Meet the first woodwind quartet made from political undertones: Bike Lane, a chamber group named after the ongoing debate between bikers and their mobile nemeses.
Leah Paul — formerly of the flute-rock band, The Bridesmaids (that’s right, flute rock) — started the side project with her own compositions, and gave a killer kick-off show at Barbès in Park Slope earlier this fall.
She’s a virtuoso of a flautist, and she’s an even more avid biker — she’s a scholar in the bike issues covered in this paper.
“Biking is one of the things I love most about Brooklyn — I ride the new Prospect Park West bike lane every day,” Paul said. “In fact, I was stopped by reporters once because I was wearing a short dress while biking, during that whole Hasidic debate over scantily clad women.”
Beyond its zeitgeist-seizing band name, Bike Lane does not make overt support for cycle paths a part of its compositions (it would be hard to do a symphony piece on the city’s abrupt removal of the Bedford Avenue bike lane, for example). Instead, the four-piece group — including a violin, clarinet, bassoon, and Paul on the flute — serenades its audience with deep classical arias that show off Paul’s expertise in harmony and phrasing.
Whatever the band’s rhyme or reason, the fans dig it.
“[The Barbes show] was a rare treat,” said Andy Haynes. “Most of the time, you’ve got some crappy singer/songwriter at these small venues. The chamber music was refreshing.”
This Bike Lane is so good that even Borough President Markowitz won’t be able to oppose it.
Bike Lane at Temple Beth Emeth [83 Marlborough Rd. at Church Avenue in Flatbush, (718) 282-1596]. Feb. 13, 7-10 pm. Free. Check bikelane.bandcamp.com for updates.