Get Hot with a 21st century dude

Facing New York is a three-piece experimental prog-rock group from a town called Berkeley, California. 

I got the pleasure of catching the band’s CD release for “Get Hot” at the Troubador Friday, and left a happy camper. While the mixing was far from perfect, expectations were surpassed. The material was almost all brand new, and incredible to experience live. Funk bass riffs coincided with off-kilter drumming as frontman Eric Frederic switched between guitar and Rhodes keyboards.

While the effects were on high, so was the talent. The northern Californians, far from strangers to the greater Los Angeles area, had an usually large crowd of musican friends to back them up.

Most of the rotating cast of guests were students from the UC Berkeley music department, guesting on vocals, flute, horns, congas, and keyboards. But to the excitement of the crowd was a more significant guest: Steve Choi, guitarist extraordinaire from Rx Bandits. 

I counted at least three of the boys of RXB in the house, though I wasn’t surprised considering they told me at our BroncoFusion interview ( they would DEFINITELY be there. And so they where. 

Ran into bassist Joseph Troy right away, and for whatever reason he gave me a mini bottle of wine from his back pocket for me to have. They love the Cal Poly campus and the mini outdoor stadium they got at the back to school concert. Concerts committee take note. They definitely have to come back.

The point of this, however, was not to talk about RXB — despite the fact that singer Matt Embree was on stage as openers Love You Moon, an acoustic side project.

What the point was was to check THIS out: “Me N My Friendz” by Facing New York. Yes, dumb title, but the song is far from it. From the opening words, alternating between spoken and singing, any college guy with hair on his chest should be able to relate really well. As long as he’s not a first year.

“I’m screwing college freshman,” Frederic begins. “And desperate housewives. Could it be? I’m stuck dead center between my teens and my thirties. Envisioning how my children would look if I had em with the woman in the checkout line in front of me. Maybe they’d look like my last girlfriend. 19, English major, diet cokehead.”

It’s catchy and rocks hard. I’ve been listening to this band since they started in 2004 after some of the guys’ prior group Locale A.M. broke up and things have only gotten more interesting. 

“But I was too into her! I had to get out. I needed someone my age. Who could talk about campaign finance reform and The Velvet Underground.”

This is a song for anyone reaching a midlife crisis at a really young age. Or just having one of those days…or weeks……or years, where things just don’t seem to fit exactly right. 

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