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Thursday, June 15, 2006
  Starlight Mints & The Octopus Project @ Middle East Upstairs, 6.14
we're out of our minds. really.
and i'd have to say it's pretty damn fun.

so last night we actually managed to see The Octopus Project and Starlight Mints at the Middle East Upstairs. just to make a few blanketing statements before i get into the nitty gritty, it was a great show. surprisingly so. i know we tend to have rave reviews of the shows we go to, but that's just because we see great bands... i mean, we're just that cool.

first that we saw (we missed the opening band, Duresse, which i feel rather guilty about) was The Octopus Project. i'm not usually an instrumental kind of person - certain family members of mine might roll their eyes - but i tend to find music entirely without vocals a slight bore. i appreciate it, certainly, and i have a few selections for studying purposes. but. The OP doesn't fall into this category. first of all, it's instrumental - yes - but hardly just that. it's electronic. it's genuinely computer-driven and merely complemented by guitars and, occasionally, real drums. with this in mind, i still wasn't prepared for the kind of show they put on; it was like a battle of weirdness, a violently swinging scale balancing conventionality and originality. i'm telling you now that at the end of the night, the battle only died down - neither won. i was really glad to have seen them do their thing live, if only for the chance to see Yvonne do her thing with that... er.. instrument... which I'm sure Alex will research and report upon. in the meantime, a picture is to the left.

if the audience was any indication of where this band falls in the world of category, i would say they were almost purely nerdcore electronica. it was intense. watching the kids in the first two or three rows was nearly as entertaining as watching the band, if not more. they took to heart that hackneyed Chicken-Soup-esque quote "dance like no one is watching;" their moves were very original, very animated, and very.. unusual. they were elated to be in the presence of the music they clearly adore, and they closed their eyes in apparent ecstasy, as if their pulses were synchronized to the erratic beat. oh, it was great. i shimmied my hips a little, in tribute to their uncaring adoration.

go to their myspace to stream, and here to purchase.
::::and you get these:
The Octopus Project - The Adjustor
The Octopus Project - Music Is Happiness

after the twenty minutes it took just to take down The OP's set, we were psyched to see Starlight Mints take the stage. their show fulfilled all the expectations i had from hearing their three Barsuk releases, as well as from the videos for Popsickle (puppets! i command you to watch it on YouTube) and Inside of Me (go to their music eCard and click video). no - they're not as weird as you thought. they're oddballs that mesh well together and play weird pop music. they're really into their own show, but they don't set up giant green beasts like their touring companions. they just play, and move on. and we were completely down with it.

they had a really great mix of stuff from all three albums. the set choice was probably influenced by the fact that it was their second-to-last stop on the tour; they mixed it up quite a bit, from what i could see, even throwing in Submarine #3 from Dream That Stuff Was Made Of. they were a lot of fun - sometimes throwing in random comments (Andy, drummer, with the sticky New Orleans subject, ouch) but mostly just letting their strange mutation of pop music do the talking. Allan has a great voice - it's boyish, snazzy, and (of course) characteristically unusual. he's a great one to watch, and doesn't even remotely commit the frontman crime of eclipsing everyone else's stage presence. if anything, he's almost as shy as bassist Javier, while sole female member Marian and drummer Andy make silly jokes and prompt keyboardist Ryan to occasionally chime in. they are an unusual group, and i think they're a little surprised everyone likes them so much. fame isn't necessarily what they're going for - just a good time on stage, meeting nice people and selling their merch embarrassingly well (i am now the new proud owner of a sticker, button, and a window clingy for my car. oh yes). yeah.. we had a great time. you should be way jealous.

you should also stream three tracks from their album here, and then go buy it here.
::::i know, i know, too generous:
Starlight Mints - Goldstar
Starlight Mints - Torts

we're set list snipers.
Rhino Stomp
The Bee
Black Cat
Rinky Dinky
Eyes Of The Night
Zillion Eyes
What's Inside Of Me?
Seventeen Devils
The Bandit
Submarine #3

their tour is ending, so i can't really tell you to go see them, but the next time they're in your area, just go. we did.
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