all words: Robb Scott
all photos: Farrah Skeiky

Back again to DC’s Black Cat was North Carolina bred Darwin Deez and his band of fellow Baba lovers. Last time these dancing fools stopped through, I was less than impressed by their gimmicky performance; this time, they’ve melted down my minor-abhorrence.

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Opening this time around was Caged Animals, a psychedelic-pop quartet from Brooklyn. Their chill delivery and energetic instrumentals made me nostalgic for picnics in fields, and “trips” on the beach. The audience, made up at this point of mostly “mark-of-shame” victims, seemed appropriately enthused through the two and a half minute songs.

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With bands like Caged Animals, I can appreciate what they are, creators of music to which you can turn up during the summer months, and get out all that pent up aggression and angst from the unbearable heat. Summer romance, cook-outs complimented with Coronas, road-trips with no destination… these are images which come to mind—because of this I have a certain filter put up. I don’t look for deep lyrics, or over-complicated arrangements, just fun summer music; so thank you Caged Animals.

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Poodle Top, check… Adolescent Glee, check… Enough Pixie Dust to make Tinkerbell do flips, check… Time for some Darwin Deez!

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Off the top, as compared to the last time they played our Nation’s Capital, the formula remained much the same: song + dance [choreographed] + sly grins thrown at the audience like missiles of infectious good energy. Expecting the dance vignettes mixed in, I was actually pleasantly greeted by these guys’ smooth moves. As hypocritical as it is, their dancing actually works—it adds an additional layer of joy to their set; it gets people involved and forces the audience to take off their cool with the band.

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Darwin Deez provided a very spirited cap to an otherwise busy day at work for many in attendance, myself included. The Deez and his band of merry men are like the quirky uncool kids in high school who make you want to explore the dorkiest parts of yourself and put it on display for all the work to see. The excitement behind that run-on sentence echoes that of their performance. My only wish would be that this band go a step even further—imagine an of Montreal caliber presentation, how much more fun Darwin Deez would be.

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Be sure to check out their debut self-titled album available now on iTunes, not to mention their interview with us here at BYT.

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