Babyland / Replicator / Full Moon Partisans
12 Galaxies
January 22, 2005

Review by Jake Thomas

I finally made it to a show in time to see the Full Moon Partisans, who I’ve wanted to check out forever after hearing the great MP3s on their website. The lived up to every bit of my expectations…junk rock at its finest mixed with a dash of cabaret or something like that. Imagine a mix of Skeleton Key, the Talking Heads, the Pixies, and weird Russian folk ballads that don’t make any sense to me but sound great, and that’s the general idea behind their music. I picked up one of their home-made CDs after the show, and it is plenty awesome as well. Why isn’t this band more popular? Why aren’t they on some awesome label? These are the new mysteries in my life, and this is a new favorite band for sure. And all of this without any mention of how insanely attractive the accordion/random junk percussion player is, which makes the live show instantly more exciting to watch. Talented plus hot? Sign me up for the newsletter; I’d like to know more about your exciting product please!

Replicator held down the middle slot. Now, I’ve seen Replicator a slew of times, some might even say “tons” or “lots”, but this was possibly the best show or at least one of the best shows I’ve ever seen by them. One of the biggest reasons? There were no “technical difficulties”…seems like most times I see them, which may just be bad luck on my part, but tape decks and keyboards mysteriously stop working, or multiple strings break, or a bat gets lose in the room, or Bigfoot appears outside and makes it hard to concentrate on the band. Whatever the cause, there was none of that prattle this time and the show was great…played a couple of new songs, plenty of tracks from their most recent album, yadda yadda yadda, you see where I’m going here – it was a damn good time.

The big finale on the evening was Babyland. I’ve seen this duo once before, also with Replicator, so I knew what to expect, but this outing was considerably crazier than before. I feel pretty certain when I say they may be the only band to employ the “one man runs an angle grinder on a tin drum and shoots sparks into the crowd while the other guy sings into a mic attached to a football helmet that he wears while he bangs on a mish-mash of junk percussion” method of live entertainment. And as crazy as the band is, their rabid and weird fans are even more out there…never have a seen a more motley crew. Normally, with the shows I see, you get a lot of the same folks every time you go out; but with Babyland, they draw such a wide assortment of techno geeks, computer hacker nerds, Goths and god knows what else, that watching the crowd is just as entertaining as the band. I can’t say that I’m a huge band of their recorded output (although the new record is pretty damn good), but their live show should be checked out by all at least once, just for the experience. The whole thing made me feel like I had gotten into a time warp and traveled back to 1991 during a Ministry video shoot. More of that, please, especially the hott goth girls.