Zoos of Berlin are from Detroit and are fronted by Trevor Naud who also spent time (maybe still does) in the notoriously unprolific but occasionally awesome Pas/Cal. Unlike that band's sunshine pop, Zoos of Berlin are more buttoned up and immaculate, like a high society tea… but one that desperately wants to be disco-fest. Naud and turtleneck-wearing bassist Daniel Clark keep it regal, but drummer Colin Dupuis and, especially, keyboardist Will Yates are there to party. The result is like a weird mix of Cardinal and Steely Dan, a combination that is perfected on "Electrical Way" which has Yates laying down a super-funky Clavinet part over most of the song, with a breakdown which is straight out of "Peg." And it just sounds awesome, such good musicianship overcoming the deficiencies of Market Hotel's PA, where they played a few weeks ago.
Honestly, I wasn't expecting all the moshing and crowd surfing. I'd hopped in a cab seconds after seeing Wild Beasts for a third time in one week and headed to Market Hotel to see Seattle's finest purveyors of bent surf garage. On record, The Intelligence are genuinely weird, like they try and make normal music and this is what comes out. It's not dissimilar to what Sic Alps or Thee Oh Sees do, but there's a sinister edge, kind of like in a David Lynch movie. Slightly uncomfortable. But live, Lars Finberg and the rest of The Intelligence are here to rock. Market Hotel didn't seem that crowded to me, but when the second song kicked in it was a like a mosh magnet, everyone who was still there rushed towards the stage and collectively lost their shit. In particular, Golden Triangle's OJ (the band had just played) was a crowd surfing dynamo, despite there not being quite enough crowd to hold him. No matter how many times he got dropped, OJ kept getting back up there. "Let's see how many people get hurt on this one," a perplexed Finberg joked during the encore. The guy might have bruises all over his body now, but Friday night that little dude was all smiles. Finberg kept asking the crowd if we could he his vocals — we could I thought they sounded great — but judging by that I don't think they could hear anything. Sometimes you just move forward via instinct and muscle memory. The Intelligence play Cake Shop tonight. Somehow I doubt a Sunday Night crowd will be as whacked-out as Friday's all-ages Market Hotel scene, but who can say for sure? Highly recommended. You can watch Mad Men tomorrow. MP3: The Intelligence – Moody Little Tower
Buy some Intelligence via Insound. Or buy some at the merch table tonight. I shot a lot of video Friday night but a lot of it didn't come out so well as I was constantly in fear of head injuries via someone's boot. Anytime the camera veers away from the stage, it's because of that. Those videos and all the Intelligence's remaining
The Intelligence on tour:
Sep 13 cake shop new york, New York Sep 14 live on viva radio new york, New York Sep 14 live on wnyu new york, New York Sep 16 cafe nine new haven, Connecticut Sep 17 sonar balitmore, Maryland Sep 18 comet pizza and ping pong washington dc, Washington DC Sep 19 the triple richmond, Virginia Sep 20 the new french bar asheville, North Carolina Sep 21 jj's bohemia chattanooga, Tennessee Sep 22 instore at criminal records atlanta, Georgia Sep 22 the earl atlanta, Georgia Sep 23 club down under tallahassee, Florida Sep 24 alabama music box mobile, Alabama Sep 25 hi tone/gonerfest 6 memphis, Tennessee Sep 26 saturn bar new orleans, Louisiana Sep 28 spanish moon baton rouge, Louisiana Sep 29 the ten eleven san antonio, Texas Oct 1 la sala rossa montreal, Quebec Oct 2 mohawk austin, Texas Oct 3 handsome kitten dallas, Texas Oct 4 the conservatory oklahoma city, Oklahoma Oct 5 record bar kansas city, Kansas Oct 6 medowlark denver, Colorado Oct 7 meow wolf santa fe, New Mexico Oct 8 club congress tucson, Arizona Oct 9 modifided phoenix, Arizona Oct 10 bujwha el centro, California Oct 11 part time punks festival @ the echo los angeles, California Oct 12 the casbah san diego, California Oct 13 the hub sacramento, California Oct 15 house of nostromos oakland, California Oct 16 elbow room san francisco, California Oct 17 garage/vice scion festival portland, Oregon