So, here we are, quickly approaching the halfway mark of 2016 and exactly one week away from the 2 year anniversary of this growing podcast. Emphasis on growing. At the turn of the year, I looked into Brandon's eyes after our New Year's kiss and said "This is going to be our year."
Okay, we didn't kiss, that was a joke, but I did say that at some point in the night. And I'm being proven right. While so far 2016 has been a bit of a bleak year on the whole for humanity, what with the loss of some musical legends and the threat of having what seems to be an anthropomorphic reptile creature with a bad wig and a butthole for a mouth becoming President, I have to maintain that things have been nothing but magical for us and our little podcast. Nothing speaks to that more than our experience this past Monday (5/2) podcasting and hanging with the amazing and talented people that make up the super dynamic band, Silversun Pickups.
I won't hesitate to call it a small miracle and a large act of generosity that such a prestigious band actually agreed to sit down and talk to us. Now before I ramble on about that, I should admit that had been sleeping on this band for quite a while, despite all efforts being made to enlighten me. They're one of Brandon's all time favorites, after all. I can at least say, however, that it's because I tend to not do my homework due to me being procrastination incarnate. That's doesn't mean that I'm oblivious to who they are though. I've picked up a little more than what they sound like, I also know what kind of band they are. Generally speaking, I'm a fan of bands that consist not only of musicians that showcase brilliancy, but who also know how to mesh together sonically so that they become a single entity, apparent in each song, like a precise concoction that couldn't be if it were missing a single ingredient; no one outshining the other, no one stealing the show. Not only do Silversun Pickups embody that type of band, but you can still easily separate them and just nerd out about how talented each of them are. From Brian's affinity for complex yet catchy riffs and melodies as well as his masterful use of distortion overdubs to Chris and Nikki's powerhouse combination of a rhythm section, characterized by his machine-like technical drumming and her heavy, groove-oriented and electrifying bass tones. Not to mention the added ethereal flavors of Joe's keys to add that ambient icing on the cake, especially as they flirt more and more with electronic elements in their musical maturity. Apart, they're all sick ass musicians, but when they come together, you get thoughtful, rich, and nuanced music. From where I stand, they're not creating albums so much as they are creating soundtracks.
Cute little review, right? Anyway, all that said, I was stoked to find out how this all translated into a live show. The way it worked out was a little unfortunate for me since my day job got in the way and I couldn't make it onto the podcast, So Brandon had to pull off the interview on his own. He did nothing short of a fantastic job, though, as if I had any doubt. In fact, I was pleased to learn that he left such an impression that Chris, the drummer, and Nikki, the bassist, offered us free entry to the show as well as passes for us to come hang out after the show and have a beer with them. Holy shit. Pleased, indeed.
I'll spare the details on how I spent that day surfing Reddit at work and playing my UFC game after I got home and skip to when we were at the show. Now, there are only so many ways to describe the captivating and raw nature of their performance. It was incredible to see the unique display of energies on that stage, each member embodied a different characteristic. Exuberance, focus, timidness, and power from the vocalist/guitarist, keyboardist, bassist, and drummer respectively. It put into perspective the vast spectrum of their musical palette that's so apparent in their music for me. Long story short, they were brilliant. I saw another side of them on that stage that only serves to bolster my appreciation for them. After they exited the stage, the night wasn't over for us. We soon found ourselves being led backstage in order to take them up on their offer to chill a little bit after the show. I was especially happy because even though I didn't get to be part of the interview, I was still getting my chance to meet and chat with them. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to have one of the biggest touring bands in music today turn out to be made up of some of the most beautiful, friendly, and humble people ever. We talked open-handed drumming, tour life, band history and all kinds of stuff over some beer before sharing hugs, goodbyes, and invitations to do it all over again next time.
I have to make sure anyone reading this knows that I'm not writing this just to brag about meeting an awesome band. No, that's just an added benefit. I'm writing this because I want to celebrate what it means to have pulled this episode and this experience off with something I helped create, to have a new crowning jewel, an accolade to show for how far we've come. It's to give praise to the wonderful things a partnership can accomplish, and acknowledge the passion we have for music, our city, and everyone trying to make waves as hard as we try. It's to commemorate the fact that so long as we're putting in the work, the universe still has our back. I need no further proof than the fact that my brother Brandon had his first ever article, covering this very show, published in the Houston Press. He's a legit writer now, ladies and gentlemen. See for yourself:
Congratulations, homie! This is our fucking year.
Alright. That's it. Laters!