Soundwaves

Iceland's GusGus mixes, Depeche Mode divides, Colin Farrell sings, more

by Doug Rule
Published on September 4, 2003, 12:00am | Comments

GUSGUS'S DANCE FLOOR RUSH-RUSH…  Most dance-music compilations simulate the music heard at peak hour on the dance floor. The rest tend to simulate radio. Mixed Live: GusGus (Moonshine) takes a new tack, one we haven't encountered before. It simulates sex. Or more appropriately, the mood of a Saturday night dance floor, where a hookup is a distinct possibility. That it does it all implicitly makes it that much more impressive. That it comes from a nine-piece pop group not known as a DJ act makes us think more non-DJs should be enlisted to mix dance compilations. GusGus hails from Iceland, and like compatriots Bjork and Sigur Ros they thrive on crafting quirky music -- half rock, half electronic. Thanks to their pioneering approach, this is the best Moonshine Mixed Live compilation we've yet heard, with a fetching mix of electroclash, soulful house, techno and punk sounds. Early on Gus-Gus hits us with flirtatious tracks with titles to match: “Price Gun Baby,” “Grab My Shaft,” “I Need a Freak.” If you're not good-naturedly laughing at this point, you will be with Aaron Carl's techno-colored “Switch.” (“Make like a fairy baby, and switch.”) You'll laugh some more as Harrison Crump has phone-sex on “Deep in Clouds.” Crump's sexy, jazzy vocalizations suggest sex too. The DJ-as-dance-floor-pursuer has won you over by the time the best song plays: GusGus's own “David,” remixed by the misnamed Captain Comatose. What is so homoerotic about “Homoerotic” and this rated NC-17 compilation, you ask? Aaron-Carl, who just has to be a gay drag queen, explains it in this GusGus remixed track: “Even though we could never, ever make babies, you and me could still have fun”…

DEPECHE DIVORCE… We can't say we didn't see this coming. Several months ago, as Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan and Martin Gore released solo albums, the two expressed conflicting opinions about their next group album. Gore was ready to start work on it, Gahan in no rush. Now Rolling Stone quotes Gahan as all-but through with Depeche Mode. “Martin might as well be doing it himself. They're his ideas, his songs. I don't see that there's any point in making another [Depeche Mode] record." Until this year's Paper Monsters (Reprise), Gahan had never actually written the songs he sang. We liked it better that way; Paper Monsters was a mess of a debut…

BOYS, BOYS, BOYS… Just over a month ago we mentioned the theater-as-clubbing Off-Broadway extravaganza that is De La Guarda. The show's special weekly DJ appearances are over, but you'll enjoy yourself even more if you can make it next week to the Daryl Roth Theater. On Wednesday, Sept. 7, the show will feature a special “Boys Night” (as in gay) edition of the interactive show, much like one held in June during Pride. D.C.-favorite Manny Lehman will spin Sept. 7 as the show's Argentine performers take to the stage -- and fly through the air. See www.delaguarda.com for ticket information. Meanwhile, on the other coast, there's another kind of “boys” event featuring another era's pop music. Los Angeles radio station KROQ's 2003 Inland Invasion Concert will be a very electroclash affair, including ‘80s artists The Cure (!), Duran Duran (fresh from their MTV Lifetime Achievement Award), Soft Cell, Berlin, Violent Femmes and Echo and the Bunnymen, along with some of their offspring such as Interpol, Dashboard Confessional and Hot Hot Heat. The Sept. 20 date, at the Glen Helen Hyundai Pavilion in Devore, Ca., is the third edition of this annual show, but the first to draw our attention. (Last year's focus was on punk and the first year it was hard rock.) Could it be a sign that the already aging dance genre electroclash is truly going mainstream? Or is that just wishful thinking on our part?…

BOOZE AND BOO'S… He can look cute, booze it up, act and apparently even sing. What can't Colin Farrell do? Rolling Stone reports that Farrell recorded a cover of The Clash's "I Fought the Law" for the soundtrack to his upcoming movie Intermission. And as odd as it sounds, he's also in the running to play Ozzy Osbourne in a biopic…. And speaking of boozing it up, rapper Nelly has launched his own energy drink, Pimp Juice, a mix of apple juice, vitamins and supplements named after a song from Nellyville (Universal). According to Nelly himself, the juice "mixes perfectly with numerous vodkas.” Spoken like a true pimp… American Idol's Simon “Mr. Nasty” Cowell sat for Madame Tussaud sculptors and recorded his voice for a talking model now on display in London in a “Pop Idol” set (the British version of the show). BBC 1 Radio reports that the Cowell model will even judge you, for a song. But why would you humiliate yourself like that?…

Doug Rule can be reached at drule@metroweekly.com.


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