Kale Force: Sound Bites Interviews The Hairs


The Hairs
is the latest muisc project from Kevin Alvir who has previously masterminded NYC indiepop bands The Lil’ Hospital and Knight School. Even though the band is pretty new, The Hairs already have a 7″ on Portland’s fine Magic Marker Records that contains four scrappy, charming songs. One of which, “Duh x 12,” has gotten some attention for its video which was directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp who made internet sensation Marcel the Shell.

MP3The Hairs – Duh x 12

The Hairs play Week Two of the Sound Bites Series which happens this Sunday (July 3) down at the Fulton Stall Market down by the Seaport. The band is on at 3PM sharp. Trains are funky on the weekends so come early, grab a pizza bianca from Grandaisy Bakery or some breakfast radishes from Migliorelli Farms (right by the Sound Bites stage) or an amazing hamburger from NY Farm 2 Door. You can chill out and hear me spin tunes from 2PM till the band starts.

Kevin was kind enough to answer some food-related questions. Judging by his answers, I’d invite him to dinner anytime.

You’ll be playing at the Fulton Stall markets. What’s your favorite vegetable?
I wish I could say kohlrabi, but I think it’s kale. There’s something real satisfying about kale. For some reason, I need kale all the time once I do have it. It goes well with everything – pastas and meats. Also if used in salads, it’s really exotic and delicious. I made caesar salad and used kale instead – and it’s so addictive.

What’s your least favorite?
Green or red peppers [mine too, especially green. – ed]. I just feel like they’re everywhere and in everything. They just don’t taste special anymore. I mean, they’re good but to have it in something you eat everyday…

Has food ever influenced your songwriting?
YES. I always imagine my songs to be a chicken pot pie of sound and feeling. Food does seem to make it into my lyrics. It’s a part of life. We need it to live.

Any good food-related band anecdotes?
When we practice as the Hairs, morale goes up when we have snacks like Pretzel Chips + Hummus and Wine. We practice at Patty’s house — and occasionally she’ll make dinner. I guess nothing terribly intriguing. But I am always interested in food preparation and I usually stand with my mouth hanging open watching her make blackened catfish or creamed spinach or potato salad with arugula w/ mustard and anchovie paste. Patty’s a great cook. Her food is prepared like a Paul McCartney song.

NYers, as a rule, don’t cook much. What about you?
I dunno — ocasionally? There was a time when I was so into cooking that I just craved my own cooking. But it’s all ebb and flow. Lately, it’s a lot of takeout or eating on the run — life just gets busy. If I lived in a more sedate town, I’d want to cook more.

Do you have a signature dish?
I can’t tell if it’s my bf’s or my own….but making kale salad with tahini dressing and some soy sauce + other fresh vegetables. I make a browned chickpea with carmelized onions & garlic with wilted kale, I can eat that everyday. A fried egg with white rice and kimchi (from a jar, of course). Frittatas with off beat cheeses and vegetables.

Where do you eat in Brooklyn?
I love eating in Fort Greene and/or Cobble Hill. All those restaurants are pretty top notch.

What’s your cheap eats go-to joint? What about when you’re willing to splurge a little?
Any Banh Mi joint is great for a cheap meal. Chinatown Manhattan is great for cheap eating. But when I want to splurge, I think my favorite place is Brooklyn Public. The food there is great. Just huge portions of the best nachos, best burgers, but I usually go for their mussels & fries plate. Best Bloody Mary’s too!

What’s your go-to hangover food?
It seems to always be eggs and potatoes. More specifically an omelette with french fries doused in hot sauce, preferably sriracha sauce.

What food would you imagine The Hairs’ music being paired with?
I feel Hairs music is like a chicken pot pie. I see it paired with pickled vegetables and buttered corn bread. Or else fried chicken on a bed of mixed greens with a vietnamese vinegarette.

Introducing the Sound Bites Summer Series 2011


I’m pleased to announce that Sound Bites (aka me) has teamed with the Seaport Music Festival/River to River folks and the Fulton Stall Market to bring you another free series of indie rock shows this summer. In a slightly different form.

Unlike last year, which took place on Wednesdays on the big Seaport Stage, this Summer’s series will take place on Sunday afternoons so hopefully that means you won’t have to sneak out of work to attend. More changes: this year the shows will be in one of the stalls in the Fulton Stall Market, playing amongst the many farmers and purveyors. The Fulton Stall Market is now in it’s third year and is worth a visit even without jangly pop music providing a soundtrack.

We’re doing four consecutive Sundays beginning June 26. The entertainment is as follows:

JUNE 26: MY TEENAGE STRIDE
One of the great Brooklyn bands of the last seven years or so, My Teenage Stride continue to crank out clever, tuneful indiepop. The band are fresh from a performance at Spain’s Primavera Sound Festival where, I’m told, the audience loved them so much that they continued to chant their name throughout Pulp’s reunion performance. (They may have also been chanting “My Legendary Girlfriend” but with thick accents who can really say?) MTS are working on a new record as we speak. Do I detect a Calatan influence here?

MP3: My Teenage Stride – Cast Your Own Shadow

JULY 3: THE HAIRS
You may know Kevin Alvir from his previous bands L’il Hospital and Knight School. If so you know what to expect: scratchy, scrappy, slightly snarky, super-catchy. The Hairs are pretty new so they only have one single out so far which you can get in physical form from Magic Marker records or digitally below. Check out the video too which was directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp who made internet sensation Marcel the Shell.

MP3: The Hairs – Duh x 12

JULY 10: pow wow!
A copy editor’s nightmare but the name — all lower-case with an exclamation point — suits pow wow! well. They’re the little band that could. The band caught fire back in 2008 but then checked out for a year to regroup and figure out their sound. Not that it’s a totally new direction — a little less ’60s soul and a little more C-86 — but I like it, based on the one new song that’s been circulating.

MP3: pow wow! – It’s Not That Easy

JULY 17: HOSPITALITY
After two years of poking along (and having lives or something I guess), Brooklyn trio Hospitality have finally gotten around to making their debut album which is just about finished. So I’m told. Hospitality are winsome and charming and they can rock too, don’t let them fool you. When I found out I was doing this series again this year, they were the first band I thought of.

MP3: Hospitality – Liberal Arts

The fun begins at 2PM with yours truly DJing for an hour and then bands are at 3PM. No pool parties this year, so what else you got to do? Come out, enjoy some local indiepop, buy some vegetables, check out the tall ships. It’ll be fun. It’s free! Hope to see you there.