Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tourist Trap :: White Rabbits

White Rabbits provided me the soundtrack to the summer of 2007, an epic season of debauchery and fun that drained my money, gave me a beer belly, and convinced me to do an intensive cleanse come Fall.

All the while, White Rabbits played in my iPod, in my car, in my office, and in my head. Turned on to them by my music-sponge friend Peter, I became immediately enamored with White Rabbits' sound. The band reminds me of Coney Island and the Great Gatsby and a New Orleans marching band and calypso and hipsters all at once. Perhaps you've heard "Kid on My Shoulders" and "The Plot", they both got major play.

Oh, and did I mention that White Rabbits, as a whole, are cute as hell? I didn't. They are. Sigh...

These Midwest boys met in Missouri and moved to NYC. They live together and make music in their flat and must spend vast quantities of time together. For the kind of insight on this that only a video interview can offer, check out this clip:

So, if they were so 2007, why bring 'em up now? This spring, the band was signed by TBD Records (home to none other than Radiohead), and anticipation is rather great for their sophomore release, due out early next year. They just finished up their first tour as the main act, and I caught them at the 400 Bar on their pass through Mpls a few weeks ago. I'd seen them twice before, the first time at the Turf Club in St Paul. It was August 1 2007, the night the 35W Bridge crumbled into the Mississippi River. That night was scary and odd and uncomfortable, and the vibe at the show was weird. Everyone was waiting for the band to come out, dazed, watching live footage of dust and twisted metal and broken cement and injured people on bar TVs. The White Rabbits were a welcome highlight to that evening, the energy was killer and they were amazing. They opened for The Cribs, who were supposed to be awesome, but were, in my opinion, overrated and kind of awful.

Then I saw them again, sandwiched between The Virgins and Tokyo Police Club at the 7th St Entry. It was was electric, the Entry was the perfect venue, and again, I was impressed at just how hard they brought it.

Now, to the 400 Bar. I think the show lacked the kind of wild electricity that I had seen previously. But, it was awesome. They played some new songs that I totally dug. And as a bonus, their cover of Bob Dylan's "Maggie's Farm" made a second appearance in the Twin Cities, much to my pleasure. Try to find a YouTube of it, I haven't looked but there must be one somewhere.The most shocking part of the night? Hardly anyone was there! Maybe it will be one of those shows that a year from now people talk about - "Oh, man, you were at that 400 Bar show? I should have gone, " people will say, forlorn.

Well, maybe it won't be quite like that. But who knows, maybe it will. For the White Rabbits, I hope so.

I'm choosing the song "Tourist Trap", one of my favorites from last year's album Fort Nightly. I'm a sucker for drum heavy beats balanced by a twinkly keyboard, and this song has that in great profusion, plus a fun "la la la" chorus, some trumpet, an excellent mid-song transition, and fun calypso twists. This song is a winner. But honestly, the whole album is a winner.

Tourist Trap - White Rabbits

Here's "Sea of Rum", a tune that is not on their album, but is featured in their sweet Daytrotter Session and makes appearances at live shows. It would behoove you to follow that Daytrotter link, because there are free downloads involved...
Sea of Rum - White Rabbits

Want to know more about White Rabbits or stream more of their album? Go to their myspace or check out their website!

Be well.


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