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[phlipcam video] Junior Boys @ the Middle East

I had some serious decision making to do last night as I encountered a severe overlap of two of my life's great passions: Ridiculously sultry electropop, courtesy of JUNIOR BOYS, and NBA basketball, courtesy of the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat. Vastly different ends of my entertainment intake spectrum, but in the back of my head I can picture Dirk Nowitzki getting amped to the pulsing undertow of "Double Shadow" in front of his locker prior to a game, or even grooving to Carl Craig's remix of "Like A Child" on the sands of Ibiza during his summer vacation.

Anyways, I opted for Junior Boys primarily because So This Is Goodbye still holds up as one of the smoothest dance LPs I've ever heard, five years after the fact. And also because I literally had no idea what their live show was going to be like, and I like surprises. Fully expecting a emotive pair of mascara-clad techno wizards, I was somewhat bemused to see two regular looking bros take the stage. Granted, two regular bros with a mastery of the array of instruments that were passed back and forth between them over the course of their hour-ish set. Also irregular? Jeremy Greenspan's voice. Calling it angelic doesn't do it justice.

At times, the amount of movement on stage wasn't conducive to the sound coming out of the speakers, hinting that maybe they rely a tad too much on presets. But everyone in the crowd was getting down fairly hard, and the closing run of "In The Morning," "Work," and "Banana Ripple" was enough to convince me to stop acting like such a cynical ass. I somehow managed to resist the urge to flail my body about during the latter of that trio for the above vid. Below is "Teach Me How To Fight".

A friend and I had a conversation following the show about whether or not MYSTERY ROAR upstaged the JBs. Not exactly didactic musical discourse, but hey, it was a long weekend. I initiated the conversation and felt that they did. He retorted that maybe I was just pleasantly surprised by their set and that's why I was so gassed on them. But the thing is, every time I've seen them, three or so times over the past year, I leave the show pleasantly surprised (read: blown away). Also, can we talk about how great of a booking that opening slot was for them. Things got a little seductive at the Middle East last night.

Miracle Fortress had the unfortunate luck of playing their set during the fourth quarter of the Mavs game and having a bland-as-all-hell name that I had the damndest time recollecting no matter how many times I glanced at the Middle East website. Judging by the virtue of the rest of the bill, I'm sure they were great, but I was at the Asgard down the street. Sorry.

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