He’s My Brother She’s My Sister seem to invite a broad range of colorful words to describe their music and performances: “flamboyant folk,” “psych-acoustic,” “estranged and glamorous” and “vaudeville-y.” No doubt this is due to their mélange of musical styles, both modern and antique; their eccentric attire and sense of expression, both sincere and theatrical; and, their unique instrumentation, which includes a rhythm section bolstered by a tap dancer. They have shared the stage with Fitz and the Tantrums, The Devil Makes Three, Spindrift, Miranda Lee Richards, The Knitters, The Growlers, Local Natives, Frank Fairfield, Alexander Ebert, and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zero’s. Their first full-length album will be released in late 2012 and they tour continuously throughout the U.S. They joined us for our 5GB series before their show at DC9.
What’s the first gig you ever attended?
The first one I ever bought tickets for was Rancid at Palladium. I was 12 about to turn 13. There were all these punk rockers with mohawks and chains hanging from nostrils. It blew my mind. Then watching people in these frenzied mosh pits race around and smash into one another but then pick each other up. After some consideration I joined in. I had the time of my life bouncing around like a Jim Henson puppet.
What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?
There are so many. Sometimes it’s a tiny room with ten people and everything clicks. Sometimes its infront of thousands of people at some beautiful outdoor festival like High Sierra.
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
Dr. Dog blew me away with their tightness and harmonies at the El Rey. Radiohead at Coachella one year really astonished me with their production and performance. Johnny Greenwoods body swirled like a maniacal snake as he played a solo off of Ok Computer. Will always remember that image.
Spindrift at the first Clean Air Clear Stars was transformative. I’ve seen a couple fabulous Supergrass shows. White Stripes in Prague was also quite mind blowing. We slipped in back stage and scurried past remains of their half eaten dinner onto a balcony where I watched jack White sweat through an hour and a half of blazing modern blues filled with gizmos, wailing slide solos, and anthemic sing alongs with the Czech crowd and myself singing every word. Devendra Banhart at the Orpheum was incredible. Rachel was asleep (I took her as a present) as fans stormed the stage and erupted in a huge dance party. Security came out and shut down the show after several minutes of raging bliss. It was quite a scene. I still have no idea how she was able to sleep through all the ruckus.
What is the gig you would most like to play?
I’d love to support Jack White on tour. He is a hero and an interesting individual. I think we’d relate and have a great time. Plus I imagine he would dig what we aim to do with our art. I think we are cut from a similar cloth.
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
Like a festival?
Bob Marley & The Wailers (original lineup) headlines. T. Rex. David Bowie doing Ziggy Stardust. Donavan. Neil Young. The Clash. The Nerves (with Peter Case). The Smiths. Joy Division. CAN. The Zombies. Fela Kuti. Hallelujah Chicken Run. The Kinks. Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd. Al Green. Etta James. James Brown. Black Keys. Jack White. Supergrass. Nick Drake. Gorillaz. Dr. dog. Spindrift. The Growlers. He’s My Brother She’s My Sister (of course). Amanda Jo Williams. Belle and Sebastian. The Raveonettes and a bunch of others. This list just started getting way too long. It’s turned into a 5 day festival. How am I gonna even pay all these bands.
Catch He’s My Brother She’s My Sister, Oct. 27th at DC9