On a Wednesday back in December, I received a particularly massive concert update from Jam Productions, a local concert/event setter-upper. These weekly emails usually announce 3 or 4 new shows, and I’ll often be kind of interested in one or none. That week, however, held the announcement of new Chicago dates for Childish Gambino, fun., M83, Los Campesinos!, and Foxy Shazam (opening for The Darkness). Usually, I’ll do a little research on the bands that I haven’t heard of, but I must have been overwhelmed by all of those names. I completely ignored the listing for a dude called Gotye, who was scheduled to play a show in April at Park West, a smallish venue.
Two months later, Gotye has exploded on the scene. Making Mirrors is the dude’s third album, but it’s his first release that has earned him any major recognition, mainly due to the single “Somebody That I Used to Know.” They’ve had to move him to larger venues twice now, as it has been decided that he’s big enough to play Chicago’s worst venue, The Aragon Ballroom. I’d buy a ticket too, if it weren’t for the unlovable dump that he’s playing. Gotye shouldn’t take it personally; I’ve missed seeing both The Decemberists and The National on their most recent trips through Chicago, just because they were playing The Aragon.
As for Gotye’s music, I’ve been trying to think of a way to describe it for the past 230 words. What can I say? Eleven months of writing with minimal thought has taught me how to beat around the bush. Anyway, I’m always partial to one-man-band-style music, and Gotye shows a little more flare (as well as a higher production value) than most of the basement/laptop artists that have been getting popular lately. Using real instruments, but not shying away from the computery effects and stuff (you know what I’m talking about), Gotye finds a pleasing, even ground between amateur and professional (corporate) indie pop. It’s surprising that it has taken so long for him to get noticed.