The Teenagers + Bear Hands | Mercury Lounge | 1.30.2008

"I saved some of my best moves for New York — did you notice?" Quentin Delafon, one-third of Paris pop group The Teenagers, was a real ham Wednesday at Mercury Lounge for the band’s NYC debut, holding more poses for cameras than Derek Zoolander. He also comes off in some ways as the French equivalent of The Rakes’ Alan Donahoe — lots of weird, spazzy arm dancing.

Delafon kept telling the crowd how nervous they all were, it being New York and all, and maybe the rest of the band was, but he was certainly having a good time up there and knew how to work the crowd. Which is good because all the Teenagers songs pretty much sound the same — shoegazy, not that far musically from the Radio Dept. really — with spoken verses and sung choruses featuring lyrics either about meeting beautiful girls (who drink Red Bull and vodka) and trying to score with them, or what it’s like being a Teenager. Sometimes their songs are about both. Sometimes those girls they try and score with end up stealing their prized Jazzmaster guitar. It’s a hard life being a Young Parisian . Though not as hard as being a baby.

I wouldn’t say that the crowd was going nuts for them, except maybe the girls near the front, but everyone seemed entertained. OK maybe the girls in the front were going nuts. Two of whom were invited on-stage to sing the female parts on their C-bomb dropping single "Homecoming" which was probably the best song of the night. Though I like the song about the Jazzmaster too. Their fucking Jazzmaster!

MP3: The Teenagers – Sunset Beach (Their album, Reality Check, is available digitally now. On CD in March)

Lots of bloggerati were there, I think. I know Matt Music Slut was there, as was Abbey Punk Photo. Abbey’s got video as well in her post.) For those who couldn’t score tickets, The Teenagers are playing Hiro Ballroom tonight which is free with a RSVP. They’re also playing the official Hot Chip afterparty at Studio B on Saturday, if you’ve still got energy. I have a feeling I won’t.

Bearhands Local openers Bear Hands were good too. I’ve seen them a few times over the last six months. I’m not sure how to describe their sound. Poppy in a lopsided Wolf Parade kind of way, though maybe that’s just because bassist Val Loper sometimes picks up drumsticks and wails on a floor tom at the front of the stage.

They’re fun to watch and I’ve come to really like a few of the songs — though most are newer (possibly older, what do I know?) than their just-released Golden EP. Though the title track is pretty good.

MP3: Bear Hands – Golden (buy it)


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