Sure, FlyBy admits it: Before March rolled around, "Ratatat" was an onomatopoetic way of suggesting that somebody was at the door. Or that the old man upstairs was doing his Riverdance routine again. You see, FlyBy's never been one of those hipster blogs. Our jeans hang reasonably loose, the frames of our glasses are metallic and top out at only a few millimeters of thickness, and we don't look at the Top 40 with complete disdain. That is to say, we like it when songs have words. And when you can hear those words broadcast on radio stations that have good bandwidth and advertisements from major corporations. So you can imagine our confusion when we typed "Ratatat" into the good old Googler a few weeks ago and found selections like this queued up for our viewing (and listening) pleasure.
"Loud Pipes." It wasn't just the fact that the title of the song sounded like a selection from our 6th grade recorder class. No, we're an enlightened bunch and far be it from us to judge a book by its cover. But when a book has no words—now that's a different story. And when a song has no words—well that's a book that FlyBy doesn't want to be reading. In our (hopelessly uncultured but humble) view, lyric-less selections are meant to be the stuff of symphonies, stoners, and stoners who occasionally listen to symphonies. This was Yardfest, not some crappy Woodstock do-over with a tire swing, bad corndogs, and a lot less acid. This was CEB-certified. This was supposed to be a sure bet. So FlyBy decided to check it out. And...well...it was pretty much what we expected. More after the jump.
Right, so, long story short, Ratatat is onstage, doing their thing. There's lights going: purple, orange, red. Smoke, too. And a screen with some weird video clips on it. Pretty much all the bells and whistles you'd expect somebody to have if they couldn't communicate to you in spoken syllables. An odor of marijuana in the front, there. Very exciting. Well, not really. Sort of awkward, actually, for a hopelessly un-hip blog, which doesn't have time on a Sunday afternoon to get blasted out of its gourd so that it can fake like it's "feeling the music."
But others have fewer inhibitions. Circles of people writhe, hands turned upwards, arms limp, like flower children from another decade. Ahhhhh, sweet liberation. A pair of music lovers cavorts by us, locked in mock battle. One shoots invisible missiles (an automatic weapon?) at the other, in time with Ratatat's pulsing guitar. The other falls to the ground, body trembling. His partner joins him. Lots of rhythmic twitching. The song ends. A final twitch. FlyBy thinks hard about the pros and cons of mind-altering drugs. Ratatat begins again. FlyBy leaves.
Photo Credit: Max Child/The Crimson