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Paris Suit Yourself


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You can tell a lot about a band by how it performs offstage, as was my initial experience of Paris Suit Yourself on Thanksgiving last year. The three expatriate band members made a surprise visit to my Berlin apartment after hearing word of an American feast, hours after dinner and just in time for the vodka. Like the band’s music, their behavior was as charming as it was abrasive. Drummer Joseph Heffernan, who hails from Arkansas and intentionally, if not performatively, assumes that anyone from north of the Mason-Dixon Line is from Connecticut, managed to rile up the majority of my guests and incite some to take off early. Meanwhile, Luvinsky Atche and Victor Tricard, respectively the singer and guitarist, from Paris and Bordeaux, enthralled the remaining company with an enthusiasm for Rilke and the underbelly of German history: “Putin lived in East Germany in the 80s, working under the name Adamo-something, and cried like an angry baby when the Wall came down,” Atche mused while chewing on the remains of dinner.

This mixture of gall and grace made more sense a few days later, when I first saw Paris Suit Yourself perform. Onstage, the band’s chemistry fuses the bonafides of gospel with the fiery theatrics of early punk rock, as if Atche invokes the haunted vocal grooves from Archie Shepp’s “Attica Blues,” bolstered by strained rhythms echoing the DKs’ “Holiday in Cambodia.” All of that’s wrapped in a handsome wardrobe, and instilled with a techno flow that colludes the deviating sounds.


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