Shaking off the winter blues

Bringing all the boys to the yard, and they're like ...

Bringing all the boys to the yard, and they're like ...

On my walk to the bus stop from my office, I saw a line of four bikers. The first three, all women, wore identical helmets and gray gym shorts. They called out an intersection a few miles away as their next destination. The fourth, probably not part of the larger group, wore formal trousers and collared shirt, probably fresh from work. Their layers were lightweight. For the first time in months, I didn’t think the cyclists were insane. They made me miss my bike.

Tomorrow is the first day of spring. The damp, numbing chill of this rainy and abnormally snowy winter feels like it’s receding. Friends are taking their finals for the terms and commencing on their spring breaks. Target is selling adorable, multi-colored bikinis that will disintegrate in the machine after about five washes. Yesterday afternoon, I saw a group of people sat outside a bar on picnic benches. Again, no immediate diagnosis of addiction-fueled hysteria. The unexpected warmth made me too hopeful to pass judgment. Godspeed your endeavors, smokers and hipsters! Tally ho!

There’s only one thing to do as the leaves and buds inch their way to the surface and threaten to flood your sense with hues and smells you haven’t experienced outdoors for a long time. It’s time to dance your ass off. It might even be time to set those bearded alterna-folkies, pretty as their music is, on a high shelf for a few months and embrace guitar with fuzzier edges and sharper amounts of feedback. It’s time for the Harlem Shakes to release their full-length debut and blow up to the ranks of Animal Collective. The band is often compared to the Strokes, largely due to their Brooklyn homebase, as well as former tour-mates Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. To further solidify their place in the NYC club (as if their name didn’t do it already), the Harlem Shakes enlisted Chris Zane (who worked on Asobi Seksu’s most recent album, Hush, and the Walkmen’s You & Me from last year) to help produce their March 24 release, Technicolor Health. I bring up Animal Collective because the Harlem Shakes’ first single, “Strictly Game,” brings the same exuberant energy as “Brother Sport,” rich in rapid percussion and pleasant harmonies in the chorus. Any song that offers the mantra, “I’m gonna make a lot of money, take a lot of shit, feel real bad and get over it” will surely pump you up for spring cleaning, of both the home-based and brain-based varieties.

  • Harlem Shakes ~ Technicolor Health ~ Gigantic

Strictly Game


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