Music

The Giving Tree Band + Lubriphonic: 21.Jan.2010 - Chicago

Words and Pictures by Allison Taich

Two Thursdays ago, Chicago’s Kinetic Playground played host to the Waka Winter Classic, a travelling promotion of the 7th Annual Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival seeking additions to the festival’s 2010 lineup. At every stop several bands battle onstage in a regional talent showcase. Fans then vote for their favorite act, and the band with the most votes earns a spot to play at the festival.

Thursday’s face-off pitted six Chicagoland bands, of which I was able to catch the final two: Lubriphonic and The Giving Tree Band.

Lubriphonic, who graced the stage of Wakarusa in 2006, project a mixed timbre of soul, funk and rock, all accompanied with a side of gritty blues. The band started with a bang and instantly turned up the funk with the crowd dancing about, sloshing drinks overhead.

Front man Giles Corey maintained a perpetual shuffle on his guitar, using his fiery vocals to sing libidinous lyrics with honesty. Bassist Pannel Johnson was the backbone of the band, a rolling rhythmic groove, while drummer Rick King maintained the band’s pacing and movement. Accenting the group’s cadence was a punchy three-piece horn section.

Lubriphonic’s brief set was all high energy and fun, however it seemed that the band’s steam began to fizzle as the set wore on. In fact, they were too energetic, provoking higher expectations than they could meet—however their set was pressed for time which could have contributed to the anticlimactic ending.

The Giving Tree Band, of Yorkville, Illinois, also started later than expected and provided an interesting contrast to the funk fusion of Lubriphonic. The octet was all folk, Americana, and twang. Each component of the group neatly synchronized creating soothing harmonies and a dulcet sound. Their music enabled daydreams of a plush, grassy summer festival field, a mental escape from Chicago’s cold realities.

Led by brothers Todd and Eric Fink, the Giving Tree Band is known for their strong environmental convictions while creating music. For example, their albums are all made wind energy, packaged with biodegradable and recycled materials, and their instruments are made from wind-fallen trees and other found objects. To further circulate their craft the band was giving away their latest album, The Joke, The Threat, & The Obvious, for free.

The results were announced around 1:30 am, the victors being the Giving Tree Band. While they’re on their way to Arkansas, their music will be featured on the Wakarusa website as part of an online talent showcase. Winners of the online portion of the competition will be bumped up to one of the festival’s main stages.

The Waka Winter Classic is touring through Valentines Day, hitting 20 cities in all. Wakarusa itself takes place June 3rd through June 6th at Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, Arkansas.

Giles Corey

Lubriphonic

The Giving Tree Band

The Giving Tree Band

The Giving Tree Band

The Giving Tree Band setlist

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

Keep reading... Show less
9
TV

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

Keep reading... Show less

The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

Keep reading... Show less
9

If space is time—and space is literally time in the comics form—the world of the novel is a temporal cage. Manuele Fior pushes at the formal qualities of that cage to tell his story.

Manuele Fior's 5,000 Km Per Second was originally published in 2009 and, after winning the Angouléme and Lucca comics festivals awards in 2010 and 2011, was translated and published in English for the first time in 2016. As suggested by its title, the graphic novel explores the effects of distance across continents and decades. Its love triangle begins when the teenaged Piero and his best friend Nicola ogle Lucia as she moves into an apartment across the street and concludes 20 estranged years later on that same street. The intervening years include multiple heartbreaks and the one second phone delay Lucia in Norway and Piero in Egypt experience as they speak while 5,000 kilometers apart.

Keep reading... Show less
7

Featuring a shining collaboration with Terry Riley, the Del Sol String Quartet have produced an excellent new music recording during their 25 years as an ensemble.

Dark Queen Mantra, both the composition and the album itself, represent a collaboration between the Del Sol String Quartet and legendary composer Terry Riley. Now in their 25th year, Del Sol have consistently championed modern music through their extensive recordings (11 to date), community and educational outreach efforts, and performances stretching from concert halls and the Library of Congress to San Francisco dance clubs. Riley, a defining figure of minimalist music, has continually infused his compositions with elements of jazz and traditional Indian elements such as raga melodies and rhythms. Featuring two contributions from Riley, as well as one from former Riley collaborator Stefano Scodanibbio, Dark Queen Mantra continues Del Sol's objective of exploring new avenues for the string quartet format.

Keep reading... Show less
9
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image