Event Detail

Scissor Sisters

All Ages
at Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheater
801 Red River St., Austin, TX 78701
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The 'Night Work' story began after the band's headline shows at London's O2 in 2007, when the band went straight back in the studio for five-day weeks. There could actually have been an album two years ago, Babydaddy recalls. "There was a lot of material, but it didn't make sense. I only wanted Scissor Sisters to come back if there was a reason for us to come back, and if there had been enough of a change to fill up the airwaves." "It didn't mean anything," Jake explains, "and we didn't know what we wanted to say." So the band decided to try some new things. Babydaddy learned to paint, Ana threw herself into creative writing and Del released some music by himself. Jake wrote a musical, but Jake also went to Berlin. He went dancing, surrendered himself to the city, and became dislodged in time on the middle of that dance floor, and while he was wondering what year it was, he asked himself the question: if it were, for example, 1984, what would happen next? "And it made me start thinking about New York and the club scene in New York from the 70s to the 80s. So much was progressive and being pushed and something was on fire. And then everybody died. The party stopped in a way that couldn't have been more dramatic. A whole generation was wiped out. And one of the questions I was posing was: where was that music headed? Where was Sylvester, Frankie, all that heading? What if music hadn't stopped dead in its tracks? What if you could pick up where that left off? I wanted to know how music would eventually have sounded." And in that split second, 'Night Work' was born. "'Fire With Fire' was the turning point," Babydaddy recalls. "Jake felt that he could take control and say what he wanted to say." Ana adds that her own moment of clarity came "when we realized that we didn't need to make the same album again. We didn't need to do a Side A and a Side B with a ballad at the end of each side. In fact, we didn't need to do ballads at all..." So, there are no ballads: 'Night Work' is a dance record. It's not all electronic, and the sound of a band spinning out together in a rehearsal room is alive and well in tracks like 'Any Which Way'. But this is fundamentally a club album and one that pulls off the feat of being both more advanced than its predecessors and far younger in spirit and attitude. So there's 'Running Out' - an ode to humanity's built-in self-destruct function (according to Ana), or to "skint kids in a club with no money left, pawing around for drugs on the floor" (according to Jake). 'Sex and Violence' is inspired by American Psycho with Jake describing it as "a kind of an electro murder ballad". 'Something Like This' revels in its undulating robotic clank. "'Night Work' is really us boiled down to who we are. It feels quintessentially us." There are key influences in there - you'll hear them range from Giorgio Moroder to The Cult and Frankie Goes to Hollywood to ZZ Top - but three albums in, Scissor Sisters have nailed their sound and rekindled the magic that took them from dirty New York gay bars to the Royal Albert Hall. Significantly perhaps, this time around it's a little less Albert Hall, and a little more Prince Albert. It's a spirit captured so brilliantly in that album closer 'Invisible Light', a track that's essentially Pink Floyd in the Pleasuredome, arriving in a hail of crowd noise and rave horns, taking in a Sir Ian McKellen monologue somewhere along the way, and then soaring to the sky after a breakdown that took the band two months to get right and is guaranteed to flick a little switch in the heads of several generations of club kids. "It encapsulates that moment when you're out, and you're really high, and it feels like there's no way you could ever come down," says Jake. What does it feel like to be a Scissor Sister in 2010? Babydaddy has the answer. "It feels," he says, "like we're ready."
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