Local Band Needs Your Basement

Honey Jean, a.k.a. Corinne Caouette
Mary O'Regan

Silhouetted in smoky blue lighting, Faux Jean lead singers Corinne Caouette and Matty Schindler tiptoed onto the stage of the Varsity Theater last Friday night to play an acoustic "sad song called 'Death Bed Epitaph.'" Afterward, they crept back out as stealthily as they had emerged, only to reappear moments later with the full band in tow. Caouette had changed into a flounced satin dress, and the seven men of Faux Jean wore black blazers and wide red ties. It was the CD-release party for Faux Jean's fourth album, Light It Up/Burn It Down, a pop-funk record that mixes the groovy jives of the Scissor Sisters with the quirky off-beats of the New Pornographers.

Their set's deep, slamming bass and electronic beeps eased the crowd forward, and by the third song, dozens of skinny scenesters were bobbing their heads and shaking their jagged hips. "If anybody wants to buy me a shot of Jameson, I would be flattered," Caouette purred. She received a glassful halfway through the next song. The band played fast and loud, showing no mercy to drummer Christopher McGuire, who plays his skins like Robin Williams tells jokes—spastic, but in control. During the encore, saxophonist Robert Pavlich couldn't keep his maracas to himself, passing them out to audience members while Caouette writhed on the floor and keyboardist Marcel Galang did his best Tony Manero. Four brave women and one drunken man charged the stage, enticed by Caouette and pulled up by bassist Michael Lopez. They whirled and danced, touching local fame, while the band covered the Bee Gees' "Jive Talkin'". As the night wore on and the booze kicked in, Schindler made a tempting offer: "We got evicted from our warehouse and need a new space. Tuesdays and Thursdays, if any of you want to be blown out of your basement, we can do that for you."

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