Saturday, March 24, 2007

Tim Fite, Pela @ Sin-e | The Lisps @ Mo Pitkins

It's almost as if I never left Austin. I swear I told myself on my flight back that I'd take it easy this week, have a little mini detox, and let the indie rock bands of today frolic around New York without my attendance. But no. Somehow I found this relentless stamina that has caused me to continue the party, with my hands up in the air.

Last night I celebrated the fact that it was Friday. In perhaps one of the longest weeks ever (thanks to my suitcase being lost and arriving four days late), as soon as I was done with work I decided it was officially weekend. I headed over to the Beev party at Sin-e early enough to catch a band called Fun. In short, they were not so fun. So we shall just move on.

What happened next was completely unexpected. I had heard from many reliable sources that Tim Fite was somewhat of a genius. Never had I heard one track. Never had I seen a picture. In fact, I don't even think I knew he was a rapper. But I trusted my sources. Fite happened to be outside while I was smoking a cigarette and I noticed him putting on a jump suit over his three piece suit. This was the first sign that what was to come would be very strange indeed.

I am the last person in the world to speak about hip-hop, so I will tell you what I found intriguing about last night's performance. First of all, Fite is a total kook, in the most endearing way. His facial expressions deserve to have their own spotlight, as he works with the crowd making them feel welcome and uncomfortable in the same smirk. He sings/raps to a video screen projection of himself, with his brother next to him handling the beats and backup. It had all the elements for me to hate this set, and yet I was completely blown away. The songs in itself are an incredible mix of thought provoking and down right ridiculous. Favorite moment? Singing along to his "Burn Burn Burn" song. I hadn't seen that many white hipster kids get down like that, ever.

Go download his album, for free over at his website. It'll give you a hint at what may be one of the most interesting performers in New York.

And then came Pela. For the last month or so, the minute I sit down at my desk at work, I play their debut album, and its stuck on repeat all day. I don't know what it is, but I've fallen completely head over heels for this band, and last night was my first time seeing them. I know, I know. Everyone else who lives in NY has seen them at least twice. Like I always say, sometimes I really miss out on a lot of things.

Pela is the perfect combination of commercial appeal and indie credibility. The fact that one of their songs was played on Veronica Mars is no surprise to me (and plus I love that show). Lead singer Billy McCarthy has one of those wailing voices a la Alec or Hamilton, and yet it's not quite screechy enough to be considered quirky. This is a good thing. The band as a whole looks so harmless and they have so much fun on stage that you really can't help but fall in love with them. I kept on saying "this is my favorite song!" for each one. That's always a good sign.

It was bittersweet at Sin-e last night, as it was probably the last time I'll be at that venue. Since moving on the same block, it's become a go-to place that always felt like home. The shows I've held there have always been an incredible experience; the staff and bookers were always supportive. I will miss you Sin-e. The number of quality music venues in the Lower East Side is sadly decreasing by the day.

After Pela, we opted not to stay for ShyChild (I love you guys, but had to run!). We hurried up to MoPitkins to see The Lisps who is yet another band that I've heard a lot about and never seen. (Something tells me I should get out more often, right?) I had never seen a band at MoPitkins before, and the space was a little awkwardly set up, but the sound was just right. The Lisps are definitely unlike any other band I've seen out today, with their seriously retro looks, and their male/female battling lyrics. It's almost as if I stepped into a vaudeville act, and yet their sweet and charming songs keep me coming back for more. What stood out to me were the lyrics themselves, and I always appreciate watching a band where you can actually hear and understand what they are trying to express. Couple and lead singers Sammy and Cesar play off each other flawlessly, creating a live show that is endearing and unique. Listening to their music will definitely be a different experience now that I've seen them live. They are a band that you need to put faces, and emotions to the name.

Three (okay four) bands in one night? Not too shabby. Don't forget The Music Slut's party tonight at Delancey, where I plan to camp out for the night. Another batch of bands to add to the week....this is getting fun.


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