I enjoy album release parties, if not entirely for the fact that they seem conventionally Fitzgeraldian. Sure, there’s the aspect of listening to new music coupled with the atmosphere of ladies and gentleman imbibing in the muse of song, but for us simpler folks (yours truly included) it’s about being at the nexus of “been there first.”
Eagle Rock, CA seems to exemplify this mindset, yet not in a toxic sort of mindset. Rather, when the caution tape to the venue is cut and the velveteen curtains drawn, you are welcomed with a warm smile and the option of purchasing a $3 Tecate (can included.)
Such was the experience for Bouquet’s album release party for In A Dream at the Center For The Arts this past Sunday evening. Though perhaps more a benefit for the band coupled with a venue for inner-city hipsters to mingle rather than what is conventionally perceived as a release party, the synth-pop duo held a fine reception.
Spending most of the night much too overdressed and pinned up against a bookshelf, Bouquet’s event provided overwhelming opportunities of people watching, from improperly cropped jean shorts to matching uniforms of all green sweat suits. All the while DJ Jesspeleta spun dreamy electronic tunes to create a nascent ambiance – cue the initial bragging rights.
It was hard to make out exactly what mood the release party was attempting to convey. I always feel like some pariah when I don’t know anyone there, much less when I’m asked to pass judgment on someone else’s hard work and planning. There would be more to report on my end if I hadn’t imposed a personal vilification for appearing so nebbish. As the event was, after all, taking place in a hall of arts, and it couldn’t in be argued in good conscience that it wasn’t an artistic celebration. There were, in fact, live acts playing music as well as a perceived sense of the Commonwealth of Eagle Rock’s musical intelligentsia; the latter serving as a nice aside from hollering and clapping in time to an acoustic performance.
Bouquet’s performance of their newly debuted record was entirely worth any second-guessing of doubt or grief due to my own oddly formulated decrees of a reserved feeling. Bringing in the best part of Ariel Pink’s synthesized work and borrowing the elasticity of Odelay’s electronica, Bouquet is orderly and diligent. The duo is a neat package in both presentation and sound. In A Dream is crisp, and the live performance was just as attuned to attention to detail.
As one who doesn’t attend electronic shows often, it’s difficult to get a read on the crowd, though I wholeheartedly believe they were enjoying themselves. Frankly, how could one not? My inhibitions notwithstanding, Bouquet was easily the most worthwhile musical event happening in downtown Eagle Rock on a Sunday night.