Stephen Becker, the principal songwriter, vocalist and guitarist of Le Concorde, is reluctant to reference the 1980s when discussing his band. It’s understandable to not want to be generalized, since there were plenty of different types of music that came from that decade and certainly not all of them sound like the music of Le Concorde. You won’t find any traces of hair metal, for instance, in these songs…but you will find synthesizers. Many times, the use of synthesizers is the driving force behind many accurate or inaccurate references to music from that decade. Becker isn’t trying to recreate something that happened a long time ago, though. Instead, he’s trying to write good pop songs.
“I’m certainly not trying to be retro in any way,” says Becker. “When we were making these songs in 2003, people thought I was crazy for wanting to use certain synth sounds. I just wanted to use them because I grew up listening to that music and I got a kick out of it.”
Becker seems to have forgotten about those people who thought he was “crazy,” because since then, he has continued making records. Currently at work on his third, he has seen an increased interest in synth-pop with audiences as well as with the more musicians who are now playing it. “I can think of a lot of bands lately that I feel a sort of kinship with, and they weren’t around when I started doing this,” he says.
The Le Concorde record that Becker is currently working on along with the rest of the band is tentatively titled “House.” Becker, who has always been interested in architectural theory and a sense of place, named the band’s previous two records “Universe and Villa” and “Suite.” It was that succession of living-space-themed record titles combined with the fact that Becker, who has been living in Chicago since 1992, will be relocating to Los Angeles in the fall and will be looking for a new house that prompted the title of the forthcoming record.
Becker anticipates more touring from the band around the release of “House” in the fall, but it may require a little extra planning with Becker in Los Angeles and the rest of the band still based in Chicago. (Todd Miller)
June 13 at Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, (773)276-3600, at 10pm. $8.