Before the Lost in Translation soundtrack, before the Cadillac commercials, before every Williamsburg hipster and his drug dealer started namedropping them, the Frenchies known as Phoenix were the boys I used to listen to on repeat while driving aimlessly around the steamy streets of Minneapolis the summer my ex-boyfriend dumped me. I was obsessed with the song "If I Ever Feel Better," from the band's 2000 debut album, United, and convinced I never would feel better, there was something about the band's slightly off-kilter pop that I found soothing.
Jump ahead 10 years and the band has only continued to outdo itself -- not an easy feat seeing as so often the more popular and the greater the number of accolades heaped on a group, the suckier they get.
Last night Phoenix dropped by SPIN's downtown NYC office to play a special 25th Anniversary party for the legendary music magazine sponsored by Fujifilm, AriZona, and Corona. Though the weather refused to cooperate -- it began raining soon after the foursome took to the makeshift stage on the roof of SPIN's offices -- we barely noticed and the band sauntered through four tracks from their latest album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix -- which landed at No. 3 on SPIN's 40 Best Albums of 2009 list -- "Rome," "1901," "Lisztomania," and my personal favorite, "Armistice." Several of the 150 lucky fans and friends of the magazine dropped their Coronas and rushed to the aid of the soggy band members with umbrellas so that they could finish their set. Lead singer Thomas Mars ended the show by wishing SPIN "Bon Anniversaire" and, as if on cue, the rain began to subside so that the post-performance party could commence.
Photo: Ben Rowland
For more on SPIN's 25th Anniversary party featuring Phoenix, including photos and links to other performances by the band, visit the magazine's website here.
-- NOAH MICHELSON
Previously > Andrew W.K. and Cherie Lily want you to WERK