A few months ago, when Facebook was in the throes of a “25 Things About Myself” chain-letter epidemic, my friend Andria sent me a list of 15 albums that changed her life. Andria moved to the East Coast a few years ago, and so I’ve enjoyed getting her Facebook updates, and I really enjoyed reading about her life-changing albums. I mean, we’ve talked about music a bunch of times, but I would not have guessed that Stereo Total changed her life. Turns out, it changed mine, too.
Stereo Total is a French-German duo that specializes in a multilingual mix of ’60s Europop, hip-hop, ’80s new wave, and indie rock, filtered through a decidedly lo-fi sensibility. The music is weird, campy, sexy, and sometimes a bit irritating. Stereo Total once released a cover of “I Love You Oh No” by the cult favorite Japanese new-wave band the Plastics, but Stereo Total titled it “I Love You, Ono.” Was this a tribute to Yoko’s experimental legacy or just a cheap pun? Who cares? You’re supposed to be dancing, not pondering the subtext. This is not supposed to be music that changes your life, right?
I emailed Andria to ask what Stereo Total meant to her. “It was playing in Jaime’s car when she picked me up the first time to go out,” she wrote back. “When I said, ‘Hey, isn’t this Stereo Total?’ we knew we were gonna be friends.” Andria and Jaime ended up forming a band together, and that’s when I met them. A couple of years later I ended up marrying Jaime’s roommate. You never know what kind of music is going to change your life.
STEREO TOTAL: The Casbah, Sunday, April 5, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $12; $14 day of show.