The Harlem Shakes are young, but their influences seem to cover decades of New York rock. Their sound is lo-fi tinny garage rock that will definitely make you dance (and yes, by dance New Yorkers, we mean disaffectedly tap your foot and occasionally bob your head.) We're not going to make the obvious comparison, okay we will, but it's meant as a compliment...the Harlem Shakes sound like what the Strokes should sound like. Their gritty guitar and catchy melodies are what make NY rock...rock.
This week Lexy, Ian, Kendrick, Brent and Jose took some time to answer our questions...
Let's get this out of the way, where did you band name originate? And if you had to what would you change your name to?
The Harlem Shake is our favorite dance move. And we'd change it to anything, any time, if given the chance. Ideally: Maritime Strife, Racial Glacier, Extreme ESPN Buttfuck Party, or The Strikes.
What is your first conscious memory of living in New York?
Getting chased by a pit bull through the outfield during a Westside little league game.
What is your favorite/least favorite memory involving New York?
Both involve the Apple store.
What is your favorite place to drink in NYC? What's the best night of the week to go out in the city?
Cant drink. Under 21. But sake-bombing on St. Marks any time.
What is your favorite/least favorite thing about playing shows in New York? Is there a difference between shows in Manhattan and Brooklyn?
We like the sound guys. Affable, long-haired, dependable fellows. But moving equipment makes death a welcome mistress. Brooklyn shows are always closer to Kendrick, our keyboardists' house, where the party is always on.
Do you think your New York connection shows in your music? If so, how?
New Yorkers like down strokes on the guitar and we do that sometimes. Also all our lyrics are about the empire state building.
Now it's time for some fill-in-the-blank action:
You know you've made it when...
Little Elves carry your equipment and smile at your unwarranted lashings.
It'll be time to pack up the gear for good when...
Phil Collins replaces your original drummer.
I'll never forget the first time I...
got venereal diseases from shakespeare's (gay) carcass.
I'll never forget the first time [insert another band members name here]...
Lexy proclaimed rock and roll dead.
And finally, let's have some fun with word association. Give me your immediate feelings on the following (if you've got no discernable feelings, make something up that wont embarrass you in the morning):
The team whose logo flashes across all of our guitarist's sexual fantasies.
Not quite lords and too many planes above the stadium.
Bridge & Tunnel
Lawn Gailand and Noo Joisey.
I believe in a thing called falsetto
Go to Chevy's for the best 11-dollar Margarita in New York.
Bloomberg/Smoking Ban/Noise Laws
Personal attack on our drummer, Brent.
Questions inspired by movies...
If you will, a brief justification of the ontological necessity of modern man's existential dilemma (in less than 10 words). (Reality Bites)
They like The Harlem Shakes but can't understand the lyrics
What came first, the music or the misery? ( High Fidelity )
A few quickies on the music tip:
Who would be in your ultimate music supergroup, your all-star Olympic team of rock?
Michael Jordan, Frank Sinatra, and every member of La Laque. Also Bill Evans on piano conversing with himself.
If you released a 7" what would you put on the cover?
All seven inches, baby.
What was the first/last album you bought on the day it was released?
Stillwaters Fever Dog
The Harlem Shakes play Pianos tomorrow night, January 27th, with Human Television, Other Passangers and Shade. Music starts at 8:30, Harlem Shakes go on at 11:30. In the meantime check out their song, Disco 5000 here.