Review: Robotic Pirate Monkey at the Bluebird, 7/8/11
Denver got a little taste of Boulder last night with Robotic Pirate Monkey nearly selling out the Bluebird Theater. At least seventeen kids missed the memo that unless you have an orange bracelet proving you are 21 years old, you can't drink. Add this to the five or so fake identifications snagged at the door and you realize that even if RPM sold out the venue, they wouldn't be playing to a full house.
Sunset Society opened the house up at 8:45 p.m. with a various mixture of mash-ups and jams. Some of the typical, and now cliché, dubstep songs were sampled, including tracks by Flux Pavilion (who will be playing the Fillmore on August 8), as well as some hip-hop from Wiz Kalifa, an artist whose songs sound perfect when distorted and layered for some added whomp.
Either my bar standard for dubstep shows is ridiculously high, or these openers weren't any good, but it's starting to get pathetic how much I hear the same songs over and over again at concerts. There was a time when all a deejay would do is come out during set breaks and prime the audience, ya know, keep them on their toes while waiting for the next act. Nowadays, kids are burning themselves out on the openers because they are playing heavier shit than the headliners. Someone needs to say something.
Such was the case last night with Flux P's entire web-famous catalog of tracks being sampled, three different (though quite similar) versions of Wiz Kalifa's "Black and Yellow," and even a handful of Pretty Lights songs being used, all before the headliner even carelessly walked out.
Photo by Britt Chester
RPM came out around 11:50 p.m. looking extra carefree about performing a set. No, looks aren't everything, but appearance is important regardless of what kind of music it is. What happened to actually performing and it being display of talent? Three guys walking out with greasy hair in tall tees expecting to blow away a nearly sold out show is a far cry, but RPM definitely delivers on a different sound. For lack of a better word, RPM makes the speakers burp and fart with less grimy, almost too produced bass lines. The crowd loved the bass-dance tracks, and the sharing of a controller between Andrew Hathaway and Matt Berryhill gave the stage an energy that is often missed with DJ sets.
But, to break it down real quick, it makes sense why their style looks like it was picked straight out of the Colorado Waste Management Spring Collection. These deejays, or producers are taking very professional and hard working musician's creations and slaughtering them into bits and pieces of songs. The original track, much like its creator, is fresh and comes complete with a style all it's own. The remixer, however, is merely taking the best points of the song and repeating them over another song. Think of every dubstep "mash-up" as an even worse version of Star Wars: Episode One with every deejay essentially taking on the role of the unwanted Jar Jar Binks who single-handedly ruined the chances of it being cool to like Star Wars prequels. Stop being the Jar Jar Binks to my dubstep.
Photo by Britt Chester
Needless to say, Sorry for Partying's set was full of good music, as it should be given the source. Nick Guarino and Sage Barry know what music sounds good in what order and could probably make a mix-tape for every occasion that would be more successful than any Lil Wayne mix-tape, as proven last night with its raging set. Guarino's company, and the promoter for the night, ThisSongIsSick.Com, gets exclusive drops from local and national acts, so some surprises are expected when they drop the needle, err, twist the effect knob.
Perhaps this show was the catalyst though, as many people commented on the lack of live instruments. It's true, live instruments create a stronger connection with the crowd, as do artists that act like they want to be there.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.