When New Times interviewed Dirty Projectors' Amber Coffman and Pop Etc's Chris Chu prior to their show last night at Culture Room, it was revealed that both have long enjoyed the music of pop diva and Cannon-woman Mariah Carey. Who the hell would have thought in 1991 that "Vision of Love" would one day inspire an indie act that composes with David Byrne and Bjork.
Based on these conversations, it wasn't surprising then that Carey's mug was featured on a band T-shirt by the outdoor bar (more on that later). Nor did it shock when Amber Coffman belted out a Mariah-like note during a song off of DP's new album Swing Lo Magellan. It'd be wrong to say that Mariah was a theme, but for us it was. Well, for us, it always is. Mariah's the bombdotcom.
Pop Etc recently changed their name. A friend said, "they look just like the Morning Benders." That's cause they are, or they were, at least. Lead singer Chris Chu was funny and intense onstage. It was definitely pop music, light and summery, less annoying though than the hyper-inspirational indie crap played on computer and Play-Doh commercials. The crowd was completely charmed, maybe it was cause Chu is a cutie. Pairs of girls swarmed him after the show for pics.
Pop Etc did something we've never seen before onstage. Live Auto-Tune. Even T-Pain doesn't do Auto-Tune live. It was not our thang, but it was impressively bold in a way. The last song was called "YoYo" and Chu responded to some inaudible person in the crowd: "Not Y.O.L.O. but it could be." The set was short and sweet. Alesh Houdek of Critical Miami said, "I like it, and you can quote me on that," as he danced away.