'I just realized I'm going to be a really cool dad,' says David Macklovitch (aka Dave 1) of New York City-based electro-funk band Chromeo. As if struck by this revelation for the first time, Macklovitch begins to imagine out loud what life might be like as a father.
'You know, my band is not really big,' he explains. 'I'm not going to have platinum or gold records to show my kid, but if my kid is ever, like, 'Dad, man, do you remember Bloc Party?' I'll be like, 'Yeah, yeah, I went on tour with them and they remixed me.' Then it'll be, like, 'Hey, dad, do you remember LCD Soundsystem?''
Answering as himself, Macklovitch responds, ''Yeah, yeah, he remixed me, too,'' and then pauses. 'It's, like, I've interacted with so many-we have all these props and remixes from so many artists that are so relevant today. We're really grateful for that.'
Having just released their second album, Fancy Footwork, on Vice Records, Chromeo's list of collaborations has been growing rapidly. 'There has to be, like, 25 remixes off the second album already,' Macklovitch says. 'Stuff from Sinden, Guns n' Bombs, Etienne de Crecy, Thomas Barford, Renaud....'
But at 29, Macklovitch isn't quite ready to let his seed realize its evolutionary goal. Not only is he busy releasing albums and playing shows around the globe, he's also in the process of completing a doctorate in French literature at Columbia University.
'French lit, man-it's what I've always done. This Chromeo deal is just a little thing I do on the side,' he explains.
Little or not, Macklovitch's side job-creating catchy, funky, talkbox-infused pop tunes and synth-laden 'sex jams' with his longtime friend P-Thugg-has prompted a lot of people to pay him some serious attention. While Macklovitch admits he's used to reading more positive reviews of his band's work ('the perfect soundtrack for chasing down that ice cream truck with your roller skates on' and the cleverly descriptive 'Chromeo is more fun than being forced to smoke crack at gunpoint by Rick James'), he says there are a few that get under his skin.
'We always get a little jab here and there, you know, because we've got that edge, so our music is really easy to criticize,' he says. 'I just feel like people look at who we are and what we look like and where we come from and it gives them ammunition.'
Describing the differences in how bands are perceived-especially in the blogosphere-Macklovitch draws a rather unexpected comparison.
'I mean, I don't really see any difference in irony and in 'retro factor' between the music we do and The White Stripes. I think we're identical to The White Stripes-except that we draw from different influences.
'The White Stripes have a certain look. We have a certain look. The White Stripes' look is completely different than who they're influenced by. Same with us. The White Stripes' records could be mistaken for a Led Zeppelin record or a '60s record. Ours could be mistaken for an '80s record. Our lyrics are kind of funny and cheeky and quirky, and so are Jack White's lyrics. So why do people take them seriously and think we're joking? I don't understand that.'
Attempting to find a resolution, Macklovitch concedes that people tend to find The White Stripes' influences-specifically, Led Zeppelin-more credible than Chromeo's (Rick James, Robert Palmer, Hall & Oates).
'But one of our biggest influences is Prince,' he says. 'What can you say against Prince? He's like the biggest artist of the century!'
Considering Macklovitch's list of sexy musical precedents, his description of his band's new album is no surprise: 'Clean, polished, sleek. We had to stress what was specific to us-lovers' jams. It's all about the sex jams.'
Chromeo plays with Flosstradamus at Beauty Bar on July 25. Doors open at 8 p.m. $8-$10. 619-516-4746.
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