Ratatat in Atlanta: The ringing in my ears

The ringing in my ears serves as a reminder that I have permanently lost a portion of my hearing, but I’m telling you it is worth it. I just got home from Ratatat’s show in midtown Atlanta and I have something to admit to you:

Seeing Ratatat perform live is one of my favorite things in the world. This show marks the third time I’ve managed to catch a performance and each time has been simply mind-blowing.

ratatat in atlanta april 10 2007

In studio, Ratatat’s synthesized beats are phenomenally addictive and their guitar melodies rock oh so much. But live, man, there’s this power and richness of atmosphere that creates a unique kind of sonic ambrosia that’s rare in modern popular music.

If I had the means, I would totally follow them around on tour.

For a good explanation of the Ratatat sound (and better photos of the show), check ohmpark’s write-up. Though I hesitate to lump Ratatat in with the 8-bit sound crowd. In fact, I think the band could hardly be farther from it. 8-bit operators rely on the primitiveness of early game music as the source and inspiration for their sound, whereas Ratatat is clearly coming from a traditional rock background (whaling guitars!) spiced with a danceable groove and almost baroque composition style.


Ratatat will play a few more date in the U.S. and U.K. throughout April. Go see them if you can.

For a taste of the Ratatat live experience, check out this crappy cameraphone video clip I shot during Lex, one of the rockin’ist songs in the repertoire.

For a better experience, try this video of the band performing in Seattle in September 2006. The songs are El Pico and Wildcat:

ratatat makes the world a better place

I. am. being. slowly. driven. insane. emphasis on the slowly driven.

Seriously, if you wish to maintain your sanity, do not drive in Atlanta, ever. But especially avoid the interstates. and the access roads. and the side streets. and all intersections.

If you give those places a wide berth, you will find yourself infinitely less frustrated with your life.

But if you cannot manage that, make sure you roll down your windows and crank up the Ratatat. You’ll be humming “germany to germany” Ratatat - Ratatat by the time you walk in the door.


UPDATE: I had been planning on writing how a shortened work-day was another great way to maintain your precious sanity. But when traffic at 2-fucking-p.m. is as bad, nay, worse than it was at 8:30 am, well, no amount of creature comforts can make up for that. Not Ratatat’s crispy beats or their wailing guitars. It’s simply impossible.

No, not even kim deal has the power to save you.