he loves my french way

saturday night i finally got a chance to see the band la laque at sin-e. their songs, most of their website, and even their onstage comments are all in french, although they seem to hail from brooklyn. while this might seem gimmicky, in their case it actually works. this is no novelty act; their music and delivery are both professional and sincere. an emotional high point was when the guitarist started ranting and screaming in english as the band built up to a climax. i don't recall what he said any more than i understood the french (i'm a bit rusty on it), but it still made sense on a gut level.

the singer was coquettishly vamping while remaining on-key the entire time, which is no mean feat for someone who moves around onstage a lot. regardless of this comment, the band admirably makes gender a non-issue by having an equal number of males and females, all clearly quite talented and not just pretty faces. the music was a mix of minor-key 50's/60's spy-theme and surf music with an indie rock/punkish flavor, lots of twangy reverbed guitars and merseybeat drums. perhaps it was their sophisticated style, lack of goofiness, and relative low volume of the organ that kept me from thinking of the b-52's until just now. more like the dark side of serge gainsbourg or a less angsty portishead without the trip-hop. there were some problems hearing the violinist, which would have brought the music into another dimension, but that's a common problem using live strings with louder instruments onstage. overall though, they were quite enjoyable and impressive.

the title of this post was spoken by vivian, a character in the excellent underground comic love and rockets (who used the name before the band).