If you've been wondering what's become of the costumed and painted-up local musical marauders known as Ball of Flame Shoot Fire ... well, the band has dropped the costumes and makeup for the moment. "We all liked dressing up for the shows, but we didn't want to be forced into doing it every time," says guitarist Tim Good. "I'm sure at some point in the future we'll bring back the costumes."
But the real reason you haven't seen the chamber-pop group around lately is that it's jumped ship for New York City.
"We all moved to NYC because it's definitely the mecca for new music right now," Good says. "We needed to go somewhere new, live together and play all the time." Even while in Pittsburgh, the band could perform only sporadically, with members scattered to different colleges around the country during the school year.
While Good says BOFSF has "had mixed results with gigs" in New York so far, the band's blog (ballofflameblog.blogspot.com) seems to suggest members are having a crazy time ... or that they're just crazy.
"The blog is mainly just silly stuff right now," Good admits. But he says it's intended as a vehicle for the new music the group's churning out. "It's an experiment in how we put out music more than anything else."
The brand-new Danny & Rob EP is available now as a free download on the band's blog. (Previous releases Grumpy Little Bird and the full-length Jokeland were distributed more conventionally.) The EP gets a proper Pittsburgh release show this Sat., Dec. 6, at Garfield Artworks, with Scott Simons, Code Orange Kids and The Snails. (The all-ages show, organized by CP contributor Manny Theiner, starts at 8 p.m. and costs $6.)
Just how BOFSF will perform certain tracks from Danny & Rob is a bit mystifying. For example, the EP includes a track entitled "The Joy of Dane Cooking," comprised entirely of manipulated samples from Dane Cook's 2005 comedy album, Retaliation (exactly why, I don't know).
The EP "came from listening to a lot of Animal Collective, Black Dice and the like, and trying to use samples in a new and creative way, but it's definitely not our new direction," says Good. BOFSF plans to begin recording a new album in January, hewing a bit closer to its more straightforward releases.
"That being said, we will incorporate more samples into the songs on our next record, so I guess that certain textures and moods from the EP might resurface in there somewhere."