“Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ.” I’m sitting bar-side at Tutu’s and Ana Becker has confirmed, via Facebook messenger roughly 55 minutes after I got there, that 3/4ths of Fruit and Flowers are grabbing a table at Tina’s Place. The poor bartender has been listening to one of my patented anxiety rambles that, summarized, equated to “Where are they? I have so much paperwork to fill out when I get home.” But ok, wires get crossed, confusion was had when Tina’s and then Tutu’s were mentioned last night as a brunch option, it’s fine, it’s fine, it’s fine. I hastily pay for my coffee and burst into Tina’s three minutes later chanting about how fine it is.
Anyway, you know Fruit & Flowers, right? Well, I know Fruit & Flowers too. 3/4ths of them have also given ear to my anxiety rambles (anxambles?) at this point. I met bass babe Caroline Yoder at Pinkerton Wine Bar when I was ballpark 23 and had a lot more free time on my hands. Guitarists Ana and Lyzi Wakefield (who also writes for AudioFemme!) entered my life after I moved here proper, and drummer Jose Berrio Lesmes and I became Facebook friends recently, so yeah, we’re legally all blood kin.
If you somehow answered “No,” then A. Wow, seriously? and B. Here’s the deal: Fruit & Flowers is a busybusybusy band that relies on a heavenly trifecta of harmonies over mile-a-minute pulsating beats (the main exception being siren song “Turquoise”). Their debut EP Drug Tax is slated for release June 30th, and they’ve recently released a video for lead single “Out Of Touch.” It is gr8 with a capital 8, and I may have drunkenly described it as “Mary Kate and Ashley’s ‘I’d Rather Be Surfing’ video but if Lana Del Rey directed it.”
Sober I’m not sure if that’s accurate. Regardless, it’s a killer music vid, they’re a killer band, and we’re grabbing brunch together today, even if it kills me.
The Scene: Tina’s Place is a diner, guys. You know what a diner looks like by now. I don’t need to craft a whole monologue about that – we’re late enough as it is.
11:43 Caro and Ana order eggs and grits, Jose orders French toast with ham, I get a feta cheese omelette, and Lyzi… isn’t here yet and is either meeting us at the restaurant or at Pickthorn, where the gang is getting makeovers for the Color Me Bushwick Festival. Obviously I’m tagging along because free makeovers is the kind of pseudo-glam musician activity I love to lurk on. Not that the gang is so typically fancy.
“My hair is so funny because sometimes I wake up and I know it’s going to be a crazy rat’s nest,” Caroline says. “But sometimes I wake up and it’s like a whole new sculpture that I’ve never thought of.”
I’m always excited by Caroline’s hair, but when she mentions in passing that she did synchronized swimming, I’m more excited by the idea of Caroline in pink swimming cap decorated with plastic posies.
“Were you good at it?” I ask.
“I was pretty good at it. I’d have to do core strength training if I were to do it again,” she says.
“Does it involve like a lot of…lung stuff? Because you have to do heavy breathing because you’re upside down with the legs… ” I pretend my arms are little legs kicking, looking like a moron in the process.
“I always referred to it like doing a balance beam routine, holding your breath,” Caroline explains. We push up against the underside of the table with our palms flat. “If you put your hands on the bottom of the table and you try to lift the table, that’s the amount of repel you have on the water. So this is how you learn this – it’s called support scull.”
“Where did my contact lens go?” Ana asks in the midst of our swimming lesson.
11:58 Ana would kill to meet Paul McCartney, although it’s fair to assume any living Beatle would be a win.
“But if you see Ringo Starr you wouldn’t be that intimidated,” Jose says.
“To say hello?” Ana asks.
“Because he’s Ringo Starr,” I offer.
“He’s Ringo,” Ana confirms. “But I feel like he’d appreciate it more. I assume less people are like, ‘Oh my god, it’s Ringo!’ versus ‘Oh my god, it’s Paul.'”
“Like on the hierarchy of Beatles…” I start.
“There shouldn’t be a Beatles hierarchy, man,” Ana says. There shouldn’t be, but… “Even if you’re the least appreciated Beatle, you’re still a motherfucking Beatle.” Jose then mentions the uprooted would-be Beatle Pete Best.
“Yeah, that’s the least appreciated Beatle,” Ana says.
“I always feel like I’m the Pete Best of the band,” Jose says “Which is not like a bad thing, but…”
Ana and Caro chorus a series of disagreements and our food arrives.
12:10 Caroline asks what people usually talk about during these interviews, and I shrug. “Whatever makes you happy, pretty much. What makes you happy?”
Everyone thinks before Ana and Caroline sound off.
Ana: Playing music.
Caroline: Ian Bentley.