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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Aural Stimulation

We have no choice but to give hipster music a chance. After all, we don't want to be the just-turned-30 curmudgeon counting down the last days of Phish, viewing it as the symbolic end of our youth. We don't want to be discovering afro-jazz at the same time we're reminding Franz Ferdinand fans of the devotion once shown to a band called The Hives.

We would like to believe good can be found in everyone and everything, including electro pop/rock music. Like any other genre, you have bands that kick ass and bands that suck ass. For every excellent band like The Fever, there's a merely solid band like IMA Robot, as well as enough mediocre bands to fill the entire space of Ludlow Street from Houston to Rivington.

As a non-expert in, well, everything, but particularly cool things, we're careful not to wade too deeply in the hipster music waters, where music bloggers like Stereogum and Coolfer are forever backstroking. With that said, we do believe we've stumbled upon a band worthy of mention, one that’s been overlooked by the keyboard mortals of the nerdosphere. The name of the group is Stimulator and, yes, they do have a song called Let's Hook Up.

Purchased for four dollars at an outdoor stand across from Cooper Union, the album was well worth the gamble. With a sexy female singer, a summery New Wave sound, and stimulating (naturally) pop hooks, the band creates Garbage-y grooves perfect for getting sassy on the dancefloor from now until September.

This is the album the Cardigans would have made in 2004, had a fateful appearance at the Peach Pit After Dark not sent them into a downward career spiral. After sharing the same universe as Joe E. Tata, it was perhaps inevitable the group suffer a crisis of confidence.

Abandoning the mischievously marshmallow pop sound that made their album The First Band On The Moon a masterpiece, and determining to be taken serious, the Cardigans' music became dour and sad, instead of seductively fun. Gone was the grandiose European small village-ness; white peak Alps, girls in white fur boots, villains in 70s-style Ray Bans.

Stimulator is the whiskey summer in NYC to the vintage Cardigans' hot cocoa winter in Sweden. It’s the red lipstick residue on the ice filled glass left in the bathroom stall, where a pale girl in fishnets had been using her keys in naughty ways.

Hey, maybe these hipster kids are on to something?


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