Dance music for spazzes

Hair Envelope is just the package you need

By Rev. Adam McKinney on October 1, 2009

If you’re like me, you haven’t danced in a while. How long has it been since you’ve been drunk enough, the music’s been good enough, and the company’s been just right? I’m talking about dancing that makes you look like a loser. I’m talking herky-jerky, spastic flopping with sweat pouring off every part of your body. For me, there needs to be a perfect storm of music, booze and friends to achieve this godforsaken dance. But oh, when it happens …

Let it be known, then, that Hair Envelope wants nothing more than to rip my inner dancing spaz, kicking and screaming, from deep within my netherloins. Their words.

Hair Envelope has been around, in some form or another, for a little under two years. It started with Matt McDowell as a solo project, and since has had several members rotate in and out. Currently, the lineup is just McDowell, along with Billy Hoover on drums.

“There have been a lot of different people who’ve contributed over the past two years,” McDowell says. “But right at the moment, it’s kind of settled down to just us two.”

“(Our main focus has been) getting people to have a good time,” McDowell continues.

Hair Envelope will do anything to make you dance. At times, it feels as if the band is throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks: shouty, cracked vocals; whistling and handclaps; clattering drumbeats; bassy, Eurythmics-esque synths; samba rhythms; even the odd trumpet solo.

What’s strangest is it all works. The songs are reminiscent of David Byrne’s experiments with dance music. It’s scattershot, insistent, bizarre — and dammit if it doesn’t pick up the feet. Hair Envelope’s live shows are undoubtedly a sight to behold. You’re bound to not be the only one making a fool of yourself on the dance floor.

[Le Voyeur, Hair Envelope with Levator, The Hand That Bleeds, Big Spider’s Back, Friday, Oct. 2, 8 p.m., no cover, 404 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, 360.943.5710]5710]