All photos by Tod Seelie. Text by Nicholas Chatfield-Taylor, who directed most of the band's amazing music videos.
Seeing Parts & Labor for the first time is kind of like walking into high school Spanish 101 on the first day of school. It's confusing, but exciting enough that you don't drop the class and sign up for an extra math class instead. Eventually you learn the language and revel in it.
Over ten years, Parts & Labor have strove to create music that is experimental, heavy, and accessible. Many were driven out of the room by the first blasts that came out of Dan & BJ's amps, and either Jim, Joel, Chris, or Joe's drums. For those who stuck around, there was incredibly special, smart music to be heard.
Last Friday, Parts & Labor played its last show before an indefinite hiatus. Sounds encouraging, but here's some context: Fugazi is also on indefinite hiatus.
Besides every drummer joining the band for a few songs, every person who has ever played with Parts & Labor, live or in studio, was also there to play. When the additional members weren't playing on stage, they were either on the sidelines with an extra pair of drumsticks playing along to the song, or somewhere in the crowd having just as much fun as anyone else there. The band played 20 songs, weaving their way through every phase of their sound. They ended, appropriately, with "Changing of the Guard," the last song on their first album after they signed to Jagjaguwar. Towards the end of the song, while Dan stood at the front of the stage and played the last notes, BJ, Joe and Chris smashed the drums and tore down the set that had been built from panels saved from their first music video.
Parts & Labor's shows always felt intimate. Every show felt like you were seeing a band that was about to be really big, and you were lucky to see them now. They never broke through like many of the other Brooklyn bands that they played with, but there's no doubt they went out with the same power and energy they had when they began ten years ago.
Previously - The Babies
You can keep up with Tod's weird life at @suckapants
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