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Saturday, March 15 • 9:00pm - 9:30pm
The Subjects

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Like many bands, The Subjects met in high school. And probably like many prog-rock bands, they met in video production class. They shared dreams of loud rooms, cracked amps, and raging, sweaty crowds. Who or what was to hold them back from grasping out, from “living the dream?” Most importantly was that, unlike many bands, two of the members were students and two were teachers. And that the four hanging out in rock bars together was not exactly approved after-school development. They rehearsed secretly and managed to keep things under wraps until graduation. The following summer they borrowed a minivan and hit the road, playing bowling alleys and coffee shops. They returned home with solidified energy and the beginnings of a unique sound. Their shows started getting bigger and their first, self-produced, self-released EP received notable recognition. The Subjects appeared in SPIN, Punk Planet, Music for Robots, CMJ, and many other publications and blogs. The time came to record a full-length album. Knowing that they needed the freedom to work on their own schedule, the band retreated to the basement of an old Maryland family home to make the record themselves. They loaded a van with instruments, amps, cables, microphones, horns, tape machines, and headed south. Working around the clock, with only brief pauses for pellet gun shooting and prank phone calls, the band built a makeshift studio and began recording. Vocal harmonies, horn arrangements, old microphones, fireworks, found percussion instruments, sound separation, mortars, sleeping bags, late night fast food and exhaustion all played a part. After two weeks they emerged with their first full-length, with the ease grace precision and cleverness of human beings. The album exhibits just the type of mature songcraft and naïve exuberance that a student-teacher pairing would suggest. “Hounds of War” showcases the band's ability to combine strong melodies with shifting dynamics and undertones of longing and emotional depth. “Best of Us” shows the band going beyond guitar-bass-drum arrangements, with its dense combination of horns, organs and layered percussion. “Icicles” is built off of a powerful riff and finds the band in a more spontaneous mode, with call-and-response interplay between the instruments. What emerges is a record that moves from well-crafted, high-energy moments to quiet expressions of subtle eloquence. Reckless and insightful, with the ease grace precision and cleverness of human beings is a delicate combination of youth's wide-eyed optimism and the experience of age.

Saturday March 15, 2008 9:00pm - 9:30pm
BD Riley's 204 E 6th St

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