Monday, September 15, 2008

Monsters of Pop Sept 5th - Day Two

Day two of MOP started with a rather unusual performance by Credit - a very new group formed by My Lovin Martian of I Was a Teenage Satan Worshipper and Cute Pint of Pintandwefall. It was actually the duo’s first gig, and their first practise session had been held on Monday. Cute Pint and My Lovin Martian performed lots of good electropop songs, and I liked them all. My Lovin Martian is getting better and better at writing pop songs.

Le Corps Mince De Françoise was the next band. It was an all-girls band that performed energetic pop songs with electronic beats. It was basically good, but something about it bothered me.. It was those ultra cool beats that confused me. I believe those beats reminded me of the ones that are used in contemporary r&b – a type of music I spend considerable amounts of time trying to avoid at all costs. I couldn’t shake that uneasy feeling during the entire gig, but I’m willing to listen to this band again, see if my mind was just playing tricks on me.

If you look at the outer appearance of the members, Jesse is probably the unsexiest band you could imagine.. The guys wear denim with leather vests, sunglasses, and caps. Their music, however, is very interesting. It reminds me a lot of Aavikko, a electropop group that played live at last year’s MOP (what an amazing gig it was – I probably lost 2000 kcal during the performance…). Compared to Aavikko, Jesse is a lot more 80s-styled, and all their songs seem to be about cars, or driving fast in cars.. It’s probably the band’s unusual image that has gotten them a lot of attention, but their music is well worth checking out.

Then, it was once again time to move to Klubi. The second international guest of the festival took over the stage. The Deer Tracks played music that probably could be described as a form of post-rock. It surely sounded like Sigur Rós, though it was more electronic. The music was very beautiful and surely required some patience since the songs were sometimes quite long. The band had some reinforcements on the stage, including a trumpetist and a clarinetist. In addition, it was quite confusing how much lead singer and keyboard player David Lehnberg looked and sounded like AFI’s Davey Havok..

Regina played at MOP for the second time. In a bigger club environment the band’s sound was a lot different than what it was a year ago at Artturi. This time Regina also performed songs from their two albums, and new tunes. The songs sounded good and Iisa Pajula’s vocals were lovely, but the overall performance somehow felt.. slightly cold. Maybe the lights weren’t blinking as colourfully as I’d hoped for.. Or perhaps I just have a lot to learn about the nature of electronic pop. However, it was cool that their drummer had adopted a standup playing style..

The only non-electronic band of the entire day was the final act, Swedish First Floor Power that used to have Jenny Wilson as a member. The band seemed to enjoy performing their songs. However, honestly, I expected more from a critically acclaimed Swedish pop band. Their songs had potential but somehow they felt a bit faint. I also felt I’d heard a lot more interesting melodies before - that’s surely not a good thing to happen when you’re trying to find new favourite bands. Have I gotten myself used to so extremely catchy and complicated melodies that I now find it hard to appreciate a band that isn’t melodically so.. sparkling? I don’t know. Maybe someday I’ll find out.

When I hear music that doesn’t immediately sound good, I never blame it on the music. It is my fault, my flaw if I can’t see the beauty of some specific music. This way of thinking does get problematic in many ways sometimes, but I won’t discuss it now.

In the end, it’s art. Who can really say the final word about it being good or not?

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