Gothamist is really psyched to check out Dirty on Purpose tomorrow night (details below). Their sound gets endlessly compared to Yo La Tengo and we've been listening to their EP for a while now, but haven't had a chance to catch them live just yet. On any given Sunday we like to scroll over to their song Mind Blindness on our iPod and go walk around a quieter area of downtown...the perfect weekend soundtrack. Often breathy vocals shyly build up into something that gets us walking faster while simultaneously relaxing us. The music gets into our head and we're left wanting more...
Dirty on Purpose is Doug Marvin (Vocals, Drums), Erika Forster (Vocals, Keyboards), George Wilson (Guitar), DJ Boudreau (Bass), Joseph Jurewicz (Guitar). Joe and DJ took some time to answer our questions...
What is your first conscious memory of living in New York?
Joe: My first conscious memory of living in New York was when I lived on 153rd and Amsterdam. Apparently I looked like I wanted to buy drugs, because that's the only thing anyone ever asked me in that neighborhood. Cops included.
DJ: When I first came to NY it was to attend school, during orientation we were escorted around the city by more seasoned students. The first time we were out I remember coming up out of the subway and having no idea where I was. The city seemed so immense. I thought to myself "I'll never find my way back here, I'll never see this part of the city again". As it turns out it was St. Mark's Place.
What is your favorite/least favorite memory involving New York?
Joe: My favorite New York memory. There's too many. I can't live anywhere else for just that reason. Too many things happen to you here that will not happen anywhere else. My least favorite was September 11th, followed closely by the ensuing wave of bullshit (the "Ground Zero" t-shirt stands that popped up two days after the towers fell, people cashing in on it, etc. If I can't buy toilet paper with Osama Bin Laden's face on it, then the terrorists have already won.)
DJ: My favorite memory is the summer of '97. I was working part time during summer break. I made 10 bucks an hour, the most money I had ever made to that point. My parents very generously offered to pay my rent for the summer, I still don't know why they did that? Anyway, all the money I made was mine to keep. I went to about two hundred shows that summer and I saw every band that came through. I was going to Brownies (RIP) about 5 times a week! - My least favorite memory is probably my 21st birthday. I was out with some friends. We had empty beer bottles thrown at us by some thugs standing on the other side of the street. One of the bottles broke against a brick wall about 2 feet from my head.
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What is your favorite place to drink in NYC? Whats the best night of the week to go out in the city?
Joe: It used to be the PourHouse in Brooklyn because I live a block away, they gave me free beer, and they are the nicest, best people to drink with, but right now it's a tie between our backyard at Chez DoP, and the alcohol-fueled kickball games at Mcarren Park. Dobkings Rule! No particular night, but the best ones are when you make no plans and have no idea where you're going to go.
DJ: My all time favorite bar is in Brooklyn, Rosemary's Greenpoint Tavern, it's been over run at this point, I don't really go there anymore. I'd bet, over the years, my friends and I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at that bar. I hope Rosemary has a great retirement on me. I'll go out whenever! I'm not very good at sitting around. Sometimes I try to relax, sit at home, enjoy some time by myself. That only lasts as long as it take for someone to call me. Then I'm gone. Monday, Wednesday, whenever!
What is your favorite/least favorite thing about playing shows in New York? Is there a difference between shows in Manhattan and Brooklyn?
Joe: My favorite thing is when all your friends show up at the same place and hang out for a couple of hours. My least favorite thing is paying so much for transportation in the city. it costs about $80 every time we play somewhere to get all of our stuff there. I always wondered why there were so many sensitive goatee'd singer songwriter dudes in this city, and now I know why: they don't have to carry too much. Just an acoustic guitar and a few years worth of horrible break up songs. and those don't weigh much at all. The difference for us between Brooklyn and Manhattan is simple: all of our stuff is in Brooklyn. The closer the venue is to us, the better.
