First/Last-Faithful Sinners

May 29, 2013

Faithful Sinners Pittsburgh Musical Saw Festival
Thursday, May 30, 2013 Thunderbird Cafe Larryville

Faithful Sinners in a musical saw guitar fun time extravaganza! Currently there are two faithful sinners, Erika and Xander, who started writing music together in 2011 after a successful collaboration at the NYC Musical Saw Festival (yes, they have one of those!). We are beaming with excitement that we’ve been able to take part in such cool gigs as opening for awesome bands Pearl and the Beard and He’s My Brother She’s My Sister, being featured in the literary variety show ‘Speaking Of…’ at the New Hazlett Theater, playing the 21 Plus night at the Carnegie Science Center, and being spotlighted on the delightful Saturday Light Brigade radio show recorded at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. We were also awarded the Best Song Award for Something We Don’t during Pittsburgh’s 48 Hour Music Video Competition – Thanks Judges!!! We are excited for all of everything, and hopefully we can share that excitement with you!!

Check out the local duo at their official Website, Facebook, ReverbNation, Songkick, SoundCloud, YouTube and Twitter. The band will be taking up residence at the T’Bird for the next few nights as they host the inaugural ‘Pittsburgh Musical Saw Fest’ tomorrow and return Friday to open for Wild Belle. My thanks to Xander Hendrickson (Guitar/Vocals) and Erika June Christina Laing (Saw/Vocals/Etc.) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • Xander Hendrickson: Weird Al Yankovic, “Bad Hair Day”.
  • Erika Laing: An album of Mozart sonatas played by a French prodigal piano playing boy.
  • Your last album bought?
  • Xander: Ikebe Shakedown (Self-Titled).
  • Erika: Dave Power’s Hammer Supply, “Aht Uh Yo Head”.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • Xander: It would have to be a tie between “Houses of the Holy”, by Led Zeppelin, and “The Bed is In The Ocean”, by Karate.
  • Erika: Oh this might be totally cheezy, but it’s an album called “Dexedrine Days” by my Dad’s new wave punk band, The RPM’s, in Milwaukee in the late 70’s. I suppose it has something to do with a sense of identity and connecting with my parents and their adventurous lifestyle, but also I honestly think the songs are perfect punk pop and I’d be thrilled if I ever wrote a song as good as a single one of them.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • Xander: Getup Kids, “On a Wire”. They managed to dispense with all of the earnest and visceral elements of their sound, which had drawn me to them in the first place, and instead turned in a painfully hokey and diluted alternative rock album.
  • Erika: I remember being pretty disappointed by a solo album I got by David Byrne, “Feelings”. This was back in the days where there were brick and mortar CD stores, Spec’s Music in Florida, and spending $20 on an album and then being sad was a total travesty because then you were stuck with it. So, I forced myself to listen to it anyway, out of frugal pride — I only had about 16 CDs at the time, it was a real investment. And you know what? I came to love it. Like really passionately love it, and I’d say it influences me still. I listen to it every once in a while on my CD-only car stereo and I still get surprised by its nuances. I don’t think people discover music in quite this way anymore, you know, in spite of themselves.
  • First concert attended?
  • Xander: Dave Matthews Band in 1998. At least, that’s the first one I didn’t go to just because my parents brought me along.
  • Erika: I used to pretend it was The Offspring, because I was embarrassed that it was actually Garth Brooks. However, I think nowadays the embarrassment is the other way around!!
  • Last concert?
  • Xander: Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes.
  • Erika: David Wax Museum for me, and then before that we went to see Iron & Wine together.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • Xander: Radiohead at Bonnaroo, 2006.
  • Erika: I think, because of the overall experience, it has to be Bjork in LA in 1998 on her ‘Homogenic’ tour. It was my first totally independent trip, practically a pilgrimage looking back, and my guy friend and I went in the wrong door way too early. They asked us if we were press and we said we had a blog, which was true, but it was pretty rare at the time and people didn’t really know what that meant, so they took that really seriously and let us party in the green room and interview Mike Paradinas (μ-Ziq, who opened for her and who I also idolized for electronic music at the time). I ate ice cream with the Icelandic String Octet and they licked their spoons backwards, and Mark Bell was around there somewhere too. I did see Bjork for a few seconds – she said “hi” to me and I was twice as tall as her, though I felt quite small. The show was amazing, and then I got to go in the hotel hot tub later after the show. PERFECT DAY!
  • Least favorite concert?
  • Xander: A friend dragged me to a Mr.Greengene’s concert in Ocean City. It was the most mediocre performance I’ve ever seen.
  • Erika: I think Ozzy Osbourne in 1997. The guys were tight alright, like a record, but everyone there was kind of still living the dream, if you know what I mean. There were some floppy topless things on the jumbotron I’d love to forget!
  • Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • Xander: I moved here in 2007, and except for the weather, I rather like living here. I like more of the people here than most cities I’ve been to, and I like the art scene.
  • Erika: I love it here! Moved here from Florida in ’97 and never left! Also, its easy to start playing music here, it’s not scary, people are nice. And you can drink PBR or IPAs, and it’s all good. Pittsburgh has been good to me in every way.

Thanks, Xander and Erika. Love the idea of the festival. The world definitely needs more singing saws!