Mini Review: Gang Gang Dance, Marnie Stern @ Bimbo's, 11/14/08

It’s good to step out of my musical comfort zone every once and a while to see what else is out there. Oftentimes, it reaffirms why I like what I like. So I went into this night cold, with an open mind.

Marnie Stern is a female guitarist, playing alongside another guitarist and drummer. She has an interesting tapping style of playing- something that always garnered points at the Guitar Superstar competition I went to earlier this year. I did have a hard time getting past her hippie meets sorority girlish exterior. This band is about geeking out on their instruments- the drummer was really quite exceptional, banging away as hard and fast as Dave Grohl did for. However, it all felt like cacophony to me. I am not a fan of the baby girl singing voice that she has, and that a lot of the song structures has her singing in tune with the instrument. I guess I didn’t get it. The highlight for me was that the drummer wore the band’s own t-shirt, and they had written the setlist on the back, so from time to time he would stand up and turn around so they could see what was next.

As we waited for Gang Gang Dance, we listened to hip hop fueled ’80’s hits like Flashdance. A look around the room showed a sea of what I will refer to as level one hipsters (early adopters), dancing around in ’80’s inspired clothing. On the Bimbo’s dance floor, it kind of looked like a high school dance.

Gang Gang Dance are about to be the next big thing. Sometimes I feel like that should be a genre of music all on its own: NBT, next big thing. Last time I found myself at one of these shows was when MGMT was opening for Of Montreal. Let it be known that this is all music that I will never own in my life. GGD could be declared the winners of CMJ, the newest music blog darlings, with a hot of the press New York Times article.

The female singer comes out wearing an absolutely atrocious but somehow couture looking baggy Ghostbusters-like uniform, paired with patent leather heeled booties. The other three members of the band are more nondescript, but feel purposefully incongruous with eachother. The music starts very spacey world music, and then after a long while of this it suddenly grabs a bumpin’ beat. GGD can best be described as reggaeton meets Enya. Wow. It’s one of those things that I can appreciate for being very different, but could never consume on my own. Kind of like pancakes and sausage on a stick.

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