JEFF the Brotherhood
Thursday, March 31
Santos Party House
Last night at Santos, Nashville’s JEFF the Brotherhood reunited with frequent New York (via New Jersey) bill-mates Screaming Females. In April 2009, the two bands put out a split seven-inch together and started to gain attention (and not just from Ted Leo’s endless stumping). Since then, both have steadily spread the gospel of their live shows, JEFF especially–according to their agent’s website, the band “clocked in over 230 shows in the past year”–and are about to spend a month on the road with the Greenhornes (a/k/a two-thirds of the Raconteurs). JEFF is also playing Death by Audio in Brooklyn this Saturday, with Heavy Cream, X-Ray Eyeballs and yet another new band with the word “beach” in its name.
JEFF come genetically packaged as an adorable shaggy-headed hipster duo–they’re brothers and they’ve been playing together since one was nine and the other was 11. Their style is what Urban Outfitters wishes it could be and the music they play is easy to love, vintage three-string party rock somewhere on the continuum between the Ramones and Black Sabbath. Yesterday they requested the DJ, Thanksgiving Brown, play Rob Zombie’s “Dragula” preceding their set. The crowd, delighted by this only partly ironic selection, started chanting “JEFF!” and the brothers, Jamin (drums) and Jake (vocals, guitar), bounded out. The siblings seemed a little tired (see: 230 shows/year), but everyone was pleased. They tour with a fog machine now, which gives their show that extra dramatic touch–like being at the bad kids’ drug party in an anti-LSD after-school special.
Siren-alums Screaming Females specialize in “blunt, thundering, grudgingly melodic Jersey-basement punk.” The fact that singer/guitarist Marissa Patnernoster was wearing something that looked like a Hasidic woman’s nightgown last night somehow just made all the wailing and snarling she routinely does, even more badass. You know how she does.
Juiceboxxx is a tenacious skinny white rapper from Milwaukee. He’s been a regular on the DIY circuit for years, a consummate performer with more than a little crazy in his eyes and boundless energy, constantly doing power kicks and otherwise jumping around while he raps. He amps crowds, sort of like a motivational speaker, and while unfamiliar spectators don’t completely get Juice’s p.o.v.–“Are these guys for real?” an audience member asked a friend–they seem to enjoy him anyway. This makes him ideal as an opener, the slot at which he’s remained throughout his career. Mid-show, he told the DJ to pause the music so he could intro the next set. “DO YOU WANT TO GO TO THE NEXT LEVEL?,” Juiceboxxx yelled.