Don’t hog the hummus: Sound Bites interviews Habibi

It’s that time of year again — well a month later than usual — and the 2012 Sound Bites Series kicks off this Sunday (8/5) down at the Fulton Stall Markets with Habibi, one of Brooklyn’s most promising new bands. Barely a year old, these four girls make irresistible pop informed by ‘60s girl groups but have a dreamlike style all their own. The band just finished a tour with Sub Pop band King Tuff, and are currently working on their debut album. In the meantime you can check this track out:

Habibi will be on at 3PM sharp and I’ll be spinning tunes beforehand. Like I usually do, I asked the band about food and singer Rahill Jamalifard was kind enough to respond:

You’ll be playing at the Fulton Stall markets. What’s your favorite vegetable? And why?

Okra, my granmda in iran makes a killer okra stew, it’s such an underrated and underappreciated vegetable, and people never make it right, but when its made so that its still firm but cooked and doesnt fall apart when you fork it, its delicious.

What’s your least favorite and why?

I love em all, but least favorite…celery, its boring. Sorta like eating crunchy water.

Has food ever influenced your songwriting?

Food hasnt directly influenced my writing per se, but, food absolutely makes Habibi’s world go round.

Any good food-related band anecdotes?

Haha, yes all our good stories are food related! One we recently revisited and laughed about was a show we played at Johnny Brendas in Philly. They were kind enough to bring out a generous sized hummus plate for us and King Tuff before our show. The King Tuff boys hadn’t come into the bar yet and we basically bodied the whole thing and did some heavy heavy damage, to the point where the manager asked us kindly to please leave some for the other band. We laughed inside but cried a little too. Oh and later that night we all ate two cheese stakes each. Ha, we love food.

You recently toured with King Tuff. What kind of eater is Kyle?

Kyle loves food too, he yelled at us for getting the appropriate ‘cheese whiz’ on our Philly cheese steaks. And he sent a burger back once because they forgot his avocado! Haha, he’s serious about food!

Who is the best cook in the band? Who is the finickiest eater?

The best cook? Shoot, we all cook, and boast about our cooking but have never sampled each others, so lemme get back to you on that. And the finickiest would definitely be me. I’m annoyingly picky.

Where do you eat in Brooklyn?

I cook a lot at home, but if im not cooking at home, i really like Chimu in Williamsburg, which is a Peruvian joint with delicious chicken or the Tortilla Factory off the Jefferson L stop, I havent been to in a few years but im sure still remains decent, and Song in park slope, its cheap delicious Thai food. We all just went to this argentinian restaurant for Erin, our bass player’s birthday. It was called El Almicen in Williamsburg. I wouldnt recommend it though, unless you want four bites of tuna for 27 dollars.

What’s your cheap eats go-to joint? What about when you’re willing to splurge a little?

Yes! Go to Punjab on Houston. It’s an Indian cabbie spot thats cheap and delicious. $2 for a heaping plate of food! And if I’m splurging, well… I cant really afford to splurge but i really like this Mexican restaurant thats a bit pricey over by st. Marks called La Palapa, they have these different homemade salsas that will twist your panties in a knot and a really great and thorough dinner menu. Oh man and Ariana Afghan Kebab House in Hell’s Kitchen, their Kabuli Palow is amazing!

What’s your go-to hangover food?

I dont really get hangovers, i barely drink. But i definitely like to drink fresh made juices all day after a night of drinking.

What food would you imagine Habibi’s music being paired with?

Habibi’s music would be paired with tagine! Exotic, flavor full, rich and saucy. Yum, now im hungry!!!


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