“We don’t need America. But America might need us.”

Remember that time I was obsessed with The Ark?

The Ark!

It’s back.

After witnessing the spectacle that is The Ark’s live show, then meeting them, these Swedish men have stolen my heart – all the while wearing spandex.

Oh, I love them, and this article I just found from New York Magazine, has re-ignited my mission to have every person I know see them live.

(P.S. – yes, I was at every show mentioned in the artice, and yes, I screamed like a girl)

****

The first time I saw the Ark live, I wanted to scream like one of those apoplectic teenage girls immortalized in pictures of the Beatles’ first trip to New York. Fortunately, I was not alone in this. Within the comfortable little den that is the Mercury Lounge, they produced genuine euphoria, an awesome accomplishment anywhere, but especially so in a room where the accepted manner of music appreciation is to stand with your thumbs hooked in your jeans and maybe, if you’re really feeling it, casually bob your head. As it was, heavily rouged lead singer Ola Salo had the crowd belting out lyrics that will seem corny on the printed page, but, I assure you, felt deeply meaningful in the moment: “Let your body decide where you want to go,” we sang like kindergartners set loose on a playground. “High or low, fast or slow.”

No, that is not a slightly dirty Up With People cover. It is an original by the Ark, a Swedish band that owns the Scandinavian charts and has also risen to near-superstar status in Italy (where they like a good diva). The Ark came to New York for the first time last year, as part of the Swedish government’s annual rock promo tour, and just about caused a riot at CBGB; they’ve been back a few times since, pulling in a bigger audience each time and forging an unlikely alliance with the downtown crowd. Two weeks ago, before their record was even available here (it comes out April 11), they filled the Bowery Ballroom.

The Ark have been described in two ways—“glam rock,” in the gender-bending tradition of David Bowie, T. Rex, and the New York Dolls, and “Queen meets Abba.” Both only scratch the surface of the band’s charm. Their songs are big but nimble, built around anthemic hooks and driven by rock-dance rhythms. That, however, only makes them a good band; what makes them more than that is their joyful humanism. The Ark are not maudlin, angry, cynical, or ironic, which distinguishes them from almost every other current band I can think of. Put another way: They have absolutely no fear of being uncool.

(the article continues HERE)

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