Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fitz and the Tantrums: From Static to Spotlights

When I first heard Fitz and the Tantrums' "Moneygrabber" on the radio, I was hooked (and also completely convinced that it was some great soul group from the '60s or '70s). Here I am, months later, finally aware that they are in fact very current, that their entire album is more of the same vivacious indie pop soul, and that they've managed to create one of the most make-you-get-up-and-move sounds around without the use of a single guitar. Here's the first hit from their 2010 release Pickin' Up the Pieces.

From the get go, this track creates a fast moving, pulsing image. Everything's in a constant state of flashing, almost like television static, but with more color. It's as if there's a white background, and all the static flashes are shades of yellow and green, but the washed out retro record sound makes them more like mustard and olive. What is fabulous though is that the colors aren't any more muted for this, it's still bright and warm and almost as blinding as the sun on the five feet of snow outside my window.

All Wrapped up into One- framed original watercolor

Vintage 1960s Olive Green Clover Pattern Wiggle Dress
All Wrapped up into One original watercolor by Carianne Mack Garside $200
Vintage 1960s Olive Green Clover Pattern Wiggle Dress from Plastic Tags $64

When the opening chorus quiets and we're left alone with Michael Fitzpatrick's voice accompanied by a more mellow bass, barer drum beat, and more sparse piano, the colors stay the same, but they become smoother and creamier. The image just flows more which I think speaks to the inherent sexuality of the vocals, they seem so much more exposed after the crowded vigor of the song's opening.

Abstract Honey Daisies Painting  Cute Whimsical Gift 8 x 8 x 1.5 Banana Yellow and White Swirl Sundress
Honey original painting by S. Swalla $37
Vintage Banana and Yellow White Swirl Dress from Paper Doll Vintage $30

At about two minutes into the track we enter into this incredible bridge, which somehow manages to seem even more retro than the rest of the song. Suddenly the image changes dramatically: we are thrust into darkness. The piano seems even further away, and each count from the vocals is a flash of energy and light, like a spotlight flicking on and off in a smoke-filled nightclub.

Off Center Stage Fine Art Print 11x14 Signed

ebony and ivory dress (m - l)
Off-Center Stage print by Traci Griggs $45
Vintage Ebony and Ivory Dress from Sally Jane Vintage $14

Then we're thrust back into the daylight and it seems that much brighter, almost glaring, but still infectious and fun. If you haven't yet, be sure to check out the rest of the album and check back next week as I take a look at some of the Fall 2011 RTW collections from New York Fashion week!


Now this is a beautiful woman with a powerful voice that has been featured by groups from a large variety of musical genres. You name it, she can sing it. Accordingly, she works a variety of fashion styles, almost always reflecting the music being performed. With Fitz and the Tantrums, fittingly enough, she works late '50s and early '60s cocktail dresses which look absolutely stunning on her, and basically look amazing on every woman. I mean, Mad Men became a fashion craze for a reason, right? Here's a small selection of some great vintage wiggle dresses from that era to get your own retro look!

vintage 50's La Vie en Rose Valentine's Wiggle Dress 1950's Vintage Marigold-Yellow Hawaiian Sealife-Novelty Scenic Tropical-Floral Linen Designer-Couture Hourglass Rhinestone-Applique Rockabilly Pencil-Wiggle Bombshell Back-Fishtail Beach Wedding Cocktail Party Sun Dress and Vest-Jacket Suit Ensemble
Stella by Starlight Black Rhinestone Wiggle Dress 50's Aqua Blue Raw Silk Wiggle Sheath Dress
Vintage La Vie en Rose Wiggle Dress from Lola Vintage $54
Vintage Marigold Tiana Pittelle Wiggle Dress from Timeless Vixen Vintage $330
Stella by Starlight Vintage Black Rhinestone Wiggle Dress from Miss Farfalla $108
Vintage Aqua Blue Raw Silk Wiggle Sheath Dress from The Greedy Seagull $88


  1. My new favorite band! Best post yet.

  2. Fabulous post! So happy I am now new to your blog. :) Thanks so much for the feature!

  3. Thanks so much for including my dress in your amazing and interesting post! You have a great blog! xo


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