Arcade Fire, but not famous yet!

March 18, 2008

I’ve heard exactly two variations on the news coming from SXSW. The first is, Vampire Weekend, highlight of the festival. Los Campesinos!, though? Awesome. But more prevalent is: Vampire Weekend, kind of disappointing. Los Campesinos!, though? Awesome. So, it’s unanimous. Los Campesinos! = awesome.

Los Campesinos!

I first encountered Los Campesinos! on the A&C sampler, which I received in the mail with my signed copy of Population. (Believe me, there will be a Most Serene Republic post at some point in the future. Along with Stars. I won’t neglect our Canadian friends.) First songs listened to: You! Me! Dancing!, and It Started With A Mixx – auspicious beginnings. (They sure do love their punctuation marks, much like that other band.)

Listening to LC! is like a having a dance party in your headphones. There are handclaps! (You can never go wrong with handclaps.) Occasionally they can get a little too shouty, and maybe a little too twee, but step away for a day or two, and you can then reembrace Los Campesinos! as the shouty, twee kids that they are. (Despite the name, they’re a bunch of hipster British kids, not Spanish peasants. Sorry.) Their first EP, Sticking Fingers Into Sockets was promising, but their as-yet-to-be-released-but-it-leaked-like-two-months-ago LP, Hold On Now, Youngster… is one of those albums that you can listen to over and over and still find something new to like each time.

I actually saw LC! when they came to Boston at the end of their first US tour, and I can truly saw it was one of the more fun shows I’ve been to by myself. We all know that white people like standing still at concerts, but this is not the type of band to do this at. Go stand still at an Iron & Wine show. Unfortunately, there were a bunch of white people at this show, so it was basically me and some girl in the front row singing along and well, not standing still. But! So very high energy, so very fun, and Great Scott has Strongbow on tap. How can you go wrong? Plus, the night ended with Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks, which is by far their most fun and crowd engaging song. What better way to end a show? There is no better way.

Los Campesinos! – Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks

This is actually not the version on Hold On Now, Youngster… but it’s far superior in my opinion. It’s less frenetic, and strangely, more polished. The LP version has its plusses (faster, but they seem to be doing that to all their songs), but in a pinch, I’ll go to the pre-LP version each time. They’ll be playing The Paradise in May, so if you like them, go see them with me, so I don’t have to be the only (half-white) person not standing still. It’ll be awesome, I swear.

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