Do we really need a band that sounds like Pink Floyd meets the Bee-Gees?
Yes. Apparently we do.
I know because I recently saw them play at Neumos in Seattle, a venue perhaps as interesting as the band itself. Neumos started out life as Moe’s Mo’Roc’N Café in the early 90's. But it was always referred to as just Moe. Moe was a grungy rock club but with a twist... it was located in the hip part of town and it was a little less trashy than the alternatives Off Ramp, Re-bar, and Crocodile. There is even a rumor that graffiti by Kurt Cobain is still visible in the lofted pre-show band hangout area (although I don't think Nirvana actually ever played at Moe... please let me know if I am wrong). So when people talk nostalgically about legendary intimate Seattle rock venues, this is one of the places they are talking about.
Anyway... after Moe went out of business in 1997, it was bought out by some dot com millionaires and rebranded as ARO.space. The new owners stopped booking grungy local bands. Instead they adopted a hipper European vibe and even opened a middle eastern vegetarian restaurant in the front. The music was different but it was still great. I witnessed some fantastic acts at ARO.space including: Blur, Cardigans, Dandy Warhols, Flaming Lips, Death in Vegas, Air, and many other bands and deejays who really should have been playing larger venues.
Then magically one day ARO.Space closed and was re-branded as "Neumos". The result? Well it just became sort of a magical love child between the original rock club Moe and the more "eurotrashy" ARO.space nightclub. The thing is... the actual band space was so small there really was not much the could really do to make the place less intimate without gutting the entire building and starting over. Lucky for us!
So in a small venue like Neumos, where even the people at the back are less than 30 feet from the band, the personality of a band really comes through. And this band (Scissor Sisters in case you forgot) has some fucking personality. Hearing them play hits like "Laura", "Take Your Mama Out", and "Uncomfortably Numb" at a tiny place like Neumos was so intense. I swear I was getting E vibes on nothing but beer and cigarettes.
But Scissor Sisters are are not just a funky indie rock dance band that "borrow heavily" from Elton John and Bee-gees. They are so much more. One of my favorite songs by them is actually a ballad called "Return to Oz". It's a fucking incredible self-realization comedown song of purse poetry:
Return to Oz
by Jason Sellards & Scott Hoffman
Once there was a man, Who had a little too much,
Time on his hands,
He never stopped to think,
That he was getting older.
When his night came to an end,
He tried to grasp for his last friend,
That he could wish himself health,
On a four-leaf clover.
He said is this the Return to Oz?
The grass is dead
The gold is brown
And the sky has claws.
there's a wind-up man
Walking round and round.
What once was Emerald City's
Now a Crystal Town