Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Election - Live At Sylvie's 2/2/2006

Chicago in the mid-aughts was a pretty special time and place for music and creativity.  I am probably biased in this assessment because it was also the era in which my own early creative endeavors were coming to fruition.  Nonetheless, I met some pretty amazing people during those formative years and this little known band, The Election, contained a handful of them.

What happens when a bunch of classically trained musicians with a penchant for The Weird get together and explore the deepest realms of writing and performance?  Well The Election sought to do just that.  Imagine a band that combines operatic singing styles with a cellist heavily into Siamese Dream, a drummer who loved jazz as much as prog-rock, a keyboardist who made his living writing pop jingles but was also likely influenced by John Cage, and a viola player who was the first person to play Mellow Gold for me in 6th grade.  By my standards, everyone in this band was a legit genius.  Their sense of humor in their approach to making music was incredibly inspiring.  For instance, song four was dedicated to the "Commander In Chief" (keep in mind this was the depths of the Bush era) and the only lyrics consist of "You're stupid, You're so stupid."  The genius in simplicity was not lost on these folks.  My favorite song this band ever made was the closer, Blow Hard.  A groovy sing/speak pseudo rap gives way to an extended rock section with falsetto vocals and finally playing out into a masterfully written ballad.

The band was short lived, sadly, but some members went on to form the massive orchestra called The Origin of Animal while a couple others formed an insanely creative project called Nuclear Biologist Rocket Surgeons (more on them in the next post).  In any case, The Election is where these weirdos cut their teeth.

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