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Interview with the deli's Band of the Month: Friendly People

How did Friendly People start?

A little over a year ago, to the day, a bunch of us saw Pat playing some of his tunes at All Asia in Cambridge, MA at a sweet weekly songwriters circle that used to happen there called Monkey Rock. After that performance...click here to read the rest of the interview with Friendly People.


 

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Interview with the deli's Band of the Month: Friendly People
by Chrissy Prisco


How did the band start?

A little over a year ago, to the day, a bunch of us saw Pat playing some of his tunes at All Asia in Cambridge, MA at a sweet weekly songwriters circle that used to happen there called Monkey Rock. After that performance, Mitch decided he liked it so much that he decided to produce some of Pat’s songs. The production project turned into some jams, which turned into an EP and that turned into a band.

Where did the band name, Friendly People, come from?

The name originates from our song Friendly People, which is about having a magical journey in a field on a warm sunny day. Which is kind of what our music sounds like. Also, we’re friendly as shit.

What are your biggest musical influences?

The Beatles, Modest Mouse, Talking Heads, My Morning Jacket, Wilco, Arcade Fire, Fleet Foxes, LCD Soundsystem and anything that grooves.

What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?

Our friends You Won’t, Tamsin and Emily Elbert are all coming out with records that we’re super psyched about! We Avalanche is another local band we’re into right now. The Black Keys and Yuck recently came out with awesome records too.

What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?

Pat: First album – Space Jam soundtrack. First concert – Blink 182 and Green Day, Pop Disaster Tour
Davis: First album – Hootie and the Blowfish, Cracked Rear View First concert – Rusted Root and Santana
Mitch: First album – The Aqua record with Barbie Girl on it. First concert – Alanis Morissette in Thailand
Sebastian: First album – Metallica’s Black Album First concert – G3
Drew: First album – Limp Bizkit, Significant Other First concert – Box Car Racer, h20 and the Used at Hammerstein Ballroom.
Sarlo: First album – NSYNC. One of the most exciting listening experiences of my life. First concert - Pop Disaster Tour, just like Pat!!!
Jeff: First album – Blind Melon and Nevermind. First concert - Allman Brothers Band in Hartford, CT.

What do you love about New England’s music scene?

Most of all, we love the amount of talent out there and the diversity of the music. Anything you’re looking for, you can find, any night of the week. It’s also a super welcoming and supportive scene in the sense that all the bands and artists help each other out. It’s a really tight-knit community. The recording industry is also regaining ground in the region, which is great for the future of the music scene.

What would you like to see change in the local music scene?

More natural draw to venues would go a long way in building the scene. Also, last year a bunch of our friends moved to New York. They should come back. Oh! More all ages shows, so the kids can get down!

What are your plans for the upcoming year?

We’re making our first full-length album! We’ll be at the Record Company in South Boston in early-March, recording all day and night. After that, some East Coast touring is in order to share all our hard work. And of course, plenty of shows in New England, starting with February 16th at TT the Bear’s Place with You Won’t and Slowdim.

What was your most memorable live show?

I think we all agree that in general our shows at TT the Bear’s have been consistently awesome. We’re based in Central Square, Cambridge, and its great to see so much energy and support every time we play there. There was also this one time we played in Worcester at a Clark University basement party. A toy PA system, blacklights, puddles of stagnant water, sweaty college masses, last minute costumes and a brief, semi-violent run- in with someone who may or may not have been a Juggalo. Good times.

Is there someone who has helped your band grow through support?

The songwriting circle Monkey Rock is where it all began - without Tamsin Wilson and Megan Lui we wouldn’t be a band. Our tight-knit community of friends and artists have always been really supportive and inspirational as well. But most importantly, our dog Gretta is what keeps us together as a band – without them puppy-dog eyes, we’d hate each other.

Is there a piece of equipment you couldn't live without?
Pat: My guitar and my lead microphone.
Mitch: My guitar and my back up microphone.
Jeff: Ditto.
Drew: My banjo, my beard and my libido.
Sarlo: My bass.
Sebastian: My drums and percussion.
Davis: Ditto.

Why do you read The Deli?

It’s great to see a magazine devoted to promoting local music, on a national level. We think it’s really awesome that The Deli operates in so many different scenes around the country, giving underground artists an outlet where they can be listened to!

 

 

 
 

Friendly People


 
 
 

 

Friendly People
Friendly People EP

Friendly People

 

 
 
 

 

Bunny's A Swine -- All Day, Alright

Sometimes I wonder if all musicians have truly lost their minds and I worry that dub-step and “wobble-bass” will overtake the music world like a modern-day Bubonic plague. In the midst of these thoughts, I occasionally hear a record that pulls me back into reality and reminds me that not every musician has gone insane and that people are still perfectly capable of making rockin’ music. All Day, Alright, the newest release from Bunny’s A Swine, is one such record.

