This year, Consequence of Sound partnered up with our friends at Riot Fest to highlight their three exceptional lineups set to take place in Toronto, ON (Aug. 24-25th), Chicago, IL (Sept. 13-15), and Denver, CO (Sept. 20-22). We’ve decided to offer a twist on our latest feature, the Top Five. Normally, we’d ask our favorite artists to create a list of five things revolving around anything that comes to their mind, but in light of the festival we asked for their Top Five Riotous Moments. Get it? Do you get it?
This week’s Top Five turns the keyboard over to D.C.’s own The Dismemberment Plan, who will appear at Riot Fest Chicago and Denver. These two dates kick off their fall tour in support of their first new album in 12 years, Uncanney Valley, due October 15th via Partisan Records.
Frontman Travis Morrison took the lead for the band, even including a special ’80s playlist he’s dubbed, “What Robocop Had on His Walkman Playlist”. It’s pretty great.
Top 5 Most Riotous Moments:
01. Toronto, on the Death & Dismemberment Tour, our friend Cex sneaks on stage during our show closer “OK, Jokes Over” and hands Travis 1) a four-foot stuffed iguana and 2) a razor blade. After said iguana gets ridden around the stage while Travis sings “Back That Ass Up”, he (the iguana) gets slowly gutted, with a blizzard of white foam stuffing flying out into the audience. The night ends with Travis wearing the hollowed out iguana like a hat, us paying the club owner an undisclosed amount of money for cleaning, and everyone in the band found bits of foam in their cases for the next two weeks.
02. Opening for Pearl Jam in a 2000-year-old amphitheater in Verona, IT as the sun was setting.
03. Last night of tour with Ted Leo + The Pharmacists, Ted and his band storm the stage during our encore, wrapping up Travis, Eric, and Jason with toilet paper and duct tape, with Travis singing the rest of the song with the mic in a sling taped under his head, while Ted plays a guitar solo into a mini-amp duct-taped to his forehead.
04. We and the Alkaline Trio played at a movie theater in New Orleans for a post-midnight show, followed by an odd visit to a goth bondage bar (is that redundant?), followed by a 6 a.m. 7-Eleven run for wine coolers, followed by greeting the suburban neighbors on their way to work while sitting in a hot tub.
05. The “Ice of Boston” on any given night.
What Robocop Had on His Walkman Playlist
01. ABC – “The Look Of Love”
The first ABC LP, The Lexicon Of Love, is a classic. Martin Fry was a remarkable singer and songwriter, dishy and catty, but in the end just trying to have a good time. Lines like “She’s a vegetarian/ except when it comes to sex” can go either way, and in his hands it always went the right way.
02. Soft Cell – “Tainted Love”
The greatest cover in the history of rock and roll? Probably.
03. Scritti Politti – “Perfect Way”
Scritti Politti is a bizarre band. They started as the house band of an anarcho-politico-punk collective in England. They ended up semi-retired, 50-something bedroom indie popsters, putting out a record once a decade. In the middle they were white boy R&B stars. That was what they were best at. I told you they were bizarre.
04. Thompson Twins – “Lies”
I need to dig into Thompson Twins more. There may be some gems. Their singles are killer. This is great. “Hold Me Now” is epic.
05. Spandau Ballet – “True”
If you are of a certain age, this is the sound of slow dancing when you were young. If you are male, you remember battling uncontrollable erections. So, if you are like me, who fits both categories, you associate this song with unwelcome hard-ons in your high school gym while being watched by your geometry teacher. Not sure that was what they were going for. Or, you know, maybe it was. I am also willing to admit that some people may not associate that with Spandau Ballet. Or anyone, really, but me
06. Psychedelic Furs – “Love My Way”
Psychedelic Furs were a band. So many good songs. Richard Butler is a god. I wore out the first LP in junior high. “Imitation of Christ”!
07. Erasure – “A Little Respect”
Vince Clarke: Depeche Mode, Yaz, Erasure. A pioneer. Check out the synth-pop documentary Synth Britannia on YouTube. Essential. He’s in there. He has a synthesizer that is, like, the size of a cabin… in a cabin… in the woods. He just goes out there and Vince Clarkes out. That’s cool.
08. The Human League – “Don’t You Want Me”
I was at a really good Filipino restaurant in the East Village a few weeks ago, Jeepney, and this song came on the restuarant iPod and an employee turned it way up. I’d love to tell a member of Human League that story someday. No musician gets tired of hearing about things like that.
09. Talk Talk – “Talk Talk”
I googled this by typing in “Talk Talk Talk Talk.” Google laughed at me.
10. Eurythmics – “Missionary Man”
The Eurythmics! First two albums are essential. There’s quite a few gems in there I’ve always wanted to cover. Annie Lennox was a fucking rock star when I was growing up.
11. Culture Club – “Church Of The Poison Mind”
I think Boy George was on the cover of Time Magazine. I seem to recall actual disputes as to his gender. Absurd. I hate the ’80s.
12. OMD – “So In Love”
I love this band. One interesting thing about them is that they always had a ’50s thing going on. When you hear them talk, they come on like angry futurists that want to destroy music… but all of their songs have excellent rock and roll songwriting moves, in the Lieber and Stoller mode. Even in their super-raw synth duo era at the start. My dad liked some of my music growing up, and not others, but he really liked OMD. I think it was because it just sounded like tough, musical, ’50s/’60s songwriting, but with lyrics about shortwave radio, and synthesizers, and drum machines.
13. Dan Hartman – “I Can Dream About You”
One of the very best singles of the ’80s. I thought this guy was black. “They sound black” is one of the weirdest threads in musical discussion… Eminem is great but he really did not sound black. From the start I actually thought he was Mexican. I mean, really, who gives a fuck? But I did think Dan Hartman was black.
14. Depeche Mode – “Just Can’t Get Enough”
Vince Clarke part deux! Wonder what part of the synth cabin this song paid for.
15. Swing Out Sister – “Breakout”
My high school girlfriend made fun of me mercilessly for liking this song some. What can I say, I’ve always been very comfortable with my masculinity. It was probably while I was trying to keep one down during Spandau Ballet at homecoming.
16. Aretha Franklin – “Freeway Of Love”
Just wanted to throw this on here to cement the connection between ’60s soul and the modern ’80s technology thing that was happening. A song I never get tired of.
Photography by Heather Kaplan.