Friday, July 8, 2011

Artist's Cookbook: Queens-Style Stuffed Turkey Burgers Courtesy of The Miami

When I opened my email on July 2nd I had a new message titled "Attn New Music" from a band called the Miami. I sort of rolled my eyes thinking they were some overproduced hip-hop band that wouldn't interest me in the least. I mean the Miami? When I think of Miami, I think of a culture of clubs, djs, celebrities, beaches and consumerism. But there's another side of Miami, one that is seedier and dangerous, a place where Kim Kardashian won't go after dark (or probably at all). This is much closer to what The Miami is all about.

To start with The Miami is Jesse Alexander and Alex Beaulieu (one Queens and one Upstate New York resident) and they don't do hip hop. Their music can best be described as a melee between experimental blues, folk and noise punk. It is littered with synths and pianos, guitars and drums, vocals and percussion all seemingly sent through a cheap transistor radio. As a result, the grittiness of the instruments comes to the forefront while Jesse's emotionally tinged lyrics rise and fall somewhere in the back.
The band's first act, an album released in April called I''ll Be Who You Want Me to Be, was crafted by taking African-American slave songs, gospel hymns and spirituals and reinterpreting them through the eyes of "two middle-class, secular, well-educated college kids." For their second act, which the Miami is currently in the process of recording, the band plans to focus their reinterpretive spirits on slave songs and songs from the Confederacy penned during the Civil War. The album, tentatively titled "New Design," has no release date as of yet. Here are two tracks, "Strange Fruit" and "I Shall Not Be Moved" from I'll Be Who You Want Me to Be:

Between (or around) recording their two albums the band also created the soundtrack for a short documentary, entitled Dots Into Lines, by New York based filmmaker Darcie Wilder.

To accompany their debut LP and soundtrack and to kill time until the next album, The Miami suggest grilling up a Queens-Style Stuffed Turkey Burger.