Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tim Fite

Sometimes, it can take a long time to "get" an artist and while I'm still not sure if I completely "get" Tim Fite, I do enjoy his music these days.

About two years ago, I saw Fite open for The Pernice Brothers in the small room at Higher Ground. For that one, there was about seven of us there. Quite a disappointing turnout.

Now, before the show, I knew absolutely nothing about Fite. Then he came out, dressed as an anachronistic southern traveling salesman in his white suit and slicked back hair, and immediately got involved with the audience by trying too hard to get the seven of us up close to the stage. It's awkward enough to be at a show with so few people but to then have some odd looking guy force you to ignore casual social barriers by goading us to huddle together in an otherwise spacious room, it was awkward to the point of being irritating.

Perhaps that's why I had a negative reaction to the guy. However, something stuck with me from his set. I think it might have been the catchiness of a few of his songs but, more likely, it was the uniqueness of his performance that left an impression.

Fite had one other musician with him and then a large collection of sound samples that he sang/played along to. However, to enhance the show, he had a video screen set up with an image of himself playing the recorded pieces and to top it off, Fite was sitting in a wheelchair while playing the instruments in the video. That's certainly a memorable visual.

You can see an example of what I'm talking about in this YouTube concert clip from a show in Brooklyn around that same time. The sound quality is horrible but you can see Fite singing along to himself in the video.

Well, it stuck with me and I eventually bought his album Gone Ain't Gone. After giving it a bunch of listens, I came to enjoy the quirkiness and unorthodox nature of his songs. Some of the tunes are still too unstructured for me but when he hits on a good melody, the guy deserves to be a hot topic in the blogosphere.

Tim Fite | No Good Here | Buy

Tim Fite | Away From the Snakes | Buy

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