Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing new and emerging MP3s from local talent. Last time, we gave you the exclusive video of Motel Motel’s “Coffee.”
The Beets are one of the most underappreciated bands in New York, especially since they should be riding high on the wavves of the whole “lo-fi” thing. Their unison-singing style is more joyous than a sea of Reatards and their mucky 8-track recordings make Blank Dogs seem like Rick Rubin. But their exact brand of pop bliss is harder to pin down: It’s somewhere between the Soft Boys-style rapture-pop, the Clean-style kiwi kraziness and the riot-folk of This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb. “Don’t Fit In My Head” is the lead track on a colorful 7-inch just released by Captured Tracks. The cover describes the track as “A song about ideas, and using a drill and a couple M-80s to get them out” and comes equipped with appropriately brain-exploding cover art by official “fourth member” Matthew Volz. The two-minute track it houses is equally explosive, if not with a bit of melancholy, trepidation and tape hiss.
How do you guys get your trademark, washed-out sound?
The secret is tape, my friend. The songs on our first record were recorded on an 8-track in [guitarist/vocalist] Juan [Waters]’s house live. You definitely get a different sound when you record on tape. We do some overdubs here and there, but for the most part it’s all live, one take, BAM! For the 7″ we recorded it with Scott Rosenthal on reel-to-reel. In our experience with using computers to record, there is definitely something that doesn’t come through in the recording.
How do you guys practice your harmonies?
Harmonies? We don’t really practice harmonies. At practice we decide what sounds better, a deep voice or a higher voice, and that’s about it. We sing a lot in unison, and if some harmonizing comes through it’s usually impromptu.
What’s the most interesting show you’ve ever played in New York?
Probably playing the Cynthia Rowley party for fashion week at Gold Bar. Cynthia is the fucking best and let invite a bunch of friends to the swank party. Two songs into the second set, the dude who runs the place said we had to stop because it was too loud for the neighbors. We played another anyway and he rushed back to grab our mics and shut us down. Our loyal amigos greeted him with shouts of “fascist!” which slowly turned into shouts of “fashion!” It was an awesome scene. Also we got to take a picture with Mickey Rourke!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 21, 2009