Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Heroes and Monsters

I like music. I like new music. I like new, weird music.

I like Villains.

Villains is a band (or a man, or, or a 19th century French vivisectionist, or a baby genius floating in formaldehyde) from Los Angeles who traffics like a dirty Colin Meloy character in under-the-bridge avant-noir jazzfolkindiepopsomething, and it's very, very good.

I think the best thing about Villains, or at the very least my favourite thing, their music notwithstanding (which is, need I hammer in further, very good), is the fact that they have an aesthetic, which most bands simply do not have. It's borderline intangible, and yet very, very obvious. Villains is like a band of Franco-Italian gypsies rolled into one man, all art and commerce and Edward Gorey. Few other bands have a real aesthetic like that. The Arcade Fire does; they're like sharp-dressed church workers dealing with their own issues on the wrong side of a violin. Of Montreal has it, if free-wheeling acid dreams count as aesthetics. And now Villains has it, and the music itself is better for it. It feels somehow more real, even though it isn't. It's almost like the best alt-country bands in this respect.

Frankly, more music needs to have the romantic sense of whimsy and winking drama that Villains has so masterfully cornered.

Also, supposedly their name will be shortly changed to "Painted Ladies." Just keep an eye out for that.


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