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items tagged with RozzTox

No Joke: Har-di-Har, October 26 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2013-10-22 15:08:37

Har-di-Har. Photo by Taylor Creery Photograpy.

There are many unusual things about the married-couple musical duo Har-di-Har, including the way songs swerve, shift, collapse, explode, die, and rise again with little warning. But it’s unlikely that you’ll get to hear their strangest songs when they perform at Rozz-Tox on Saturday.

Some odd bits first:

• The name Har-di-Har is drawn obliquely from the theme music of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and that information is as helpful as any of the other explanations given by the band.

• The pair shares a drum kit, with Julie Thoreen playing the “hands” and Andrew Thoreen the “feet.”

• People who purchase a USB drive with the band’s two EPs will get all future Har-di-Har releases uploaded to it for free at a live show.

• The Thoreens decided to pursue music before they’d played a single show as a band.

• Har-di-Har’s Facebook page calls its music “psychedelic dream pop intricately composed and played the way three-legged contests are won.”

“We cannot do anything the way other people do it,” Julie Thoreen said in a phone interview last week.


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The Turtle in the Race: The Sumner Brothers, June 11 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2013-06-06 13:43:30

The Sumner Brothers

Several reviews of the Sumner Brothers’ second studio album, I’ll Be There Tomorrow, start similarly. No Depression’s begins: “There’s no reasonable explanation why I have not heard the Sumner Brothers before ... .”

Actually, there is a reasonable explanation. The Vancouver duo – playing Rozz-Tox on June 11 and recording a Daytrotter.com session while in the Quad Cities – has built a following in western Canada and the U.S. west coast over the past seven years; but it has never played “out east,” in Brian Sumner’s words. I didn’t ask, but I think “out east” likely includes the Midwest.

“We’re the turtle in the race, where we just kind of slowly grow every year,” he said in a phone interview last week.

But I’ll Be There Tomorrow is bringing a lot of new ears to the group following a self-titled studio album and two collections of home recordings. “It’s just careful planning on our part,” Brian said of the positive attention the 2012 release has received. The brothers have conscientiously cultivated media relationships, he said, which paid off when the record came out in September.


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The Reluctant Entertainer: John Fullbright, May 30 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2013-05-23 14:09:45

John Fullbright. Photo by Vicki Farmer.

When John Fullbright plays at Rozz-Tox on May 30, expect a certain amount of ambivalence from the songwriter and musician.

I asked him in a recent phone interview whether he considers himself a good performer. “I think sometimes I am,” he said plainly.

It’s not that the 25-year-old Oklahoma native and resident doubts his chops, which earned him a Grammy nomination for his debut album, From the Ground Up. Rather, he’s not particularly comfortable in front of an audience.

“I don’t like getting on stage and saying the same jokes and doing the same thing and having a show,” he explained. “But at the same time ... that’s what people are paying for.”


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The Ordinary (but Really Good) Band with the Exotic Story: Brett Newski & the Corruption, May 28 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2013-05-20 11:33:51

Brett Newski & the Corruption. Photo by Sweet Chucky B.

Brett Newski & the Corruption bills itself as “a band from Saigon, Vietnam,” but before you imagine some sort of Eastern-Western mash-up, know that Newski comes from the exotic environs of ... Milwaukee.

It’s true that the band lived and recorded its album Tiny Victories in Saigon, and that Newski and his collaborators are an international cast – albeit entirely from North America and Europe. But when the band plays Rozz-Tox on May 28, don’t expect any divergence from poppy Western guitar rock. Outside of lyrics based on travels and life abroad, the influence of southeast Asia, Newski said in a phone interview last week, is limited to the invigorating hullabaloo of the city.

“It’s indie rock,” Newski said. “We’re not rocking any sitars or anything. But the energy that the city brings that we’re constantly surrounded with I thought translated well into the energy of the album.”


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At Home in Two Worlds: The Lonely Wild, May 4 at Rozz-Tox
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2013-04-30 22:49:12

The Lonely Wild

On the Web site of the California band The Lonely Wild is a country-rock-stomp version of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus,” notable for its clarity, the way it bends the song to the band’s style while remaining true to the original, and some Michael Stipe-like vocals. But what will strike most people forcefully and immediately is the jarring segue into the guitar solo from Pink Floyd’s “Money,” with motifs from both songs intertwined for the remainder.

It’s a small, natural leap between the central riffs, but it’s an inspired pairing. And on its debut album, The Sun as It Comes (released April 2), the quintet shows a similar skill at combining disparate elements into a natural but distinctive whole – explosive desert gothic, with Ennio Morricone’s Spaghetti Western soundtracks blended with modern indie rock.

The band will be performing at Rozz-Tox on May 4, and singer/songwriter Andrew Carroll said the band grew out of a solo project. His previous band had been a collaborative songwriting outfit, he said, and writing alone was “kind of liberating, not having to ask for other people’s opinions, or having to work with four different people ... . It gets difficult to produce material that way.”


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