Follow My Tangent: Hot Chip, Matthew Dear, Free Blood, Music Hall of Williamsburg

The North American leg of Hot Chip‘s Made in the Dark tour kicked off last night in Philly and finds them mostly playing big venues like New York’s 3000-capacity Terminal 5 (where they’ll be on Saturday). When I first saw them three years ago at Rothko I would’ve never imagined they’d be as popular (or as amazing) as they are now. I don’t like the idea of having to see them in such giant places but what can you do? Luckily, they still seem to make time for some smaller places, like tonight’s show at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

For most of this tour the opening slot is going to Free Blood, which is Madeline Day and ex-!!! guy John Pugh. They’ve been around for a few years now, mainly playing here in NYC but this tour is likely to up their national profile. It’s definite party music, but more specifically I’d call it sex party music. Not that I’ve ever been to a sex party, but I’d have to imagine Free Blood’s steamy bump and grind would be a perfect lotion to the motion.

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Live, it’s the chemistry between Maddy and John that make it happen as there’s not a lot else going on onstage. John will occasionally strap on a guitar, and those have been the best moments at the last few shows of theirs I’ve been to. (Most recently at Lit about three weeks ago which is where this picture was taken.) Without it, it drifts into karaoke territory — really good karaoke but that’s basically what it is. There has been a gaping hole ever since the exit of bassist Gorman (who is still in !!!) about a year ago, and they need something else "live" to kick it up from Fun to Awesome. The records, though, are pretty much already there. Just in time for this tour, Free Blood released their second EP, with "Grumpy" being doled out to the internets:

MP3: Free Blood – Grumpy
(from EP 2, buy it from 7 Digital)

Meanwhile, The Daily Growl offers up a remix of that track from Edinburgh’s Found.

Here are the Hot Chip/Free Blood tour dates…

4/11/08 @ 9:30 Club in Washington, DC
4/12/08 @ Terminal 5 in New York, NY
4/14/08 @ Paradise in Boston, MA
4/17/08 @ Vic Theatre in Chicago, IL
4/18/08 @ First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN
4/22/08 @ Showbox in Seattle, WA
4/23/08 @ Crystal Ballroom in Portland, OR
4/24/08 @ The Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, CA

Tonight’s opener, however, is Matthew Dear, who apparently got his hard drive stolen at Galapagos last night while DJing there. Not sure how that happens, but it sucks. He just reissued last year’s Asa Breed as Asa Breed – The Black Edition (buy) with a bunch of remixes, including a cover version of his single "Don and Sherri" as done by…wait for it… Hot Chip. I like the original plenty, but the ‘Chip’s take on it is great too:

MP3: Matthew Dear – Don and Sherri

MP3: Hot Chip – Don and Sherri

Though Dear DJs a lot, tonight is him with his band, Big Hands, and maybe if we’re lucky we’ll get a Hot Chip or two onstage to join him for "Don and Sherri." He’s on at 9pm, if you’ve got tickets.

And, finally, speaking of Music Hall of Williamsburg… they’ve now got a happy hour. From 6pm till the first band starts, well drinks and draught beers are only $3. Which is nice ’cause there aren’t any other bars to go to beforehand in Williamsburg.