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Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Arling & Cameron




At the end of "Here We Go!"--one of many kitschy dance-pop ditties on All-In (Emperor Norton), the U.S. debut album by the Dutch duo Arling & Cameron--either Gerry Arling or Richard Cameron praises the amateurish Japanese singers Tomoko and Chika for their performance of the tune: "You're really good, you're really talented. You have good feeling." Plug-in internationalism is a big part of the recent pop movement that includes acts like Pizzicato 5, Cornelius, Kahimi Karie, Takako Minekawa, Momus, April March, Plastic Fantastic Machine, and Katerine, who whip retro pop, lounge music, chanson, and other exotica into pomo puffs of pure cotton candy. For their part, Arling & Cameron have upgraded bachelor-pad culture for the computer age, funneling everything from thumping four-on-the-floor house beats to erratic drum 'n' bass rhythms into their calculatedly cheesy melodies. It's a rather subversive act in the context of contemporary club music, where trainspotting obscure references often takes the fun out of things: Arling & Cameron's influences are stamped all over their tunes, from French disco to bossa nova to Afro-Cuban grooves to Kraftwerk. The duo doesn't have much use for irony either--the tune "How About the Boys?," in which the music shifts from soft to loud as the narrator shifts from talking about girls to talking about boys, is about as clever as they get. Arling & Cameron came to Chicago earlier this year as DJs, but they've since developed a live show, with Arling on guitar and bass, Cameron behind the decks, and singer Fay Lovsky on the mike and the singing saw; the performance will be accompanied by film and slide projections. Thursday, August 5, 10 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee; 773-489-3160. PETER MARGASAK

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Niels Schumm.

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