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items tagged with Daytrotter

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 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 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 To hear the band's session, click here.

As Much Time as It Needs: The Daredevil Christopher Wright, June 3 at Huckleberry’s
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-06-01 14:02:50

The Daredevil Christopher Wright

As you might imagine, there are a good many Christopher Wrights in the world, and one of them was a conspirator with Guy Fawkes in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. But according to singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jon Sunde, his band The Daredevil Christopher Wright takes its name from a person he made up for a song.

"As far as we're concerned, he's a fictional character," Sunde said in a phone interview. "But it's interesting to hear about the Christopher Wrights of the world." (What's dryly funny is that the song bearing his name has the chorus "I want to grow up to be Christopher Wright.")

The use of such a common name with the vivid "daredevil" mimics the approach of the Eau Claire, Wisconsin, trio, headlining a show on Wednesday at Huckleberry's in Rock Island.

Sunde called it "pairing the profound and the mundane," and that means searching for enlightenment in the everyday. "Trying to shoot straight at love or straight at agony or trying to expound on the concept of romance - it's too big, it's too broad, it's too strange," Sunde said.
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A Fine Line Between Serious and Clever: Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele, May 29 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-05-26 19:07:03

Dent May

The debut album The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele begins with an a cappella number called "Welcome" that starts, "Welcome to my record / Welcome to the show."

The second track features vocals mimicking electronic bleeps before the ukulele actually shows up, and the lyrics begin, "Every Tuesday, and every other Friday or so ... ." The voice is clear, confident, and forward, not at all the tentative instrument one might expect with indie-pop music defined by the miniature guitar.

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