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items tagged with Daytrotter

The Mood of a Nation: These United States, August 17 at Huckleberry’s
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-08-12 18:27:09

These United States

There's nothing directly political about Everything Touches Everything, the third album from These United States. But the record could be called the five-piece band's Obama collection, even though you'd be hard-pressed to find more than hints of that in the content.

It's not nearly as precious or knee-jerk as it sounds. It's not a Pollyannaish perspective, and there are no unicorns or rainbows. It's more about a mood.

The questioning refrain of "Night & the Revolution" is tellingly ambiguous -- "How do you think this night is going to conclude?" is paired with "Where do you think this revolution is going to go?" -- and it seems more about a party than partisanship.

But as songwriter/singer/guitarist Jesse Elliott was assembling the record, he decided that its song selection would hinge on the outcome of the election. The album that will be released on September 1 is significantly different from the one that would be released had John McCain won.


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Hip by Accident: Those Darlins, July 20 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-07-16 14:04:21

Those Darlins

When Those Darlins play RIBCO on Monday in a Daytrotter.com show, be prepared for things to get a little crazy. And if they don't, expect some good-natured hectoring from the Tennessee-based band.

Nikki Darlin -- they go by that fake family name, even though the three singing and songwriting leaders aren't sisters -- described the scene at a recent Nashville show celebrating the release of the group's self-titled debut:

"Jessi [Those Darlins' guitarist] and I had built a giant chicken piñata that was destroyed during 'The Whole Damn Thing' song. And my friend ... had made me a dress that night, and he ripped it off of me in the middle of the set. So I was playing the rest of the show in my underwear. And then everyone started taking their clothes off and got up on stage. Everyone's spitting beer all over everyone else. People were making out, and it was just fucking awesome."

The piñata, by the way, was filled with feathers.


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Silence Is Golden: Tiny Vipers, June 19 at Huckleberry’s
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-06-17 13:57:56

Jesy FortinoWhen Jesy Fortino talks about her experiences with touring -- particularly opening for rock bands -- she sounds self-pitying and ungrateful. Most musicians would kill for her situation.

"The hype around here was pretty cool in Seattle," Fortino said in a phone interview last week. "I just went from starting to play to getting signed to Sub Pop. It was really quick. I hadn't gone through the trial and error of being an unsigned musician."

As Tiny Vipers, she released Hands Across the Void in 2007, and Pitchfork called it "as sobering as folk music gets: patient, resonant, and, perhaps most importantly, curious."

Download Embed Embed this video on your site Tiny Vipers - "Dreamer"

But despite the buzz and early acclaim, touring was torturous. "Nobody [in the crowd] gave a shit," she said. "They're there to see the band that's after me." When she opened for Minus the Bear (again, most emerging artists would be more than envious), "the audiences would mostly just chant 'Minus the Bear' while I was playing. When it first happened, I was totally devastated. I really internalized it. ...

"I got really lame and kind of selfish in my own negativity," she continued.


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Muscle and Meat: The Meat Puppets, June 24 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-06-04 16:53:46

Meat Puppets

The Meat Puppets have a name that all self-respecting rock fans recognize - even if many have only heard Kurt Cobain sing the band's songs - and a hell of a history.

But singer, guitarist, and primary songwriter Curt Kirkwood didn't want a big comeback record or tour when he reunited with his bassist brother Cris.

"Let's just pretend like we're a brand-new band - just forget about it all," he said in a phone interview last week to promote the band's June 24 Daytrotter.com show at RIBCO. "I don't have to meet anybody's expectations. ...

"Can we just do this on a real level - make records and not be an anachronism or a re-formation, a tribute to the '80s or '90s or whatever?"

Kirkwood, who turned 50 this year, isn't dumb, though, and recognizes that the ideal is unattainable. The most important thing, he said, is to make progress, to not merely exploit the past: "There is the anachronism involved, there is a heritage, there is a history in all this stuff. And yet, you move it on. ... It's on you to not rest on your laurels."

You expect similar pronouncements from any long-running band, and you'd be smart to be skeptical. But the closer you look at the Meat Puppets' history, the more weight Kirkwood's words carry.


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The Incredibly Shrinking Band: Pattern Is Movement, June 6 at Huckleberry’s
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-06-03 21:54:12

Pattern Is Movement

By the fall of 2007, Pattern Is Movement -- which started as a five-piece band -- finished shedding members, ending up as a duo.

Drummer Chris Ward recalled last week that the remaining members booked a tour before they'd even figured out exactly what the new incarnation would sound like. "That was the dumbest idea ever," he said of the tour.

They'd written a new album -- what ended up being 2008's All Together -- "not knowing that we could ever perform those songs," he said. "We hoped we could. We were banking on that. But we had no proof. We had never been a two-piece ever."

Download Embed Embed this video on your site "Jenny Ono"

The dumb idea got dumber when the headliner of one concert canceled, and the venue offered Pattern Is Movement more money for a longer show; the band accepted. On the drive to the performance, Ward and keyboardist/singer Andrew Thiboldeaux picked four songs to cover to flesh out the set, and the drummer admits that it didn't go well. "The crowd didn't really like the show," he said.

But Pattern Is Movement's take on Radiohead's "Everything in Its Right Place" that night was an epiphany for both band and audience. "They loved that cover," Ward said. "They freaked out."

The original song is a keyboard and Thom Yorke's voice (both straight and heavily manipulated), and Ward said both were a good match for Thiboldeaux's falsetto and Rhodes - one of two keyboards he plays on stage, along with bass pedals.

"It anchored us; it just connected with the audience," Ward said. "I felt they were able to understand our songs a little more. ... That cover really opened up a direction for us as a band."

After three U.S. tours, the Philadelphia-based duo certainly has a better sense of itself, with the results on display at Huckleberry's on Saturday in a Daytrotter.com show. The covers these days are more cheeky --Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" and D'Angelo's "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" -- and the band is undoubtedly sunnier than Yorke and company, but that Kid A-era Radiohead touchstone remains. With Rhodes, Mellotron, drums, and Thiboldeaux's airy voice, the sound is warm and burnished but complicated with the experimental textures of jazz and the subtle variations of minimalism.

While it's took the band six years from its 2001 founding to arrive at its current form, the destination isn't surprising. Ward and Thiboldeaux were a Christian-rap group in their early teens, formed a band in high school, and assembled Pattern Is Movement after college.

It was awkward to lose members regularly, Ward said: "Every time somebody saw us, we were a different band. 'Oh, there's four of you ... ? Oh, no, three, right? What? Hold on, there's two of you now?' ... You can't really get into a band when you don't have a clue what they're trying to do."

But that process helped the two recognize that they were the band by themselves. "As people started leaving, it just became apparent," he said.

Download Embed Embed this video on your site "Right Away"

The duo wants to make complex, challenging music, Ward said, "but when you boil them down, he [Thiboldeaux] wants people to walk away and whistle them."

A great song, he added, "can always be pared down to a kick and a snare and an accordion, or a piano. That essentially is what we already are."

Pattern Is Movement will perform at Huckleberry's ( in Rock Island) on Saturday, June 6. The all-ages show also features The Netherfriends and starts at 7 p.m. Admission is $6.

For more information on Pattern Is Movement, visit MySpace.com/patternismovement. To hear the band's Daytrotter.com session, click here.






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