Free Blood on the Manhattan-Brooklyn divide

“In New York you [used to have] two kinds of parties,”

former !!! percussionist/vocalist John Pugh told Pitchforkmedia last week,

“a Manhattan party and a Brooklyn party.

“A Manhattan party was usually at a really fancy club with bottle service, but the music was always pretty amazing. They’d just have top-notch DJs, and you would go there and kind of get an education in the history of New York dance music. But the thing is, there was a dress code and this feeling that if you showed up without having coated yourself in cologne you were kind of a black sheep, so you left feeling kind of bummed out.

“But then you go to a Brooklyn party and it was at the other end of the spectrum; you would have this anything-goes attitude, and everyone would be sweaty and hadn’t bathed in weeks. It was really fun, except the sound system was always busted and the music was kind of on fire– people would just be playing ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ over and over again and getting totally shit-faced.”

Pugh has it down. That’s exactly how life used to be. (Still is, far as I could tell on my last trip to the City.)

“So, when we started throwing parties at our place, we wanted to be kind of a marriage of the two ideas. And when I first started writing songs for Free Blood, I was thinking of this marriage.”

Pugh has just left !!! to concentrate on Free Blood. I wrote about them briefly many months ago. I was so looking forward to seeing them play with Radio 4 at the closing night party for Brooklyn club North 6, but apparently, someone forgot to pay the electric bill, or scheduled the closing too close to the end of the lease; either way, the lights went out early the day of the show, and never came back on again. If Pugh is to be believed, that would never have happened in Manhattan.

While I’m stealing pitchfork’s quotes, I may as well steal their MP3 link, too. You can listen to Free Blood‘s “Quick and Painful” as remixed by the ubiquitous Hot Chip, here.

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November 2021