November 12, 2007

Not just another Brooklyn band (actually, not a band from Brooklyn at all), Celebration are often mistakenly geographically categorized with the likes of TV On the Radio, the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and the Liars. The misclassification is an understandable error considering the company Celebration is known to keep (in particular, TVOTR’s Dave Sitek who produced their two albums). But in truth, Celebration hail from Baltimore.

Their music is often described as a marriage between the two aforementioned bands (TVOTR and YYY’s), which is fair enough, but gives the band less credit than they deserve. Sure, the composition of the band reflects that of the Karen O/Zinner/Chase paradigm, and Katrina Ford is a dynamic, albeit less abrasive, charismatic frontwoman. But Ford’s deep voice is more theatrical than punk, and falls somewhere between Ms. O, Joan Wasser (Joan as Policewoman) and Siouxsie Sioux.

Celebration’s music likewise is a bit hard to classify, which is probably their one similarity with TVOTR. It’s true that almost every member (if not every member) of TVOTR acutally appears on The Modern Tribe, but just as Sitek’s band has a distinct sound all its own, so does Celebration; it’s difficult (and unfair) to call the two the same. “Heartbreak” is the closest the two bands collide in this regard, but for the most part, Celebration’s heavy reliance on Sean Antanaitis’ keyboards and bass pedaling place the band as the musical accompaniment in some otherworldly psychedelic mass at a David Lynch-ian carnival-cabaret.

Listen: “Evergreen” from The Modern Tribe, available on 4AD. Also check out “Hands Off My Gold (Simian Mobile Disco Remix).” Most of their new album is streaming from their MySpace page.

“War” – from their self-titled debut, 2005

Celebration is currently on tour. They play the Bowery Ballroom on November 28.


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