Zeitgeist showdown! Or foreign pop experimentalist showdown. Or ... whatever you like. Canadian synth-pop songstress Grimes will appear tonight at Mercy Lounge, and like I said, Belgo-Aussie Sting-alike Gotye will hit the Mother Church. You could of course skip both and go to local singer-songwriter Angel Snow's album release at The Basement. But for the sake of argument, let's say you're really torn between Grimes and Gotye — let's say you're that one undecided voter. Let's weigh your options. First up, Jewly Hight's pick on Grimes:
You know something’s up when Taylor Swift trades in the guitar-driven feel of her previous hits for a Max Martin four-on-the-floor dance groove. What’s up is this: Electronic dance music is well on its way to becoming the dominant pop flavor of the moment. And Grimes sits at its eccentric indie fringes, riding glitchy, synthy beats with a vocal sound a bit like a girlish young Madonna caught up in an Enya-like, reverb-cocooned trance. What Grimes — the Canadian singer-songwriter Claire Boucher — does has been called witch house, which is kind of a silly genre descriptor as these things go. But it does get at the built-in distance between her performances and the listener. Her latest album Visions is intriguing because from track to track, it conjures an evanescent alternate reality. —JEWLY HIGHT
Right on. Thanks, Jewly. Also, Grimes will appear at Grimey's today at 4 p.m. — there was a petition and everything. And if you're wondering what to wear to that, Laura Hutson's got you covered over on Country Life.
Now, I wonder what Adam Gold has to say about Gotye ...
Congratulations to Gotye (aka Wouter De Backer). The Australian-Belgian indie-pop singer-songwriter’s 2011 break-through hit “Somebody That I Used to Know” is by far the most ubiquitous song in recent memory. Even if “Somebody” was as good as say, “Satisfaction” (or Elliot Smith’s “Somebody That I Used to Know”), that wouldn’t justify the song’s inescapable ubiquity, which at this point borders on oppressive. In case you haven’t heard it (you have), the lovelorn acoustic guitar- and xylophone-driven ditty sounds like Sting and Ani DiFranco collaborating on an adult-contemporary cover of The Cure’s “Lovesong.” Head to the Ryman tonight to hear it and other songs Gotye ostensibly has. —ADAM GOLD