Monday, April 25, 2005

The Flys

The Flys

So who here remembers the Flys? Not the punk band from the 70's. I'm talking about the one-hit wonder from the late 90's who made it big with their song, "Got You (Where I Want You)." You don't hear it on the radio nowadays, but it was popular back in '98. The thing is that they were pinned down to that one song. Once it drifted out of the mainstream, so did the Flys. I bet almost nobody remembers them now. That's pretty disappointing consindering they were an incredible band that produced some very nice music.

Take "Got You (Where I Want You)" for example; it's the best song off of their major label debut, Holiday Man. It has everything that a great pop song should: a memorable riff and hooks galore. Adam Paskowitz's laid back, dry vocal delivery works well against the smooth steady guitar work of Peter Perdischizzi. Nicky Lucero shows off his great drumming skills, going from a heavy pounding during the verses to a more easy-going style during the chorus. From verse to chorus, it seems like the song is going from emotional pleading to a more traditional pop-like crooning. Then everything goes wild once the guitars start really blazing and Joshua Paskowitz, Adam Paskowitz's brother, starts his chaotic rapping. The song takes on entirely new connotations from then on.

When I was 15, I used to interpret this song as being a lonely guy dreaming about this one woman and not actually getting anywhere with her despite him saying, "Got you where I want you." When considering the previous interpretation, that line emphasizes the fact that its own untruth and he is living in his own little fantasy world. Basically, when he says, "Got you where I want you," the self-delusion of that statement embeds himself further in his own fantasy.

Now I think the song can be interpreted another way: as a player hitting on women, playing with their emotions, and saying all the right lines so he can get some action. The part where Josh Paskowitz starts rapping is when the player starts getting it on, hence the semi-indecipherable lyrics:

Suffer, suffer
You don’t get no rougher
Rub it up, baby girl
Torture me like no other
Suffer, suffer
You don’t get no rougher
When you rock me, baby
Put your thing on me, lover

But then again those lyrics are open to many interpretations. Are those the words of a player getting rough with his woman or the words of a desperate man lost in his fantasies with the woman of his dreams? Or is it something else entirely?

But enough of that song and my half-witted analyses. As I said before, the Flys have a lot more quality material in their repertoire than just "Got You (Where I Want You)." Holiday Man itself is an incredible album full of excellent songs. Take "Groove Is Where You Find It" for example, a mid to low tempo track with a funky, psychedelic groove that pumps out of your speakers with mind-altering power. This is the kind of song that would go well with one of Winamp's basic visualizers. All those colors and shapes flying around the screen in this psyched out collage of trippiness. Whoa, that sounds awesome. I'll be right back.

Okay, I'm back and adequately grooved, baby. Conveniently enough, this state of mind is perfect for the next song I wish to discuss, "Sexual Sandwich." This is a smooth, soulful, funky, and slightly silly number that gently caresses your ear drums like the cool, evening breeze of a tropical beach. Adam Paskowitz truly shows just how much vocal range he has as his soulful voice soars over the 70's flavored stylings of this song. Very fun track and it makes for a great sing-along when you're by yourself. And depending on what you're into, it could be used as a great make-out song.

Buy the Flys' debut album Holiday Man

The Flys - Got You (Where I Want You)
The Flys - Groove Is Where You Find It
The Flys - Sexual Sandwich

I never heard any new songs by the Flys play on the radio after "Got You (Where I Want You)" disappeared. This confuses me considering that they released an album in 2000 called Outta My Way that was just as good as, even if somewhat of a departure from, Holiday Man. The major difference between the two albums is that the Flys lost a lot of their funk and rap influence and focused more on straight ahead rock 'n roll in between the two albums. This may have had something to do with the departure of Adam Paskowitz's brother, Joshua, who was the rapper of the group.

But as I said before, Outta My Way is just as good as Holiday Man. If you require proof showing that the Flys still kept the quality high with their second album then I give you the radio worthy "Losin' It." As far as I know, this song could have had radio exposure in areas other than Maryland, where I live, but I don't think it did. Such a shame. The song is a really catchy, uptempo number that is guaranteed to have you dancing on your feet and singing along. Well, you might just end up tapping your toes or nodding your head slightly. But I can guarantee a pleasant reaction.*

Buy the Flys' album Outta My Way

The Flys - Losin' It

*Writer's Note - Pleasantness is a non-refundable item. If you were not pleased by "Losin' It" then that's your own damn fault and I can't do a thing about it.


At 4/26/2005 01:03:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved loved loved The Flys and own Holiday Man. Thanks for posting about them!

At 5/20/2005 05:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me what happened to the group "The Flys"? Or more importantly Adam Paskowitz? I knew him in the early 1980's in New York City. Back then he went by a different name and was in a band called "Dry Ice". After many years of wondering whatever became of him I thought I would just ask...where are you Adam?

At 6/10/2005 01:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Flys disbanded about 3 years ago shortly after their final tour and recoding session for what was to be their 4th record.
Adam now heads up a new band called "Jetliner". They are about to release their second record in Europe. You can check the bands website at for more info. Great rock sound....check 'em out!

At 6/20/2005 01:08:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was also a HUGE Flays fan & Was lucky enough to "hang" with them through their hay day! I miss them so much (Especially Peter, James & Nick). Thanks so much for posting such great comments on them! BTW_ Losin it was played on X96 here in UTah but didn't fare well. Which confused me cuz they ALWAYS had sold out shows here. Even after Josh, Nick & Peter left they did well. BTW - Josh Married a SLC Hometown girl - last I heard anyway! ;)

Thanks again!

At 8/16/2005 03:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

went to a free Flys concert in Providence and got t-shirt and towel signed by the band - had a sweet time and still have the signed items - oh yea - ate Life Cereal with the band after the concert - its their tradition!

At 9/20/2005 11:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to tour with and play with The Flys. They had a magic about them when they were together. None of their albums come close to capturing the intese live show that they delivered. Their first album 25 cents and Holiday Man are good, but live they would take the songs to new heights.

I consider it one of the greater music crimes that they broke up and didn't stick with it. An even greater crime that none of their recorded work can touch the live shows. Few people will ever know what they really sounded like, unless they have a good bootleg from their 96-98 tours.

If I was rich, I'd track them down and pay them a few million to tour again, every note they played sticks in my head and heart. It would be a beautiful event to see them play again.

At 9/20/2005 12:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw the Flys play in Salt Lake City with a band called Pcp Berzerker. It was the best concert I have ever seen.


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