Tapes 'n Tapes
Tapes 'n Tapes is a rock band from Minneapolis, MN, made up of Josh Grier on guitar and lead vocals, Matt Kretzmann on keys and horns, Erik Appelwick on bass guitar and backing vocals, and Jeremy Hanson on percussion.
Grier said he formed the band in 2003, to "have fun with my friends. I always wanted to see if I could play music with others and for others." Grier and his buddies amassed "tapes 'n tapes" of noodling, experimental jams and declared themselves officially a band.
In the winter of 2004, the band now known as Tapes 'n Tapes bought some recording equipment and headed out to a rustic cabin in the woods of Wisconsin. They recorded their self-titled, now long out of print, seven song EP in three days. Songs like "Beach Girls" and "50's Parking" from the EP are still in their live set today.
Next up for the band was recording their critically acclaimed follow up, The Loon. Appelwick recorded, mixed and produced the eleven song record with the band in one week at a friend's home studio. The Loon came out in November of 2005 on ibid records, and no one was ready for what came next. People started to notice the foursome's jangly, melodic brand of rock and the band started touring gaining more and more attention from music critics and fans all over the world. Even the Thin White Duke took notice. "'Insistor' is the first single, and it's cracking. It was a slow grower, but once that chorus digs in there's really no escape," said Mr. David Bowie. The prestigious XL Recordings re-released The Loon in July of 2006, the same month Tapes 'n Tapes made their national television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman.
The band then toured around the world for the next few years- playing shows with the likes of Franz Ferdinand, Spoon, Cold War Kids, The Black Keys, Echo & the Bunnymen, and The Wrens. In 2006 they were honored to play Reading/Leeds, and 2007 saw them rock out at Lollapalooza and Coachella.
When starting to work out songs for their follow up, Walk It Off, the band was asked who their dream producer was. The obvious answer to them was Mr. Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, MGMT). With twelve songs in hand, the band made the jaunt to upstate New York to live and work with Fridmann for two amazing weeks- one week in September 2007 to record and one week in October 2007 to mix. However, years of touring, the political climate, and distance from friends and family had changed the band, and given them a different point of view- one that seemed to pervade their sound. Spin praised the record saying, "the tunes are tighter and performances far more dynamic and aggressive..they can now pull off jittery punk and understated, graceful melancholy." XL released Walk It Off in April of 2008, on the same day the band made their debut on Conan O'Brien.
After touring and supporting Walk It Off for the following year, it was time for a little R & R- rest and relaxation. They purposefully took their time and tried to get back to a place where the band was fun, and not work. They also decided to go back to their roots and do everything on their own, with no label involvement. They cut ties with XL, and re-launched ibid records, their own label which initially released The Loon. The brothers tapes had saved their pennies over the years and set out to make the record they've always wanted to make Outside. They wanted to record at home and self-produce, which they did over two weeks at The Terrarium in Minneapolis, MN in March of 2010. The next step was getting the talented Mr. Peter Katis (Interpol, The National) to lend his ears to the mix. Grier spent two more weeks in Bridgeport, CT, while Katis mixed the record to perfection. The result is twelve songs that are playful and melodic, while also capturing the essence and energy of their live show. Grier said, "We had a great time making Outside and we wanted our enjoyment of the process to be audible in the recording, and I think we succeeded." One thing is for sure, Tapes 'n Tapes feel like they are making music for the right reasons fun and pure love for music. And as Grier always says, "Everything else is gravy." Outside will be released on January 11, 2011.
Tapes 'n Tapes is set to release their new album Outside through their own label, ibid records, the original home to the band's breakthrough album, The Loon. Outside was recorded at The Terrarium in their hometown of Minneapolis by their long time sound engineer, Drew Malamud. After recording for two weeks, they handed the record off to Peter Katis (Interpol, The National) to lend his signature sound to the mix.
The result is twelve songs that are playful and melodic, while also capturing the essence and energy of their live show. Outside sounds refined and lush, letting the memorable melodies shine. The songs are more straightforward allowing each member's personality to emerge. Outside is the perfect mix of their previous works, with a whole new clarity of sound. The first single, "Freak Out," is a fast-paced romp with a shout-along chorus that is sure to delight fans both new and old. The album's opener, "Badaboom," showcases longing vocals with a driving rhythm that propels the song into an epic rock breakdown. "Nightfall's" seemingly disparate parts are woven together into a beautifully strange break-up ballad. The haunting horns and sparse guitars unite for one of Tapes 'n Tapes biggest songs yet. "One In The World" is a danceable, jangly number about a search for love that takes you around the globe. The twelve songs on Outside are unified by themes of longing and loneliness, and the journey of finding and losing love. There is a newfound space in Tapes 'n Tapes sound that is both intimate and distant at the same time. Combine that with a pervasive sense of joy throughout the whole record and what you hear is a band making music that they truly love.
