sistawendy: (smoldering windblown Merc alley)
Several of you had for years recommended the Lucifer's Lounge, the lounge and swing night at the Mercury. I put it off and put it off, until the last one ever rolled around last night. To my delight (and slight chagrin because I was in my work clothes), nearly everyone dressed for it: lots of 40's- and 50's-inspired clothes. The music was exactly as advertised and not really what I'd seek out ordinarily, but damn, I saw people I hadn't seen in years. I got my social on in a huge way. Yeah, I'm regretting not going earlier, and missing the Cheers-in-black that was (is?) the Mercury.

My other reason for being on the Hill was around the corner from the Merc: Simian Mobile Disco played Neumo's with its fabulous sound system. I missed SMD the last time they were in down, and I was determined not to do so twice in a row. I was not disappointed.

SMD is pretty close to the sweet spot on the fun vs. respectability curve. They lack the classicism and structure of Orbital that I love so much, but they make up for it with mix mastery and beat-driven goodness. I've heard SMD described as "bug music" because of their occasional glitchiness. I'd call it "music for bugs who want to bop 'til they drop".

The first half of their set was taken predominantly from an earlier album, Attack Decay Sustain Release. If you don't have that, get it. The second half was their latest album, the more abstract Unpatterns. I loved all of it. I can't be the only one in the crowd who detected a nod to Daft Punk in the long accelerando at the end of their encore, "I Believe".

In the grandest techno tradition, our two heroes from England were facing about 135° away from the audience. The lighting could best be described as evil: eight LED arrays usually strobing, and at times painfully bright and rendering the performers invisible from a distance. It all worked together, though.
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