The Pity Party
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The Pity Party

Band Alternative Rock

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Jul
16
The Pity Party @ Beauty Bar w. THE HUMAN VALUE

San Diego, California, USA

San Diego, California, USA

Jun
29
The Pity Party @ Indie 103.1 Live In Studio Performance

Los Angeles, California, USA

Los Angeles, California, USA

Jun
12
The Pity Party @ Little Radio w. CRYSTAL ANTLERS, IMAD WAASIF

Los Angeles, California, USA

Los Angeles, California, USA

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This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


Okay Thursday is followed by the L.A. based Pity Party. Just like Sharin and Sune, the band is a two-piece. A fiery redhead sits behind a drum kit and a keyboard. The wiry, shaggy haired guitarist wears tight pants and a Fender Stratocaster. Their sound consists of pounding drumbeats (best displayed on “The War Between Eight and Four”), eerie guitar riffs (“WMD”), and deep, electronic keyboard melodies. Like the Raveonettes, the two sing together to create harmonies over counter melodies played on the guitar. It was easy to become mesmerized by watching this band, which called to mind everyone from Death From Above 1979 to Autolux to the Raveonettes themselves. Heisenflei, the drummer/keyboardist, is highly impressive as she beats the skins with one hand and plays the keys with the other, all with her eyes shut tight. This band is sure to go far.

- Filter-Mag.Com


In support, splendid LA duo Heisenflei and M as The Pity Party with their urgent and linear, yet compulsively punkish, decidedly artful mix of dark and unsettling drone rock, artfully skronk-ish guitars and malevolent, beats-driven soundscapes. Their four-track EP, 'Orgy Porgy' not only sounds terrific, but also features wonderful artwork and each has been lovingly hand-stitched by the band themselves. - Time Out London


With complex drum beats, angular distorted guitar lines, and a deep droning keyboard the 2 members of The Pity Party produce an enormous backdrop for lyrics that could be considered dark and pessimistic if they weren't so honestly and realistically reflecting the world we find ourselves in today.

"I'm all plugged in, but I'm not turned on…the way of the future…hurray for the future," singer/drummer/keyboardist Heisenflei laments in "Dronebots and Peons for Eons and Eons." From the opening dissonant percussive notes from guitarist M, intertwined with Heisenflei's lethargic and robotic keyboard pattern, one has the sense that you are listening to the soundtrack for a Los Angeles that has yet to occur. Though they voice disenfranchisement with a society that has fallen into a collective detachment, The Pity Party affirm our deep rooted desire to preserve the integrity and humanity of our own little corner of the world. - KCET Online


However, it is worth the admission price (or getting there early if you’ve already bought a ticket) to check out the support band, The Pity Party. Even if you don’t like them, you’ll at least hear something new. Despite being a two-piece, their sound isn’t exactly minimal – singer Heisenflei also plays drums and keyboards at the same time, while guitarist M triggers loops and weird noises, and sometimes sings too.

Besides showing Good Shoes how urgent punkoid jumpalongs should be done (eg ‘H.O.T.S.’), they also manage to make nod-out drone rock catchy, as on ‘Yours, That Works’. They’re psychedelic in spirit rather than sound, exploring strange sonic territories and attempting to make sense, or at least tunes, of them.‘We swear freely, drink systematically, and wear bloodshot eyes with pride,’ Hesienflei told Time Out. ‘All the while hacking away at the stifling conventions of modern “indie� rock. Oh, and we like a good beat. And universal love, continual forgiveness, and all that.’

If that doesn’t convince you, at least do it for the polar bears. TPP make all their posters, flyers and packaging out of rubbish. Pretty soon they may need to start eating a lot more Happy Meals.
- Eddy Lawrence - Time Out London


It's only recently that LA has shrugged off its image of poodle-haired rockers hanging out in seedy strip clubs, with bands such as No Age, HEALTH, and The Mae Shi providing more unusual musical thrills centered around all-ages clubs like The Smell. Now a new duo is ready to join the party - The Pity Party.
Consisting of polite M on guitars and vocals and red-haired Heisenflei - who sings, plays drums, keyboards, and anything else - the pair make an angular, drone-punk racket that is, in a word, uncategorisable. "I want to make beautiful music," explains Heisenflei, "But we have to have an element of something strange and slightly creepy."
Aside from their music, the most impressive thing about The Pity Party is that they're completely self-sufficient. When we meet them, they're in the UK for a series of dates they organised after winning their plane tickets in an unsugned bands competition. They have no management, booking agent, or PR - just boundless energy and enthusiasm. They even offered to transcribe this interview. "Now that the record industry is changing, it's like the fall of Rome, " claims Heisenflei," Just rape and pillage and have a great time."
They've certainly learned how to pillage er, trash. All their flyers and posters are made out of "repurposed" cereal boxes and their new, four-track 'Orgy Porgy' EP comes housed in bits of a huge billboard donated to the duo by Smirnoff, stitched together by Heisenflei and screen-printed with the surreal artwork of Ronald Dzerigian. "His art is grotesque but loveable, like our music," M points out.
"It's more out of necessity than being green," says Heisenflei of their Womble-like manner. "I realised making stuff out of trash would be free, and we had time but no money. We recycle trash, yeah, but not music."
- Nathaniel Cramp - NME


Of course, The Pity Party invites Romper Room metaphors too, but ones from the Wednesday and Pugsley Addams end of the playground. This duo makes and distributes its own weird EPs, using whimsically recycled packaging and gnomic art to hint at the lovingly crafted and deeply strange sounds therein. “Dronebots and Peons for Eons and Eons,� to pluck one Dayglo trifle, is enchanting and willfully strange, with Maurice-Robert’s guitar rivet-slamming behind redheaded moppet Heisenfiel’s blankly tremulous vocals. The lady also plays drum and keys, often at once. Given a third appendage, I don’t doubt she’d throw in a kazoo or Sousaphone.

The third show of their Monday residency was a gorgeous detonation in the Hindenburg manner. Film School was finishing up their polished shoegaze set in high style when I arrived and they were sent off with a brief roar of pleasure from the crowd, already drink-swollen and ornery. They clearly wanted to be Shown Something and, the Party provided it, plowing headlong into their set, the eldritch brio heightened by the singer’s flu-cracked voice. By the end, the guitarist walked off to blank faces, then thunderous applause as Heisenfiel’s head sank into her keyboard, making a minor chord that went on until she limped offstage. Punk as fuck.

When I called up the lovely Ms. H a couple of days later, she was coughing in deathbed decrepitude and heartsick over a romantic matter. “Yesterday’s catharsis,� she croaked, the frog in her throat now volleyball-sized. “Monday’s show was the worst show I’d played in a long time. I was sick and distracted, but I have a sense of humor about it. It isn’t a tragedy, just a fact.�

She and Maurice-Robert were theater kids who “like grew up together, did choir and music theater together and went our separate ways, he in New York and I here. We were talking long distance about a project we’d like to do, all very abstract. Neither of us had been in a band before.� Though clearly living up to experimentalist expectations, Julie insists “We have a lot of convention in us. Because of our backgrounds, we weren’t cool kids. We were listening to musical theater not Nirvana. We have a very structurally traditional aesthetic and do whatever we please tonally on top of that. We’re pretty conventional compared to some of the bands at the Smell and we were used to seeing the usual five-guy acts at Spaceland. So, we’re not crazy experimental. In some weird in-between land.�

“To me,� Ms. H. summed, “the “Silver Lake scene� is the bands our friends are in and there’s no sonic cohesion in all of those. We play a lot with The Deadly Syndrome and Eskimohunter and Great Northern. Who am I leaving out? I dunno. We just all love each other and that’s what makes it what it is. It’s a happy fuzzy-feelings concept of a scene, which is kinda weird.�
- Ron Garmon - LOS ANGELES CITY BEAT


