Aug 29, 2007

Cassius tour US in 2008!/ CMJ 2002

A little bird just told me that Cassius

is planning a big US tour for next year!

I have secretly been hoping this would happen ever since I saw their latest album (15 Again) on the horizon last summer.

For those of you not familiar with them, Cassius is 2 dudes - Boombass and Philippe Zdar. I'm not sure how to describe their sound. It's really French (but not like Ed Banger French, though Busy P is their manager), but in a more upbeat, peppy, housey, feel good way. Haha...I just read this on their myspace: "
"2 french friends makin music for living better". It's true...

The first and last time I saw Cassius was during CMJ of 2002 (back when I didn't know what CMJ was). I had just started listening to electronic/dance music that spring...mainly a lot of Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim. I didn't fully realize it at the time, but that show really influenced a lot of what I listened to immediately afterwards, a lot of which I still listen to now.

It was CMJ so there were a billion "openers". We arrived just as the Audio Bullys were finishing up, catching just their last song or two (remember that song, We Don't Care?), followed by a horribly awkward Erlend Oye. I really felt bad for poor Erlend, especially in retrospect. The Audio Bullys had just done what I had gathered was a very lively set and Erlend was up there playing songs from his solo album "Unrest" which had just come out (it's very mellow, electronic, a bit of a retro feel at times). And by playing I mean introducing each of them in his soft Norwegian voice, putting the needle on the record and then singing. He got booed. So sad. I didn't particularly like or dislike his set...I mainly felt bad for him, but Unrest wound up being in heavy rotation for me that winter and spring.

If my memory serves me correctly Cassius went on next. They did a full out dance your ass off from the get-go set. I remember being in awe the whole time - watching Philippe behind the decks, doing magic while chain smoking for the entire set. I could see the smoke coming up from the turntables when he would set the cigarette down for a few seconds - ah, I had forgotten how close we were to the stage. All the while he was on the decks, Boombass was doing god knows what, twisting knobs, pressing buttons, sampling, etc. I had never really seen anyone dj before. The only other show I had been to at that point was seeing the Chemical Brothers in April of that year, from pretty far away, so I mainly experienced the visuals and the music, didn't really see much of Tom or Ed themselves or what they were doing. So it was completely mind-blowing to see these 2 guys just going at it with all this equipment, making this bouncy, lively music come out. You didn't have a choice, you were dancing. Right around this time "Sound of Violence" was their new single. It featured Steve Edwards on vocals. It was one of the last tracks they dropped...only Steve Edwards was actually there and sang it. Dope! Can't wait until these guys come back here!

The last opener was Simian Mobile Disco back before it was just James and Jas, but rather James, Jas, Alex, and Simon all from Simian... It's all a bit hazy but everyone was kind of around the laptops, but then ultimately a few would stray away and start wiling out (I remember Simon just chugging away the whole time) while mainly James and Jas killed it with a mix of various jams...some old, some new, some remixes of their own songs...good stuff.

And then...the Chemicals went on and it was over. I had seen them in April but I had just started listening to them then, wasn't all that familiar with their stuff, mainly just "Come with Us". This time around we were up front, right against the guard rail, and I had been listening to them for almost a year at that point. It was the full on Chemicals experience where I first really appreciated it and was able to take it all in. It was great. I remember feeling so happy during and immediately following it...and whenever I thought about in during the next few weeks. I'm still exactly the same way when it comes to seeing the Chems live. It's been almost 2 years since I last saw them and now it is just 23 days away! and I get to see 'em twice! And there are a whole bunch of awesome shows between now and then!


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