Hermit Thrushes’ Drummer Sam Tremble Catches the Hipster Grifter, Or How I Met the Hipster Snitcher


This morning, the Philadelphia City Paper introduced us to the Guy Who Caught The Hipster Grifter. His name is Sam Tremble, he lives in Philly, and he met Kari Ferrell last December when his band played in Brooklyn. Kari is, of course, the young chest-pieced, beard-loving lady who captured Williamsburg’s imagination by talking her way into an administrative position at Vice, using hot-dog pick-up lines to con the credit-card numbers off Union Pool dudes, and spurting out more blood than a stuck pig. In the spectrum of criminals, Ferrell isn’t very well-accomplished; in the scope of Bedford Ave lackeys, she is brunch-banter legend.

Earlier this week, via the usual blog-post pig-piles, word went out that our anti-hero Hipster Grifter was in Philadelphia police custody. Ferrell had texted Animal New York’s Bucky Turco about turning herself in, which was once again not true. Today, Tremble emerged via Clog post, to take full responsibility. His testimony came with photographic evidence and the headline, “I Caught the Hipster Grifter.”

Tremble apparently lured the Hipster Grifter via Chinatown bus to Philly, under the false promise of a trip to Portland. Her apprehension and subsequent $250,000 bail, he says, went down like this:

Officers DeLuca and Green drove me to Chinatown in an unmarked black Explorer. They watched from across the street. When the bus arrived, I waved to Kari to get their attention. I want to say I hugged her, but I was anxious and I don’t remember. I picked her bag out of the luggage storage and started walking behind her. The officers crossed the street and stopped her. I dropped her bag and walked away. They took her aside and questioned her for a moment. She didn’t struggle.

The post-script? Sam Tremble is totally the pants-less drummer from psych-folk fivesome Hermit Thrushes I blogged about after the last CMJ.

Last October, Sam, backpacked and badly in need of a shower, introduced himself at the Fader Fort, during the Phenomenal Handclap Band’s Friday-evening set. He saw me scribbling notes and network-assaulted me, all who do you write for and I see your pen, now use it to write about my band. I did, sorta.

His hook: “We’ve played Todd P shows.” In the end, he was nice enough, and passed along a manila CD-sized envelope with hand-drawn gummy worms and a one-sheet about how Hermit Thrushes use “awkward melodies,” “monophonic vocal doublings” and “unconventional song structures.” Inside was also an illustration of a humpback whale with angel wings.

Who cares, right? I do now. Not even five minutes later, I’m walking out and dude is standing by the exit, his pants down around his ankles. A woman is grinning and taking his picture. Matt of Matt and Kim is witnessing this from about 10 feet away, and shaking his head.

Then, two weeks ago, the Hermit Thrushes’ publicist was awesome enough to include our missed connection in a recent press release for their upcoming full-length Slight Fountain in the band’s official bio:

The band released their debut, Benaki on Single Girl Married Girl in June of 2008, followed by a 7″ record, a cassette tape, four national tours, and a notorious CMJ Marathon appearance involving a pants-less drummer and a Village Voice reporter.

The take-away? Sam Tremble is very, very good at getting his band publicity. Fortunately, they’re pretty good. And hey, look, they’re playing at the Cake Shop on May 15! See you there.