Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Feb 12th
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

 

Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Making Dreams

Coen brothers salute vintage Hollywood in sly comedy ‘Hail, Caesar!’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Pub Watch

Mega gastro pub-in-progress at the Old Sash Mill, plus the best pasta dish downtown

 

How do you know love is real?

When you feel the groove in your heart and you’re inspired to dance. Becca Bing, Boulder Creek, Teacher

 

Temple of Umami

Watsonville’s Miyuki is homestyle cooking, Japanese-style

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster