!!! Mistaken for Hot Hot Heat

Combine free show, with slick marketing by Toyota, a worthy cause (Free Yr Radio for OHIO.FM), an Urban Outfitters and !!! (prefer pow pow pow or ech ech ech) -- and there was sure to be chaos, right? No, in fact while waiting in line I was beginning to be suspect that this awfully tight group from SF have fallen out of grace with hipsters worldwide. Why I'm not sure. Their albums get increasingly better even as interest wanes. The latest, Myth Takes, being a career pinnacle by approximating just the right ingredients of funk, disco, kraut mysterions and tropicalian flare. And live, they kind of spill it all over the place with two hype-men conducting the boogie -- and drum circles of all sort surrounding this esoteric punk message. They've never really rallied behind a message other than "shake it," lyrics have never been their strongest point. I'd much rather imagine them as a 12-piece 70's funk extravaganza, blazing down mountains of cocaine and jamming in rubber rooms.

Here, with Target-centric home furnishings and last year's Nike models vying for space among a small crowd who I think confused them for Hot Hot Heat. Only the fringes started dancing, as this just wasn't the place or the mood or the moment. I simply closed my eyes and had to make due. As a live band they're downright incredible in any environs. Highly reccommended when you get the chance, even if their neo-hippie love-fest is becoming passe.

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