Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Felice Brothers: Upstate Revivalists

Authenticity. The word gets bandied about in regards to new music releases these days, specifically the lack thereof. (Actual talent is also missing these days, but that is for another post.) Ultimately though, isn't everything these days derivative of preceding bands and therefore lacking in authenticity. Well, I must remind myself there is a difference between authenticity and originality. The Felice Brothers are not originals. But with all of the crap being released today, isn't a great derivative band worth writing about (and listening to). And with chops like theirs, authenticity does not seem like a problem for them.

Slinky, greasy, and vampy are words that are brought to mind when listening to The Felice Brothers. So are the names Lou Reed and Bob Dylan. And The Animals a la an organ sound ripped from 'The House of The Rising Son'. How's that for derivative.

And I got all of that after listening to just one song on The Felice Brothers Myspace page titled 'Helen Fry'. The Felice Brothers are from the Hudson Valley of Upstate New York. For you out-of-towners, Upstate NY is a far, far cry from the Lower East Side by about 60 miles and 10,000 hipsters. In other words, they are the only band on my radar from that part of the country.

I really enjoy the loose, roots rock feel of the band. I don't get a sense that the band is too proud to beg like The Kings of Leon or other hipster bands like The Killers who seemed ripped out of a GQ spread rather than a garage practice space where true bands hone their skills. Derivative, maybe. But probably because like myself they LOVE the music of Dylan, The Band, a touch of Bowie, and did I mention Dylan? I'll take this any day. Thanks for the tip on these guys and let me know when they are coming to town. I'll bring my leopard skin pill box hat, me and all the young dudes will take a walk on the wild side, and after the show we'll crash at Big Pink. Sound like a plan? Or has that been done before?

Listen to my favorite track, called Frankie's Gun, on their Myspace page.

Update: And come see them live with me in NYC at The Highline Ballroom with The Dirty Dozen Brass Band opening on Friday, 12/7.

Update to Update: Dirty Dozen is the headliner, The Felice Brothers have the opening slot.


Some Dude said...

I've been listening to their album non-stop for the last few days - it's absolutely fantastic.

Cricco said...

The Kings of Leon are not to be compared to other hipster bands. They may look pretty but they define rock and roll. The modern stuff anyway. I do intend to check The Felice Brothers out though. Big fan of Dylan and The Band. And The Kings.

WeightStaff said...

Hi Cricco,

Thanks for writing in. I am a fan of the Kings of Leon as well and have seen them live a bunch of times (opening for The Strokes in '04, numerous Bonnaroos). I enjoy their music (favorite tune is Holy Roller Novocaine) but I unfortunately get rubbed the wrong way with the band live (especially Caleb, actually) with what seems like an attitude on stage that they would rather be elsewhere (party in the Hollywood Hills perhaps, the aforementioned fashion mag, etc.) Maybe that is just part of their schtick but I like bands to seem a part of the audience rather than apart from the audience.