Smoosh was the Pipette's opening act, and while I wasn't familiar with their sound, I was curious to see just what they could do. Their backstory made them sound like the female Hanson, which disturbed me, as I thought Hanson was the female Hanson. But it turns out Smoosh is just Hanson's non-union indie-rock equivalent. A touch of Sleater-Kinney, perhaps, in their sound, and they covered a Bloc Party song, if memory serves, so that might give you some idea what they're about. Oh, and they're six years old and a zygote, respectively (actually, they're 15 and 12, joined on guitar for a few songs by their 10-year-old sister). So, yeah, young family group, that's their hook, but even if you take that away, they weren't bad at all, and the drummer was pretty crazy. I don't profess to be an expert on drumming (the difference between good from bad drumming, I can hear; the difference between good and great drumming is often beyond my rhythm-deprived ears), but I think she'll go places. Smoosh's web site has some samples, but they don't really do them justice.
So Smoosh started things off on a high note, but the night, of course, belonged to the Pipettes, and they did their thing with aploom. Lot of energy, lot of fun. Yeah, some of the songs start sounding alike after awhile, and none of the new stuff really grabbed me in a unique way, but that's okay. Some of my favorite songs were even better live (it will be many a moon before someone flushes another song as infectious as "Pull Shapes" into my life), and I gained a new appreciation for songs I've never been as excited about ("Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me", for instance). I have a soft "no dancing in public" rule, and with good reason (people usually intervene when I attempt to get down, putting a spoon in my mouth lest I swallow my tongue). I'll certainly waive that rule for a particularly catchy song or two, but for the Pipettes, I was shaking my proverbial booty from beginning to end. A great show, and the most fun I've had at a concert in some time.
So, yeah, the Pipettes rock. Their new album, which was actually available here for some time through eMusic (which is how it got the coveted #2 slot on my best albums of 2006 list), is getting a proper American release next month, and their new EP is in stores now. Oh, and did I mention they're easy on the eyes? Ah, Rosay... And when you check out those pictures, scroll down to see Smoosh's drummer getting all Animal on those drums.
Here's an interview with the Pipettes. Gives a little context to just what role the various parts of the band play in the creative process. And there are videos to be found on the intertubes:
For reference, here is the scene from Beyond the Valley of the Dolls which inspired the "Pull Shapes" video:
The sound's lousy on this one, but it shows Smoosh dancing with the Pipettes, and I thought it was sweet (this didn't happen at the Casbah; security banished those under the age of majority to the street when not performing):
Fabchannel has an entire Pipettes concert available for your streaming pleasure:
You can also download their recent San Francisco show (there's also a clip of Smoosh available there).