“since we are giving away music for free it would be awesome if you bought our record because we are broke!!!” – Harlem

I first heard Harlem in the summer of 2008, and sort of forgot about them.  Not because I didn’t dig their music – I think I was just maxed out on lo-fi garage rock at the time.

Well “Witchgreens” just came up on shuffle, and I was like “oh yah! Harlem is good stuff.”

In the words of Chris Cantalini, “These dudes bust some super infectious, instantly endearing throwback garage-pop in the vein of the Black Lips, Strange Boys.”

It’s hard not to appreciate Harlem; they have a song called “Psychedelic Tits” and they actually take the time to make their own gig posters.


“The only band we like is nirvana. the only album we like is nevermind. the only song we like is smells like teen spirit” – Harlem

Harlem’s 2008 LP Free Drugs;-) plays strong from beginning to end.  It’s one of those albums that kind of plays as one big grimy garage-rock song; and that’s a good thing.

Here’s their video for “Witchgreens” – which has gotten some playtime over at Pitchfork.tv

Both “Witchgreens” and “South of France” appear on Harlem’s Free Drugs;-) LP.

MP3: Harlem “Witchgreens” (Vinyl Rip/231kbps/VBR)


MP3: Harlem “South of France” (Vinyl Rip/251kbps/VBR)



“Harlem is into shit that you don’t even know” – Harlem

Harlem have also started “the cover of the month club.”  The monthly covers began in November 2008, accompanied by this MySpace blog:

“in an effort to keep this internet thingy less boring; we have started a new feature. the cover of the month club! we will cover a song we love on a broke ass four track and put it on our website free for download so you can have it for mix tapes to people you like or hate or whatever. this month we covered why by the plastic ono band. (ps some of the vocals were done after doing cannon balls where you take a bit hit of weed and then chug a beer) but get it soon because before you know it we will be on to the next one.” – Harlem

Mp3: Harlem “Why” (Plastic Ono Band cover) (74kbps/VBR)

Mp3: Harlem “Goodbye Horses” (Q Lazzarus cover) (128kbps)


This is what Harlem has to say about their Drexiya cover (which I really enjoy):

“we are late on everything. our van broke down. all the dishes are dirty. curtis is drunk. but we finally got to finish our cover of the month!
its a cover of sea snake by drexciya. drexciya is this awesome techno band that wrote songs about an underwater sea community populated by aliens and pregnant slaves thrown overboard on the way to america.” – Harlem

Mp3: Harlem “Sea Snake” (Drexiya cover) (128kbps)


And on their Devo cover:

“people are probably going to think that we are trying to capitalize on the fact that devo is coming here for sxsw but before we even knew they were playing we had decided to a cover of come back jonee. i guess we would be pretty stoked if devo heard it but then again they might tell us it sucks or hire a team of lawyers to sue us for all the leftover beers in our fridge.” – Harlem

Mp3: Harlem “Come Back Jonee” (Devo cover) (160kbps)

For some entertaining interviews with Harlem check out theraptmagazine.com and The Art of Loosing. The band is trying to raise about $3,000 to record a new album, so if you’d like to support them you can purchase their records/merchandise straight from the band via their MySpace.  Or you could just offer to start an indie-label and finance their recording – they’d probably go for that.

harlemsxsw1[Harlem @SXSW 2009 via Gorilla vs Bear]

“we are playing the shit out of sxsw so we hope that we see some of our friends stealing as many bottles of whatever free booze they can get their hands on” – Harlem


[Almost all pictures via Harlem’s entertaining MySpace photo albums]


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