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CSS – Donkey

Previously posted on PopWreckoning.com on 7/22/2008:

With a band name that, in Portuguese, stands for an alleged Beyonce quote that says, “I got tired of being sexy,” Brazilian act Cansei de Ser Sexy, or CSS, already sounds like they should be a fun and witty group. They have been praised for blending Portuguese and English as well as daily life with pop culture, but they are most noted for having their song “Music Is My Hot Hot Sex” featured in popular mp3 players’ commercials. Their 2008 release Donkey on Sub Pop should have been just as witty and fun, but after listening to it I feel more like a jack ass for thinking Donkey could live up to my hype.

While the album has a better production quality than their previous release, stylistically and lyrically it is lacking. The first track, “Jager Yoga,” starts off promising with a slow build from the crashing cymbals to the smooth bass line, the addition of the first guitar and then the second guitar comes in. Quite pleasant so far, but then Lovefoxxx comes in with Tilly and the Wall style vocals and her bold claim that this group, “Didn’t come into the world to walk around.; / We came to take you out.” This turns out to be a boast that the group is unable to live up to as few of the tracks remaining on the album are really worth getting up to go out and dance.

Even if that song made you want to go out and party with the group instead of sitting passively by, the next track will have you grounded. “Rat Is Dead (Rage)” borders on grunge and features a slower tempo, angsty lyrics and an obnoxious screech from Lovefoxxx’s vocals.

As the band starts to get back into the electronica dance sound and leave the grunge and rock behind, the songs do improve. Rock is just not suited for the vocal stylings;again and again, poor vocal matching with the instrumental patterns was a problem for this record. However, songs like current single “Left Behind” and “Move” really do make you want to go out and maybe party with the band like the first track promises.

This group has potential with their amazing bass riffs and funky drum beats, but this album isn’t quite ready to be the soundtrack for all the dance clubs.

Donkey by CSS is released on Sub Pop on July 22, 2008.

01. Jager Yoga
02. Rat is Dead (Rage)
03. Let’s Reggae All Night
04. Give Up
05. Left Behind
06. Beautiful Song
07. How I Became Paranoid
08. Move
09. I Fly
10. Believe Achieve
11. Air Painter

CSS: website | myspace | download “Rat Is Dead (Rage)”

Written by: Bethany


I <3 Omaha Music

Omaha isn’t that large of a city. By Nebraska standards, it is huge, but I am sure for people who have been to New York, Chicago or Los Angeles, Omaha is but a dot on the map. This is why I’m constantly amazed at the Omaha scene. New Yorkers expect to brush shoulders with the stars when they attend art openings, galas and concerts, so I’m impressed that Omaha has something like that going on here as well.

This past Friday there were a lot of cool things happening with Omaha music. My day was personally made when I got the chance to interview one of my favorite Omaha musicians, Todd Fink of electro rock group The Faint. Fink had a busy day because he was providing a live soundtrack to a silent horror film being shown over at Film Streams. That’s just like the way they did the music when silent films were in their prime. I think it is ridiculously awesome Omaha still does that stuff.

Later, I got the chance to run into Fink over at the Bemis Center, which was having an art opening followed by a concert in the basement. Along with Fink, almost all the members of the loveable tap dancing group Tilly and the Wall were in attendance. They were most likely their to support their guitarist who opened the show with his solo atmospheric music. Following him was the group I came to see, Fathr^, and he was joined by special guest Dapose, also of The Faint. I sipped some of the complimentary wine and let the waves of sound wash over me. Nothing like art, music and wine on a Friday night.

Saturday, marked the one year anniversary of Omaha’s Urban Outfitters, so they threw a birthday bash with live music from their employees. Talking Mountain, Honeybee and Tim Perkins filled out the roster. Perkins and Honeybee’s gentle tunes provided nice background music for perusing Urban’s sidewalk sale items. Talking Mountain demanded full attention as their bizarre wizard rock was presented by guys in fuzzy monster masks.

These events just made for a really fun weekend filled with great, cheap (aka free!) music presented in a way that it wasn’t just straight up concerts. I really do love Omaha music, not just for the bands, but also for the lovely scene that takes such good care of them.

Band Info:
The Faint: website | myspace
Tilly and the Wall: website | myspace
Fathr^: myspace
Talking Mountain: myspace
Honeybee: myspace
Tim Perkins: myspace