Thursday, June 16, 2005

Pagoda

Last night I went to see Michael Pitt's band Pagoda at Pianos with JFro. Neither one of us had heard much of Pagoda but knew Michael's music from movies he's been in, so we were both excited. We got there early to catch up, since I hadn't seen him since he got back from Paris.

A bit after 9 Michael took the stage without the rest of the band. For some reason he was playing solo that night. We were both really impressed. He played just one song with a bassist in the middle of the set - the rest was him singing and playing guitar. His music obviously draws a bit on Nirvana - a too-easy comparison in light of his recent role in Last Days - but is not a Nirvana ripoff by any stretch. Really what Pitt's music shares with Kurt's is a sense of woundedness, a vulnerability willing to expose itself without fear. It makes sense, since one of the best things about he brings to on-camera performance is a sense of vulnerable openness.

I talked to Michael and to his girlfriend Jamie for a bit after the show. Jamie is also a musician here in New York; she and Michael live in Brooklyn. Next Wednesday the full band will be playing (again at Pianos); Michael asked me to come by, and I think I probably will. Michael is one of the very coolest people I (don't) know, someone who's had the chance to work with (and/or befriend) Bertolucci, Eva Green, Asia Argento, JT Leroy, John Cameron Mitchell, and Gus van Sant. I love his movie choices and his quest for artistic authenticity in whatever medium he works in. It's exciting to think there are (more) people like that working in movies. Jamie was really cool and friendly, and I'd like to hear what her work is like. I know she plays solo around the city and that she's looking to put together a band. I walked away from the show with a CD of some Pagoda demo recordings, which I like a lot. I wish I had pictures of the show, but neither Jon or I had a camera. The Modern Age has some photos from their show on June 1st. Also, The Fader has a great photo of James Murphy with Jamie and Michael and 2 people I don't know (that's Jamie to Michael's right).

Next week Pagoda is playing (again at Pianos) with Saints and Lovers and a "VERY Special Guest," and the tix are $18. I haven't found out who the VERY Special Guest will be, but I may go just to find out. And Saints and Lovers is obviously terrific, so maybe I'd be going anyway.

3 comments:

DANIELA said...

Please, could you please tell me the name of the song which Michael Pitt plays in "Last Days". I´ve searched a lot but I haven´t find it yet. I would really appreciate it if you tell me the name or where do I find it. Thanks a lot!

dave said...

Mike plays versions of 2 songs in the film. One is called "Fetus," the other is "Death to Birth." Search my blog for other posts on Pagoda, I put up some links to mp3s of a demo he gave me a while back. both those songs are on the demo as well as on the recently released Pagoda album.

dave said...

a clarification: the versions of the song in the film are not the same as the ones on the demo or album.