Bunny’s A Swine manages to capture a 90’s indie rock vibe a la Modest Mouse/Sonic Youth and infuse it with a liveliness that catches the listener’s attention. I found the guitar work on this record to be excellent; I was particularly intrigued by the incorporation of what the band describes as a “three-stringed guitar,” which, as you may have guessed, is a regular guitar with only three strings. This exhibition of unique musical ingenuity is reflective in their sound. I thought the opening track, 630/430, was an excellent choice to start off the record. It really sets the tone for the rest of the album with its upbeat guitar riffs and R.E.M-esque feel.

Winter Song/Spring Version is another favorite track of mine from this release. The addition of the distant yelling for the backing vocals adds to the intensity and urgency of the song.

Overall, All Day, Alright is immensely entertaining. The band is able to establish a high level of energy and emotion at the start of the record and carry it all the way through the end, making All Day, Alright incredibly hard to turn off after only one song (or one complete listen through, for that matter). This album, along with a collection of their other works, can be streamed and is available for purchase on their bandcamp site. If live music and real human interaction is more to your liking, head over to Western Mass. on March 1 and check them out in-person at the Sierra Grill in Northampton.--Daniel McMahon


Kirsten Opstad -- Fear of Swimming

Somerville alt-folk singer-songwriter Kirsten Opstad’s latest release Fear of Swimming bursts with plucky, quaint acoustic tunes. Following a few solo albums as well as a release from The Crazy Exes from Hell -- the folk-punk band consisting of her and Steve Subrizi -- Fear of Swimming is Opstad’s first professional full-length collection.

Opstad, like many artists, turned to Kickstarter to help collect funding for the project, and she kept friends and fans updated on the fundraising progress as well as the recording process itself on her blog. While Kickstarter allots 30 days for a project to raise its fundraising goal, Opstad reached (and exceeded) her goal of $5,000 in just twenty days. The album was recorded at Interstellar Records in early November 2011 and was released on January 10.

Magic Eye provides a sunny opening and sets the tone for the majority of the album. Opstad’s chirpy voice and quirky, acoustic, simplicity make it seem like she could easily win over fans of Kimya Dawson. The majestic, Medievally-tinted Unkeepable Oath best demonstrates Opstad’s springy, cute songwriting. Meanwhile, the bond between her and an injured bird attests to her earnest, sweet spirit. Her lyrics are tongue-in-cheek almost as often as they are heart-on-sleeve. Along with all the peachiness of the album is the sense of vulnerability she admits to, in the album title and elsewhere in the lyrics.

Most of the songs are paced similarly, sharing a bright and chipper mood, but that’s not to say that the tracks blend one into the next. And while Fear of Swimming begins with sunshine, it ends with Back to Sleep, a bittersweet lullaby in which Opstad sings, “And I can’t sleep / Knowing you’re out there without me / And I can’t move / Knowing that you’re moving on.”--Sarah Ruggiero


Mission 0 -- Bruises on the Map

There is a strange and almost contradictory type of freedom that comes with the label of pop music. While the title is sometimes thought of as the enemy and opposite of free expression, there are those who take the term as a simple standard of accessibility in their art, a sort of mantra that says “Art is anything that makes people enjoy life more.” In this new age of free media, electronic everything, and D.I.Y ethics becoming more of a necessity than an ethos, pop music has been the favorite vehicle of a large caravan of duos combining programed loops and live instrumentation in order to create a new series of dance music.

Now, in the wake of this mostly New York boy/girl boom, comes New Haven, CT’s own brother sister duo Megan and David Keith and their project Mission 0. The first full length offer from the siblings Keith comes in the form of Bruises on the Map, a ten track spectacle of smart pop structure and electric/trance vibe.

Bruises on the Map acts mostly as a showing of Sister Keith’s vocal ability along with the understated, but extremely well-constructed instrument arrangements of drummer/producer Brother Keith. The album’s tracks act as two sides of the same coin, trading off track to track between 90’s influenced power ballads and trance dance numbers, working as a good  ofwhat the duo is capable of. Bruise’s lyrics work mostly to carry the Sister Keith’s melodies and the tunes are best implemented as mood music rather than for hardnosed analysis. Anyone who is a fan of the boy/girl duo movement being populated by Cults, Matt and Kim, Sleigh Bells, or going as far back as The Eurythmics, would be well off adding Bruises on the Map to their collection and checking the duo out when they blow into town.--Anthony Geehan


Mission 0 -- Heavy Boots


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