Some have "Best New Music", others "Band to Watch". Here at Baeble, we're all about live performance. In celebration of the very best artists in this arena, we've christened "Best of Show": an appreciative nod to those bands we feel are worthy of your hard earned dollars.
Photos by David Pitz
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Like some hot spot, bohemian flea market, French-Finnish band The Do
peddles an imaginative sound that offers plenty for curious listeners to rummage through as it cycles through. Packing sanctifying grooves, tender acoustic moments, and breezy bits of understated soul with Olivia Merilahti
's fetching vocal presence at the helm of the outfit, the band tuned plenty in to their '08 album A Mouthful
, planting a flag atop the French charts a few years back in the process. It took until this past spring for American audiences to be made privy to it, but that's ok...very few of us probably knew what we were missing out on at the time.
That's because, like the haphazard tunes they hock, The Do was a totally random discovery, and an exciting one at that. Hiding under a stack of CDs, possibly waiting to be filed away (or worse!) into obscurity, someone took a chance and slipped A Mouthful
on in the office, spurring the kind of infatuation that will no doubt lead us to anoint it as one of the year's best when the curtain drops on 2010.
It was that infatuation that lead us to Gowanus Brooklyn last week in search of our first live encounter with the band. A sparse-ish, mid-week crowd turned out to meet them at The Bell House, but with all eyes fixed on the band, that of course didn't matter. Merilahti was too charming for words after all, and in mere minutes, she had us enamored. Leading glassy live versions of album favs like "On My Shoulders", "At Last", and "The Bridge Is Broken", Merilahti's patented vocal chirps were scrumptious, her stage moves playful, her feel-it-all expression, inviting and affecting. Add an inventive fashion sense to the mix (long strawberry colored hair, a turquoise leopard print top, patterned tights, and kitschy white vinyl boots), and her package as a front-woman seemed complete...easy on the eyes, damn delightful on the ears. Behind her, cohort Dan Levy
lead a kinetic kind of accompaniment, sprouting thick, dance ready bass lines for a pots and pans (part of the time, anyway) percussionist to snatch on to. A snazzy guitarist helped round out the sound, giving good face in the process (though one friend concluded that he may be French and he may be here to have sex with your women).
We'll let that slide of course. Instead, we'd rather brand The Do with Baeble's coveted "Best of Show" stamp. Treat them like the rare find that they are...a jewel gleaming through the indie rock muck, begging for you to dust 'em off, and take 'em home with you (Just don't say we didn't warn you about that guitarist of theirs'). - David Pitz
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Pictures: The Do at The Bell House
The Do on Myspace