Last night, Brooklyn indie-pop duo Matt and Kim were the musical guest on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” and they fucking slayed. (Their performance is at 38:00 in the above video.) I was a little unsure about how their insane, high energy live show was going to translate to a sterile studio, but it worked just fine. From the Ninjasonik shirt bobbing up and down behind Matt, it would appear they’d brought some of their Brooklyn friends along. Audience interaction is an essential part of their schtick, so they had a bunch of happy people arrayed around them on the stage. Party at 30 Rock!
Grinning, as always, from ear to ear, they played an excited rendition of “Block After Block,” the first single off their latest full-length, Sidewalks. I must say, they haven’t changed much since their first gigs at D.I.Y. shows and house parties; Matt’s nasal, imprecise vocals and Kim’s simple, manic drumming endure (albeit, with better songwriting). I’ll admit that I used to be among their detractors; their music seemed simplistic compared to the other bands I was seeing at all those Todd P shows. I think I even called it “Sesame Street music” once. (I realize now that they probably wouldn’t take that as an insult.) What did Todd see in them?
He saw energy, enthusiasm, and a truly grass roots approach to making music. This is the stuff that plays in your head when you’re a kid drumming on a box or banging on a Casio and dreaming of all the fun stuff you’re going to do over the weekend. Many New Yorkers love M+K’s music because it helps them feel less jaded; I love it because they’re singing about my goddamn life. Summer! Brooklyn! Rooftops! Parties! Beer! Friends! These are things that make me happy to think about. That these adorable balls of positive energy are now spreading joy to the nation via numerous TV screens can only be a good thing. Congrats, guys! Way to keep it real.