I first saw Kiss Me Krakow frontman Jeremy Mix perform at Arlene's Grocery sometime last fall. I was there to do a review on the band Farewell Flight from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. After I saw them and did an interview, I hung around to see who might be playing next.
It turned out to be Jeremy's band, and by the end of his set I was really glad I had stayed. Hearing his band was just one of those serendipitous moments in life that is so cool. Something in the sound of the band caught my attention and held it. The comparison I made at the time by sort of putting elements of their look and sound together in my mind was to imagine The Rolling Stones with a sort of southern influence being fronted by Kurt Cobain — okay, it sounds strange but that was the image.
After the show I talked to Jeremy and got a copy of his CD to listen to, planning to do a review. I found Jeremy to be a really likable dude. He has that sort of laid back, easygoing personality and ready grin that I associate with the south and makes him fun to hang out with. He projects that same personality on stage and both times I saw him perform the crowd seemed to conect well with him and his music.
I liked the CD that he gave me that night a lot, enough so that when I was on Biff Naked's tour bus a few weeks later and we were talking about promising bands from the New York City area I gave his CD to Biff to listen to. But I noticed that there was a difference between the CD and the live show. The songs were the same but the live show included two backup singers, Celia Chavez and Julia Brown.
Celia and Julia aren't present on the CD that Jeremy gave me that night and so I got to hear the band both with and without the girls. While it is true that I liked Jeremy's music a lot on the CD, I felt that having the girls doing backup really put the icing on the cake for the band. They gave it that special "something" that really took the band to the next level. Both Celia and Julia have music careers independent of the band and I was pleased to see that they were still around when I went to the debut performance of the Jeremy Mix band now called Kiss Me Krakow.
Kiss Me Krakow seems to be taking the familliar Jeremy Mix sound in a slightly new direction. On the band's Myspace page you can hear their first song which has the backup vocals and harmonies that I wanted my readers to be able to hear before I wrote this review. If you go to Jeremy's own Myspace page you can hear a couple of his original songs. I like "Even Blonds Get The Blues", the best of the few that are there, but all of the songs are worth a listen and have Jeremy's unique style evident in them.
Jeremy is transplanted to New York City from northern Florida and I am assuming that it is from there that he draws the musical influence that gave his original material that little southern twang that is so familliar to many music fans. Even there, there was a sort of bluesiness to his music and that, coupled with the girls' backups, made me think of a southern version of the Stones.
The last time I saw them perform, Arlene's was pretty much packed with Kiss Me Krakow fans, one of them Jeremy's father, who had made the trip up from Florida for the debut. As luck would have it the father was standing right in front of us during the show. Jeremy took a moment to point his father out to the audience and afterward dad turned toward the bar with a proud smile and I heard him mutter "I keep telling that boy there is no future in this business." From what I've seen though, I have to disagree. I think that Jeremy is very talented and with this incarnation of the band I see a very bright future for him in the music business.Powered by Sidelines