Last month I caught House of Blondes at Williamsburg’s Spike Hill. With a coolly minimalist sound that’s reminiscent of Kraftwerk and Joy Division, their sound has been correctly described by another critic as space helmet music — the sort of music that you’d expect to hear during space exploration. And in some way, it’s fitting that during their sets that they have video projections of an astronaut wandering around New York with a look of childish awe and wonder, preceded by satellite images of the moon and the sun. But it also seems (to me at least) to describe a utopian future similar to that of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World - underneath the efficiency of having the trains and buses run on time, the modern technology that makes human life easier, and the chemicals that bring about “better living,” there’s something unfathomably sinister.
Although I only caught about half of their previous set at Piano’s, i noticed a difference between that set and their Spike Hill set, the Piano’s set was a bit more straightforward, hewing closely to their excellent Clean Cuts while the Spike Hill set was more expansive, allowing songs like “Shadows,” “Do It Yourself (Landscape),” and “Supermoon,” to find a slow burning, trance-like groove. And it also allowed new listeners to catch on to some great hooks. Overall, quite an impressive set.
For these photos and the rest of the photos from this set of music, check out the Flickr set here: