The last time Donald Cumming, the 25-year-old frontman for the New York quartet the Virgins, visited Miami, he ended up in jail. Somewhat forcibly transplanted by his mother to the horrors of northern Florida from his native Manhattan, then-15-year-old Cumming took a bus down to meet an old friend. "We spent the whole time shoplifting, all Versace and Gucci and Armani. We drove out to someplace near the Keys, some flossy shit," he recalls. "What's funny is that we fucking racked all these expensive-ass fancy clothes, but we ended up in jail over a fucking disposable camera, because we realized 10 minutes before we left that we hadn't taken any pictures!"
With that experience long in the past, and Cumming long since returned to his downtown New York stomping grounds, he can laugh about it a little. And it's this charmingly insouciant attitude that informs his band, the Virgins, and makes it so damn fun. Think of those debauched city things that, intellectually, are gross but kinda feel good at the time — partaking in no-bullshit, see-ya-later sex; indulging in the ever-tragicomic "cocaine brunch." They all come up in the good-times, danceable rock of the Virgins' debut self-titled full-length, seemingly recounted with a blithe, lazy grin. Yes, it is possible to enjoy a little vice and live through it, and look damn good while doing so. Wrap this message in a sort of chilled but up-tempo punk-funk, a sort of pain-killered-Talking-Heads-meets-disco-swing, and you get the irresistible, shiny package that will make even the most over-it, malnourished clubgoer gyrate.
Read a Q&A with the band on our blog, CrossFade.
The Nylon Summer Music Tour: With Be Your Own Pet, Switches, and She Wants Revenge. Wednesday, May 21. Revolution, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $16; all ages. 954-727-0950, www.jointherevolution.net
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