Better than…studying on a school night.
Over two years have passed since Victoria Hesketh, AKA Little Boots, released her debut album Hands. The electro pop work was popular in England, earning her a top 5 position in the UK album charts and winning the BBC's Best Sound of 2009 award over Robyn and Lady Gaga. Since then, however, Hesketh has been on hiatus.
Until Nov 14th, when Little Boots released her first material in years – a disco house single entitled “Shake.” Additionally, an announcement was made for an international mini-tour to support her sophomore effort, due in 2012.
Last night the tour rolled through Los Angeles with a performance at School Night!, the trendy (and free) event thrown by MFG and KCRW DJ Chris Douridas every Monday night at Bardot in Hollywood.
This week's party was kicked off by supporting acts DWNTWN, Cosmic Kids, and Plastic Plates. Set against the backdrop of Bardot's chic interior – a cross between a French Parlor and a Moroccan Bazaar — the three opening acts got the crowd going by tapping into the current fad of indie electro-dance crossover music. As the night wore on, their disco-tinged bass lines (influenced by the likes of Cut Copy and Hot Chip) proved successful in steadily willing the crowd from their perches at the bar onto the dance floor. By the time Little Boots took the stage, the house was packed.
When Little Boots began her DJ set because there was a noticeable switch in genre. While still heavy-hitting, her music had noticeably more Euro pop influence than the acts before her, featuring deeper bass riffs and poppier choruses. Think one part Lilly Allen, one part Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
“Shake,” the new single, was featured early on in the set and was well-received by the crowd. Afterwards, Little Boots moved into the more challenging territory of incorporating other artists' material into her set. Being a pop star, it was interesting to see her ditch the microphone for the turntable. Perhaps she shouldn't; while Little Boots kept the beats coming and maintained a fun dance atmosphere, her actions on stage didn't make it seem like she was really doing too much behind the turntable. If anything, though, the night was a special for fans of Little Boots in affirming that, indeed, new material is finally on the way.
Personal Bias: I become skeptical of live electronic music when I notice DJs aren't really doing anything up on stage. It reminds me of Steve Aoki.
The Crowd: Patently hipster. And due to the cold weather, indie chicks were faced with a classic dilemma – whether to forgo jackets in order to show off their skinniness or to bundle up with as many layers as possible. Because there's no middle ground when it comes to layering – that would be mainstream.
Random Notebook Dump: On my way out, I peeked a woman apparently trying to hypnotize some drunk dude by swaying a candle back and forth in front of his eyes. Hollyweird.