As Pitchfork noted, Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox took the stage with Divine Fits at Terminal West in Atlanta to cover The Ramones’ “53rd & 3rd.” The Oct. 29 show fell right in the middle of Sandy, so Cox appropriately dedicated the song to New Yorkers.
Divine Fits will also perform at a Thursday taping of Letterman; it’ll air on Friday night.
By this point, everyone knows about local musician Sam Brown sitting behind the kit in the indie-rock supergroup Divine Fits, who will return to town Wednesday at the Newport Music Hall. Less known, perhaps, is the Columbus connection of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, which was recently added to the Newport bill (moved from the Basement).
In the early ’90s, sometime around the dissolution of Spencer’s previous band Pussy Galore, he and wife Cristina Martinez joined an incarnation of the off-kilter country/blues/rock Columbus outfit Gibson Bros. with Don Howland (Bassholes) and Jeff Evans (’68 Comeback), who had recently relocated to Memphis. A couple years ago, Howland told me about playing an RL Burnside cassette for Spencer during a Gibson Bros. tour.
“He was stunned by it,” Howland said. “By the time we got to Memphis to record the last album, we were covering an RL Burnside song with Jon singing it.” Spencer went on to record and tour with Burnside, exposing the bluesman to an audience he’d never before reached.
Columbus folks also speak about the influence of Evans’s “twisted-Elvis” onstage persona, and how it shaped Spencer’s approach as a frontman. You know all those self-referential “Blues Explosion!” shout-outs? It was part of the Gibson Bros. schtick very early on. “Gibson Brothers, ladies and gentleman, Gibson Brothers!” Evans would exclaim like a snake oil salesman during live shows.
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Tagged Blues Explosion, CDR, Cheater Slicks, Cold Cave, Divine Fits, Don Howland, Gibson Bros, Jeffrey Evans, Jon Spencer, Khyber Pass, Newport Music Hall, People's Temple, Siltbreeze, tom lax
A week from today, Divine Fits return to Columbus after wowing the Ace of Cups crowd back in August. Tickets are still available for the Newport show. Not only that, but the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion show, previously scheduled at the Basement that same night, has been moved to the Newport, sharing the bill with Divine Fits, Cold Cave and People’s Temple.
This live video (with better audio/video quality than most shaky YouTube vids) of Divine Fits covering Frank Ocean comes via Stereogum. While you’re at it, check out the recent “+1” feature from Pitchfork.tv, too, in which Sam Brown recounts a story from a 1991 Nirvana show:
Britt Daniel, Dan Boeckner and Sam Brown do their thing in the dark.
A Thing Called Divine Fits is out now on Merge, and $5.99 at Amazon.
Divine Fits (Sam Brown! Britt Daniel! Dan Boeckner!)
Ace of Cups
August 6, 2012
Last night Britt Daniel, Dan Boeckner and Sam Brown showed up at the Continental Club in Austin billed as “The Hot Skull,” then played their first ever Divine Fits set, pulling off a 12-song secret show that actually remained pretty secret until just a few minutes before the band took the stage.
Here’s a not-too-shabby live video of “Flaggin a Ride” (via CoS), track 2 on A Thing Called Divine Fits, out Aug. 28 on Merge. Boeckner told me recently that writing and rehearsing “Flaggin” was one of those moments where everything clicked, and he realized this band is a real band — a real and awesome band:
“We did this super-early version of it, which is pretty much what ended up on the record, minus some overdubs. The bass just stays the same through the verses, and the guitar was just this weird, clicky, rhythmic, one-note thing that would shift every now and then. We were writing it and just kept stripping away guitar parts until there are actually no chords. I don’t think I play many chords on any of the songs [on the album], except maybe “Civilian Stripes.” Anyway, we kept stripping “Flaggin a Ride” back and back and back. Finally, it was like, this sounds fucking great. I was really excited about it. There’s no guitar chords in that song. It’s all implied. That made me really happy. When we could play that song all the way through, that was when I was like, yeah…”
In Columbus, the question people have been asking is, how did this band come about, and how did Sam Brown — a guy everyone in the Columbus scene knows is one of the best drummers around — get hooked up with the frontmen of Spoon and Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs?
Posted in Columbus, Music, Video
Tagged austin, Britt Daniel, Continental Club, Dan Boeckner, Divine Fits, Guided by Voices, Handsome Furs, Hot Skull, Sam Brown, Spoon, V-3
Here’s another very short sneak peek into the music of Divine Fits, the Sam Brown/Britt Daniel/Dan Boeckner band that’s coming to Columbus a week from Monday, August 6. Boeckner says the band has a surprise Ohio cover song in store for us…
This video is the work of Alexa Gerrity, who describes it this way:
In this piece, identity and self expression are highlighted, and the energy of the music is accentuated. Inspired by masks and head-gear spanning centuries from ancient Aztec, Mayan, Japanese and Venetian masks, to Saxon armor, these “skins” reveal and conceal the fleeting expressions on the face, culminating in an ecstatic release.
A Thing Called Divine Fits is out Aug. 28 on Merge. Preorder here.
The Britt Daniel/Dan Boeckner/Sam Brown band Divine Fits just announced they’ll play their third show (ever) at Ace of Cups in Columbus on Aug. 6. From the band’s Facebook:
We are in need of some serious release and couldn’t be more jazzed to play in front of living sweating human beings. I’m especially excited to share this experience with people who have been nothing but amazing to me for many years. I can’t think of a better joint than Ace of Cups to kick this off. See you there August 6th. Connections are opening. Don’t miss them. You can DVR the olympics.
Buy yerself a ticket, and get ready to hear songs from the band’s forthcoming A Thing Called Divine Fits, out Aug. 28 on Merge Records.
Divine Fits (Britt Daniel, Dan Boeckner and Sam Brown) has a debut album coming out August 28. In the meantime, stream the single above to get yourself ready.
The full track listing for A Thing Called Divine Fits is:
1. My Love Is Real
2. Flaggin a Ride
3. What Gets You Alone
4. Would That Not Be Nice
5. The Salton Sea
6. Baby Get Worse
7. Civilian Stripes
8. For Your Heart
10. Like Ice Cream