New York has a well-earned reputation: bright lights, honking cars, late nights, frantic energy, non-stop. All this constant motion necessitates downtime: an aimless stroll, sifting through the Sunday Times, an afternoon nap, a hot bath. Brooklyn's Argentine makes music that goes hand-in-hand with a somber mood or rainy day. An antidote to a more common musical typology (four boys in suits and haircuts playing something loud and fast and fleeting), Argentine's slowcore sound swells with drunken guitar laced with viola, drawing comparisons to Low, with strains of Galaxie 500, Mazzy Star, early Radiohead and Yo La Tengo. The quintet consists of Ian Carpenter (vocals, guitars), Nat Guy (guitar, bass), Timothy Quigley (percussion), Marcus Smith (bass, keyboard, guitar) and Chris Curtis (viola). Vocalist Carpenter gives us his two cents on life in the city.
First, some questions about Home Sweet Home:
What is your first conscious memory of living in New York?
Living in one of those pay-by-the-week cheap hotels somewhere in the Upper West Side... it was called Liberty Hotel or something. [It's] not around any longer. [It had a] shower and bathroom down the hall, people throwing beer bottles down the airshaft and hearing them all break late at night.
What is your favorite/least favorite memory involving New York?
Least favorite: getting beat on by like 6 to 12 young whippersnappers on the G train. Most favorite: riding over the Williamsburg Bridge at night, seeing all the lights.
What is your favorite place to drink in NYC? What's the best night of the week to go out in the city?
For proximity I like Sweet Ups. Spuyten Duyvil is really nice, too. Any night is good.
[INTERVIEW CONTINUES INSIDE]
What is your favorite or least favorite thing about playing shows in New York? Is there a difference between shows in Manhattan and Brooklyn?
In Manhattan we've fared better getting people out in the LES region... there are some good Brooklyn venues that we've played.
Do you think your New York connection shows in your music? If so, how?
Maybe some weary-voiced way of getting away from the dirt and noice for a bit... if not physically, [then] in my mind, at least. There's a song called "Bowling Green," [about] my little breezy green oasis during the day, watching New York harbor in my lunch hour, away from my customer service job.
Now its time for some fill-in-the-blank action:
"You know you've made it when…."
You've got your own personal assitant to the personal assistant.
"It'll be time to pack up the gear for good when…."
When I can't afford my low rent as it is already...
“I’ll never forget the first time I….”
Got my first print review in a music magazine I like - it's a good pat-yourself-on-the-back feeling - fleeting, but good.
Now for some quick word association:
A Guy decked out in Mets gear bought me coffee once... so yeah, go Mets... of the peeps and for the peeps!
Bridge & Tunnel
Are funny people
Get out of there.
Bloomberg/Smoking Ban/Noise Laws
Boo, Hiss, Hooray!
And one last question on the music tip:
Who would be in your ultimate music supergroup?
If Can met Miles Davis.
Argentine perform tonight at Rothko, headining a show with Elizabeth Harper, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Summer Lawns and Jaymay. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. $8.
Several songs are available (MP3 and RealAudio formats) for download and streaming on the band's website.