Only one band could evoke continuous shouts of "You're awesome!" from the crowd in multiple senses. The Windy City welcomed the Cincinnati electronic duo, You, You're Awesome to two stints this weekend; at Subterranean and then the Elbo Room. In spite of the calendar, the cloudy cold weather, a few of us trekked down the stairs of the rather metal Elbo Room for some good ole fashioned electro-pop.
Electronic recently divided into separate categories with Nintendo and Atari-influenced music surging quickly a few years back before being overwhelmed by other movements. Kevin and Yusef are a two-man cartoon army confirmed they are on a mission, with projector in hand, to evoke that pure joy and nostalgia of these timeless entertainment systems. With a remote, the drummer Kevin kick started the projector as Yusef turned and tweaked dials and buttons of keys and an Atari. Add a fitness instructional video for "How to Get the Most Out of Your Instructional Videos" in the vein of Tim & Eric and the entertainment is undeniable.
The two could draw forth happiness faster than a pharmacist with a helium addiction. Monkeys? Check. Chipmunks running around? Check. French sock puppets knocking back a bottle of whisky? Checkmate! To the electronic-overlays of "I'm Deaf and You're Boring" were two handmade puppets projected alongside Kevin, smoking away and cooking celery and carrots. Yet simple enjoyment is the key to You, You're Awesome's music, and these puppets soon bask in cooking the ultimate basic food at the end of the song. It isn't mac & cheese, but not far off.
Aside from the requirement to be uncannily catchy, electro-pop should and must have the buzzing scuffs from Excitebike breaking systems without the dreadful threat of overheating. In a strange mix between those and our fellow 1980's idol, the venerable Paper Boy, came Evel Knievel jumping cars in stadiums reflected upon the gleeful dancing concert-goers. Nevertheless the relatively short set was closed by the highly anticipated Two Muffins. Originally a bonus track, the muted horn bobbing jazz accompanied old footage of Duke Ellington. A personal favorite, it was executed exactly as anticipated without preconceptions. The wonderful female vocals casted upon the screen as a time warp into the past, forever altered by today's musical whims.
Albeit stunted, You, You're Awesome's Chicago debut transported the energy that created the buzz in Cincy the past year. More entertaining, more pop, and as calculated as the best electro-pop groups running the circuit today. Unlike the rest of the crowd, Kevin and Yusef are focused not on precise, calculated electronica as with Battles, just ensuring that everyone in the audience is moving and dancing.