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Brooklyn Standup

It's getting harder and harder to figure out what the kids are listening to these days. Case in point: Ratatat. Does the Brooklyn duo of Mike Stroud (guitars) and Evan Mast (synthesizers) make nouveau electronica? Or instrumental hip-hop? Or low-fi IDM? Or alt-hop trance? Whatever you call the stuff, it's got those same kids bopping their generally sullen heads in droves. Stroud and Mast met as students back at Skidmore College in the '90s but didn't start playing together till 2001. The tandem enjoyed something of a breakthrough with the release of Ratatat Mixtape Vol. 1, a series of rap remixes that put them on the map with the national media and landed one of their tunes (somewhat dishearteningly) on a TV ad for Hummers. Both musicians do plenty of side work, Mast as a producer and Stroud as a guitarist for Ben Kweller and local alt-country heroes Dashboard Confessional. Just last month, Ratatat's latest project — Ratatat Remixes, Vol. 2 — was leaked on the Internet. It includes revamped anthems from the likes of Jay-Z, Ludacris, Kanye West, and Juvenile as well as exclusive tracks from Despot (who will open for Ratatat). The highlight is the pair's ridiculously addictive remix of Biggie Smalls' "Party & Bullshit," which will soon appear in a TV commercial near you. Count on it.

Ratatat performs with Despot on Saturday, April 14, at 9 p.m. at Post Restaurant & Lounge, 1777 SW Third Ave., Miami. Tickets cost $15 in advance. Call 305-856-8585.

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Steve Almond
Contact: Steve Almond

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