Thursday, October 20, 2016

Rocktober Deep Cut Artist #14: Louis XIV

For the criteria for bands and artists to be considered "deep cut artists," click here.

Band or artist:  Louis XIV
Where from:  USA (San Diego)
Years active:  2003–2009, 2013–present
Number of studio albums:  3
Highest-charting single on the Billboard Hot 100:  N/A
Highest-charting studio album on the Billboard 200:  The Best Little Secrets Are Kept (#159)

The 14th Deep Track Artist of this Rocktober is, appropriately, Louis XIV -- the band, not the longest-reigning monarch in European history who drove the Huguenots, including my ancestors, out of France in the 1600s. I first heard of Louis XIV not long after their major-label debut album, The Best Little Secrets Are Kept, came out in 2005.  I think it was a Rolling Stone album review, and whatever it said about the album piqued my interest, so I checked out the song clips on Amazon.  I liked what I heard, purchased the album, and it soon became one of my favorite new albums.

True glam had been missing from rock and roll for a while, and Louis XIV did their best to bring it back, musically anyway.  While they dressed more like mods, their music was directly descended from '70s British glam, like T. Rex, Sweet, David Bowie, and Slade.  It oozed with sexual innuendo, backed by crunchy, raunchy guitar riffs and catchy melodies, with lead singer Jason Hill and backing vocalist/guitarist Brian Karscig often trading vocal duties, complementing each other, not unlike what Sweet used to do.  On top of that, the cover of The Best Little Secrets Are Kept caused some controversy because it features the track listing written on the back of a naked woman, who you can see from the top of her crack on up.

I saw them play at Lollapalooza in 2005 (the first one in Grant Park), and I distinctly remember their set.  They were one of the first acts to play on Sunday.  It was insanely hot –- over 100 –- and some chick who was high as hell on something fainted/passed out right in front of us, and her friends didn't seem to be concerned.  I'm sure she's fine now, and probably a mother.  I also got a copy of The Best Little Secrets Are Kept autographed, but Jester won't let me hang it up in the house because she is apparently a Puritan.

I next saw them in 2007 at Beat Kitchen, which is a really small venue here in Chicago.  It was a few days before they released an EP, The Distances From Everyone To You, and a few months before their third and final album, Slick Dogs and Ponies, came out.  The show was great, and I got to talk to the band after the show –- one of the many benefits of the Beat Kitchen.  I fully expected and hoped that they would continue to make music, such that I could see them in concert again.  Unfortunately, they broke up in 2009.  Their Wikipedia page claims they reunited in 2012, but they haven't put out any new music since Slick Dogs and Ponies.  I'm still waiting, guys.

I was going to go with "Paper Doll" for the song, but the video is a little bit on the risqué side (featuring the woman on the cover of The Best Little Secrets Are Kept wearing what she is wearing on the album cover), so your employer may not be cool with you watching it at work.  If you want to view it, feel free to click on the link above.  Instead, I'm going with "Finding Out True Love Is Blind," which is a musical lust letter to women of all skin colors, hair colors, shapes, and sizes.

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