Tuesday, February 19, 2008

we saw: The JOIN

If you can't beat them...

The question mark in the above photo can be traced back to Dan Kurtz, bass player for "live.progressive.breakbeat.house" pioneers and longtime Bobka-faves theNEWDEAL. When Kurtz moved to London a few years ago to focus on his new electro-pop project, Dragonette, he left a massive void in theNEWDEAL sound and created an air of uncertainty over the future of the band. To keep busy during the tND hiatus, Jamie Shields (keyboards, blue shirt) and Darren Shearer (drums, white shirt) came up with The JOIN, "a musical unit that host[s] a revolving door of musicians depending on what area of the world they're in as well as what show setting they find themselves a part of."

This past Saturday night in Brooklyn, Brother's Past members Tom Hamilton (guitar) and Clay Parnell (bass) took over the role of question mark and turned it into an exclamation point. For a band that rarely practices, The JOIN lived up their expectations and then some, providing a sound that was similar to theNEWDEAL (there were lots of trippy synth lines and energetic beats and breaks to be had), but featured a few different elements (most notably vocals, provided by Mr. Hamilton) that kept things fresh. Given the amount of improvisation that goes into any given JOIN set, the band was remarkably ON, hitting all the right key changes and playing together in a seamless and group-oriented fashion that kept the kidz dancing all night. It wasn't theNEWDEAL, but at times it sure felt like it.

Those who missed the throwdown at Studio B will have another chance to catch The JOIN this coming Saturday (Feb 23) at one of our favorite venues, Mexicali Blues in Teaneck, NJ. Next week's show will feature the same lineup as Brooklyn, with the addition of Sir Joe Russo on a second drumkit to make things even more frantic. Check out a track below.

The JOIN - Let's Dance > Improvised Jam (encore from Studio B in Brooklyn, Feb 16)

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