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French Rockers Phoenix Enjoy Buzz, Grammy Nod

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Tuesday, December 8, 2009

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French rockers Phoenix know they’ve been a bit inconsistent — sonically, at least — over the course of their four albums. And the quartet, enjoying a hot buzz from this year’s “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix” and its hits “Lisztomania” and “1910,” wouldn’t have it any other way.

“For us, every album we did could have been played by a different band,” explains bassist Deck D’Arcy, who cofounded Phoenix with school friends in Versailles during the early ‘90s. “We don’t really try, but that’s the only way we can keep on doing music, (by) doing something we never did before -- at least from our point of view.

“Wolfgang...” — which is nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album — was culled from “about 2,000 small pieces of music, according to D’Arcy. “The only real concept we had was to do a more futuristic album than what we did before.” And its New Wave-flavored blend of dance music, pop and punk has certainly connected in a way its three predecessors never have, with rave reviews and its first-ever appearance on the Billboard 200, peaking at No. 37. It’s also sold more than 200,000 copies so far.

“We were pretty surprised, actually,” D’Arcy notes. “We didn’t really expect what’s happened, but, yeah, we are very pleased.

“We finished this album and were pretty happy about it but were not really sure it would reach many people. We thought it was a bit too complicated and maybe just for Phoenix hardcore fans. But it actually reached more people than our previous album, so ... it’s a good surprise.”

Phoenix performs Tuesday (Dec. 8) at Clutch Cargos, 65 E. Huron St., Pontiac. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25. Call (248) 333-2362 or visit www.clutchcargos.com.

Web Site: www.clutchcargos.com

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