Music Scene: Fitz & the Tantrums, Lost in the Trees, T Bird and The Breaks
By Matthew Godbey | Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Fitz & the Tantrums
When this Los Angeles-based sextet found itself being flung from the tongues of the indie-music masses last year, the most common word to describe them was probably “different.”
That’s not to say there wasn’t good music in the indie-rock world, just that diversity within the indie trends and sound is not nearly as broad as local hipsters would have you believe.
For Fitz & the Tantrums, diversity comes from the echoes of ghosts not many would expect to hear from again within the indie world. The group’s founder, singer and chief songwriter, Michael Fitzpatrick, was influenced heavily by the sounds of ’50s and ’60s soul, but has said that his band’s aim is not to replicate the classic soul sound but rather build something on top of it.
Fitzpatrick made the brave and radical decision to not incorporate a guitar in the band, stating that he was simply “sick of hearing it,” and the decision has broadened the band’s sound in unexpected ways.
Fitzpatrick and co-vocalist Noelle Scaggs (The Rebirth, Black-Eyed Peas, Dilated Peoples) are backed by a horn section, bassist, pianist and a drummer for a vibrant, enveloping sound that has been in no way hindered by the lack of guitar.
The band’s full-length debut, “Pickin’ Up the Pieces,” was released on Dangerbird Records in 2010 to favorable reviews from such publications as L.A. Weekly, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Boston Globe and Alternative Press, but it wasn’t until the album’s singles “MoneyGrabber” and “Don’t Gotta Work It Out” appeared in 2011 that the band’s popularity began to soar.
Fitz & the Tantrums will perform Saturday at the Music Farm, 32 Ann St. Tickets are $19.50 in advance, $25 the day of the show and are available at the door or online at etix.com. Doors open at 8 p.m. Go to musicfarm.com or call 577-6989.
Lost in the Trees
Ambient. Orchestral. Symphonic-rock. There are many ways to describe the music of Chapel Hill-based quintet Lost in the Trees, but nothing really classifies it just right.
Lost in the Trees formed in 2007 when songwriter and vocalist/guitarist Ari Picker left Berklee College of Music and returned to North Carolina with the idea of forming an orchestra-based rock group. After assembling a lineup of area musicians and Berklee-educated orchestra players, they recorded the 2008 album titled “All Alone in an Empty House.” The album came right after the suicide of Picker’s mother.
The album was re-released in 2010 by ANTI-Records, which piqued the interest, and praise, of a few media outlets, such as NPR and Sputnik Music.
The band released “A Church That Fits Our Needs” earlier this year and already the album has been hailed by Rolling Stone, Paste, PopMatters and The Washington Post as a career high note for the band.
“I wanted to give my mother a space to become all the things I think she deserved to be and wanted to be, and all the beautiful things in her that didn’t quite shine while she was alive. I feel like that’s what a church should do: They should give you the space to reflect and be the best person you can be,” Picker told NPR in a March interview regarding the album’s inspiration.
Lost in the Trees will perform Wednesday at The Pour House, 1977 Maybank Highway, with Daytona. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 the day of the show and are available at the door or online at etix.com. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Go to charlestonpourhouse.com or call 571-4343.
T Bird and The Breaks
Austin, Texas-based quartet T Bird and The Breaks describes its music as “Chunk,” a sweaty blend of funk, hip-hop, rock and soul that sounds much better together than one may think.
The group released its latest EP, “Dancehall Freakin’,” in March and celebrated the release with a headlining tour across the East Coast, as well as several performances at SXSW.
T Bird & The Breaks will perform tonight at The Pour House, 1977 Maybank Highway. Tickets $10 are available at the door. Doors open at 9 p.m.
Go to charlestonpour house.com or call 571-4343 for more.