The latest white-guy rap song in heavy rotation is “Handlebars,” a clever, toxically catchy song from the point of view of a Bush-like character: “I can take apart the remote control/ And I can almost put it back together…. I can hand out a million vaccinations/ Or let ‘em all die in exasperation.” (It’s no coincidence that the Flobots like to rap that they spell their name “F-L-O-No W!”) KROQ DJs have already labeled them a one-hit wonder, but AK was curious enough to go to their MySpace page, where we quickly discovered that they have more to say in one song than Kevin and Bean have had to say in two decades.
And then we found ourselves buying tickets to see them at the Troubadour and feeling a little weird about the evening: The only time we’d be venturing into
But we put our indie pride (which seems to be stronger than our gay pride) aside and enjoyed a great show by a group of kids who are still discovering their voices (and, incidentally, are not all white) and still blatantly wanting to change the world in way that’s raw and angry and inspiring, not Sheryl-Crow-fights-global-warming-ish. I was wistful for my own rawer, angrier years and also like, Fuck it, I can be raw and angry and 31. I can change the world with art and a nonprofit. Which is what the Flobots are doing. They also have a viola, which helps.
Some of the kids in the audience were true believers, some were true music fans and some were KROQ kegger boys who like things that are loud and new. It probably wasn’t so different from a Barack Obama rally, and I left feeling about the same: like I’d been whisked up in a revival tent, caught up in the rhythm and magic, and happily converted.