SMITHFIELD BARGAIN "WARM WHISPERS"

LIVE AND UNPLUGGED FROM THE SHAKESPEARE BRIDGE

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Since starting this site a few short months ago, I’ve been continually surprised by the incredibly creative music that has sprung up around LA. Coming off a near decade long musical void, with very little new or interesting, many these newer artists are simply taking the best of the later half of the twentieth century and updating it to forge an exciting new sound for the millennia. Smithfield Bargain is one of the few reaching back even further.

I first discovered Smithfield Bargain while going to check out former Gorillacoustic performer bikos’ show at the Cinema Bar a few weeks back. I walked in halfway through their incredibly fun set and was immediately hooked. Fueled by singer Sri Panchalam’s strong jazzy vocals and catchy rhythms courtesy of brothers Daniel and David Landau, the trio turned out a series of expertly crafted tunes that harkened back to a simpler time. If you’re in LA, I highly recommend seeking them out.

Here’s what Sri, Daniel and David had to say about thier music, influences, favorite Shakespeare plays and more:

GORILLACOUSTIC: What does the world need to know about Smithfield Bargain?

SRI PANCHALAM: Smithfield Bargain is three friends who love music and making music together more than they will ever be able to explain in words. When you come see us, you really get a piece of our hearts (and our silly sense of humor)! We love to laugh and talk with each other on stage, and we love to laugh and talk with you! It's an old school show for a new time.

DANIEL LANDAU: The world needs to make adequate preparations for Smithfield Bargain to enter their everyday thoughts. (evil laugh)

DAVID LANDAU: We are the band most like and unlike everything you've heard before. You won't know if you like it because everyone is hot or because the music is really good.

GA: What are some of the old tyme influences peppered into the musical stew that is Smithfield Bargain?

SRI: For me, Western music-wise, lots of old school jazz and folk (especially vocalists) and musical composers - Billie Holiday, Rosemary Clooney, Keely Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Edith Piaf, Patsy Cline, Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin. Also, lots of old school South Asian vocalists - Asha Bhonsle, Begum Akhtar, Noor Jehan, Mohammad Rafi.

DANIEL: I'll take from your special spelling of time that you are hip and also with it. Blackstreet, video games, Nat King Cole, Nick Drake (maybe old time is before our time?)

DAVID: We have a bit of old spice, new spice, dune spice, scary spice, and a posh sound without an exorbitant price spice.

GA: You do a fun cover of "Mortal Combat" live. What video game characters have inspired you the most and why?

SRI: Alas! No hand-eye coordination makes Sri a very poor video game player, but having a kid brother meant I still had to play. Any of the characters from Soul Caliber would work. Button-mashing is a fierce art form and life lesson. Hit everything all at once and curse loudly, and you're bound to at least cause the opposition to stop and wonder what the heck it is exactly you're doing. And then it's KO time! Hooray!

DANIEL: Kirby. He can get his enemy's powers.

DAVID: Chun Li from Street Fighter II inspired me to be a hot Asian girl. Sonic inspired somersaults.

GA: Since you're playing on the Shakespeare Bridge, I have to ask... favorite Shakes play?

SRI: Now you're talkin' Charlie! I was, in part, a British Lit. major in undergrad and am an otherwise voracious reader. *brandishes a quill* Art thou ready?! Comedies - A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night. Tragedies - King Lear, Othello. And you know, I'm just not as hot on the histories? Richard, Henry, John, blech...! And dare I mention the sonnets (even though it's clearly out of the scope of this question)? I dare! Sonnet 73 is a classic. Sonnet 130 is also fantastic. To this day, I can't decide whether 130 is sweet or exceptionally rude. Maybe a little bit of both. Oh Shakespeare!

DAVID: I enjoy Lear immensely, as well as Macbeth, mostly because I'm a sucker for depressing, great art.

DANIEL: My favorite Shakespeare play would probably be a recently unearthed play - 'Romeo & Juliet Part III: This time it's personal' which is currently in production and scheduled to be released sometime next year. Directed by Michael Bay.

GA: What other local band or bands (besides yourselves of course) should people be checking out?

SRI: bikos, MC Matre, The Big Bounce Theory, The Brothers Landau, Carnage Asada, MC Good Will, Krysis (the lady singer-songwriter, not the rapper or band), Asura, Ana Caravelle, Sean Cahill, Things from a Thief, Alina Cutrono, Oh Yeah the Future, Owl, The Body Parts, The Hereafter, Imitation Electric Piano.

GA: If you could do another gorillacoustic performance anywhere else in the world, where would you do it?

SRI: On top of a passenger train in India like this Bollywood movie. I'd settle though for a shoot on top of a giant oxcart rolling through the countryside or one of these houseboats in Kerala, India, or starting a loud street session in a village, like this one.

DANIEL: Maldives or Seychelles.

DAVID: I would want to do it right after a little kid gets made fun of, then hang out only with the little kid.

GA: Would you rather be a talkative mime or a sad clown?

SRI: Talkative mime. Did you see my Shakespeare response? Let's not fight destiny.

DANIEL: Probably the former, just because I could go back and forth as I pleased. Sad clowns always look sad - even when they're smiling.

DAVID: I hate clowns, so I would definitely be sad if I was one. Mimes all the way.

You can hear more of Smithfield Bargain and find out where they’re playing next at one of these fine social networking sites:

www.myspace.com/smithfieldbargain
www.facebook.com/smithfieldbargain

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