Minister of Science and Chief Protector of the Faith

Monday, June 04, 2007

Patience Hodgson is Mirth Personified

I recently wrote a post about Sandra Lou and her yummilicious bubblegum pop hit "Banana Split". and about how music today is just not fun anymore. Well, there is an exception to every rule, and in this exception I am talking about the exceptional Australian group, the Grates.

The Grates - Patience HodgsonThe Grates - Patience HodgsonThe Grates - Patience Hodgson

This band, and it's lead singer, Patience Hodgson, are quite different from Sandra Lou. Sandra Lou sounds hyper-rehearsed and studio tweaked, whereas Hodgson's voice is up and down and all over the place, always a heartbeat away from the false note that she never actually hits.

Sandra Lou is a one hit wonder, whereas the Grates have already had several minor hits, with the promise of more to come. Sandra Lou is all about a controlled environment, special lighting and minimalist art direction. The Grates are so busy laughing at themselves that the idea of that level of public relations and image control seems to be completely beyond them.

The Grates - Patience HodgsonThe Grates - Patience HodgsonThe Grates - Patience HodgsonThe Grates - Patience HodgsonThe Grates - Patience HodgsonThe Grates - Patience Hodgson

But Sandra Lou and the Grates do have something in common, enthusiasm. The lead singer, Patience Hodgson, is a careening skyrocket of activity that bounces off the fourth wall every possible moment, both physically and vocally. The level of energy and optimism that she maintains is enough to fairy-tale float any weary heart. She just makes you want to dance and have fun! She is mirth personified, without a mean spirit or a negative thought to hamper the sheer high-on-pixie-dust tinkerbell qualities that she embraces.

She bounces, she twirls, she claps, she is 197 feet off the ground and climbing. Her every movement is both effortless and unsteady, like a siren wearing a baby giraffe's overshoes. She is armed to the teeth with a frilly vintage tutu and a wickedly clumsy grin. She is the exact scientific definition of Angry Ballerina anti-matter. She makes you want to just get up and do something, but then you would have to take your eyes off her! Yipes!

The Grates - Patience HodgsonThe Grates - Patience HodgsonThe Grates - Patience HodgsonThe Grates - Patience Hodgson
The Grates - Patience HodgsonThe Grates - Patience HodgsonThe Grates - Patience HodgsonThe Grates - Patience Hodgson
When I first heard of this band it was through a photo I saw on a website, this one as a matter of fact. At first glance I thought that it was a picture of someone falling. Then I thought maybe it was photoshopped. Finally it dawned on me - it was a picture of somebody having fun! She catapulted into my heart from across the electronic divide, wearing little more than a green dress and the complete defiance of the laws gravity. I fell in love with her before I ever saw her face.

If you watch the their official video of their hit "Science is Golden", and then compare it to this version of the same song that is recorded live, you notice something very special about Hodgson, and the rest of the band. The don't have a pretentious bone in their bodies! They are just as goofy in either version! The are all just having fun mugging for the crowd, mugging for the camera, making faces at each other. These kids wouldn't know an overly-rehearsed moment if it bit them in their goofy smirks!

The Grates - Patience HodgsonThe Grates - Patience HodgsonThe Grates - Patience HodgsonThe Grates - Patience HodgsonThe Grates - Patience Hodgson

After all is said and done, Patience Hodgson looks completely unapproachable. She is the kind of girl you can only dream of from afar. A whiff of pixie dust and she is gone like the gossamer dew. A girl like that will forget you faster than she will lose your phone number.
The drummer looks like a girl that would love you back.
I kind of have a crush on the drummer, though.

Wikipedia: The Grates Science is Golden 19-20-20 The Grates youtube user profile The Grates homepage lyrics Six Questions for The Grates The Grates - Artist of the Day music-lyrics Up and Coming: The Grates The Grates SXSW 2006 The Grates in Oxford

These are WMA Format Music Files
Lies Are Much More Fun
19 20 20
Rock Boys
Science is Golden
Feels Like Pain
Nothing Sir
Inside Outside
Seek Me
Little People
I Am Siam

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At Mon Jun 04, 12:19:00 PM, Blogger angry ballerina said...

I think I may be in love also. In a non lesbian way.

At Mon Jun 04, 02:18:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Yes, Patience Hodgson's enthusiasm is kind of infectious.

At Mon Jun 04, 02:59:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I love her in a lesbian way.

At Mon Jun 04, 04:02:00 PM, Blogger Evil Spock said...

Nice. Very lo-fi garage band feel. I bet they're a blast in concert.

At Mon Jun 04, 04:20:00 PM, Anonymous Jess Wundrun said...

I feel the video, while good, could have been much better if, in addition to dogs, cats, giraffes and guinea pigs, an ape or a monkey were included. Then it would have been great.

It seems I must becoming a simianophile. Whoda thunk?

At Mon Jun 04, 11:02:00 PM, Anonymous Tengrain said...

This is like Katrina and the Waves meets a garage band.

Very fun, Dr. Z.


At Tue Jun 05, 03:16:00 AM, Blogger Bella Rossa said...

Wow, I can't even hear the tunes, but the pictures make me like this band. What energy, and crazy-ass stagewear. Love it.

At Tue Jun 05, 06:15:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Dr. Monkerstein: How awkard for you! Maybe Evil Spock can help you with that. *just joking* ;o)

Evil Spock: Supposedly they are a lot of fun in concert. The lead singer jumps into the crowd and runs around with that twirling ribbon thing.

Jess Wundrun: YES! That's what I like to hear! A simianophile - Is there really any other way to be? Don't fight it, just give yourself over to absolute apeosity. You are obviously a very intelligent and perceptive woman. Thank you for your very kind message.

Tengrain: So you had to make me look up "Katrina and the Waves", didn't you? I could only find two songs:

(1) Ack! NO!NO!NO! Hey-hey-tooie!

(2) Well, yes! Except it sounds way too tight for the Grates, and borrows heavily from Motown. That is a great song!

Bella Rossa: Hey, I love your site! It is not often that we are visted by a famous comedienne. (Or do you prefer "comedian?" I never know what's correct.) I really feel honored that you came and visited. You haven't been posting much since you got your Mac... Or is that just my perception of it? You are the first person to mention the pictures! Thank you for that.

At Tue Jun 05, 07:35:00 AM, Blogger Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Argh for I cannot see the videos now for I am at work.

Uh, you know Intergalactic Gladiator work.

I can see a lot of enthusiasm in those pics. Lots and lots of lovely enthusiasm.

At Tue Jun 05, 09:02:00 AM, Blogger angry ballerina said...

Kinda like a VD

At Tue Jun 05, 11:49:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Really. I wouldn't know, as I have never had VD. As you brought it up, did you want share something about the subject?

At Tue Jun 05, 03:21:00 PM, Blogger angry ballerina said...

Yea, I would kill myself if I ever got herpes. I can live with AIDS, but not herpes.

At Thu Jun 07, 08:20:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Oops! I missed one!

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator: What is it that Intergalactic Gladiators do, exactly? I mean, what do you put on your resume?


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