Here is the thing about the music scene sometimes in San Francisco: it can be brutal getting into at-capacity shows. You could give away your prized Pucci moped, a burrito, and maybe a blowjob for free, and it still wouldn't have guaranteed admission into Ratatat's sold-out Slim's show last week. Six different people asked me for an extra ticket as we walked into the SOMA venue for some electroshredding, and all I have to say is this:
For all that is holy and right in the world, get your Ratatat tickets now for the full September tour. It's gonna make you change your pants, bang a stranger in the bathroom, and sweat until it looks like you just emerged from a shower fully dressed.
After all, this is my official letter of defeat from last Thursday's show: Ratatat, you win. I give up. I got so shattered over your impossibly perfect blips and guitar pecks, I can't stop thinking about how much of an idiot I was to date someone who wasn't into you. I'm sorry.
Ratatat was in my hood to test out some new material from their third album, simply titled LP3, as apart of a very short, very condensed tour up the West Coast. And for a solid hour, Evan Mast and Mike Stroud showed me that I didn't know shit on this band, taking me on an adventure full of dance anthems, carnival tracks, and their version of romantic ballads. Their sound was impeccable. Their visuals, tantalizing. Their hair, messy.
But this isn't an easy feat, darlings. Ratatat are sort of in a category at their own risk; a lack of vocals minus prerecorded voice sound can deter the next potential listener, and on the surface, the twists and slides of such electronic proportions might scare off someone.
Their smartly and tightly laid beats, littered with pangs of sharp reverb and distortion, overlooks this obstacle. Augmented by Jacob Morris for shows - who had so much curly fro going on, he had a mini-window for his eyes - the trio re-instilled my faith that live performances are what indeed are a band's selling point. All they have is each other, and they're out to prove three indie boys from New York have rhythm and enough sense to make stellar compositions.
While favorites like "Wildcat" and closer "Seventeen Years" resonated with the crowd in recognizable dance opportunities, newer material like "Falcon Jab," which has this fantastic whimsical of a spiraled synth, and "Mumtaz Khan," a loose Middle Eastern-influenced Bhangra track fill of urgent screeches and bells, is so decidedly strong and influential I could not believe my ears. And while "Mirando" is a little quieter in punch, it still carries its own weight in a beautiful, sprawling opening of keys and later sitar-like plucks.
I wore flats to the show, and I was greatly rewarded with the chance to dance my off for a solid 65 minutes. Thank you, Ratatat. You are my new indie rock boyfriends.