Stepping briefly onto Dan’s turf, I wanted to mention a band whose first U.S. tour I caught at the Bowery Ballroom last week. Phoenix is an uberhip French outfit (video directed by Roman Coppola) following in the footsteps of Air as interpreters and synthesists of Anglo-American pop from a skewed but gorgeous Gallic angle. But Phoenix use vocals (the lead singer is a perfect dream of a French pop star, slender with lanky hair and a worried look on his face) in English to produce an uninhibited sense of irony-free but knowing sentimentality. (Sample koan-lyrics include the title of this post.) Musically, their Frenchness seems to enable a disarming disregard for generic boundaries, as in the ten-minute ‘Funky Squaredance.’ Anything is possible again: pop can invent a space of freedom. Their first album is ‘United,’ reviewed here at Pitchfork. The new one is ‘Alphabetical’. It’s pretty damn addictive.