February 25, 2011

Fitz & The Tantrums - "MoneyGrabber" (single)

I learned fairly quickly that when Fitz throws a tantrum, you best stop, drop, and listen. Fresh off the heels of their Songs For A Break Up Vol. 1 EP (still lovin' that album art), I heard "MoneyGrabber" (free mp3) off of their new full-length Pickin' Up The Pieces and instantly dug it... hard. F&TT have this quasi neo indie retro soul thing going on that's utterly refreshing, makes me want to chair-dance and shimmy-shake at my computer, and is such a nice stark contrast against all the downer music that usually rules my wintry airwaves. This single particularly held my interest long enough to want to check out the rest of their LP. To say this shit is Motown-influenced is only partially accurate. I'd rather say it borrows from Motown, but then takes it one step further in another direction adding a little sumthin' sumthin' of their own. Plus, I really love the colors in this stylish music video. It all works and temporarily distracts from Fitz's anachronistic hairstyle.

Upon first listen, two things came to mind. 1) The first thing I said to myself was "Man, these guys must be from L.A. or something." Lo and behold I was right, except this time I didn't half-jokingly roll my eyes like I usually do at the thought of La La Land-based bands. 2) The next thing I thought was how I wanted to immediately share this "new find" with Awmercy because it totally reminded me of something I suspected he especially would go nuts over. I was feeling particularly cocky and it was high-time I recommended something new and awesome to him first for a change (instead of the usual other way around). Much to my consternation, I did a search and, of course, that jerk has already mentioned Fitz a zillion times before on QuickCrit. What was I thinking?! My musical hubris rests indefinitely until next time.

Postscript: If there is a slight chance that this music falls under QuickCrit's ever-exclusive and much ballyhooed "stripper soul" genre, I am not entirely certain. Nightrain, please do feel free to advise.


awmercy said...

Ha! Yeah, Fitz & The Tantrums are a lot of fun.

It's a great song, but it's definitely not funky or slinky enough to be stripper soul.

A distinction of style, not quality.

Mona said...

I find it really interesting how he can manage such sass appeal as a dude, and I kind of mean that in the least pejorative sense possible.

Oh, I kinda suspected it wasn't "stripper soul." I just wanted an excuse to type it since I find that funny.

Mona said...

PS - Have you read this interview? You might enjoy his take on the "architecture of tone." Even I am surprised I liked his desire/reasoning/choice to write music with very little guitar (particularly cuz I'm all about that stuff). I hope they tour the West Coast soon!

awmercy said...

Thanks for the link to the interview. I hadn't seen it.

I've missed them a couple time on the West Coast so I have no excuse for not seeing them live. It's a shame since I generally think retro soul bands are best enjoyed live. Nest time, I swear.

Mona said...

Oh speaking of, did you read that Portugal. The Man is coming to PDX next month? No SoCal dates sadly, but I have half a mind to head up to their San Fran show to see what the fuss is about already. I can't make Fitz's SoCal dates either, so I may just have to try to sneak into both bands' showcases at SXSW.. somehow!? Something tells me it's worth it.

ps - You're right. I saw Maxwell (with a then relatively unknown Alicia Keys as an opener) play his brand of neo-soul with a live band yeaaaars ago and he's gotta be the best performer I've ever seen. He sang, he'd slink around on stage, it was incredible. Shortly post-show we heard a rumor he was gay and my sister and I were depressed for a week, ha. To this day Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite is one of my favorite neo-soul albums of all time. I highly recommend it (only if you're unfamiliar, or don't already hate it)!