The Crystal Stilts were scheduled to play but it was clear to me that they weren't going on next. I said as much to the girl and she said, "I think that person is in the band," pointing to a girl on stage wearing what looked like a paint-splattered chef's jacket. "No," I said. "This is definitely not the Crystal Stilts."
Two people took the stage and looked around nervously, and conferred with one of the stage managers at the Fader Fort, who took to the mike and announced for the drummer to please come to the stage. After a couple minutes, one of the two grabbed the mike and said, "We are Los Fancy Free from Mexico City. Our bassist is stuck at the airport and our drummer is here but missing so we are going to just go ahead and play."
What they lacked in members they made up for in enthusiasm. Singer Martin Thulin ran around the stage throwing flamboyant rock poses, climbing on the drums, the speakers, and jumping into the audience. The crowd was baffled but immediately won over, and when the drummer bounded onto stage midway through the second song it errupted in whooping and hollering. And Los Fancy Free reciprocated with hooping and hollering (and banging) of their own — not unlike the weird, sneery L.A. new wave of 1980. The crowd errupted again when the bassist made it from the airport to the stage for the last song. Thulin was beaming. From a technical standpoint the show was a disaster. From a rock n' roll one, it was a rousing sucess.
No idea what happened with the schedule but the Crystal Stilts did show up to play after Los Fancy Free. Maybe they were getting in an extra hour of sleep after playing till around 5AM the night before at Stereogum's party at Studio @ Webster Hall. Singer Brad Hargett seemed like it was the last place they wanted to be, but it was a pretty good short set nonetheless. In particular, they've got this new songs that I've heard four or five times now but have no idea the name of that is like goth Bo Didley, a 2/4 time bone-rattler that I don't seem to get tired of. Definitely the highlight. Anybody know the name of this one? Stereogum actually caught it on tape at their event:
Crystal Stilts are taking a break from allowing me to stalk them here in NYC to head out on tour with their Slumberland label-mates caUSE co-MOTION for a tour of the West Coast. Go see them if you can. Their debut album, Alight of Night, came out yesterday and is one of my favorites of 2008.
Oct 31 Kenji Shack Oxnard, California
Nov 1 Che Cafe San Diego, California
Nov 2 The Echo Los Angeles, California
Nov 3 House of Nostromo Oakland, California
Nov 4 Bottom of the Hill San Francisco, California
Nov 5 Luigi Fun Garden sacremento, California
Nov 6 Samurai Duck Eugene, Oregon
Nov 7 Holocene Portland, Oregon
Nov 8 The Big Room Olympia, Washington
Nov 9 Chop Suey Seattle, Washington