June 19, 2009

The Felice Brothers overturn cars, hearts

CIMG3545 by you.

Tuesday night I went down to the jolly old Hi-Dive bar and music emporium ("music emporium" in the sense that you have to pay to get in and hear music, so it's like you're buying it, and they're selling it) to see New York's The Felice Brothers in action. It'd been a month or more since I'd been to the Hi-Dive, which is usually long enough for me to forget what a strange atmosphere that place can have sometimes. My friend Kiyomi and I got there around 9, finding a sign saying one of the openers couldn't make it because their van had broken down. I was pretty bummed, because that's always a shame for everyone involved, but I was marginally incensed by the looming thought that we would have to wait until 10 for anything remotely interesting to happen. I say marginally because, really, it's just an hour, and, thankfully, the people watching made up for any problems. The audience was a mishmash of young and old, hip and very, very unhip, drunk and Kiyomi and I. When fans of a band that has a song called Whiskey in My Whiskey get together, it should be expected that a drunken time will be had.
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Around 10, the Felice Brothers gathered their wits, their Tecate, and their smiles, and took the stage. I was only familiar with a few of their recordings that I painlessless gathered from the internets prior to the show, and from what I could tell I was in for a tear jerking Apilacian style folk show. Holy smokes was I wrong. I must have heard the odd songs out, because, from start to finish, The Felice Brothers were here to do one thing: have a drunken good time. Goal accomplished.
CIMG3540 by you.
The Felice Brothers' stage prescence was peculiar throughout most the show. A few members looked almost too drunk to stand, but that's not to say they didn't play their instruments exceptionally well. Occationally one member would hide behind another member for one or two songs, then they would trade places. They would go from hardly moving at all to shaking violently, almost knocking over their bandmates. If anything, it drew me in, not knowing what to expect next. They knew exactly what their audience came for though. The audience had an almost constant left to right, brotherly-love-style, sway, throwing up their drinks and wailing along to the boisterous band conducting the madness.
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I went back to my computer, baffled by how I could have been so mislead by their recordings, and, on second listen ... I'm just perplexed. Their recordings are soft, sweet, fireside sing-a-longs. There are hints at possibly party craziness on a few tracks, but mostly it sounds like Bob Dylan getting drunk and having a camp.

I do have to say I recommend seeing them live if this at all sounds like your scene. It got to be a little much for me, but I do have to say that there was a room full of deleriously happy souls in the house, who were most likely very satified by the shows end.

The Felice Brothers - Take This Bread
The Felice Brothers - Ballad of Lou the Welterweight

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