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Motor City Five



Some people dance. Some don't. Some people get Chromeo, others won't. Montreal's electro-funk brothers Dave 1 and P-Thugg — Chromeo — expose these contingents through late '80s sounding talk-box jams topped with just the right amount of cheese. The band debuted in '04 with "Needy Girl" — the duo's best song. But '07's Fancy Footwork made them "stars" and landed them on MTV with "Bonafied Lovin" and "Tenderoni." Deep cuts, "Call Me Up" and "Outta Sight," however, ought to be heard. Chromeo's newest album, Business Casual, drops in September. First they hit the Motor City.

Metro Times: Once I was in a packed SUV stuck in traffic, and when Chromeo came on the iPod, a full-on dance party busted out. In this world, your music is synonymous with "party." In your world, are you expected to be the physical incarnation of a party?

Dave 1: Not so much. Do you watch Curb Your Enthusiasm? Ever seen that one episode with Krazee-Eyez Killa? Remember the party scene? I'm like Larry when he's off by himself jumping on the bubble wrap. Parties are when I exhibit my most anti-social behavior. I've been known to hog the artichoke dip for, like, two-and-a-half hours. 

MT: What has proven most difficult about re-creating the studio on stage? 

Dave 1: Well, when we decided to get out and start playing shows, we thought it'd be a great idea to put a whole band together, but it ended up sounding like the Steve Harvey Revue or the Arsenio Hall Band. Then we went with just the two of us with synth and guitar and brought along a drummer. But that became a bit of a schlep. Not to say we didn't like it. It worked for a while. We realized that people want to come and see the two of us as characters, so now it's just me and P, up front and in the spotlight. 

. MT: The scaled-down act works in a club, but you're on major festivals now. How do you make the club-like connection with a huge audience?

Dave 1: As long as it's a good time, we're doing it right. On some dates on this tour, like Lollapalooza, we'll be bringing some backup singers along with us — that's kind of like our Robert Palmer bill, if you know what I'm saying. Leggy. 

MT: Six years on the road, and you're just now coming to Detroit. What took you so long? 

Dave 1: I don't know, man. I'm not even going to start making excuses. But let me tell you that our new bio, if you check it out, there's a little shout out to Detroit in there.

It reads: Imagine, if you will, a yacht. It's forged of gold and strong African teak, bobbing gently at anchor somewhere between the French Riviera and Detroit. ... The ladies of Klymaxx wander the decks serving strawberries and cream on silver platters. ... Hall & Oates are down below ...    

MT: You're in Toronto two days before Detroit. Toronto's less than five hours away, so you'll have a whole day to explore Detroit, right? 

Dave 1: Man, we're going to be cooped up in a room in Toronto all damn day doing press. ... But you gotta go with it, do what you can when you can, and hope to make the most of it. When we come to Detroit, we're going to make the most of it. It's a long time coming, brotha.

Thursday, Aug. 5, at the Majestic Theatre, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit. 313-833-9700.

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