The Situation I'm sitting by an open window at Via Tribunali with songwriter Gabriel Mintz and his bassist, Geoff Stanfield. Mintz is 31 but looks 21—he's got long corkscrew curls and wears torn jeans. It's close to 1 a.m. on a Friday, and on the sidewalk across the street, a guy is getting hassled by cops for not having a shirt on. I ask Mintz if he's ever been arrested. He starts to nod, but then Stanfield shoots him a look and shakes his head. "Um, no," says Mintz. Wait, you can't censor him! "Yes, I can," says Stanfield, "and I just did."
Gabriel Mintz With Kate Tucker, Joshua Morrison. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416. $8. 8 p.m. Thurs., Aug. 19.
Intoxication Mintz and I are drinking $3 happy-hour Peronis. He mentions he ran sound at Conor Byrne for about a year. Working at a bar, he must have some rowdy stories, right? What's the craziest thing that happened at Conor Byrne? Stanfield cuts in: "Don't answer that question."
How He Got Here Wiped out from playing the Sunset the night before, Mintz spent much of his day puttering around his apartment and getting ready for rehearsal. That's not a typical day for him, though—generally, he says, he's the busiest person he knows. A Maryland native, he's traveled all over the U.S., Israel (where he has family), and Saudi Arabia. What were you doing in Saudi Arabia? "Don't answer that," demands Stanfield.
Shop Talk Before we came out for drinks, I sat in on a rehearsal and heard a few songs from Mintz's lovely record, Volume I. Of his expectations for the record, he says, dreamily and in true hippie fashion, "It's like a little growing plant. It's like a piece of dust that'll float where it goes." Mintz's vocals are soft but pack a huge amount of power, and they and the bluesy, reverbing electric guitar reminded me of nothing so much as listening to the late, great Jeff Buckley's Sin-é sessions.
BTW: Earlier in the evening, Mintz got locked out of his apartment and stuck outside in his pajama onesie. That's right, pajama onesie. They have guitars printed on them. How did he come to own such an item? "My sister got 'em for me," he says, giggling. "We have matching ones." Finally, a question he can answer.