"Man, are we the driest act in rock?," Sam Prekop asked his Sea and Cake colleague Archer Prewitt during a tuning break last night (March 19) in Brooklyn, N.Y. The crowd cracked up, but only because P
"Man, are we the driest act in rock?," Sam Prekop asked his Sea and Cake colleague Archer Prewitt during a tuning break last night (March 19) in Brooklyn, N.Y. The crowd cracked up, but only because Prekop had spent the evening delivering deadpan comments between songs in his trademark barely audible/intelligible voice.
To be sure, Prekop isn't the most thrilling of comedians, but he and Prewitt had just the right prescription for a club full of chilly Park Slope hipsters: a host of Brazil-ified tunes that oozed musical warmth thanks to Prekop's airy croon and the pair's beautifully interlaced guitar playing.
Performing as a duo without their usual rhythm section of bassist Josh Abrams and drummer Chad Taylor, Prekop and Prewitt were still able to translate the groove underpinning the former's two solo albums. Opener "Something" set the tone, with Prekop's soulful vocals enveloping Prewitt's shimmering lead work. "Two Dedications" is about the closest Prekop has ever come to out-and-out soul, and it sounded just fine even without Abrams' melodic bass line and John McEntire's vintage synth accompaniment.
At times, the music was so quiet that the sounds of bar employees taking out the trash and opening the cash register threatened to overwhelm it. But Prekop's quips kept the audience focused; he dedicated the Sea and Cake's "Midtown" to "a special friend of ours with a marijuana problem. He promised he could quit if he heard this song in a duo-type setting."
"All right, enough of that sh*t -- back to the program," he said with a smile once the pair had completed a rather mangled take on the song. From there, the show alternated between contemplative fare like "On Such Favors" and "Chicago People" and more lively tracks like "Practice Twice," a highlight from Prekop's 1999 self-titled Thrill Jockey debut.
Just when the evening threatened to turn monotonous, the main set wrapped with a wistful "Don't Bother." Prekop and Prewitt quickly returned for a stellar version of the Sea and Cake's "Do Now Fairly Well," which featured a mesmerizing instrumental interlude led by Prewitt's feather-light plucking -- the sound was almost as if he'd magically switched from guitar to a xylophone. With that, they were through, having soothed weary hearts and overworked brains like only they can.
Here is Prekop/Prewitt's set list:
"On Such Favors"
"Do Now Fairly Well"