Pink Martini's Life After Mancini

Pink Martini didn’t become a lounge band for the reasons you might expect. No one watched Robin and the Seven Hoods and said That! I want to be cool like that! No one worked in a secondhand store, saw a few sharkskin suits and thought, Bands have started with less. No one lucked into a stash of exotica hi-fi albums and stereo test records in a Salvation Army and wondered, How can I make that sound? No, Pink Martini started when Thomas Lauderdale got political.

The High Llamas Rattle the Trees

Part-time Stereolab collaborator Sean O'Hagan has found full expression of his Beach Boy impulses as well as his love of low-tech drones in The High Llamas. Almost everything the band does can be summed up by the title of its 1998 album, Cold and Bouncy. There's a remoteness in the band's love of retro electronic elements and an organic warmth in its Smile-like orchestrations.

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