By Maíra Amorim, Contributing Reporter

Little Joy, photo by Maira Bittencourt.
Little Joy, photo by Maira Bittencourt.
RIO DE JANEIRO – Little Joy are one of the most talked about indie bands in the music world today, and will be returning to Rio for their second show. Cariocas are getting another concert next month, this time at Fundição Progresso, on August 14.

The change of venue illustrates how big the band is getting. Last time they were in Rio, in February, they played at Circo Voador, which can hold up to 2,500 people. With a capacity of 5,000, Fundição has space for twice as many fans. Little Joy is also playing in São Paulo, at Via Funchal, on August 15.

Little Joy is a Brazilian-American group formed by the Carioca Rodrigo Amarante (from the band Los Hermanos), Brazilian-American Fabrizio Moretti (from The Strokes) and North-American Binki Shapiro, the only girl in the band. Formed in 2007, they have attained public and critic recognition and have performed all over the US, Europe and Brazil.

So far, the band has released just one self-titled CD, Little Joy, in 2008. It is a short, straight to the point and has joyful and fresh numbers throughout. They will be presenting music from this album at Fundicão’s show, accompanied by Todd Dahlhoff (bass), Matt Borg (guitar) and Matt Romano (drums).

Amarante and Moretti are members of two big bands: Los Hermanos (currently on a break), which has a battalion of fans in Brazil, and the Strokes, famous worldwide. The two met at a music festival in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2006, and became friends. They accidently met again in 2006, while Rodrigo was taking some time off with Los Hermanos and went to Los Angeles to collaborate with Devendra Banhart’s album Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. They called Binki, Fabrizio’s girlfriend, and moved to a house at Echo Park, in Los Angeles, to write and record songs.

It is the same method Amarante used to employ with Los Hermanos. Before the release of any album they would all get together at a house in the mountains in Rio for a month or two to work on the songs. The group, formed in 1997, became a musical phenomenon in Brazil, with a huge group of passionate fans and serious LH-haters.

Music critics love how Los Hermanos were able to restyle Brazilian music, mixing rock and MPB with poetic lyrics. On July 2007, after 10 years, they gave a final concert at Fundição Progresso, drawing 8,000 people (nearly twice the house capacity).

Little Joy’s popularity in Brazil is undeniably linked to Los Hermanos. Orphan fans of the band will surely be present at the group’s show. But LH is not the only factor to their success, as Little Joy have a very different sound from Los Hermanos, and have just one song in Portuguese, Evaporar (Evaporate), a number made powerful with the help of Amarante’s whiskey-throated voice.

At Rio’s concert in February, Little Joy’s set list included Último Romance, a beautiful song about love written by Amarante and one of Los Hermanos’ most well-known numbers. It was a surprise to the audience, as they hadn’t sung it at previous concerts. Will they give audiences a repeat performance at Fundição Progresso? It’s not worth taking the risk.

Little Joy
August 14th – 10PM
Fundição Progresso
Rua dos Arcos, 24 – Lapa – Tel.: (21) 2220-5070
R$50 (with studen card) and R$100


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