The holidays are over, you’re fat, and you didn’t get the presents you wanted. And New Year’s Eve sucked. It’s time for a Pity Party! Along with debt and love handles, January also delivers the Silverlake Lounge’s free monthlong residency of experimental pop duo the Pity Party, comprised of Heisenflei (a.k.a. Julie Edwards) and Maurice-Robert (a.k.a. Marc Smollin). We don’t understand why they go under assumed names, and we don’t get how Miss Edwards plays drums and keyboards and sings all at once, but the Devoesque synths, dry vocals and sharply penned lyrics establish the L.A. two-piece as a wry melding of both past and future.
-Alie Ward - LA Weekly


I caught the last show of Pity Party’s residency at Silverlake Lounge last night. The band had come highly recommended by lots of pals and LA Weekly writer Alie Ward who gave them a Pick Of The Week and spoke very highly of them on Indie 103 with Mark Shovel. So last night I was ushered by my friend Monica to the front of the stage, right in front of the drum kit, behind it, a Lite Brite little sign proclaimed “The Pity Party.” It had some competition from the larger lighted sign that read, “Salvation”, but it still looked so sweet. The crowd was largely super fashionable and gorgeous. A lithe woman in a felt light blue fedora danced in front of me, boys with suit jackets on dotted the room. And out came guitarist Maurice-Robert (a.k.a. Marc Smollin), with a sweater that recalled Kurt Cobain and a terry cloth headband and facial hair that made me think of Luke Wilson’s character in The Royal Tennenbaums. He started playing his instrument plucking a sustained string repeatedly. Then the long flame haired Heisenflei (a.k.a. Julie Edwards) took the stage, wearing a cream colored Victorian top, and jeans and red suede boots that she kicked off on stage and sat down barefoot behind the drums. She wailed on those drums, while playing the keyboard and singing. It was the hottest thing I’d ever seen. She was so natural, so completely without ego, she was genuinely feeling the music, possesed by it. I just kept thinking of Little Orphan Annie, not just the red hair, but the balls, the ferocious hard knocks toughness that she brought to the show, with her sort of urchin looks, bare feet and authenticity. Like if Annie grew up and channeled all that Miss Hannigan orphan shit into rock music. I couldn’t make out all the lyrics but I did hear, “get fucked up, turn the music up and fuck.”

Monica introduced me to Julie after the show. She was giving out copies of the free zine she made with a residency sampler, a compilation CD of all the bands that played a residency while she were there. There was a quarter in the bag too. Oh and I found out where Julie’s stage name came from, she says, “It’s from Watership Down. I thought it was the name of one of the female bunnies, but I misheard it. It’s actually, Hyzenthlay.” She shrugged, not too concerned.

If you missed them at the free Mondays at Silverlake Lounge, you can still catch them March 5th at the Viper Room for just 10 bucks. It’s a small price to pay for so much hotness.
-Linda Immediato - LA Weekly


I'd heard the legend: the lady in Pity Party plays drums, keyboards and sings all at the same time. But until I saw them play a set at The Scene in Glendale, I didn't realize that the legend was entirely literal. Julie Edwards, AKA "Heisenflei," keeps the beat with her feet and right hand, while her left hand punches out bass lines and melodies on a keyboard at her side. It's an impressive feat of dexterity, made all the more formidable by the fact that the no wave quirk-rock she creates with guitarist/vocalist Maurice-Robert create is kind of awesome. They're also a tasteful lot; their set at The Scene included a staggering cover of Syd Barrett's "Baby Lemonade" that needs to be committed to tape immediately. In the meantime, you'll just have to make do with their self-released EP, featuring the fuzzy herky-jerk of fan faves like "The War Between Eight and Four" and "Dronebots and Peons for Eons and Eons." Rapidly ascending the L.A. band food chain, make a point to catch The Pity Party when they play with Autolux and Blonde Redhead at this year's Sunset Junction on August 18th. It's gonna be large. - Scott T. Sterling, Music Editor - Metromix LA


Discography

EP: ORGY PORGY EP, 2008
EP: The EP, 2006.
Vinyl: EP on Vinyl, 2007
H.O.T.S. and Love Lies (ORGY PORGY EP) are being played on London's XFM by DJs John Kennedy and John Hillcock and on BreakThrough Radio online.
Dronebots and Peons for Eons and Eons, WMD, and War Between 8 & 4 (THE EP) have received radio play on Indie 103.1 and KXLU in Los Angeles.

