If you go
What: Holy Ghost!
When: 8:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Bluebird Theater, 3317 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, 303-377-1666
More info: bluebirdtheater.net
Holy Ghost!, the New York dance duo of Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel, recently released their sophomore record into world of music much different than it was when they released their 2011 debut.
Because Holy Ghost! is on James Murphy’s DFA label, it seemed natural to ask Millhiser if he identifies with LCD Soundsystem’s breakout hit “Losing My Edge,” and if he worries about, well…
“Drifting off into irrelevance?” he interrupted, laughing. “I’m half joking, of course. That’s the shitty thing about getting older and slowly but surely having the revelation that you’re not as relevant and not as cool as the kid behind you, who’s got better taste in music in than you and fuller head of hair than you or whatever.”
Dance culture changes pretty quickly, threatening the relevance of anyone making the music. It wasn’t long ago that dance music thrived mostly underground, and cities had different cultures. Now that it’s become mainstream, the landscape has changed even in New York City.
“Maybe I’m just sort of disconnected from whatever scene there is now. Maybe there is a scene and I’m not aware of it,” Millhiser said. “When we started, we had a bunch of friends who were like-minded producers and DJs … it just seemed like there were way more small nights, club nights at small bars with sound systems. It seems like that doesn’t exist now. There are club-clubs and clubs in hotels. Plenty of clubs in hotels.”
Dynamics is sort of an anti- “Losing My Edge.” Millhiser and Frankel don’t sound worried, anyway. It’s an album of dance music that’s more disco than dubstep. Rather than give in to any expectations for floor-rumbling volume and massive drops, they make eight-minute tracks called “Dumb Disco Ideas.” Some soul-searching lyrics aside, it’s all wonderfully carefree.
Millhiser explained because he and Frankel had another band before Holy Ghost!, the first album actually felt like the second, when the pressure is on. When that album did well but not too well, it took away some stress when it came time to make Dynamics.
“It did well enough that we had people’s attention and that was nice, but it wasn’t like the first Strokes record. It wasn’t like Nevermind. There wasn’t a colossal success that we had,” Millhiser said. “The downside is that we’re not rich like any of those bands, but there’s no weight on our shoulders. We get to do whatever the fuck we want.”
The other difference this time is that when they released Holy Ghost!, Millhiser and Frankel were in the middle of a tour, but this time around, they were just hanging out at home.
“It’s kind of anti-climatic. ‘The record’s out! I’m gonna eat pizza just like I did yesterday.'”
But Holy Ghost! is on the road now, going city-to-city reminding everyone that they don’t need to drop the bass to make your ass shake. Even though the culture has changed, it’s homogenized enough to develop bigger dance scenes in more cities.
“Even five years ago you could really say the audiences in L.A. are totally different from the audiences in Austin and the audiences in Europe are way better than American audiences. Dance music is just pop music in America now,” Millhiser said. “I don’t think there’s a sense of regional scenes and there being certain cities where they don’t listen to dance music, and it’s good if you live in Cincinnati and you’re a kid with decent taste in music.”
Here in Colorado, you can check out Holy Ghost! doing whatever the fuck they want at the Bluebird Theater on Saturday night.