Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chin Chin is post-holiday fun at Southpaw

By Meredith Deliso

The Friday after Thanksgiving may be a day for shopping for many, but at Southpaw, it’s all about the music (incidentally, so is the day before).

On November 27, Brooklyn’s Chin Chin play the Park Slope venue for the spot’s usual post-Thanksgiving show.

“It’s a total family vibe. Particularly that show, it’s such a neighborhood thing,” says Wilder Zoby, the band’s keyboardist and singer, from his “day job” as a bartender at Max Fish on Houston Street. “It’s one of our favorite places to play in the city, definitely.”

Zoby estimates the band has played Southpaw nearly 10 times since their start in 2001 as a house band for a monthly party in Brooklyn. In the time since, they’ve also released a self-titled full-length, off the alternative rap label Definitive Jux, out last year.

The best way to hear the big band, though, is live, as, thanks to their party roots and funk-disco-jazz blend, they make it one every time.

It also doesn’t hurt that, while the band consists of three core members – Zoby, his brother Torbitt Schwartz (drums, vocals), and Jeremy Wilms (bass and guitar) – live, there can be as many as 10 musicians bringing the beat. This being a local show, Zoby expects to fill the stage, complete with the band’s horn players. “That’s a plus about New York – we can have as large a band as we want. We can tap our community of musicians,” he says.

That community includes talent primarily pulled from Brooklyn, with one loner from Queens (there’s always one), including musicians who can be currently found playing on Broadway in FELA!, a new musical that chronicles the life of afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, as well as the groups Antibalas, TV on the Radio, and The Roots.

“Everybody’s in too many different groups to even list,” says Zoby, who himself also frequently plays with emcee and producer El-P, who’s also on Definitive Jux.

The Southpaw show will be the best time to see the band lately, as, when not bartending, Zoby and the band will be buckling down to work on a new record, currently in the writing and recording stage, thanks to Schwartz’s recording studio in DUMBO.

“We’re going to make it as amazing and awesome as all of shows are,” promises Zoby of the upcoming gig. “We never want to give our audience less than anything but the best.”

Chin Chin play Southpaw (125 Fifth Ave.) November 27. With Miss Fairchild, Brooklyn Girls (Brazilian Girls side project), The NotForNothings, and DJ Kool Kear. Tickets are $10. Doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m. For more information, go to or call 718-230-0236.


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