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Team Facelift

 Team Facelift 1 Photo

New York City trio Team Facelift are known only by strings of nonsensical aliases, the principals being Machine (aka Teen Wolf, aka The Big Bopper), Fonda (aka Karim Fonda, aka Alden F Fonda) and Fat Jew (aka The King Of Brunch, aka Fabrizio Bonaducce). All natives of Manhattan's Upper East and West sides, the NYC party vets also don't disclose their ages and claim to hail from such exotic locales as "a Tel Aviv discotheque" and "a Duane Reade -- the shampoo aisle."

After aligning as an informal graffiti crew around the turn of the 21st Century, Team Facelift started playing around with beats and rhymes. And though they admit they've never quite been able to take themselves seriously, their initial efforts attracted enough attention to inspire them to delve deeper and commit to a career in music.

"Rap's not dead," Machine explains, "it's boring. That's why I feel confident in our stuff. It's new flavors and it has a lot of energy." In the hip-hop tradition, Team Facelift use music as a vehicle for documenting the nuances of their scene. In this case -- and here's where Machine's 'flavor' comes in -- that means unflinching accounts of garish, drug-addled hedonism. A world where physical pleasure and instant gratification reign supreme, a worldview the band calls "Dipping Chicken," also the name of a song on the group's self-released 2006 debut, Mixed Emotions. Says Fat Jew: "It's like putting on a pair of leather pants and a lumberjack vest. That's dipping chicken."

Team Facelift's mission, according to their website, is "basically to do to rap what Elton John did to being gay." What they've done so far is apply their anything-goes party vibe to dubbed-up dancehall and lovers' rock loops, chattering raunch over suggestive grooves.

But on Team Facelift, the scenery is just as significant as the sound. That may or may not explain Fat Jew's frequent nudity. Fonda explains it this way: "He's like a banana. The more layers you peel, the better it gets." Fat Jew himself asks, "When you see Michelangelo's David do you say, 'What's with all the nudity?' Does David need a pair of cargo shorts and a baseball cap?" Finally, the best explanation may come from Machine. "We're for the kids. We party hard and now we wanna get everybody else in on it. Join the party."


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