Monday, March 16, 2009

The Ting Tings @ Terminal 5

The Ting Tings; Hot Tub
@ Terminal 5
New York - March 16, 2009

The 80's made a cultural comeback this decade, and the Ting Tings wear it on their sleeve. When they aren't concocting their own hits, they are directly sampling the famous ones on one of their doo-dads (They played a clip of "Ghostbusters" for Pete Venkman's sake).
Though they are but one guitarist and one drummer, the Ting Tings are unlike the majority of those set-ups. They make much use of advanced production techniques and additional instruments and they devote their amazing energy to reliving the synth-pop dance beats they heard as children. This especially shows up in the New Wave-ish smash "Keep Your Head" and the 80's Britpop-esque ballad "Be the One".
Interestingly, their most sucessful numbers of the night were those that don't rely on the 80's - "We Started Nothing" is a soul funk revival to the fullest, and when I wondered whether they were really generating a full horn sound from their gadgetry, a change of viewing position revealed a full-on real life brass band bringing it on home (though gimmickly assembled as brightly bewigged eye candy). "Shut Up and Let Me Go" is yet another in a long line of hits to be based on the most important funk riff ever devised - the one crafted by Nile Rodgers in "Good Times" for Chic. The Tings other two hits - "Great DJ" and "That's Not My Name" are more original in nature, exposing the Manchester kids' ability to make fleshy, stompy riffs and shake-yer-booty anthems for every googly-eyed schnook this side of the Atlantic.
Katie White is not just another dynamite vexing front woman. She's an emcee. She's a guitarist. She's a percussionist. She's a musician. And her primary goal of delivering fun is delivered with a charm and warmth rarely seen. Jules DeMartino, though he hides behind Kanye shades, comes off as an affable bloke in addition to being a skilled beatmaster. They could both so easily be too cool for school like so many out there but they just can't help themselves.

On the other hand...
Hot Tub may have been the worst act I have ever seen. And that's saying a lot. 3 Ugly ass hipster ho's from Oakland (no I am not kidding) masquering as some bad spoof of Salt n Pepa (again, not kidding), rapping poorly over each other and trying to distract the audience from their lack of talent with spitting water everywhere (again, I swear, not kidding). The two real uglies kept going into the crowd while the one ugly pretending to be hot kept flashing her cottage cheese buttocks on the all-ages crowd. And when they weren't rapping to 14 year olds that "I don't take no shit, you bitch" they fall on each other and onto their DJ-partners' equipment, pissing them off and embarrassing themselves. They also did themselves no favors by sampling "The Final Countdown".

I would complain about the all ages show and the annoying teens and their annoying looks except that the adults were no better. RXP needs to fire the dude standing behind me who told his date that the Tings played their holiday show, and he completely mis-identified where that show was held and who else was on the bill. Why is that guy working there? AUGH! (and for the record, asshat, the theater on 23rd and Lex is the Gramercy, not the Bowery Ballroom - WHY ARE YOU WORKING AT A ROCK STATION?!)

Did I mention the Ting Tings were an amazingly good time?

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