Noise Pop Festival: Autolux w/ Snowden and Malajube @ The Independent, 3/2/07

I have been waiting to see Autolux ever since they opened for Nine Inch Nails for part of the With Teeth tour that I didn’t attend, and I saw them on Justin Warfield’s, of She Wants Revenge, celebrity iTunes playtest. This distortion rock band from LA has a very different sound- they’re heavy and light at the same time, their vocals are sometimes very secondary, and the drummer maintains a girlish poise while banging the crap out of the drums.

The first to take the stage was Malajube, from Montreal. Their lyrics are entirely French, so I didn’t understand any of it, but it sounded nice. They play mid level rock music with a keyboardist, and their bassist wears what can best be described as a Fievel hat. You guys remember An American Tail, right?

Next came Snowden, from Atlanta, GA. A four piece band that looks like they came from four different cliques: a punk rock chick bassist, a dead poet’s society drummer, a math club guitarist, and a tennis pro lead singer….I had problems getting past this. I didn’t find them to be very dynamic…they were all slightly sad rock songs that all blended together.

Distortion rock isn’t pretty. My manfriend and I watched in amazement as we saw the rat’s nest of wires on the Autolux bassist’s gadgets. It looked like anyone who touched it might be electrocuted. As they started to play, I was impressed because I expected that their recorded sound would be hard to replicate. The drummer makes me smile, with her big hair bow and her poofy dress, as she walks out and sits at the drumset, she kicks of her shoes and hikes up her dress. It’s quite amazing. Since I was standing right below Eugene, the bassist, I had lots of fun watching him work. I’ve only has the pleasure of standing this close to Aaron North of NIN once before, and watching the whole distortion process take place fascinates me. It seems so unpredictable and I don’t understand how they do it, but it’s awesome to watch. Unfortunately, three quarters of the way through the set, the guitarists amp broke, and we had to wait about twenty minutes for it to be fixed. You can imagine what a damper this placed on the crowd. I think it was hard for them to start playing again, and it seemed like the set was cut short as a result. I missed hearing Sugarless and Here Comes Everybody, which is my favorite. Oh well, it’s a reason to see them again.

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