players, the world might never know there's something more to your band. Heck, you even win yourself a Grammy despite "selling out" to the mp3s gods. Life is good. Until you drop lyrics like Forever is a long long time when you've lost your way on the unsuspecting masses; causing them to trip as if on uneven sidewalk cement during their afternoon stress-relief jog, drop their precious mp3 player, and helplessly watch as it cracks on the uneven sidewalk cement like a walnut.

Appropriately, in its current condition, the mp3 player closely resembles not only the cracked, uneven sidewalk cement, but also your post-'Lasso' view of Phoenix.

So, in that sense, I can't really tell you if I like 'Lasso' more because I didn't hear it on every commercial for a solid nine month rotation, or because it speaks a clearer truth than I ever could when it says Forever is a long long time when you've lost your way to the person you're listening to it with. Hoping they didn't hear the same.   

Phoenix- Lasso (Live at Stubb's)

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