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In concert: Everybody Was in the French Resistance . . . Now! at DC9

french resistanceArt Brut's Eddie Argos brought his funny side project to DC9 on Saturday night. (Leah Jones/FTWP)

By Mark Jenkins

Listening to an album is a simpler matter than attending a show. That may explain why DC9 was only about half full Saturday for Everybody Was in the French Resistance . . . Now! But in the case of this Anglo-American concept group, the album is the wrong choice. The band's "Fixin' the Charts, Vol. 1" offers only a few chuckles, but its live performance was much funnier.

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french resistance

The group's core is Art Brut talker/singer Eddie Argos and his paramour-keyboardist-vocalist, Dyan Valdes. Their tunes provide playful responses to hits by such notable performers as Bob Dylan, Kanye West and, uh, the Archies. Because Argos and Valdes didn't knock themselves out on the parodies' musical aspects, the lampoons are closer to spoken-word pieces than songs. But that worked fine at DC9, where Argos ad-libbed self-deprecatingly as Art Brut's Ian Catskilkin added garage-rock guitar that suited the artless vocals better than the recorded version's keyboard-oriented style.

"I" is Argos's favorite pronoun, and he conceded that "Fixin' the Charts" makes "every song sound like a slightly different version of me." But he expanded the mock drama of such japes as "Think Twice (It's Not Alright)" - inspired by Dylan's song with the reverse message - by picking a (male) audience member to represent the lover who spurned him.

Luckily for Argos, the guy played along - all the way to the end of the short set, which closed with "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend," the evening's catchiest number. It was written by the Rubinoos, not Argos and Valdes.

french resistance

french resistance

french resistance

By David Malitz  |  May 17, 2010; 11:15 AM ET
Categories:  In concert  | Tags: Everybody Was in the French Resistance ... Now  
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Next: In concert: Sugarland at Merriweather Post Pavilion

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