Ratatat

Even if you can't remember explicitly listening to a single Ratatat track, you've heard the New York City-based instrumental duo's music. Aside from boasting a name that—let's face it—is just fun to say, the duo's songs have been licensed every which way imaginable: on television shows (CSI, My Gym Partner Is a Monkey), on radio (NPR's This American Life), in commercials (Hummer, Rhapsody, the Microsoft Zune), in videogames (MLB 07: The Show) and in movies (Knocked Up, Cloverfield).

Makes sense: Formed in 2001 by then-Skidmore College attendees Mike Stroud and Evan Mast, Ratatat's music is sometimes Latino-flavored, often breakbeat-heavy and almost always reminiscent of the theme song to the Nintendo classic Contra. Sounds odd, yes, but it's a combination that helps the end result come off as both progressive and accessible, which is no small task. No wonder then that the group's been able to ditch the "sellout" tag in exchange for a "critically acclaimed" one, having racked up praise everywhere it's received press (most notably in Rolling Stone).

Speaking of sellouts: Ratatat's shows are also something of a hot ticket. On this tour, the band's playing to a slew of sold-out venues (in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Boston and Montreal). Last time the act played the Granada, the venue didn't quite sell out—came close, though, with around 900 people in attendance. Now, with a new album in tow (this summer's LP3), expect that to be remedied.

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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman