The Beets

Let’s talk about the Beets. The story of the Beets begins in scenic Queens, New York, where Uruguayan transplant Juan Wauters met Jose Garcia in art classes at LaGuardia Community college. The two started playing guitar together, and eventually found the first in a series of many drummers so that they could play shows under the name of… The Beets. Soon enough, Wauters and Garcia found another like-minded soul in Queens-based artist Matthew Volz. Volz quickly took over the visual needs of the band, creating flyers, album covers, videos, and light shows, in effect turning him into the secret fourth member of the band. Volz also plays recorder for the band from time to time.

Over the course of four years, the Beets have become one of the best bands, if not the best band, in New York. With two full-length LPs and three singles on NY label Captured Tracks under their belt, and an amazing live show to boot, it is no wonder why they have been personally asked to share the stage by the likes of Pavement, and to tour with bands from the Vivian Girls to the Mountain Goats. The Beets are the musician’s band, the artist’s band, the band of bands. The Beets are smart and colorful individuals who treat life as a sing-along and a comic book all at once. The Beets are more than a band: they are a way of life, a gang, a gang from Jackson Heights, a gang that you want to be a part of.

Hardly Art is proud to present to the world Let the Poison Out, the third masterpiece from the Beets. It was recorded in two days, with a few overdubs here and there, at Marlborough Farms by Gary Olsen of Ladybug Transistor. It’s the album the Beets have been working up to. Let the Poison Out also marks the addition of Chie Mori, an important component as the latest and last drummer for the Beets. It’s true that the Beets have had many drummers. “If this doesn’t work out, then no more Beets,” asserts Garcia.

While the title references the band’s idol and unofficial mascot, Howard Stern, Let the Poison Out is really an album about getting everything out of your system. All of the Beets elements are here: jangly acoustic guitar; simply captured, sing-along lyrics about being yourself, being free, not fitting in; and an undercurrent of restless energy. The Beets love the Ramones. The Beets love MAD magazine. The Beets love Queens and Keds. Now is the time for you to love the Beets.

The Beets are and always will be: Juan Wauters (guitar, vocals, songs), Jose Garcia (bass, vocals), Chie Mori (drums and more), and Matthew Volz (artist plus).

Jimmy Whispers

Former Light Pollution main man James Cicero has hit upon something special with his new solo project, Jimmy Whispers. He sings sincere songs about love and loss with just a chintzy organ recorded straight to an iPhone, and what the music lacks in fidelity it more than makes up for in unself-conscious heart, blissful melodies, and enchanting hooks. He's finished an album, but you can't get it just yet—a proper release is in the works. Cicero plays out often enough, though, that the tunes will stick with you till his next show—and you can still walk away with a copy of his Summer in Pain zine. It builds on themes that also turn up in his music, in his stage banter, and in the crude "Summer in Pain" street art he's plastered around town: there's a collage about Chicago's gun violence, a letter to a woman selling a wedding gown via a flyer, doodles of sharks, non sequiturs about finding inspiration in sadness, and an image that superimposes Cicero on a photo of Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan, and Scottie Pippen. Summer in Pain is pretty scatterbrained and not always easy to understand, but it feels entirely earnest—which makes it a great companion to Cicero's songs.



Flower Girl

Flower Girl was born in a catpoop-filled warehouse in Oakland, California; she left as soon as she could walk. She attached herself to the underbelly of a Texan crooner for a springtime tour of the South. After disembarking in San Antonio (like a plagued rat from a merchant's ship), Flower Girl sang jazz with the greats of New Orleans, was robbed blind in a Durham swimming hole, and vomited all over the streets of Philly. She arrived on Ellis Island in June, with only a glockenspiel and a case of walking pneumonia. After languidly bathing away the summer months in an Alphabet City kitchen, Flower Girl is ready. She is simply dying to meet you.


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