Santa Cruz Good Times

Thursday
Mar 05th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Seven-Album Itch

music_TheAppleseedCastThe Appleseed Cast is still figuring itself out and finding its place
Back in the summer of 2006, I witnessed Russian Circles open up for The Appleseed Cast, and it was probably a terrible act for the headliners to have to follow. Still, what seemed like  an onstage mismatch seemed to epitomize the amorphous nature of The Appleseed Cast.

While Russian Circles are known for intense post-rock bombast, The Appleseed Cast will bring a more melodic, slow-boiled take on instrumental buildup when it descends upon the Rio Theatre on Friday, March 25. In fact, the band, based in Lawrence, Kan., has always felt a little out of place in more ways than one. During a career spanning seven full-length albums, the enemble has sort of hung out in a genre no man’s land, grabbing fans from the punk and indie scenes but truly endearing itself to neither. Likewise, the band’s music has found its own middle ground between instrumental and pop music.

 

“That’s actually a pattern that we’ve tried to go with,” explains guitarist Aaron Pillar about the band’s arrangements. “I think it’s just about trying to find an interesting spot where the vocals make sense in that ballpark. It’s almost like we’ve done things in such a way for so long, it’d be really weird, maybe it would be a good thing to write some songs that are all vocals.”

And indeed, The Appleseed Cast makes use of vocals in at least two ways that differ from your typical off-the-shelf indie record. One is in the quintet’s arrangements, which swerve between dramatic, sweeping post-rock epics, and rather engaging indie pop relying on more traditional verse/chorus structuring.

Moreover, one of the starkest decisions the band has ever made was in recording its 2009 effort, Sagarmatha. Though vocal effects were certainly nothing new to the group, this record featured singer Chris Crisci in an indistinguishable tone, his voice more a disembodied spirit.

“During those sessions we definitely got a little happy with putting delays on vocals, which is tricky because they can kind of bounce around and not make a whole lot of sense,” explains Pillar, the band’s other driving creative force. “On those songs it just felt there were so many written musically first as instrumental songs that became songs with lyrics. On Sagarmatha there was definitely an intention to make the voice just kind of help tell the story as a background.”

Still, as creatively satisfied as Pillar seems with his band of nearly 15 years, his more meandering musical sensibilities (contrasted with Crisci, who seems more responsible for focused tracks like “Song 3” from Peregrine) belie his desire to reach a broader audience. While bands like Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky certainly prove post-rock has an audience, you’re not soon to hear an 8-minute minimalist piece on alternative radio anytime soon.

“I certainly wish I could try and pretend I was 20 years old again,” explains Pillar, who also runs a catering business in Lawrence with his wife. “I didn’t have any responsibilities, I just wanted to make it big. I don’t really see that happening anymore.” He adds, “I did always want to have a bus—I wanted to have a manager and a bus, just for one tour, so all you have to do really is walk out and play. Even now I feel really far from that.”

 


The Appleseed Cast performs at 8 p.m. Friday, March 25, at the Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. For more information call 423-8209.

 

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Crop Circles

How the confusion over GMOs is undermining the organic movement

 

Week of Festivals: Full Moon, Lantern Festival, Purim, Holi

It is a week of many different festivals along with a full moon, all occurring simultaneously. Thursday Chinese New Year celebrations end with the Lantern Festival (at full moon). Thursday is also the Pisces Solar festival (full moon), Purim (Jewish Festival) and Holi (Hindu New Year Festival). Sunday, March 8, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. The festival of Purim celebrates the freedom of the Hebrew people from the cruel Haman (a magistrate) seeking to destroy them. Esther, the Queen of Persia, who was secretly Jewish, saved her people from death. The sweet cookie hamentaschen celebrates this festival. Friday, March 6, is Holi, the Hindu Spring Festival celebrated after the March full moon. Bonfires are lit the night before, warding off evil. Holi, the Festival of Colors, is the most colorful festival in the world. It is also the Festival of Love—of Radha for Krishna (the blue-colored God). It is a spring festival with singing, dancing, carnivals, food and bhang, a drink made of cannabis leaves. Holi signifies good over evil, ridding oneself of past errors, ending conflicts through rapprochement (returning to each other). It is a day of forgiveness, including debts. Holi also marks the beginning of New Year. At the Pisces Solar festival we recite the seed thought, “We leave the Father’s home and, turning back, we save.” Great Teachers remain on Earth until all of humanity is enlightened. The New Group of World Servers is called to this task and sacrifice. Sacrifice (from the heart) is the first Law of the Soul, the heart of which is Love. This sacrifice saves the world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of March 6

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

 

Water Street Grill

YOLO gets reincarnated

 

What would make Santa Cruz better?

A lot more outdoor activities such as outdoor movies and concerts, food and art festivals, and more multicultural activites. Emmanuel Cole, Santa Cruz, Bicycle Industry Product Developer

 

Thomas Fogarty Winery

When looking for a bottle of something to have with dinner, Gewürztraminer 2012 is not the first wine to come to mind. Given the popularity of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Pinot Noir—to name but a few—Gewürztraminer sits low on the totem pole.

 

So Long, Louie’s

Louie’s Cajun Kitchen & Bourbon Bar closes, plus Back Porch pop-up, and 2015 Outstanding in the Field tour