The Flannelmouth Sessions: Pink Frost
As Pink Frost takes position for their Sunday night show at Schubas, a number of audience members insert ear plugs before crowding around the stage. What at first may seem like an overdramatic gesture turns out to be a logical attempt to save ones hearing. The music is loud, only to be amplified by the intimacy of the venue. The vibrations of the instruments can literally be felt through the floors and tables.
However, even with an over powering volume, the sound is more than just noise pollution. Each note is crisp and each instrumental voice is distinctly heard. The sound is perfectly fused together to create an interesting take on the grunge rock sound that is Pink Frost.
Although there are no visual effects added to the bands performance, they still have an intriguing visual presence. Front and center, lead singer Adam intensely croons into microphone while pulling out riveting riffs. To his left is brother and bassist Dave, calm and collected, seems almost afraid to leave his corner as he only slightly tosses his head from side to side. To the far right is rhythm guitarist Paige, sporting glasses with the phrase “die fucker” across the lens while thrashing to the strong and steady beats laid down by drummer Jesse. If visual dynamic combined with the “Steve Austin ” speech recited during mic check by Paige was not enough of a suggestion to the vibrant personalities that form Pink Frost, twenty minutes in the green room before the show was definitely enough to showcase their character.
The jokes begin as soon as the band makes their way to the worn-out couch in the basement of Schubas. From left to right sits Jesse, Dave, Adam, and Paige. There is a strong chemistry and sense of understanding and comfort between the members. It is surprising to learn that this specific formation of the band has only been together since late summer. After much reinvention and reincarnation of previous bands and side projects, the group finally settled on a satisfying dynamic, both musically and as band mates. “There was a time when we would joke that the four of us thought we were in four different bands,” says Jesse.
Adam chimes in to add that although the different perspectives can add to the overall creativity of the band, it can also create tension. He describes the bands journey through the metaphor of a venn diagram, saying that each member is his own circle with his own ideas, but there is that point of greatness where they all intersect. Through time, tears and broken hearts, the band finally found their common ground.
The different musical perspectives are understandable as each member took a slightly different route to finding their way to Pink Frost.
Brothers Dave and Adam grew up in Chicago with a musically inclined father. Adam started Pink Frost as a side project with Paige and another musician. After the suicide of the third member of Pink Frost, Adam and Paige worked to fill the band’s void. After an unsuccessful string of punk bands and a trip to college, Dave eventually returned to Chicago to join the band with Adam and Paige.
Jesse began his musical journey as a child growing up in Madison. He claims to have started out banging things at a young age; first on his bed before graduating to pots and pans. He received his first drum set around age 7 from his grandfather who was a jazz drummer. After college and spending some time in California, Jesse migrated back to the Midwest, settling in Chicago because of its size and proximity to home.
Paige, or the “wildcard” as the band refers to him, is more than joyous to share his imaginative perception of how he became part of the band:
“It all started when Adam got really lonely. He had this frozen fetus in his freezer and popped it in the microwave and that is how I was birthed.”
Aside from being musicians, the band likes to refer to their other occupations as “the nightlife profession”. Outside of the band, Jesse works as a DJ and the other three are coworkers at Handlebar.
The band has had music placements in television programs such as Vampire Diaries and CSI: Miami as well as the trailer for a summer blockbuster entitled The Lookalike, and is currently working on a new record expected to be released in early months of the upcoming summer.
As for a more distant future plan, Paige speaks from his imagination once again, dreaming to start an indoor ski resort in Dubai. But on a more realistic note, the band agrees working to create a fulltime gig out of the bands success would be ideal.
Schubas Hall Of Fame: Norah Jones
Norah Jones performed at Schubas in 2002
Norah Jones launched her solo career in 2002 with Come Away With Me. It became a certified diamond album, with over 26 million copies sold. It earned five Grammy Awards, including Best Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best New Artist.
In total, Jones has won nine Grammy Awards, and was 60th on Billboard magazine’s artists of the 2000-2009 decade chart. She has won numerous other awards and has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide.
Her latest tour occurred in 2012/13 for Little Broken Hearts. For the first time, her tour had stops in several South American nations and India.
Check out her performance of “Happy Pills” live on Good Morning America in 2012:
Angel Olsen / Lydia Loveless
Angel Olsen Burn Your Fire For No Witness 8.3 Rating
“Hi-Five”, the third song on Angel Olsen’s second album, Burn Your Fire for No Witness, has got to be one of the most cheerful songs ever written about being lonely. A twangy electric folk tune that begins with an invocation of its muse, Hank Williams, the song is all stomp-and-rollick until it stops to catch its breath for a moment in the bridge. “Are you lonely too?” Olsen warbles. A beat later, her band’s back in full Technicolor, and the next line hits like a title card in an old “Batman” episode: “HI-FIVE!/ SO AM I!”
Lydia Loveless Somewhere Else 7.3 Rating
In the first song on her third full-length, Somewhere Else, Lydia Loveless goes to a party, does some blow, calls up an ex, and tries to break up his marriage. A few songs later, she compares herself to Paul Verlaine, the 19th-century French poet whose relationship with the teenage Arthur Rimbaud was notoriously violent. On another song, our heroine drinks herself to sleep while dreaming of an old lover and his talents between the sheets. Never leery of casting herself as the homewrecker, the other woman, or the spurned lover, Loveless writes lyrics that are frank (“I just like it so much better when we’re coming to blows”) and often explicit (“Don’t stop giving me head”). Her songs are based in country, but she tweaks the forms and formulas of the genre with a bleary belligerence that is, more often than not, directed at herself. Her self-destructive streak makes Somewhere Else both a bracing and a deeply harrowing listen.
Schubas’ Hall Of Fame: Damien Jurado
Damien Jurado has performed at Schubas a total of seventeen times, the first of which was in 1998. His most recent show here was on February 1, 2014.
His solo career began in the mid-1990s, when he began releasing recordings on his own cassette-only label, Casa Recordings. He was brought to the attention of Sub Pop Records and issued his first full length on Sub Pop, Waters Ave S, in 1997.
Damien has released an extensive discography, comprised of eleven albums and many more EPs and singles. He is currently signed to Secretly Canadian, and released his most recent album, Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son, on January 21, 2014. His latest album has earned accolades in the US as well as in the UK, where iTunes UK made it their Editor’s Choice pick on the date of its release.
Check out this live recording of “Jericho Road” off of Jurado’s latest release:
Come to Stay Smooth XX.5: F*CK IT WE’LL DO IT LIVE! and enjoy a real life version of this video, or at least something close to it.
Elephant Revival - “Quill Pen Feather”
See them at Lincoln Hall on April 3rd. Tickets available now.
Guest Mixtape: Jonathan Wilson
Cheers to Jonathan Wilson for providing our latest guest mixtape, including tracks from Jackson Browne, Bill Fay and Jenny O.
See Jonathan at Lincoln Hall on Saturday night. Tickets still available.
Yellow Ostrich ‘Any Wonder’
Enjoy the latest single from Yellow Ostrich here. Enjoy them live at Schubas on March 31st. Tickets available now.