As many Contrarian readers can likely understand, I hate music. More specifically, I love music. Which is to say I love music so much that the disappointments are harder to take and as years go by, it’s somehow harder to even like music, which results in a generally reluctant and embittered outlook, see opening sentence. Thus it’s extra exciting when a musical experience can bust through my negative forcefield. Such is the case with Lake Street Dive.
Apart from their name (a minor reservation I’ve learned to live with), they have that magical combination of things that I love in a band: individual personalities within a strong band personality, fierce musical skill without pretentiousness, tight arrangements played with a loose feel, and well-written songs — but most importantly they’re just fun as shit. Their sense of humor and weird-but-right group aesthetic reminds me of what I love about NRBQ (the reason I have to watch this clip daily). Also similar to the ‘Q is their respect for and ability to play jazz without being bound by its pious trappings. Easier said than done.
I’ve seen them live all of once, but they have an infectious series of YouTube clips that have been quietly stoking my fandom. They’re simple, one-camera, lo-fi productions and showcase their knack for using simplicity to their advantage. The one limitation of the small screen is that it doesn’t accurately portray their ability to really rock a room. Live, they are a fantastic explosion of energy. Regardless, their clips are cute, and isn’t that what YouTube was built on?