Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Apr 19th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Deer in Spotlights

musicDeerTickRhode Island’s Deer Tick works hard, plays harder
There are certain bands which just beg to be played in a raucous drinking establishment: glasses banging, cigarettes glowing, hips shaking. With its worn-in sound, dusty country aura, and vocalist John McCauley’s raspy drawl, Providence, R.I.’s Deer Tick is the kind of act which could challenge The Hold Steady for the title of World’s Greatest Bar Band.

Coming around to the Crepe Place on Saturday, April 24, Deer Tick has already made waves with its rick-rollicking live show, which—as attendees at their March show at San Francisco’s Independent discovered—may or may not include male nudity.

“It happens once in a while,” says McCauley about the group’s onstage disrobing. “I think that particular night was a little extreme. It was our first gig in a while. We hadn’t really been on tour, we weren’t really in the swing of things and we got a little carried away.”

When asked if alcohol had anything to do with the evening, he replies with a tongue-in-cheek “Absolutely not.” But in fact, McCauley attributes the band’s intense live show to its lifestyle.

“It comes together pretty naturally, but some times our live shows suck and they’re really boring,” explains McCauley. “Everything kind of has to be kind of perfect, you know? Which usually happens. We have our off nights either because we’re partying too hard or we partied too little. We’ve got to get it right in the middle there, and then the good stuff happens.”

Though Deer Tick may have some hard-partying ways, the guys are also a hard-working group of individuals. In 2009 they released their second full-length, Born on Flag Day, and on June 8—less than a year later—plan to release album number three, The Black Dirt Sessions, much of which comprises songs McCauley wrote as a teenager and newfound songwriter.

“A year seems a lot longer to us, I guess,” says McCauley about Deer Tick’s prolific recording and touring schedule. “We don’t really take breaks, you know. I think a year in between [albums] is too much time, personally. I’d spend every minute in the studio when I’m off tour if I could, but it’s expensive.”

Despite having played festivals like Lollapalooza, the band is still looking to hit the big time. Still, perhaps Deer Tick’s most notable breakthrough into the mainstream came from one of the unlikeliest of places—NBC anchor Brian Williams, who personally selected the band for the first profile on his internet program BriTunes.

“He’s a really smart guy, he listens to a lot of new music, and I think he kind of understands our vibe better than most critics do,” says McCauley of Williams. “We got a call and were told to be in New York City the following Monday, and the next thing you know we’re being interviewed by Brian Williams. It was kind of strange, but he’s a badass.”

Though maybe he didn’t see interviews with news anchors in his future, McCauley certainly always believed he’d make it in music. Growing up in blue collar Rhode Island, he speaks with the conviction of someone who’s never been confused about his station in life.

“I think [my parents] realized I wasn’t happy doing anything but music,” McCauley says about his formative years. “When I was 11 they bought me a bass that was my first instrument. I just kept playing, and went through one shitty guitar after another. I never made a decision to play music, I just grew up understanding that about myself. Nothing would ever have stopped me.”


Deer Tick performs at 9 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at the Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $12/adv, $15/door. For more information, call 429-6994. Send comments on this article to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit goodtimessantacruz.com.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Smells Like Team Spirit

The organizers of TEDx Santa Cruz don’t just talk about this year’s theme, ‘radical collaboration’—they live it

 

Pluto Retrograde, Aries New Moon, Lyrid Meteor Showers

As the Lyrid meteors, radiating from the star Vega in the Harp constellation, begin showering heaven and earth with light, Pluto, planet of transformation (or die) turns stationary retrograde (Thursday, April 16), 15 degrees Capricorn. Retrogrades have purpose, allowing humanity time to review, reassess, research and reinvent while returning to previous situations. Retrogrades are times of inner activity, seeds sown in bio-dynamically prepared soil. Pluto retrograde is the most serious and resolute of retrogrades—a pure tincture, or, as in homeopathy, a “constitutional” touching the essences of all that matters. Pluto offers deep insight into confusion or puzzlement and areas where transformation is still incomplete. It’s valuable to have one’s astrology chart to follow what area of life the major planets— especially Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto—are influencing. These outer planets have long-term and lasting effects on our psyche, inner/outer life events, how people see us and how we see and process our world. Pluto, retrograde for five months (until Sept. 24) offers deep earthquakes of change, awakens humanity to the task of building (Capricorn) the new culture and civilization, flailing our inner world about, deepening us until we transform and do things differently. Pluto is an unrelenting teacher. New moon (29 Aries) is Saturday, April 18. With the personality-building keynote, “Let form again be sought.” Mars anchors the new creative fires of Aries into our world. The New Group of World Servers participates together in the new moon festival, while also preparing for the Taurus Wesak, Buddha Full Moon Festival (May 3). Join us everyone.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Mighty Leaf

Radicchio from Dirty Girl Produce, wine etiquette fail, and a treat from Gayle’s

 

What would you like to see a TED talk about?

Hydrogen-gas cars that are coming this summer. Scott Oliver, Santa Cruz, Professor

 

37th Parallel Wines

I visited the Capitola Mall recently to check out the newly launched Third Fridays Walking Art Tour, and was surprised to find an impressive assortment of artwork from local artists.

 

New Bohemian Brewery

New Santa Cruz brewery focuses on European style lagers