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Elegantly Disenchanted

Posted by Cat / May 29, 2007

20070529_Handsome-Furs-at-L.jpg“This song is about the dangers of free-market capitalism. Or it’s about nothing at all. Winner gets a free cd.”

Dan Boeckner’s seemingly pithy quip, introducing the penultimate song of the Handsome Furs set at Club Lambi last night, is in reality a summation of their music and its underpinning philosophy. Lyrics suggest that nothing in this modern world of ours is untouched by rot. And yet we can’t quite seem to shake the feeling of hope – most often disguised as longing – and so we look through the rot. And that’s ok because the options are few so make the best of it.

The workhorse behind Wolf Parade, Boeckner is frequently described as “playing Bruce Springsteen to Spencer Krug’s David Bowie.” The Springsteen comparison certainly holds up. Boeckner’s performance last night was raw, scrappy, and earnest yet still had a real veneer of elegance to it. Backed by Alexei Perry on keyboard and drum machine, it’s truly Boeckner’s guitar and disenchanted vocals that make the Handsome Furs.

The music is driving and repetitive (thanks in part to the drum machine) but that’s rather the point. Listening to the Handsome Furs and watching Dan Boeckner on stage, you get the feeling through the music that he has had to fight and claw for everything good in life. Initially, this struggle might seem to be born out of fear. But fear ultimately gives way to fatalism. It’s a fatalism that feels more proud than resigned, as Boeckner’s voice strains and soars and haunts you long after the stage has cleared. It also reminds you of the enormously important contribution that Boeckner brings to Wolf Parade.

The music is sparse and repetitive and yet feels like it emerges triumphant from…what? The school of hard knocks? The confines of the drum machine? The battlefield of love? The Handsome Furs sing of doom and gloom but they allow their music to fill you with hope. And so we all emerge triumphant.



Cait / May 29, 2007 at 08:58 pm
Damn it, I was so excited to see the Handsome Furs down here in New England, but they wouldn't let them into the country. -_-
Alexi Hobbs / May 30, 2007 at 03:51 pm
For more pictures of the show go to:

<a href="";>Handsome Furs / Club Lambi / May 28, 2007</a>

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