Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Ratatat Find a Home

XL Recordings, the U.K. label who's current roster of bands is virtually unrivaled--they've got Basement Jaxx, Dizzee Rascal, Peaches and the White Stripes, etc.--have now signed Ratatat, a dance-rock band from Brooklyn, NY. (They've already done shows as "Cherry" as well.) Pitchfork Media has already given their reputation a shot of adrenaline by naming them as a "Band to Watch in 2004" and this was months ago, before they had even released a record. If you're a natural skeptic, or just plain afraid of needles (as you should be), visit the Ratatat site for a free MP3 of their single "17 Years".
Ratatat in a field

Ratatat is made up of two members, Mike Stroud and Evan Mast. Stroud is an accomplished guitarist and he's toured with both Ben Kweller and Dashboard Confessional. We won't hold the Dashboard thing against him. Mast is apparently the techno wizard behind the beatbox hardware and he has been releasing music for the past few years under the name E*Vax. He also has his own label (Audio Dregs Records) but couldn't resist the tantalizing lure of XL Recordings and their limitless supply of cash.

Ratatat is proud to straddle the border between Rock City and Technoburg, that thin expanse of land formerly inhabited by the Depeche Modists and New Orderlies of the 80's. According to their freshly-coded XL Recordings band site, "(w)hile dance music is trying to re-invent itself and rock is returning to it's roots, Ratatat seem to make a happy mess in both fields." I wouldn't call it a mess, more like a blender chopping up some classic guitar licks and a couple of house records into a tasty mishmash.

Their self-titled CD hit the store shelves today (4/20, the Universal Toker's Holiday) and they have a frightening amount of shows planned in the near future. (Touring with Clinic in a used ambulance! That will be one hell of a wild voyage)

4/21/04 - bowery ballroom, NYC w/ tortoise, beans
4/23/04 - record release show @ opening ceremony, NYC
5/1/04 - vassar college, w/ RJD2

5/8/04 - southpaw, brooklyn, NY w/ clinic
5/9/04 - black cat, washington DC w/ clinic
5/10/04 - grog shop, cleveland, NY w/ clinic
5/11/04 - magic stick, detroit, MI w/ clinic
5/12/04 - wexner arts center, colombus, OH w/ clinic
5/13/04 - southgate house, newport, KY w/ clinic
5/14/04 - the abbey pup, chicago, IL w/ clinic
5/15/04 - blue note, colombia, MO w/ clinic
5/17/04 - bottleneck, lawrence, KS w/ clinic
5/18/04 - rocketbar, st. louis, MO w/ constantines
5/19/04 - uncle pleasant's, louisville, KY
5/20/04 - garfield artworks, pittsburg, PA
5/21/04 - north six, brooklyn, NY

5/28/04 - DJ set: APT, new york, NY

Below: Ratatat opening for Montreal favourite sons The Stills @ Bowery Ballroom in NYC (01/2004). Photos courtesy of Ebru Yildiz.
Ratatat at Bowery Ballroom