Backseat Beat is a video series highlighting indie musicians and the city by the Bay. Armed with Flip cameras, we interview bands in the back seat of our â€˜83 Volvo as we spirit them away to unexpected, forgotten corners of San Francisco, where they plug in outdoors to play a few tunes. Each bandâ€™s performance transforms these urban spots from their anonymous day to day existence into surreal, magical backdrops.
It was supposed to be a jokeâ€”a fake reggae band backed by a stage full of nonmusicians drinking beer on couches. But somehow, along the way, the joke band became a living breathing organism, which itself became an unholy cross between a party band supergroup and an international exchange program.
Still Flyin’ may be the only band in the world for which a) you’ll never see the same line up twice, and b) it doesn’t matter because regardless of how many people are playing which instruments, you’ll be dancing your butt off. In most bands, if someone splits, it’s a crisis. But when your band resembles a Cecil B. DeMille epic, with a cast of thousands and a core lineup that overlaps with more stellar bands than we have space to name check here, you’re guaranteed to bust a block every time.
What’s their secret? We don’t know, but being possibly the most flexible, laid-back bunch of people ever can’t hurt. Today’s episode was a potential disaster â€” gusting winds and rain, an inch of muddy water pooling on and below the drum kit, amps and power strips wrapped in soaking wet towels â€” but watching the band, you would never know that they were risking life and limb. They never complained once, and they nailed their songs each time through perfectly. Their only regret, apparently, was showing up with only 6 of their roughly 40 members. Sean, Zach, Bren, Maria, Marky, and Yoshi, you guys are truly fucking champs.
The inclement weather brought Oakland’s power grid to its knees and resulted in their show being cancelled at the last minute, but the Volvo soldiered on like a champ, undeterred by the specter of causing all of our deaths by electrocution. There must have been something in those vegan chocolates, because fueled by little more than them, organic goldfish crackers, and walnuts, the band had us dancing like soggy fools behind the cameras. Shooting in the rain? Sucks. But shooting Still Flyin in the rain? Loved every minute of it.
Still Flyin’s new album, Business is Casual, will be released in spring of 2011. The songs in this episode are singles released throughout 2010. A compilation with remixes will be released in December or January.
About Backseat Beat
Created by Brad Robertson
Hosted by Jaime Lee Currier
Produced by Dana Goldberg and Brad Robertsonï»¿