Sunday, October 3, 2010

Video Of The (Past) Week: The Besnard Lakes

Tuesday was a big night for me, and it all happened between the same 8 walls that constitute Casa Del Popolo these days. First, it was yet another chance to hang out with dear friends, then it was a chance to see a terrific concert (Jordi Rosen & Friends, Shyny Diemindz, and American Devices - review will be up shortly) and, finally, because I stuck around without any of my friends and I wanted another beer, I got to spend the rest of the evening with Jonathan Cummins (who has a new band called USA Out Of Vietnam) and The Besnard Lakes' Jace Lasek.

We hung out (and Cummins at times would leave to DJ), talked about everything and anything - until Cummins got the whole bar to try to make fun of my taste in music (particularly of Pearl Jam), but I stuck to my guns. I mean, in general, I consider ''art is art'', and I find having a work of art compete with another to be bullshit - but some of these fuckers were into Steely Dan, Moist and Stone Temple Pilots, for fuck's sake. Only Lasek refrained from bashing me too hard; then again, he seemed pretty fucking exhausted, which isn't a good sign when you're 30 hours away from starting a tour in Denver...

Lasek has a great ear for music - he engineered Dead Messenger's first record - which Cummins produced. They're a good team.

We had such a great time that night that we didn't keep track of time; we figured it'd be 3 AM - closing time - when the barmaid would tell us it's last call, and that she'd eject us by 3:30; turns out it was 4:30 when I walked outside and hailed a cab off to go to work (I had a deadline I was about to miss), after drinking 19 pints of Cheval Blanc's Blanche ('white') beer. I know this because each came with its own slice of citrus and every time I'd order one, I'd slip the old slices in the new pint. Cummins was surprised I wasn't slurring my speech and could stand, but I just claimed ''good genes'' without elaborating... ''my dad drives much better when he's drunk'' isn't the type of thing that slips itself too well in a conversation with someone who isn't either a blood relative or very close friend... or a blog reader, apparently.

In any event, I knew right then and there that The Besnard Lakes were going to be my Video Of The Week, I just spent far too many days hesitating between their 3 official videos to see which was getting the feature this time around. I opted for the most recent one, Albatross, from their Polaris-nominated The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night - their third album. I find it represents their sound very well - a song that is both epic in its sound and musicality, but only lasts 5 minutes, with high-pitched ethereal vocals and heavy, almost-stoner-rock riffs, and a thundering bass/drum combo.

It's no wonder they play on many American late-night talk shows and get nominated for so many awards - they are the real thing, they're great people, terrific musicians - and they display a wall of balls that doesn't need to be scary or gimmicky to satisfy. Truly, the tag-team vocals of Lasek and wife Olga Goreas combined with the Gladiator-like strength of Kevin Laing and Richard White makes for a winning formula in itself.

To see it on YouTube, it's here. But also below.

No comments: