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items tagged with Rozz Tox

Recording as Canvas: In Tall Buildings, February 15 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2012-02-12 01:53:21

Erik Hall. Photo by David Sampson.

Less than a minute into In Tall Buildings’ 2010 self-titled debut is a moment that hints at Erik Hall’s cut-and-paste method. New vocal lines burst abruptly from beneath the previous ones, as if overeagerly jumping their cue. But the music is so carefully constructed that it’s obvious this was a choice rather than a mistake, and the effect in an otherwise patient and gentle song is the understanding of a clear vision behind the music.

The album was crafted over four years, Hall said in a phone interview this week promoting his February 15 performance at Rozz-Tox. “I didn’t push it at all,” he said. “I didn’t work on it unless something came to me, unless I had an idea that I knew I wanted to apply to the music that I was already working on. So it was very gradual.”

While the album’s gestation period was long by music-industry standards, Hall’s composing and recording approaches were particularly unusual. He started out with a backbone – a chord progression or rhythmic pattern – and recorded it for the final product. “That’s it,” he said. “It’s not like a demo. ... Sometimes I have to sit and live with that for a good while before I figure out where the vocals are going to come from, what the song is going to be about, and what else sonically it needs.” He added with a laugh: “That can take anywhere from a week to a year.”


Read More About Recording As Canvas: In Tall Buildings, February 15 At Rozz-Tox...


Pop ... ish: Wet Hair, February 11 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2012-02-08 18:54:32

Wet Hair.For Wet Hair singer and keyboardist Shawn Reed, being experimental is the only thing he can do. “Unless it’s weird and challenging, I’m just bored with it,” he said in a phone interview this week. “It just doesn’t feel important to me.”

The surprise of last year’s In Vogue Spirit was that the Iowa City band produced a batch of songs that was – for it – downright poppy.

That might seem like a contradiction unless you’re familiar with Wet Hair’s previous work, or the output of Reed’s and bandmate Ryan Garbes’ previous noise-rock outfit Raccoo-oo-oon. Pitchfork.com wrote that “in both Raccoo-oo-oon and Wet Hair, Garbes and Reed have been uncompromising in their pursuit of the outer limits. ... That hasn’t changed. But with In Vogue Spirit, Garbes and Reed have delivered a more consistent, considered record. Space is still the place, but they’ve found shortcuts to getting there.”


Read More About Pop ... Ish: Wet Hair, February 11 At Rozz-Tox...


Forcing Freshness: The David Mayfield Parade, November 1 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2011-10-25 20:50:24

David Mayfield.A lot of bands decide to track their albums largely live in the studio, but until I talked to David Mayfield, I’d never heard such a strong rationale. The typical goal (outside of saving money and time) is to capture a live energy, with the incidental benefit of retaining some charming flubs.

But for the self-titled debut of the David Mayfield Parade, this bandleader knew that live tracking – including recording the drums with a single microphone – would get the best out of the players.

“I think there’s some merit to limiting your options,” said Mayfield, whose band will perform as part of the Communion Tour at Rock Island’s Rozz-Tox on November 1. “It really helped to just put us in a mindset of pulling the trigger and making these choices early on. All the lead guitar, and drums, and bass are in the room together, and there’s so much bleed that you couldn’t go in and fix something. You had to just choose a take and live with it, which kind of made everyone ... more precious about their performance.”


Read More About Forcing Freshness: The David Mayfield Parade, November 1 At Rozz-Tox...


Growing Comfortable with Vulnerability: Shenandoah Davis, September 16 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2011-09-09 13:36:56

Shenandoah Davis. Photo by Jennifer Lynne Sweeney.In April 2008, Seattle alternative-weekly paper The Stranger dubbed Shenandoah Davis its artist of the week, writing that “fans of Joanna Newsom have a local act to love.” The comparison to the idiosyncratic harpist/singer/songwriter was flattering, but there was one problem: Davis had never played in public as a solo artist.

She began to get inquiries about shows, but she was unseasoned as both a songwriter and performer. “I remember very distinctly that there was one show that I was so nervous about I canceled it maybe half an hour before – the second show I was ever supposed to play,” the 26-year-old Davis said in a phone interview promoting her September 16 show at Rozz-Tox.

So started a steep learning curve for Davis, who began playing piano as a toddler and has a degree in opera performance but has been writing her own songs for less than four years.


Read More About Growing Comfortable With Vulnerability: Shenandoah Davis, September 16 At Rozz-Tox...


A Classical Take on Bold Rock: Skye Carrasco, June 17 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2011-06-14 19:36:09

Skye Carrasco

For her forthcoming debut album, violinist, songwriter, and singer Skye Carrasco initially thought big. “I had envisioned all these different instruments – piano, trumpet, trombone, string bass, maybe even some accordion,” she said in a phone interview promoting her June 17 Rozz-Tox show.

“It ended up being much simpler that I had originally imagined,” she said. “As I recorded the songs – the vocals and the violin parts – ... and really listened to them a lot, ... we decided that perhaps we should start with some drums and electric bass.”

That’s where it started, and that’s where it ended. The first half of the album – which the Iowa City resident hopes to release this fall – is so lightly adorned that it might escape listeners’ notice until the relative cacophony of “Empty Buckets.” That track signals a distinct change in tone, from elegantly lyrical to abrasive and often discordant.


Read More About A Classical Take On Bold Rock: Skye Carrasco, June 17 At Rozz-Tox...





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