2005_08_arts_doveman.gifDoveman is not just one man, it's a troupe of some of the best musicians this city has to offer. Their music is perfect for a rainy day, with minor chords and mellow musings. Doveman breaks out of the indie rock boundaries to explore the territory of our musical history. Blues, jazz and rock are all delivered in what the band themselves describes as "insomnia pop".

This week Thomas Bartlett took some time out to answer our questions, with a little help from other Doveman member Sam Amidon. On Monday they headline our Movable Hype show (details at the end of the interview).

Let's get this out of the way, where did your band name originate?
My older brother Ezra (and you really ought to watch some of his videos here) made a postcard with my head pasted onto a dove's body.

What is your first conscious memory of living in New York?
Having my piano moved into my apartment by an enormous Russian man who spoke no English, and a black man who told me that he was undercover cop, and so if we heard sirens and he suddenly disappeared, that was because he was on a mission. At one point I took my camera out to document the moving and he told me he couldn't have his picture taken. Paranoid schizophrenic piano movers rule.

What is your favorite/least favorite memory involving New York?
Favorite: Being pulled over by an astonished and irate policeman because Shahzad (our guitarist), was playing the banjo and driving with his feet.

Least favorite: Being stopped and ticketed twice in 24 hours for putting up posters on lamp-posts in the East Village. When I asked the policeman how it could possibly be a problem, when every single lamp-post in the East Village is covered with many layers of posters, he said very seriously, "Those are from the people we haven't caught yet."

What is your favorite place to drink in NYC, and what's the best night to go out?
Oh goodness, we're much too fragile to actually go out and drink. We prefer to hide at home and drink scotch (Islay malts) or bourbon (Woodford Reserve or Booker's).
We are rather fond of Decibel, we have a bit of a thing for the cocktails at the Tabla Bread Bar and at Lovely Day, a deep love for the hot ginger lemonade at Soy, and one member of our band frequents the Pink Pony so consistently that it is often referred to as "the office."

Do you think your New York connection shows in your music? If so, how?
Not in any way that is discernable to me.

Now its time for some fill-in-the-blank action
(handled by Doveman's resident fill-in-the-blank master Sam Amidon)

“You know you’ve made it when….”
you feel funny in your stomach

“It’ll be time to pack up the gear for good when….”
you stop feeling funny in your stomach

“I’ll never forget the first time I….”
was able to look up from my banjo without messing up (it was about 2 months ago)

“I’ll never forget the first time Thomas….”
sang la bamba at the top of his lungs while jumping up and down on the couch and backing himself up on acoustic guitar. he was 6.

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 won’t embarrass you in the morning):
(handled by Doveman's resident free-association master Sam Amidon)

Yankees: what's baseball?
Mets: what's baseball?
Britney: needs a nice person to befriend her
Pitchfork: befriended us a couple weeks ago
Bridge & Tunnel: I don't know what this is, what is this thomas?
Gentrification: guilty of.
Bloomberg: maybe he knows what baseball is?

A few quickies on the music tip

Who would be in your ultimate music supergroup, your all-star Olympic team of rock?
Marc Ribot on guitar, John Paul Jones on bass, Jim Keltner on drums, Abdullah Ibrahim on piano, Garth Hudson on organ, fronted by Billie Holiday, Chan Marshall, or Al Green.

What was the first/last album you bought on the day it was released?
I believe Bjork's "Vespertine" was both the first and last.

What came first, the music or the misery?
The music.

And finally...If Josh Schwartz, creator of the OC, asked your band to perform on his tv show (as Modest Mouse, the Killers and the Walkmen recently have) would you?
We have at least one OC devotee among our ranks. That would be a resounding yes.

Doveman headlines our Movable Hype show on Monday August 22nd. They go on at 10:45.
Check out a selection of live and studio mp3's on their site.