Peter, Fujiya and Simone play their pop. - Oh My Rockness

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Peter, Fujiya and Simone play their pop.

April 25, 2007
Three nice and happy trios from three different countries are playing two shows together at Webster Hall that will start the month of May off nice and tight. Peter, Bjorn and John, , and Au Revoir Simone all make rock that goes like this: Pop! Pop! Pop! This is the place to be if you're looking for a melody.

Peter, Bjorn and John are a Swedish trio comprised of, well, Peter, Bjorn and John. The three men play up-tempo indie-pop using keyboards, guitars, whistles and even some maracas. This is a band that makes you feel good when you put them on. If anything, they are even more dynamic and frantic live than their songs suggest.

There's a little bit of garage, maybe some shoegazing, and perhaps some punk in PB&J's hooks. But really there is delightfulness. Their "hit" song "Young Folks" (featuring Victoria Bergsman of The Concretes, also on their latest album Writer's Block) was voted the #2 track of 2006 by NME, beaten out only by Hot Chip's "Over and Over." Hot Chip: you just made PB&J's list of things to do today.

Contrary to what their name suggests, Fujiya and Miyagi aren't from Japan (or Okinawa, specifically), they're just "pretending to be Japanese," according to the chorus of their song "Photocopier." That's so silly! Hell, if half their name is taken from their love of the Karate Kid, well, that alone would make a fan out of me.

F & M are from Brighton, England, and Pat "how come you not hurt hand" Morita and Daniel with an L aside, they're definitely down with those sweet electro samples and beats. This is fun disco-Kraut-funk that is catchy and sometimes silly (I believe I heard a "Sock it to me!" at least once). Their influences vary from Can to Brian Eno to Sly and the Family Stone and Aphex Twin. Fujiya & Miyagi are a good time. I'd play them at a dance party if I had a big enough apartment... and any friends.

Au Revoir Simone are a female trio from NYC that play pleasantly melancholic electro-piano pop. They, like Fujiya and Miyagi, also take their name from a fine 80s flick, in this case "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure." Heather D'Angelo, Erika Forster and Annie Hart all play keys and sing, but only Heather gets to rock the drum machine. This is dreamy music that is tremendously easy to listen to. I had a headache when I put on Au Revoir Simone, and like magic, the headache was gone midway through the first song.

Au Revoir Simone will appeal to fans of Dirty on Purpose (Erika used to be in that band and is featured on their EP), a mellower Mates of State, CocoRosie minus the bravado vibrato, and Wes Anderson films.

Oh, and by the way, Fujiya & Miyagi really are taking this "pretending to be Japanese" thing to the next level. Just the other day, I saw singer David Best practicing his gyroball in Central Park.

Peter, Bjorn and John, Fujiya & Miyagi, and Au Revoir Simone play Webster Hall Tuesday, May 1st, and Wednesday, May 2nd.


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