Of Montreal

Of Montreal (stylized with a lowercase ‘o’ if we let the band have its way) evolved from being part of the Elephant 6 Collective (a Colorado-based family of bands formed in the 1990’s that shared a reverence for 1960’s influences). But really, the only constant member at this point is front man Kevin Barnes, though he has a fairly solid touring lineup which will likely be the band he brings to Babeville’s Asbury Hall on Thursday, June 14.  One thing that’s clear: over 15 albums in about 20 years, Barnes has revealed himself to be a stylistically restless and prolific workaholic who never does the same thing twice and takes some theatrical/prog cues from Gabriel-era Genesis. Sort of. His impending visit to Buffalo is in support of White is Relic/Irrealis Mood, out on Polyvinyl this past March, which is steeped in 1980’s 12” dance pastiche —the results spread six songs over forty minutes. But maybe the greater distinguishing factor about this record is the fact that he abandoned the format of laying down the basic tracks with a live band (i.e., together in a room), opting instead for more of a cut-and-paste layering process. The tunes are dense but fun and the tone is often dismissive and hilarious, which may or may not be the intention. Like most everything else he does, Barnes manages to make serious matters seem lighter by parodying them, not unlike David Byrne (though perhaps without as much authority given his comparatively twee vocal style). It’s hard to find issue with a songwriter for being so perpetually high-concept when it’s so very apparent how devoted they are to their craft, and Barnes is nothing if not a career artist. There’ll probably be some wigs and amusing outfits, too.



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Town Ballroom

681 Main St.
Buffalo, NY
Phone: 716-852-3900