Cat's Cradle, Carrboro
Monday, Jan. 29, 8:45 p.m.
With Under the Influence of Giants
Tickets: $15 in advance, $17 day of show
Back in 2003, it seemed like The Rapture were those dudes. Their second album, Echoes, was all acclaim, and they looked to be the deliverance of New York's dancing post-punk revival. It's hard to imagine, too: They emerged, as though from the sky, with a cowbell, a sax and that beat on "House of Jealous Lovers." The kids were meeting on the dance floor, and The Rapture was the blistering aphrodisiac.
Critics praised the band for mining the lost art of making dance music for the anti-Top 40 set. The band channeled the spirits of Gang of Four, James Chance and Public Image Ltd. The result put the group in a matrix of compound modifiers: dancepunk, disco-punk or indie-dance. Really, the dudes probably just wanted to dance.
And that was good: Hard-to-please Brooklynites and stiff-spined indie kids were off their asses and moving, following the band's funk-based electronic punk with rigorous abandon. As the poster children for the 21st-century dance-dance revolution, the band—along with their DFA peers and two dozen Brooklyn tag-alongs—became marginally famous. They signed a record deal with Universal Motown, after all. It's hard to keep the kids happy when your digs get that fancy, you know?
But, even on a major label, The Rapture has fair-weathered the critics doubting their dance-floor intentions and arrived with something that works—last year's Pieces of the People We Love. Sure, it's tighter and more polished, reducing the angularity for something a bit more approachable. But it's still pulsing,the sort of thing that still breeds a dance floor of indie-rock kids. They're still grinding. Maybe everyone just wants to dance. They just needed to hear it like a revelation, blowing from the borough. The kids were just waiting on The Rapture.