GIVERS- “Don’t Get Stuck in the Meantime, No Such Thing as the Meantime”

GIVERS– Gunland Bundschu Winery

(Jan 23, 2011)

GIVERS was a band that stole the stage when opening up for Ra Ra Riot concert (Gundlach Bundschu Winery) in late January. Their fusion of soul, funk, Caribbean and pop elements give them a unique, experimental edge unlike many other bands that I’ve come across before. While I had heard one of their songs (‘Saw You First‘) from an Austin City Limits (ACL) playlist and really liked it, I really had no idea how different the songs would sound when played live. GIVER’s performance at the Ra Ra Riot concert was so raw and captivating that you could NOT take your eyes off the stage. It was obvious that the band was genuinely having the time of their lives up there and could not be happier making people smile with their music. They were such an uplifting, cohesive group and their chemistry was so contagious that you couldn’t help but wanna join in on their cheerful energy. ‘Up Up Up‘ was surely the song that elicited the most intense reaction from the crowd and had everyone jumping up up up all the way through. Another awesome song that I really enjoyed was ‘Meantime,’ especially with the fun little beat that begins about 2 minutes into the song, and the line “Don’t get stuck in the meantime, no such thing as the meantime.” A newer song (to be released on their debut album, In light) which I LOVE is ‘Noche Nada,’ and this lyric always stands out: “The more I’m me, the more you’re you…”

 

The chick singer, Tiffany Lamson, who also played percussion and the ukulele, was SO BADASS. Not only could she tear up those drums, but she could mesmerize you with her soulful, raspy voice that sounds like a mix between Stevie Nicks and FeistTaylor Guarisco (vocal, guitar) is also a very captivating performer and dancer! His feet were moving so fast at one point during a song that I was SURE he was going to trip over some cords and eat it on stage! (Thank gosh he didn’t…)

 

During their very last song, Tiffany got so aggressive with the drums that her drumsticks completely flew out of her hands!  Since I was right in the front (facing her) of the stage, I immediately scrambled to the floor and picked them up! (I was already in the mindset of diving for things, since earlier that day–when hiking Mt. St. Helena–I dove to retrieve a dude’s hat from the side of a mountain after it blew off his head!  The coolest part about the drumsticks was that they were all shredded and torn up from Tiffany’s siiiiiick performance that night (and also that I got them signed by both Tiffany and Taylor after the show).

 

Because the GIVERS and Ra Ra Riot show was at a winery, the whole atmosphere and vibe was much more laid back and chill than most concerts I’ve been to. Not only were all of the bands (Pepper Rabbit, GIVERS, and Ra Ra Riot) setting up all their own equipment, but they were all hanging out in the audience in between sets and even dancing in the crowd with fan while the other bands were playing. During the last half of Ra Ra Riot’s set, both Tiffany and Taylor of the GIVERS and Xander of Pepper Rabbit decided to come join my friends (Hillary DavisGina MacBarbJensyn Hyman and Jocelyn Berry) and I for an ULTIMATE dance party at the front of the stage. It was at that very moment that I recall thinking to myself, “Wow, music truly IS the BEST MEDICINE.” Up until that night, I was in quite a rut (coming off a few crazy, not-so-uplifting weeks), and the only thing that was able to shake me out of it was this live music and all-around good energy. (I seriously was on a high for the next two weeks after that concert…ENERGY LEGS were back in FULL FORCE!)

 

Another pleasant surprise about that show was the fact that I met two new REALLY AWESOME chicks, Jensyn and Jocelyn, who I’m still kicking it with (months later). I’m actually going to be going with Jensyn Hyman to Bonnaroo in June! Le sweeeeeeeeeeeet! Speaking of Bonnaroo, it turns out that GIVERS are gonna be performing there this year for the first time. I remember talking to Taylor after the show about how playing at Bonnaroo was the group’s next big goal, aside from getting signed to a good record label, which they did a week later (Feb 1st) by Glassnote Records (the same label that Mumford & Sons, Two Door Cinema Club, Temper Trap, and Phoenix are on). NOT TOO SHABBY!  Taylor was a super friendly and super chatty dude (not surprising for a fellow Italian!), and it was from him that I learned about Dirty Projectors, another band that I put on this playlist.  He told me that Dirty Projectors were AMAZING, and that it wasn’t until GIVERS toured with this talented group that they realized music was their calling. Dirty Projectors liked the GIVERS so much they asked them to open the entire east coast leg of their fall tour. Later in 2010, GIVERS brought their dizzying energy to South by Southwest (SXSW) and Austin City Limits (ACL) music festival, where their infectious sound and jubilant live performance wooed Glassnote Entertainment Group’s legendary musical guru, Daniel Glass (hence them being signed by Glassnote soon thereafter). I was so amazed by Taylor’s adoration and appreciation of Dirty Projectors that I knew I needed to explore this band further. And I DID! (see my review of Dirty Projectors at the Fox Theater in Oakland) 🙂