Video for their most recent single, "One in the World"
Video for their recent appearance on Fuel TV's The Daily Habit
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Dash Graves: Vocals, Guitar .. Brent Mayes: Drums, Drums, Drums, Tubs .. Ian Nygaard: Rhythm Guitar, Hair.. Max Petrek; Keys, Pound Cake .. Chris Heidman: Management, Sexual Frustration, A Good Guy .. .
Bloody Gauze and Clubbed Feet. .
What first began in 2008 as a one-man-show side project by Nick Whetro under the Icarus Himself moniker has developed into an indie psych-electro-folk trio for 2010. The band's third release, a five-song EP entitled "Mexico", was released by Madison, Wis., label Science of Sound on May 25. Leaning slightly more toward the electronic limb of the band's sound, the songs on "Mexico" utilize a good helping of drum machine beats and baritone guitar run through effects pedals, with added noise from electric guitar, percussion and various keyboards/organs for good measure. The band's instrumentation sets the tone for Whetro's haunted tales of death, a childhood obese babysitter and love almost lost.
The new EP is the follow-up to 2008's Icarus Himself EP and 2009's full-length, "Coffins," which found Whetro teaming up with fellow National Beekeepers Society bandmate Karl Christenson. The duo worked together turning their minimalist folk songs into sampler-and-effects-pedals-infused soundscapes garnering them comparisons to Neutral Milk Hotel and David Bowie on acid. Coffins grabbed the attention of Science of Sound, who re-released the album in May of 2009. While "Coffins" was made with the help of some local musicians (other members of National Beekeepers Society and Sleeping in the Aviary), Icarus Himself was still a two-piece for live shows, and toured much of the midwest promoting their album. For "Mexico" the band adds a third member, drummer Brad Kolberg, on both the recording as well as to the live set.
Praise for 2010's "Mexico"
"Sounds of folk, disguised as electro-pop, disguised as psych rock, disguised as indie rock propel the release into a strength that's never foreboding. Whetro and his bandmates spin off as many fantastically drastic twists and modifications to thrill every sense." Delusions of Adequacy
"squawky vocals prod along their electronic pulse, synthesizing constant static in an atmospheric storm that pierces your chest. Equal parts soothing and self-depracating, Icarus Himself lull listeners to about as much of a daze as a lightning bolt to the chest will allow." Examiner.com
"When pushed up against 2009's more singer-songwriter oriented 'Coffins,' Whetro's haunting vocal delivery sounds a bit more soulful and less forced this time around as he sparsely colors in the tiny arrangements of watery guitar, lo-fi keyboards and low-key rhythms Sure, 'Mexico' tumbles into darker dives than its predecessor, but it may be Whetro's penchant for the morose and his leaning toward incorporating lo-fi electronics that help split him off of his over-orchestrated neo-folk peers. A-" Onion A.V. Club
"Icarus Himself's new EP Mexico gives you everything the Old West couldn't: comfort, reliable weaponry, and a guaranteed payout in nuggets. Then with its other hand it delivers electronics, baritone guitars and some lines about overweight babysittersdouble kill!" -CokeMachineGlow
"I may be projecting, but it sounds like a band absentmindedly playing music while they think back on the defining moments of their lives. It could be the sound of heartbreak in a small town or a silent prayer for something as beautiful as it was in a memory. It could be the soundtrack to a dream or it could just be the sound of a thousand thoughts jammed into five songs." - Tough Customer
Praise for 2009's "Coffins"
"If you want to get Coffins in a single sound bite, try 'lost Bowie demo tape overdubbed with acid confessions.'" CokeMachineGlow
"Freewheeling pop songs flavored with a splash of sonic whiskey." No Ripcord
"I never cease to be amazed with the layers I uncover with each listen of Coffins. I hate making comparisons, but Icarus Himself do at times remind me of Neutral Milk Hotel in both sound and lyrical delivery, but those similarities wash away with repeated play when you realize the creative breadth within the band." Dane101
"Confused characters traipse through a cold, ill-fated world, in which everything and everyone are imperfect and death rattles
the bones of both the living and the dead." The Isthmus
High Noon Saloon (View)
701 E. Washington Ave
Madison, WI 53703
|Minimum Age: 18|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|