Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Los Campesinos! - "You! Me! Dancing!" 7"

Los Campesinos! – “You! Me! Dancing!” 7”
Wichita, 2007
Acquired: Los Campesinos Mail Order, New, 2009
Price: £5
I feel like I must have been at every show Los Campesinos! played at the 2008 SXSW. I definitely know I cut in line to get into a day set at Emos and didn’t feel bad about it because no one in line was even paying attention and, besides, I wanted it more. The show was basically magic: cluttered, exuberant magic. During “You! Me! Dancing!” Gareth jumped into the crowd, which on paper seems like a cheap ploy to force audience engagement but it WORKS EVERY SINGLE TIME. “OH MY GOD THE GUY SINGING THE SONG IS HERE AMONGST US PLEBES!” I probably said and loved the band even more. “You! Me! Dancing!” is like THE Los Camp! song. It’s the most towering single from their electric debut Hold On Now, Youngster... and best distills the band’s strengths, which is basically throwing a hundred different influences into a blender and serving up a pop smoothie. 1990s alternative rock in the guitars, Sarah Records songwriting in the clever, occasionally self-effacing lyrics, a genuine understanding of twee pop in all of its majesty without actually being twee pop itself, and A SHITLOAD OF GLOCKENSPIELS. Glockenspiels make it a party, it’s just a fact. Seeing seven early-twentysomething Brits crammed on that tiny stage in Austin is still one of my favorite concert experiences. In hindsight, Gareth Campesinos’ vocals are chirpy and thin compared to his room-commanding pipes on No Blues and Hello Sadness. Maybe the best portrait of the band is a sort of timelapse, side-by-side pairing of “You! Me! Dancing!” and their latest single, “Avocado, Baby” which is both way more in control of itself (although the wild quality of “Dancing!” is part of its charm) but about twice as face-meltingly catchy. I sometimes wonder if people don’t take Los Campesinos! seriously. Like all they think is “Oh, twee pop revival there’s no depth” because this is the stuff I worry about when it comes to bands I adore. As with the Hold Steady and GBV, I get defensive if people slag on Los Camp! Even with an absence of religion, I still found a way to be a zealot.

"You! Me! Dancing!'

"It Started With a Mixx"

And just because, here's the fantastic video for "Avocado, Baby"

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