Photos

Bio

WHY THE HELL SHOULD I CARE ABOUT THE PITY PARTY?

THE PITY PARTY is a two-piece from Los Angeles, unlike any other two-piece. The female half, HEISENFLEI, plays drums with three limbs, punches out groovy, dirty bass lines on a keyboard with her remaining arm, and takes the lead vocals. Her bandmate, M, plays effect-laden guitar lines, bass vibrations on a foot-controlled Auto-Orchestra, provides back up vocals and the occasional necessary primordial scream.

PEDIGREE
THE PITY PARTY have quickly gained momentum and attention owing to their multi-tasking, explosive live performance. Heisenflei and M draw inspiration from their years together singing choral music and their awe of Heisenflei's brother's bands. (Brother Greg Edwards was in FAILURE, and is in dark, melodic three-piece AUTOLUX). They've toured with THE RAVEONETTES, and played shows with SILVERSUN PICKUPS, A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS, THE LITTLE ONES, THE NOISETTES, THE BIRD AND THE BEE, AUTOLUX, HEALTH, MACABEES, PATRICK PARK, GOOD SHOES, and THE MAE SHI, to name more than a few.

They started the year off packing the Monday night free residency at legendary Silverlake venue SPACELAND and then hotfooted it to Austin to play six shows in five days at SXSW. They are the first band ever to score a full page Radar feature in NME without a manager, label, or press agent. They were chosen Number 1 in SUPERSWEET MAGAZINE'S New Myspace Band Contest, voted Best Band in LA by reader poll for LA WEEKLY, chosen to play one of the four INDIE 103.1 New Music Series nights at the HAMMER MUSEUM, and played the DETOUR FESTIVAL (headlined by BLOC PARTY and JUSTICE) and SUNSET JUNCTION STREET FAIR (headlined by BEN HARPER and BLONDE REDHEAD). AMOEBA MUSIC featured them as one of their fave homegrown bands, they graced the cover of L.A. RECORD MAGAZINE, and KCET's website did a feature on them.

WHO ALREADY CARES
This unique, genre-defying duo has caught the attention of NME, LA TIMES, FILTER-MAG, TIME OUT LONDON, LA WEEKLY, BBC COLLECTIVE, CHICAGO SUN TIMES, LOS ANGELES MAGAZINE, THE ONION, and LOS ANGELES CITY BEAT. JOHN KENNEDY spins their tunes on XFM London and MARK SOVEL plays them on LA's Indie 103.1. They have been compared to DEVO, DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979, Autolux, Raveonettes, PORTISHEAD, THE WHITE STRIPES, and even YOKO ONO. Their music blends catchy pop hooks and danceable beats with challenging, moody, sonic atmospheres.

TRASH IS TREASURE
THE PITY PARTY adheres to a very genuine D.I.Y. policy. All of their CD packaging and promotional materials (posters, handbills, etc) are hand made from what would otherwise end up in a dumpster. Their use of recycling even inspired Indie 103.1 to package its most recent free compilation CD in 100% post-consumer materials.

THE PITY PARTY has self-released two EPs: The EP (2006) and most recently ORGY PORGY EP (2008), which is packaged in sleeves hand sewn from a recycled billboard for a fruity Smirnoff beverage and features the artwork of RONALD DZERIGIAN.

P.S. DON'T QUIT YOUR DAYJOB
Heisenflei owns and operates a knitting shop (www.thelittleknittery.com) and M manages his dad's veterinary clinic. This is sexy, edgy shit, sirs. Get in on the ground floor of this.