120 Days and Ratatat | 2007 Booty-Shakin’ Tour Dates


photo by mari

If you dig bands that jam out the atmospheric keyboard synths and electronic beats but remain focused on a song, you might like 120 Days and/or Ratatat. Both bands have just set out on massive touring schedules in apparent attempts to dominate the world (or at least some decent-sized rock clubs throughout the Europe and the U.S.).

Of course, the generic descriptors above are really all that tie these bands together in sound…..that and the fact that they’ve matched up for a small string of dates in Chicago and the West that have me chompin’ at the bit. You see, thanks to a few music bloggers, the Hype Machine, and my eMusic subscription, I’ve been digging into their studio stuff for a while and I can imagine both bands putting on a mind-blowing live set. I’m psyched about the chance to not only catch them live, but both in the same night!

It’s not often I find a band, let alone two bands, that fall into the “hot new indie band” category but can also stretch out their songs into “jam” territory and create a great, dance-oriented vibe to make me move my lazy ass. And with their studio tunes in almost-daily rotation on my iPod, these two bands manage to do just that (make me move), albeit in very different ways:

*120 Days hails from Norway, bringing with them a synth-laden euro-pop that returns us to the 80s New Wave sound, but with more millennial set of rhythms and textures. There are times when I hear the Cure, Joy Division…s***, I even hear the Edge playing jagged guitar rhythms with a touch of Perry Ferrel’s high-pitched falsetto shout. However, the lyrics that I actually can understand leave me wondering about the Norwegian translation of “banal”…maybe it’s: “weak” or better yet, “sorta lame.” But luckily the newer beats and washed-out synths provide enough freshness to make it interesting. Also, I dig that these guys know how to properly work in a key piece of the pop song: the bridge.

*Ratatat is a completely different kind of electronic synth-fest: the vibe is a funkier, more vintage take on instrumental electronic rock that blends rhythmic eccentricity, a touch of humor, and is just, well, more American. They’re also completely instrumental – and probably a much better sonic backdrop for a hip-hop MC than an indie rock whine or moan. Ratatat doesn’t seem all that interested in providing an all-out dance-party, as the typically bouncy electro beats are much more loping and lethargic. But even so, they still manage to make you groove…even you, you shoe-gazing hipster!

photo by davduf

Okay enough of all that, because frankly, all my babbling is bulls*** unless you can hear what it sounds like, so here are a few tracks to check out:

120 Days – Keep on Smiling [mp3]
120 Days – Be Mine [mp3]

Ratatat – Wildcat [mp3]

Tourdates and video after the jump

120 Days dates:

3/01/07 @ Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ottawa, ON
3/02/07 @ Mile End Cultural Centre, Montreal, QC
3/03/07 @ Lee’s Palace Toronto, ON
3/04/07 @ The Casbah, Hamilton, ON
3/06/07 @ Call The Office, London, ON
3/07/07 @ the Starlight Social Club, Waterloo, ON
3/09/07 @ Southpaw, Brooklyn, NY
3/10/07 @ the Mercury Lounge, New York, NY
3/11/07 @ Johnny Brenda’s Philadelphia, PA
3/13/07 @ The Mink, Houston, TX

120 Days and Ratatat:

3/21/07 @ the Logan Square Auditorium – Chicago, IL
3/23/07 @ the Bluebird Theater, Denver, CO
3/24/07 @ In The Venue, Salt Lake City, UT
3/26/07 @ the Wonder Ballroom, Portland, OR
3/27/07 @ Neumo’s, Seattle, WA
4/16/07 @ Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro
4/18/07 @ Webster Hall, New York

2/1/07 @ Custard Factory, Birmingham
2/2/07 @ Independent, Sunderland
2/3/07 @ Castle Castle, Oldham
2/4/07 @ Night and Day, Manchester
2/5/07 @ Digital, Newcastle
2/6/07 @ Moshulu, Aberdeen
2/7/07 @ Flash Flash, Dundee
2/8/07 @ Arches, Glasgow
2/9/07 @ Whelan’s, Dublin

2/12/07 @ Atomic Café, Munich
2/13/07 @ MTC, Cologne
2/14/07 @ Paradiso, Amsterdam
2/16/07 @ Point Ephemére, Paris
2/17/07 @ Beursschouwburg, Brussels
2/18/07 @ Kamp, Bielefeld
2/19/07 @ 103 Club, Berlin
2/20/07 @ Prinzenbar, Hamburg
2/21/07 @ Loppen, Copenhagen
2/22/07 @ Pink Flag, Malmö
2/23/07 @ Debaser, Stockholm
2/24/07 @ Sticky Fingers, Gothenberg
2/25/07 @ Garage, Oslo

3/15/07 @ the Paradise, Boston
317/07 Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland
3/18/07 Kenyon College, Gambier
3/19/07 Southgate House, Newport

*rest of tour w/ 120 Days

120 Days live @ CMJ, doing “Come Out (Come Down, Fade Out, Be Gone)”: