Lady and the Amp: Party Rock Anthems

Even (some) ubiquitous mainstream acts started out as somebody’s form of local music. Rapper Pitbull toiled in the Miami underground for three years before a meeting with Lil’ Jon broke him to the mainstream. Nicki Minaj released several mixtapes in the five years between graduating high school in Manhattan and getting signed to a major label. Lady Gaga famously performed as a piano-oriented singer-songwriter around Greenwich Village for three years before recording The Fame. Everyone’s path to the top is different, but they all have to start somewhere. Even Austin, Texas.

After yesterday’s fantastic article from Dan about the Exploded Drawing electronic music shows, it’s funny that I was slated to write about Lady and the Amp today. LATA are electronic, but not in any sense that the audience for ED would likely enjoy – instead they have their sights set squarely on pop stardom and borrow from electro-hip-hop leading lights like Black Eyed Peas, LMFAO, and the aforementioned Pitbull. I haven’t heard anyone else in Austin quite like them, but that’s because few here are so unabashedly mainstream in their ambitions.

Admittedly, LATA’s music isn’t going to change the world or push their listeners toward deep realizations about the nature of life. But let’s be real: that’s not why they’re making this music. LATA find their salvation on a crowded, sweaty dancefloor and it is their mission to keep that floor as crowded and sweaty as possible. And though their music may follow many of the same drinking-and-getting-down clichés as some of our current chart-toppers, LATA’s energy and enthusiasm keep their sound fresh and fun. I don’t usually go to clubs, but the clubs here had better be bumping a lot of Lady and the Amp. Frankly, I can’t imagine better club-oriented music in 2011 than “Good Good Time (Toda La Noche)” or “We Pourin’ Up.” (Just steer clear of the supremely annoying “Flashing Lights Come,” which indulges every last terrible trope in this subgenre.)

Lady and the Amp - Good Good Time (Toda La Noche)

Lady and the Amp - We Pourin' Up

If you’re looking for a night on the town or a guilty pleasure, this is one you don’t have to feel too guilty about. You can download their new EP, For the Kids for free here.