Photo Credit: Jordan August
Baltimore’s Pigeons Playing Ping-Pong
will play the Hideaway on February 28, their first show in Louisville. They were kind enough to answer a few questions:
1. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong is a very 21st Century sort of name for a psychedelic funk band. What would the name have been in the Seventies? Which of that era’s band’s fan base would have liked what your sound?
While I think that Pigeons Playing Ping Pong would’ve been a hot name back then too, I’d have to go with Crazy Ray and the Funk Machine. I think the 70’s scene would have dug our music a lot, given its funky and psychedelic nature. We would have shared fans with George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Earth Wind and Fire, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Kool and the Gang, Herbie Hancock, Average White Band, The Meters, Curtis Mayfield, etc. But our music also transcends funk at times, so I think there would’ve been some crossover from the fan bases of Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead, The Who, Queen, David Bowie and The Doobie Brothers too. Now that I think about it, we should have been playing in the 70s…
2. Serious dancing is very stressful. Do you carry defibrillators, pacifiers or faux Librium as part of your show?
We have oxygen tanks on standby, but we haven’t had to use them for a few months now, thankfully.
3. Do you ever get at-all serious during your set and why/why not?
The vast majority of our show is light-hearted and whimsical, although there are certain points that get really intense. But serious isn’t the right word for it… I’d say sometimes we get seriously possessed. During some of our more psychedelic jams, we get lost in the moment and enter a bit of a dark, trance-like state. But once the tension of the jam is released, we return to the universe with fresh smiles.
4. The Hideaway Saloon’s stage is small (25 sq ft, maybe) and the dance space smaller still. Will your audience have the full 4P experience while bouncing in their seats?
Definitely. We’ve played rooms of all sizes. Whether it is 10’x10’ or a large festival crowd, people get down. Hard. We really focus on throwing down high-energy shows, and sometimes, the smaller the space, the better. Small rooms have really high energy. Everyone’s crammed in, the sound is bouncing off the walls, and the dance party gets good and sweaty. If Hideaway is a bit smaller, we’ll use that intimacy to everyone’s advantage. I say, bring it on! If we have to, we’ll tear the roof down to make more room!
5. Baltimore is known in here in fly-over country as a major reggae town; does the rasta attitude creep into your music?
Though I haven’t heard that Baltimore is a rasta-town before, we definitely have flashes of reggae. Our drummer is highly influenced by reggae dub, which carries into his playing a lot. We have a few rasta songs that we like to bust out here and there, and sometimes our jams get really chill, great beach music.
6. Do you have a greet-your-neighbor segment called “Meet the Flockers”? Why not?
Tell you what, when we get our first television show, we’ll throw that segment on the pilot and see how it tests in the focus groups.
7. What’s the secret Pigeon handshake/sign?
Cross your hands, with your palms facing you, and your thumbs interlocked – you’ll see a bird. Then flap your wings and fly away
8. If you could be on any current television sitcom/drama, which one would it be?
Parks and Recreation. That cast is too much fun, plus I’m secretly in love with Rashida Jones and Aubrey Plaza, don’t tell either of them… (also, please don’t tell Mila Kunis about them, she’s a jealous girlfriend).
9. What would Letterman’s Top Ten about you be?
“Top Ten Reasons Why ‘Pigeons Playing Ping Pong’ should change their name.”
10. Only the French knows how to spell “Pigeons.”
9. No one likes to write four words in one sitting.
8. Alliteration is for fourth-graders.
7. Pigeons are the rats of the sky and ping-pong isn’t a real sport.
6. Pigeons have no respect for famous American statues.
5. 1 in every 1 Americans have Ornithophobia, or fear of birds.
4. It sounds way too similar to the Australian Pop-Rock powerhouse ‘Dingoes Devouring Ding Dongs.’
3. They’ll never pass psychologist B.F. Skinner’s YouTube video of pigeons that can actually play ping-pong.
2. Venues always transfer them to “Special Events” instead of “Booking.”
1. Bird flu: it’s an epidemic.
10. Did anybody here tell you that you should play Zanzabar instead? They didn’t? For shame.
I guess not, but now we know! This is our first show in Louisville, and I’m really pumped to check out the scene. We’ve heard nothing but great things about the music community so far, so no matter where we play, we’ll have the chance to catch a glimpse of that awesomeness for ourselves. Hideaway Saloon doesn’t know what’s coming!
Bio: Funk, Rock, Electronic, ENERGY: These four Pigeons bring it every night. Based out of Baltimore, MD, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong has an undeniably unique and versatile live sound coupled with an intoxicating stage presence that leaves you dancing all night. Their evolving arrangement of original compositions, psychedelic improvisational jams and contagious smiles have ‘The Flock’ growing and coming back for more. With no end in sight, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong is here to bring the party with their danceable electro-funk grooves and infectious positivity. Get ready for some FUN!