July 2, 2009

Noot d’Noot, Ile Tambor | The Earl | Atlanta, GA | June 20, 2009

On Saturday night, June 20, Noot d’Noot did all they could to turn the jeans, t-shirt and Converse crowd at The Earl into dancing fools with their record release show for their new 12-inch, Cash for Gold.

The night started out with their conga player’s percussion group Ilé Tambor. Clad in matching Miami white linen, they went all out throwing down tropical beats that should have had everyone doing a frenzied salsa. Only one woman danced. But she looked like she’d done this before – headbanging, stomping, shimmying, shaking – everyone knew they could not match her prowess. Everyone knew they had an excuse to continue standing around, just nodding their heads and shifting their weight from foot to foot.

By the time Noot d’ Noot played, it was 11:45 p.m., and the staff at The Earl was already having to mop up barf – clearly, the crowd was almost drunk enough to dance.

The show fell somewhere between shagadelic disco parody and funk-shaman religious experience. I don’t know how much I buy the funk shaman thing, but Noot d’Noot’s ability to translate 10 very different musicians into a cohesive collection of sounds is some sort of miracle.

Noot d’ Noot sounds kind of like what would happen if Austin Powers, Aphex Twin, a jazz band, an R&B producer, a Caribbean percussion ensemble and a couple of groovy chicks who dig singin’ were stranded in outer space with nothing but acid and instruments. As one would expect, they suffer a little from the whole “too many cooks in the kitchen” thing. Such a variety of sounds come through that none can make a really strong impression.

Regardless, the show was tight, the drinks were strong, and Noot d’Noot’s grooves were more than sufficient enough to convince the crowd at The Earl to put one foot in irony, one on the dance floor (which was just the regular floor + people actually dancing on it), and let Saturday night fever take hold.

-Words and photo by Kristen Fox

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