DJ: The best thing about shows in NYC is that you can get people to come out with very little effort, especially if your playing a really good venue. Well if your anything like Dirty On Purpose the worst thing about playing in NYC is lugging your equipment around town. We have a lot of equipment. If you're in Dirty On Purpose there's some rule where you have to own at least two of the heaviest amps ever made. And then there's the parking. Don't get me started! The differences between Brooklyn and Manhattan are basically the reverse of above. Brooklyn pros, easy to find parking, don't have to move your equipment as far. Brooklyn cons, harder to get people out, especially people from Manhattan. One of the real advantages of Brooklyn venues is that they tend to be a bit larger then comparable venues in Manhattan. Due to fewer size restrictions, Brooklyn clubs tend to have more creature comforts for the bands i.e.- backstage areas and green rooms.
Do you think your New York connection shows in your music? If so, how?
Joe: I think there's something that every New York band goes through that comes out somewhere in what they play. There's always been a sense of pride playing here, the whole "If I can make it there, I'll make it (bomp bomp) anywhere...." thing.
DJ: I think it's the mystique of the city itself that's wrapped up in people's associations with bands from NY. I think people are more likely to just simply say Oh! They're from NY! and immediately think of "The Big Apple", "They must be big time, they're from the big city". I think it's really hard to separate yourself from that. You know, New York has a great rock history, and the recent increase in bands coming out of New York is both a blessing and a curse. Like I said, on one hand people say "Oh! NY! The Strokes, etc. are from NY"! So maybe they give us a chance. On the other hand maybe they say "Oh, they're from NY"? I don't like that Strokes scene, we're instantly lumped into "that" sound. I can't say we have no connection to New York in our music, in all it's not conscious.
Now its time for some fill-in-the-blank action:
You know youve made it when .
Joe: Can't really answer that one yet.
DJ: you watch Spinal Tap and say 'this isn't funny'."
Itll be time to pack up the gear for good when .
Joe: Never. Ever.
DJ: being in a band isn't't as much fun as it is a hassle."
Ill never forget the first time I .
Joe: Saw Sophie.
DJ: was involved in an on stage orgy at a Crash Worship show."
Ill never forget the first time [insert another band members name here] .
Joe: George cleaned his room. Oh wait. That never happened.
DJ: this girl from Au Revoir Simone threw up on me."
Lets have some fun with word association. Give me your immediate feelings on the following (if youve got no discernable feelings, make something up that wont embarrass you in the morning):
Joe: I believe they are involved in the baseball contests.
DJ: Red Sox.
Joe: They are an opposing squadron in the aforementioned baseball contests.
DJ: lovable underdog.
Joe: Not fair. I have a weakness for the southern women. Um girls. What is she now? Is she a woman yet? Is there a song about it yet? Let a brother know, Britney. I'm a total perv. Next question.
Bridge & Tunnel
Joe: Don't knock New Jersey. They'll knock back and they are usually bigger than you.
DJ: Bare with them, they eventually go home.
Joe: Good one. Not sure. Funny video. I think they are good because they don't appear to care about being good. I'd like to drink with them though.
DJ: Pink spandex!
Joe: Good lord. I lived in Orlando for a year. Same thing.
DJ: Too crowded!
Bloomberg/Smoking Ban/Noise Laws
Joe: That dude seems like a Class A moron. My favorite is the enforcement of dancing laws.
DJ: Better then I expected.
Two quickies on the music tip:
Who would be in your ultimate music supergroup, your all-star Olympic team of rock?
Joe: Queen. But with less money.
DJ: Lemmy (Bass), Kevin Shields (Lead Guitar), Brian Chippendale (Drums), Pete Townsend (Rhythm Guitar), David Bowie (Keyboards, additional Guitar) Freddy Mercury (Vocals). Produced by Brian Eno (also keyboards). I'd just manage these fuckers.
What was the first/last album you bought on the day it was released?
Joe: The last album I bought on the day it came out was In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. But that sounds too pretentious. Just put that I stood in line at Tower to buy Justified. Ladies love some Timberlake.
DJ: First - Dire Straits: Brothers In Arms, Last - My Morning Jacket: It Still Moves
See Dirty on Purpose live 08.07 (tomorrow night!) @ Rothko