Mar 102014

My mind has been blown by Future Islands on Letterman

A friend of mine posted this article and it piqued my interest.

The headline pretty much says it all: The author was blown away by this performance. The singer has an idiosyncratic presence, with some oddball dancing, waving his arms and pounding his chest, not to mention his vocal style which is soulful but ventures into Cookie Monster territory, along with some “vocal mugging.”

But now I want to know, what do YOU think? Click the following link to assess this mind-blowing performance, and don’t give up before the end of the chorus at the 3:20 mark!


  20 Responses to “Future Island: What Do You Think?”

  1. Wow! The previous thread, Second Acts, merges with this one –

    U2 —> Future Islands

  2. hrrundivbakshi

    Well, first off, there’s this resemblance which I cannot shake:

    Secondly: I dunno, while this is actually kind of riveting, it’s riveting in the same way that the “outsider guys” who compete on American Idol are. You find yourself rooting for them because they’re so damn weird, and that makes them weirdly wonderful in the context of the shit-tacular that is AmIdol and, you know, the rest of the musical universe. Then you step away for a while, or see them for the 100th time, and you bored all over again.

  3. cherguevara

    I was trying to place who he looked like, you nailed it.

  4. I guess what’s most interesting is how impressed Letterman is. That guy has seen thousands of acts and to break him out of his cynic pose is pretty remarkable.

    They seem like New Order if Bernard Sumner was a full-on showbiz ham. I listened twice; I kind of liked ’em.

  5. Maybe not Sumner as showbiz guy but Sumner as some joker-metal guy like Serj from System of a Down.

  6. 2000 Man

    I’m sorry, but fifteen seconds in I’m calling the guy Captain Boxstep. Getting closer to the end, I’m as bored as the rest of the band. Maybe if they had a guitar. I think they’re dull.

  7. Thank you, 2K! As mildly impressed as I was by the band’s ability to make an ’80s synth file play off their laptop, as mildly impressed as I was by the singer’s passionate, awkward emoting, this was “I’ll (Not Exactly) Melt With You” with the Lenny Bruce “Girl Singing” gimmick of the woman nightclub singer in her elegant gown who piques the crowd’s interest by flashing snippets of underarm hair before finally exposing a full-on bush. Really, was the gutteral bit necessary or natural?

  8. Tremendous call on Letterman’s reaction.

  9. cliff sovinsanity

    I had the opposite reaction to 2000 Man. About 30 seconds in I was ready to bail on this nonsense. Then after the first chorus I was little more intrigued. In the middle, I was reminded, in a good way of early 80’s sythn sounds of Gary Numan and Flock of Seagulls. The dancing fool was unorthodox to say the least, but it kept me interested. The cookie monster voice was a little off putting. All in all I found it catchy. After the song was done I wanted to listen to it again.
    I won’t be rushing out to buy this stuff, but I’ll probably sample some more.
    Damn, I’m so easy to please sometimes.

  10. ladymisskirroyale

    My response is probably closest to yours, cliff. It reminded me of sped up Fine Young Cannibals. Have we finally circled back to earnest, emoting synth pop?

    I didn’t care for The Cookie Monster emoting, and the dude needs a new choreographer (calling Thom Yorke?) but I admire his chutzpah and his energy.

  11. ladymisskirroyale

    Not really a box step; more like a step touch a la classic jazzercise or Richard Simmons!

  12. BigSteve

    Someone who works that hard at convincing the audience that he’s deeply sincere is not to be trusted. And I think Letterman was impressed by the comedic potential as much as anything.

  13. mockcarr

    Yeah, that heart punch was about as powerful as Celine Dion’s. I suspect he’s as good at shooting crap as he is at singing it.

  14. That might be a good explanation for Letterman. Is it impossible to tell if he is sincere at this late stage of the game?

  15. 2000 Man

    Yeah, he could work up a sweat if he keeps that up!

  16. I thought the song was totally boring. The only time it went anywhere was that thing at the end where it did the same thing but louder. It sounded kinda like New Order though, I thought. The weird stuff he did seemed like it was to make the song more interesting.

  17. Gotta love the slacks!

  18. misterioso

    Well, it made me laugh pretty hard, anyway, so that counts for something–anyway, that’s more than Letterman’s done for the past 20 years. Almost as special in its way as this classic: ‘cept that Crispin Glover was kidding. I think.

  19. misterioso

    Can I just tip my hat to cliff and lmkr for what is, I think, a new and useful term: “Cookie Monster Emoting”?

  20. I agree on the 80s references above — my take was sort of gruffer Paul Young — the song’s vibe reminds me of “Every Time You Go Away” or whatever that song is called.

    As for the visual — I have not laughed so hard all week — so thank you for posting it.

Lost Password?

twitter facebook youtube