Artist: The Russian Futurists Video: 'One Night, One Kiss Feat. Ruth Minnikin'…
- Posted on Nov 18th 2010 11:00AM by Kenneth Partridge
"Don't be shy -- we're Canadian," Matthew Adam Hart, mastermind behind the Toronto-based synth-pop group, said Wednesday night at Littlefield in Brooklyn, N.Y., trying in vain to get two dozen American fans to stand closer than 20 feet (or 6.096 meters, to put things in metric terms) from the stage. "We're not gonna do anything weird -- yet!"
Indeed, what Hart and his three-piece backing band did was play songs from the Futurists' latest, 'The Weight's on the Wheels,' an album whose release they'd celebrated in Manhattan one night earlier. The record is Hart's first in five years, and in interviews, he's said the delay was due to the fact he recorded the album twice -- once as a self-produced bedroom recording, like his three previous records, and then again with Michael Musmanno, a producer who's worked with everyone from Outkast to Arrested Development.
Hart's new jams fall somewhere in between those groups, referencing the latter's Clinton-era beats and the former's infectious sense of fun. Using live drums, synth and bass, the cheekily named Futurists mostly kicked it '90s-style, crossing Postal Service and Color Me Badd on the nerdy R&B cut 'Golden Years' and going full-on Bobby Brown with '100 Shopping Days 'Til Christmas.'
Hart looks and talks a bit like comedian Jim Gaffigan, best known for his riffs about Hot Pockets, and throughout the show, the singer showed comic skills of his own. He got a big laugh simply by stating the title of 'Register My Firearms? No Way!' another standout track from the new album, and introducing 'Precious Metals,' which is on the soundtrack of the basketball video game 'NBA 2K11,' he referenced an old-school Nintendo classic -- one he likely played back in the day, when he was discovering American hip-hop.
"If you like video games, this [song] is in some," Hart said. "'Super Mario 3.' Good game. I stand by it."