Show Review: The Hood Internet at Bluebird, Friday, May 9

After thoroughly rocking out to laptop/iPod shuffle sensations Girl Talk and Dan Deacon earlier this year, I was pumped for mash-up masters the Hood Internet. Sometimes expectations can be a bad thing.

By Keegan Hamilton

The other two acts were blessed with packed houses, bizarre antics and stage set-ups, and a whole herd of dance-happy and drunken twentysomethings. The Hood, on the other hand, was not so fortunate. It was a guy playing songs on his laptop while a handful of kids milled around, feeling self-conscious because no one else was dancing. Save for a few overenthusiastics/overinebriates (not a bad thing), that was the rule all night.

Don’t think the DJ didn’t notice.

By Keegan Hamilton

''What the fuck St. Louis,'' he said a few songs deep, urging the sparse crowd to move closer to the stage. ''I thought I clearly said we were going to have a dance party.''

With a musician in the classic sense of the word, an apathetic audience is often an opportunity to showcase his or her talent on their instrument. When all you have on stage is a Powerbook, a mixer and one panel of distortion knobs, that can be a problem. And while the DJ did bust out some of the Hood’s trademark bizarro combinations (remixes of Modest Mouse's ''Fire It Up'' and Ol' Dirty Bastard’s ''Dirty I Got Your Money'' were particularly fun), there's really not much the guy can do other than press play on the laptop and twist a few knobs to increase the beats-per-minute rate.

Perhaps if ABX, the other half of the Chicago-based duo, was on-hand things might have been different. But I doubt it. (If anyone knows why ABX was not on-hand at the first gig of the tour I’d like to know).

A friend at the show said it best: "If what we were seeing was happening in a dorm room, with free alcohol and the same amount of people, it would have kicked ass. Kind of."

-- Keegan Hamilton

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