Favorite songsUp Up Up, Meantime, Ripe, Noche Nada, Atlantic

PICTURES:

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Dirty Projectors- “I Haven’t Found it Yet…But I’ll Keep on Dancing Until I Do”

Dirty Projectors– The Fox Theater, Oakland

(July 28, 2012)

 

“Miraculous, harrowing, and moving in less than an hour…”  
Dirty Projectors are a Brooklyn-based experimental rock band consisting of Dave Longstreth, Amber Coffman (vocals, guitar), Angel Deradoorian (vocals, keyboard, samples, guitar, bass), Brian McOmber (drums), Nat Baldwin (bass), and Haley Dekle (vocals). The group has released seven full-length albums through 2010, Bitte Orca (album five) being the most complete and most acclaimed album. Vampire Weekend frontman (and onetime Dirty Projector) Ezra Koeing describes this album as follows: “I hear big riffs that make me think of classic rock, so I think, ‘Is this Led Zeppelin deconstructed?’ I hear folk guitar picking and gorgeous strings, so I think, ‘Is this 60’s folk-pop re-imagined?’ But, as is usually the case, my lame attempts at categorization fade away and soon all I can hear is Dirty Projectors … It’s not Physical Graffiti for 2K9; it’s 2K9’s Physical Graffiti.”  Speaking about the band in general, Ezra also says: “I couldn’t explain what I meant about ‘fucked-up American music’ six years ago and I’m not that interested in trying to explain it now. I just think it’s fitting to describe Dirty Projectorss with a phrase that’s been exploited by the worst of the worst and the corniest of the corniest, but has always had the potential to mean something rad: Uniquely American.”
I found it so cool that Vampire Weekend was tied to Dirty Projectors! Vampire weekend is one of my all-time favorite groups and you’ll find many of their songs spread throughout my playlists. Also, I love that Taylor Guarisco of GIVERS is also a big fan of Dirty Projectors. He is actually how I initially found out about them! PLUS, I later found that one of my FAVORITE FEMALE ARTISTS OF ALL TIME (Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs) was first discovered BECAUSE OE the Dirty Projectors. She was living out of her car for while, trying to pick up some opening slots for artists while road tripping, and the Dirty Projectors gave her an opening slot for one of their gigs in the Pacific Northwest (I think it was Seattle or Portland). It was then that she starting to gain exposure and support, especially with a band like Dirty Projectors fathering you. NOW she is definitely STANDING ON HER OWN TWO FEET…(far from it!)
Dirty Projectors are seriously one of the most musically creative, pushing-the-envelope type bands that I’ve come across, and definitely one of the most fun to watch. I was so happy to share my DIRTY PROJECTOR DEVOTION with Kyle and Nick at Sasquatch music festival in May. A musical trick that distinguishes them from most other bands (and makes them THAT MUCH MORE BADASS) is a technique called “Hocketing”..where a single musical line is shared between a number of people to create an infinitely more complex and beautiful sound. Dirty Projectors use it for percussion, handclapping, and most of all, for insane VOCAL arrangements (see the video for Beautiful Mother and Unto Caesar). AMAZING TO WATCH come alive before your eyes. Cheers to Heather for telling me about the hocketing technique (I didn’t know what it was called!)…Dirty Projectors are their own breed, and surely cannot be defined or cornered into any particular style/genre of music…I LOVE THAT. Do yourself and favor and GO SEE THEM. Just prepare for your JAW to DROP TO THE FLOOR. 🙂

My favorite songs are: Gun Has No Trigger, Dance for You, Unto Caesar, Just from Chevron, See What She’s Seeing, Swing Lo Magellan, No intention, Cannibal Resource,  Stillness in the Move, As I Went out in the Morning

“I haven’t found it…but I’ll keep on dancing till I do.”  –Dirty Projectors (Dance for You)

 

VIDEOS:

Stillness in the Move

Dance for You

Unto Caesar

Useful Chamber

Just from Chevron

Beautiful Mother   (INSANE “Hocketing”)

No Intention

Gun Has No Trigger

Cannibal Resource

The Socialites

See What She’s Seeing

PICTURES:

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