The Joy of Cookin'

If you accidentally came across the video for Little Joy's "Next Time Around" -- grainy Super-8 shots of boys with beards and girls singing in Portuguese -- you might think it captured some long-forgotten band from the '70s. Instead, Little Joy is the latest Strokes offshoot, formed by that group's drummer Fabrizio Moretti, along with Los Hermanos' singer/guitarist Rodrigo Amarante, and Moretti's girlfriend Binki Shapiro. The band began thanks to a chance meeting between Moretti and Amarante at a music fest in Lisbon and then at recording sessions for Devendra Banhart's Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, which led to recording sessions and the eventual release of last year's eponymous disc on Rough Trade. Much like the video, Little Joy sounds like it's from an earlier era, full of the same kind of boozy singing and breezy melodies as Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime." Amarante mumbles in a mushyheaded voice that's similar to the Strokes' Julian Casablancas, but Little Joy's music is far mellower, full of bossa nova rhythms and Shapiro's occasional sweet crooning. As Jack Dishel -- Moretti's replacement for this tour while he records with the Strokes -- says, Little Joy plays "sweet ball breeze music" which is "what you hear when you're on the beach with your shorts open, trying to figure out what went wrong in the city." Well put.
Wed., June 3, 8 p.m., 2009

 
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