Postcards from the Pit: The Felice Brothers / Yellowbirds / Mail the Horse, Mercury Lounge, 12/31/12

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And now, at long last, the promised pictures from the Felice Brothers’ New Years Eve show. Starting from the beginning, with Mail the Horse:               Yellowbirds were up next; they’re also from Brooklyn, and were an odd little burst of power-pop in the middle of a twangy, fuzzed-out evening:         And then, The Felice Brothers, who played a bunch of crowd favorites (ones I can remember: Frankie’s Gun, Cumberland Gap, Whiskey in my Whiskey, White Limousine, Run, Chicken, Run), surprised us with an appearance by Simone Felice, poured us into the New Year with Take This Bread, ceded their stage to a member of the audience for a (successful!) marriage proposal, and at the end shut the place down with back-to-back covers of Carry That Weight by The Beatles and Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. Carry That Weight I sang along with out of . . . habit, for lack of a better term. It’s the Beatles, I’m not that keen on them but it’s a communal thing to do, rolling with the crowd-swell for the chorus, acknowledging that 2012 was rough and 2013 may not be much better but … Continue reading

Simone Felice: Long May You Run

Simone Felice is a wonder. In 33 years, he seems to have experienced enough highs and lows to fill a few lifetimes, and he still manages to radiate the kind of sunny, loving air one would expect only from someone who has remained innocent of the depth and variety of pain the world has to offer. He came to prominence on the music scene as the drummer and rabble-rouser of the Felice Brothers (“prominence” being a term used loosely here as there are some still ignorant of the glory of the Brothers), given to off-kilter rhythms, whiskey-fueled antics and declarations such as “All ya’ll didn’t think there was any more churches left in New York City, did ya? This is the Felice Brothers Scumbag Church where you can fuck your cousin in the bathroom.” But even in the midst of the backwoods anarchy of the Brothers, the softer light in Simone still came shining through when he’d take the helm on songs like “Your Belly in My Arms” and “Mercy”. When tragedy struck, not for the first time in Felice’s life, in the form of the still-birth of his daughter in the winter of 2008, instead of becoming hardened by … Continue reading