Release Date: Jan 26, 2010
Record label: Thrill Jockey
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
The Flexible Entertainer just might be the most accurately titled Pit Er Pat album yet. Not just because Butchy Fuego and Fay Davis-Jeffers wrote these songs for a European tour that included an appearance at the ATP Festival and thus kept the instrumentation simple to travel light, but because the duo keep stretching the boundaries of its music with every release. They’ve never repeated themselves since the days of Shakey, yet Fuego and Davis-Jeffers manage to keep the heart of their music -- elongated explorations, globally minded melodies and arrangements, and just enough pop to hold it all together -- alive in every incarnation.
As Thrill Jockey, that mid west institute of indie rock’s avant-garde, continues to diversify its roster from the post-rock that made its name back in the Nineties, it’s hard to believe that the much maligned genre most often associated with the label was often perceived as impenetrable music designed by lab coated experimentalists. At the heart of much of Thrill Jockey’s output was a pleasing sense of perversity, of reaching for new forms of ‘rock’ music sans the pomposity of prog. This ideology lives on in Pit Er Pat, whose new album The Flexible Entertainer is one of the oddest long players to have graced my stereo for a while.
Though The Flexible Entertainer marks some big changes for the group, Pit Er Pat are used to reinvention by now. They began as a backing crew for a singer-songwriter who since left the band, and now have pared down from three members to two since the release of their previous album, High Time. Before their last European tour as a duo, they started writing songs for just sampler, guitar, and voice-- in part to keep the energy level up throughout the set, and partly to travel light.
Although Pit Er Pat have been a band for only six years, it feels like they’ve been around for at least a decade considering the fact that their discography already consists of three full length albums and half a dozen EP’s and seven-inches. When we last heard from them on 2008’s High Time, they were a trio living in Chicago. With the loss of founding member Rob Doran, remaining members Fay Davis-Jeffers and Butchy Fuego regrouped and moved to Los Angeles to begin working on their next record.
Deserves to take the duo to a new level of recognition. Mike Diver 2010 For their latest LP, Chicago-formed avant-rock duo Pit Er Pat – Butchy Fuego and Fay Davis-Jeffers – inverted the typical record-to-tour creative process, initially putting these songs together specifically for a trip to Europe. Upon their return home, the pair set about recording their results, and the end product is, largely, an honest reflection of their original intention: streamlined and wholly immediate.