One of the most exciting parts of reviewing music is coming across something fresh … something unexpected. It’s what keeps me tuned up. And that’s what I got with Elephant Quiz.
This Bloomington, Indiana band might best be described through their own their list of influences: Rage Against the Machine, Umphrey’s McGee, Radiohead, Gorillaz, Sublime, The Meters … the list goes on and continues to weave in and out of genres and decades. To toss in a couple of my own, I hear some Alice in Chains and Red Hot Chili Peppers from time to time, too. Funk, jazz, reggae, metal … nothing is out of bounds and everything intertwines. One minute Elephant Quiz is bobbing along carelessly through an easy beat then suddenly they smack you with a devolving jam of face-melting metal … only to turn around ease you back into a groove with the smooth and talented delivery of hip-hop infused vocals.
Elephant Quiz is fresh and young. And they are raw. They will only get better as they continue to refine their sound. But let’s hope it doesn’t become too refined – their edge and the willingness to experiment; to mash together whatever the hell they see fit is the draw here. And they are not going unnoticed. Recently they played at the Wuhnurth Music Festival and a Bonnarroo after-party.
Elephant Quiz will perform on New Year’s Eve at the Crump Theater in Columbus, IN at – check this – the Rock-N-Roll ThrowdownExtravaganzaBashSpectacular, with a handful of other bands and for only $20 at the door. They play regularly around Bloomington and we’ll let you know when a Chicago appearance comes up.
Pearl Jam has been tagging along on music festival tours for parts of three decades. I guess they figured it was time to get their own. Announced by Pearl Jam manager Kelly Curtis, Pearl Jam will host their own music festival “somewhere in the middle of the U.S.” But don’t expect it too soon — Eddie Vedder is set to embark on a solo tour in March, 2011.
As for possible locations, Chicago is in the middle of the U.S. and the boyhood home of one Eddie Vedder (Evanston, more accurately). But with Lollapalooza in the mix, it seems unlikely. Denver is sort of in the middle of the U.S., and a small festival at Red Rocks would be interesting. But, Denver also has Mile High Music Festival. New Orleans is centrally located, albeit the southern portion of the States. Pearl Jam does, however, have a history with the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Texas already has Austin City Limits and South by Southwest. Milwaukee has Summerfest. Memphis has Memphis in May, the CMA Music Festival and Bonnaroo. That leaves Minneapolis, maybe? St. Louis? Detroit?
This week on Sound Citizen Radio, we feature one band you can find at the Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival, as well as two other Chicago bands and one from Long Beach, CA. They’re all good and, hopefully, you get a chance to get out and see them.
If you have suggestions for future episodes of Sound Citizen Radio, please send an email. This week’s lineup:
Van Ghost, “Heartbroken on the Wrong Day”
December 4, Congress Theater
Dastardly, “Exercises in Self Loathing”
December 9, Schuba’s