Thursday night Eddie Argos and his girlfriend Dyan Valdes played Schubas in the guise of Everybody Was In The French Resistance…Now. (EWITFR…N) The group is a side project of Argos’ primary outfit Art Brut whose guitarist Ian Catskilkin was along for the ride and playing onstage with the couple. Eddie’s dapper suit and Dyan’s Francophilic dress couldn’t mask the fact that this 45 minute gig felt like a show by a side project that maybe should only exist on record.
EWITFR…N’s songs are clever responses to songs made famous by the likes of Kanye West, Elastica, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Martha and The Vandellas, etc. Their album Fixin’ The Charts is a collection of pop songs with which Eddie and Dyan disagreed and set about “fixing them.” Onstage Eddie was sure to point out that they are in fact fans of the songs they are fixing and in no ways meant to be a mockery.
What rang out louder than anything musically was that Argos has a knack for stage banter and showmanship par excellence. He truly revels in the spotlight. The most comedic song fixing took place on ‘Billie’s Genes,’ on which Eddie told us that he is in fact Michael Jackson’s son! Referring to Mr. Jackson as dad and lamenting his father’s death was a hoot.
Argos also made two separate references to Saturday Night Live onstage. First he mentioned that EWITFR…N did a session for Daytrotter (www.daytrotter.com), so keep an eye out for that, but Eddie likened Daytrotter to Wayne’s World for the iPod generation. Later he applauded and compared his group to that of Jon Bovi (http://bit.ly/NEKjV) (Jason Sudeikis, Will Forte).
What cheapened the whole EWITFR…N experience for was that there was no live drumming (with the exception of one song that Ian played on) leaving Dyan to hit a button to unleash the prerecorded beats. The most organic moment came at the end of ‘Think Twice (It’s Not Alright)’ as Ian coaxed out the guitar notes to ‘With Or Without You’ and Eddie sang along in what truly felt like an improvised moment.
If this band sounds modus operandi interests you (http://bit.ly/4BgMdS) or you are already an Art Brut fan then by all means check out the studio album. If you are looking for Art Brut’s next album you may only have to wait until later this year as it seems the group is preparing to record for the second time with Frank Black producing. Click here for an interview done with Eddie just prior to the Chicago show on ObviateMedia’s website. (http://bit.ly/9EpFES)