Deserving Hyperbole: Stars Like Fleas

stars like fleas
Stars Like Fleas are the best band in New York.  It's true. 

Their newest album, The Ken Burns Effect, has been out in Europe for a while now, but will finally grace our shores via the Hometapes label on June 3.  

It's one of those rarest of albums that completely defies any comparison.  SLF distill and refract so many disparate sounds, textures, and emotions (both familiar and foreign).  (Free jazz horns, backwoods banjos and pedal steel, a harp (!), classical interludes, ethereal falsetto non sequitors, laptop landscape drizzles, a deconstructed symphony...)  

The term "postmodern" was never more fitting for a band than it is for this one.  Seeing them and hearing them is honestly transcendent, and I'm not getting unduly hyperbolic here.  They take more risks than is probably advisable, and sometimes their shows flirt with disaster, but more often than not, they create something utterly captivating and closer to a religious experience than I'm even comfortable with.

Plus, for those who care, the band is something of a Who's Who of the New York Underground, including members of Beirut, Doveman, the Silent League, the Fiery Furnaces, and Scarlett Johansson's band

And...if you won't take my word for it, how about Ed Droste's (he of Grizzly Bear fame):
"Their live show was absolutely mind blowing. They’ve got something like 10 members and 50 instruments they use, and it all works perfectly. Textures would come and go throughout every song: it felt like a warm bath and a pleasantly uncomfortable acid trip. Don’t see them in a space where the crowd is loud, otherwise you’ll miss the important intricacies that make their live show so special." [from Dusted Magazine]

The Ken Burns Effect comes out June 3 on Hometapes

"I Was Only Dancing" by Stars Like Fleas:

Here's a performance they filmed for the esteemed La blogotheque (yes, I know, "the the"...) at Monkeytown, one of my absolute favorite spots in New York (and the brain-child brain-restaurant/theatre/living-room/Eden of SLF singer/lyricist Montgomery Knott):

Oh, yeah, and the timeliness of this post: the band is making one of its rare and "mind-blowing" (!) appearances at Studio B in Greenpoint on April 16, along with YACHT and Parts & Labor.

(259 Banker St., Brooklyn, NY)


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