The electronic duo/trio The Beats, Man are open about their central contradiction.
At shows they announce,“We don't give fuck,” revealing the ultimate sign of "fuck giving": They care that others care that they don't care— and use that friction to craft humorous, heartfelt dance jams.
Led by former Pleasureboaters, Tim Cady and Erik Baldwin, they revel in this anxiety, let its pompous struts and self-scrutiny trade cut downs and call it pop.
Lyrically, they can sound like a kid recovering from art school, with equal parts self-deprecation and sarcasm. On Dgrabd Dyrd Dballsd the narrator berates the listener and, presumably, the members of The Beats, Man for being too pretentious. “Art for artists with artistic pasts,” he sneers, “please stop trying so hard you look awkward/people laugh at you behind your back”
On I Don't Like Noise Bands, The Beats, Man proclaim “I don't like noise bands, I want melody” for two and a half minutes.
But The Beats, Man really shine when they delve into the absurd storytelling. The standout track here, Freedom Town, imagines a peculiar utopia amid squealing synths and a driving, club-ready bass thump. The songs weaves through electronic bliss and an afro-pop choral breakdown which concludes, “Freedom town: where the babies are babies, the milk is fat free and there will never be a crime wave in freedom town.”
The Beats, Man play the Tractor Tavern tonight.