...y los dos pistoles is a 3-piece noisy indie rock/garage pop band from Tampa, FL that is dangerously close to achieving adequatulance. Shae sings and plays guitar (and sometimes harmonica), Derek beats on the drums and Russ plays bass (and messes around with pedals). When not doing these things, we like to sit on our front porch and watch funny cat videos on youtube (not necessarily simultaneously). If you want to book us, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are playing at Evolution Records tonight with Au Revoir (from NJ), Adieux, Pilgrimage and Trials. Show starts around 7pm. $5.
Shae is playing solo tonight at the New World in Ybor for the Acoustic BBQ series. Starts at 7pm, free show!
Fairly certain we will be on Grand National Championships tomorrow (Wed, 9/26) on WMNF. Tune in to hear us try to be adequately witty! The show is on from 8-10pm. All you out of town people can stream it at wmnf.org.
“7:30 p.m., Y Los Dos Pistoles at VLVT - It was a little surreal seeing one of my favorite trios play an almost completely bare, white salon space, but weird mash-ups of stimuli are often what make fests worth attending. Shae Krispinsky on vocals, guitar and harmonica, drummer Derek Forrester, and bassist Russ Jovin filled the room with their potent blend of rock, punk, folk and garage rock, with the added strums of guest cellist John David Eriksen. “He only plays with us part-time, typically for special shows, because he’s from Gainesville,” Krispinsky shared. “We’ve tried getting him to move down to Tampa to be with us, but he’s not budging.” I love Shae because she is one funny chick for being so dern hot. At one point of the show she paraphrased Ralph from The Simpsons, expressing hopes that the sound levels of the band didn’t make our “ears blue.” They played one of my favorite tunes, which offers a sultry waltz beat and Krispinsky on harmonica. Jovin’s nimble plucks on a Steve Harris Signature Series Fender bass never ceased to impress. —JG”
Just kidding… We’re really playing at VLVT in St. Pete for AntiWarpt. Still at 7:30pm.
There has been some confusion as to what kind of band …y los dos pistoles is, and this is entirely my fault. From the beginning, I’ve adamantly claimed we were a folk band. In time, we changed that descriptor to “garage-folk,” that is, part garage rock, part folk rock. But even this is misleading, especially since, as we grow, we add more pedals, get louder, noisier, more rocking (whatever that means). I’ve fought to keep that folk tag connected to us, because, in error, I’ve been conflating folk music with folk songs. We play folk songs, but we don’t play folk music.
Now, I don’t know what other people think of when they think of folk songs (if they think of folk songs). Woody Guthrie’s songs, perhaps. Or Bob Dylan’s, probably. Or, more contemporary, Ani Difranco’s. Or maybe none of these musicians’ songs. It’s possible they think the topical, the political – songs with a strong social commentary and a fervent call for change. Maybe they think of softly finger-picked open chords played on acoustic guitars, unprocessed vocals, sparse arrangements, simple song structures, which I would argue, out of any of this, are the best signifiers of folk music, not folk songs. See how messy, how easy to mix the two? Yet, I don’t think anyone could, or would, say that any of these impressions are wrong. But when I think about folk songs, I think about lyrics and lineage.
It’s no secret that I am the main songwriter in …y los dos; I’ll have a song (lyrics, melody, guitar) anywhere from 95%-100% completed before I present it to the rest of the band. During that creation process, I try to work within a lineage; I know who my (musical) parents are, and through my lyrics I try to show that genealogy while trying to break free from it at the same time. (Just like any child—we are different from our parents, but without even realizing it we repeat the silly things they said to us growing up. How many times have I caught myself wanting to say—and stopping myself from saying (because in my context it didn’t fit)—to Derek or my cat, “Stop, mommy slap,” which is something my mom used to say to me all the time when I did something innocuous but frowned upon, such as double-dipping my spoon into the cake batter. How many things do I say that my mom would never? I had to explain what gats and shivs were, and of course she doesn’t get any of the NewsRadio references I’m constantly making, so yes, there is that independent creation of personal vernacular, but also holding onto those familial linguistic quirks. I have said, removed from my childhood home, that I was “freezing my gazoogies off”—something that, it seems, was born of my mom’s own mind.) It can be something as simple as using “ain’t.” Some people may view my—an English major—using “ain’t” as an obvious affectation: my trying to be something I’m not. Especially if I use it in a double-negative to represent a negativity, ie, “ain’t never” to stress the extreme neverness of something. To me, though, it’s just family tradition, like making kolache (nut roll) for Christmas breakfast. No one here in my close circle in Tampa had ever heard of kolache, nor is anyone (other than me, as far as I know) Slovak, but the one Christmas I didn’t go home until New Years, I still made it for the 25th, because that’s just my family’s tradition. But I didn’t put on the Manhattan Transfer Christmas music my dad always makes us listen to while opening gifts (at least, until my mom and I found the Fuzziwig’s tape—then it was banjo renditions of “Silent Night” and other carols all morning).
We choose what we honor and what we ignore, and I think those things we honor are a type of synecdoche—we use what we like the best to pay homage to the entire sphere of our personal influence. We use those parts to show where we’re from. Examples: Using “ain’t never.” And then: in an interview, Bobby (Dylan—do I really need to add that here?) said, “This land created me. I’m wild and lonesome. Even as I travel the cities, I’m more at home in the vacant lots.” So I took part of that, restyled it, made it, “I am lonesome and wild, like a god with a gun.” Also: the Blind Blake quote I wrote down from somewhere. He said, “Play that thing low and lonesome, boy.” So in my song, it becomes, “I hear the awkward bar-stool boys play it lonesome and low.” (I’m clearly drawn to/feel connected with ideas of loneliness, and aptly so, but that’s another story for another time and place.) Fathers, daughter. It’s not stealing. That’s like saying I stole my grandmother’s kolache recipe. It’s keeping the bloodline going, passing along those genes. And this is what I mean when I say I write folk songs. I keep that bloodline going, in my own way, by taking these histories and blending them with my own stories.
I doubt anyone gets or picks up on my references or allusions without my explaining them. I doubt anyone cares. I’d like to think that maybe intuitively or subconsciously someone is noticing, and that’s why we’re still considered a folk band (a logical conclusion—they play folk songs, they must be a folk band), though, candidly, I suspect it’s simply a matter of people believing what we’ve (albeit erroneously) told them, and it makes it that much easier to just drop us in that musical box and be done with it. Not that I’m complaining. Just because not all of my markers of where I come from are as overt as the keystone tattoo on my shoulder doesn’t mean I’m any less proud of them. I only feel the need to make mention of this at all because I don’t want to be misleading. I don’t want to be thought a liar. If someone comes to one of our shows expecting soft acoustic guitars and a brush of subdued drums, they are going to be disappointed.
We’ve tried and failed to better explain our sound. We’ve used, as previously mentioned, “garage-folk” and we’ve used “poppy indie-rock.” At times I’ve said we sort of sound like a strange lovechild of PJ Harvey, Bob Dylan and the Monkees, even though this is wildly inaccurate. Really, how can we define something that changes with our moods? We are loud, we are noisy, we are sometimes sloppy, sometimes bouncy, sometimes surly. Maybe someone else can pinpoint who and what we are, or maybe not, and that’s okay. We are, simply, …y los dos pistoles.