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Sunday, April 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 73.0° F  Overcast
Music

TOUR STOP

Sugar & Gold make danceable ear candy
San Francisco group plays some hipster disco


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"Sugar & Gold" sounds a bit like the title of an eighth-grade report on the Brazilian economy. In actuality, it's a freaky, funky and thoroughly eclectic band from San Francisco known not only for dance-inducing songs but outrageous outfits whose style falls somewhere between the Village People and the cast of Cowboy Bebop.

While it's hard to ignore the group's over-the-top costumes, musical mixology is their main export and the thing that's landed them gigs with such famous folk as Los Campesinos and !!!. It's also led to plenty of glamour shots, especially when they won the "Best Party Band" crown from SF Weekly last year.

Though the band's songwriters - Painless (Nicolas Dobbratz) and PAM (Philipp Alberto Minnig) - have known one another since middle school, they haven't always been so flamboyant. In fact, hardly anyone would've guessed they'd tour the world as a sexy, soul-lovin' electro-disco band when they were two sweaty dudes in a garage-rock outfit. Well, that's what reading too much Vice magazine will do to an earnest rock band: make them trade their MC5 records for a bunch of Super Fly remixes. And hipster disco is bringing them closer to concert halls than rock ever did.

Sugar & Gold's new 12-inch, AYA Remix EP, hit stores and the Interwebs Oct. 13. Their take on Fancy's "Slice Me Nice," with gothy synths, Muppet-esque vocals and a spelling lesson to boot, would be just as welcome on a Sesame Street Halloween special as a dance floor - or the UW's Rathskeller stage, where they'll play Oct. 16 with homegrown party-dance faves Solid Gold.

And lord only knows what this combination will inspire. During a recent performance of "Slice Me Nice" with Of Montreal, things got a bit, um, breezy.

"I blacked out onstage, mid-song," PAM recalls. "When I regained consciousness toward the end of the set, I realized that I was standing on a giant PA speaker in nothing but underwear. But the strangest thing was, the underwear wasn't even mine."

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