FischerSpooner 

#1 (Capitol)

What is art? What does it even mean to the average person anymore? In the modern age, the world is immersed in art to the point that it has saturated every facet of daily life. Art sells products; it runs for office, decides what to eat, sings us to sleep and wakes us in the morning. The television shows more sound and vision in an hour than a gallery could feature in a year. So in a time completely enveloped by art, what weight does it hold? Those looking for answers should look somewhere other than FischerSpooner.

Birthed in a Chicago art school, then reared in the galleries of New York, FischerSpooner started as a multimedia project of two like minds, Casey Spooner and Warren Fischer, and has grown to include a an evolving cast of dancers, singers, costumers and other bit players, all bent on producing one effect: a head-trip revue on the grandest scale, full of personal fetishism but palatable for anyone. Following in the footsteps of conceptual art movements and Dadaism, the FischerSpooner crew has smashed the rules, taking their project out of the hands of the pretentious few by reaching for stardom and so far succeeding. They are trying to get the message to the many, and it is this: There is no message; enjoy the show.

All the stage theatrics would be pointless without a solid musical backdrop, and #1 delivers that with a sly wit and perversity. Riding a fine line between retrofuturist pop and gaudy dance, Fischer's electro beats meld perfectly with Spooner's vocals. As a vocalist, Spooner is alternately the monotone devil, urging whatever feels good on harder tracks such as "Emerge" and "Turn On," and the sensitive angel craving devotion and affection on the twisted torch songs "Tone Poem" and "The 15th." It's as frontman, however, that Spooner makes his greatest contribution, playing the part of pop star to the hilt, crashing ceremonies and scandalizing Top of the Pops with sheer joy and esprit.

Through manipulation and bravado, FischerSpooner have become media darlings around the world and seem to be having a great time at it. What makes #1 so enjoyable is that sense of serious performance without serious attitude and the idea that we can all come to the party. Is #1 fun? Absolutely -- and whether they want to admit it or not, it's art too.

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