AEG and AOE Presents...
CITY BISCO featuring Disco Biscuits, Shpongle, Emancipator, Kill Paris, more (2 Day Event )
5201 Parkside Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19131
Doors 3:00 PM / Show 4:00 PM (event ends at 12:00 AM)
This event is all ages
Jon Gutwillig: Vox, Guitar
Marc Brownstein: Vox, Bass
Aron Magner: Keyboards, Vox
Sam Altman: Beats
The Live Experience--
When you experience The Disco Biscuits in a live setting you notice that they are no ordinary band, nor are their fans ordinary. The atmosphere is party central and the music is relentless. Their pioneering work merging rock and electronic elements has left them with a fanatical following and has also engendered a new genre of music. It is music that compels you to listen by building structures and layers, and it then injects beautiful changes that take the listener by surprise. The Biscuits knew they were onto something, but were not quite sure what it was.
"We try to get people to "throw down" the whole time. When we do take a break, we try to fill the void with a mix of DJ's, firedancers, tripped-out lighting, or dudes in animal suits," comments drummer Sam Altman.
One song may feature trance beats, another may be rock-oriented, another drum 'n' bass, another mixing dub and pop, or perhaps they will break into the Tchaikovsky's masterpiece, "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies." Or, they may choose to invert some of the songs, while performing dyslexic versions (endings first, beginnings last) of others, or even starting a song one night, then finishing it the next night. This band just refuses to compromise and continues to push the envelope, expanding awareness and making the experience more euphoric.
After forming at The University of Pennsylvania in late 1995, The Disco Biscuits have established one of the largest and most loyal fan bases, often playing to several thousand fans. During their shows, while the lights are flashing and sweeping, while the music is pounding, people are losing themselves and casting off any inhibitions they may have had before they came. All this is standard fare for the band whose unscripted performances make for unpredictable and the ultimate euphoric experience. "Our shows are like a rave theatre," says keyboardist Aron Magner. All told, a Biscuits' show is like a shower for your soul.
Recorded at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California in the spring of 2002, Señor Boombox reflects the band's intricate style of song writing, where everything was given a purpose, but then played with the spontaneity of the their live shows. The lyrical depth has reached a highpoint for the band with profound themes that reflect the personal experiences of the band. "Many of the songs have themes of hopelessness, fear, isolation and mixed with the greatness of triumph, human emotion, and sex," says guitarist/singer Jon Gutwillig. Although each song stands on its own, the album also represents the heart of urban culture--of four white kids in an urban city. "Señor Boombox grooves and is much like driving down a city street with your windows open," says Gutwillig.
With Señor Boombox, the band departed from the computer-driven approach to writing songs on their previous album and submersed themselves into an organic, song-driven method. "Many of the songs were written separately from the band, however these songs were all chosen because they had the same poignant lyrical feel and music that was subtle and expressive. They all represent different philosophies on life," says Gutwillig.
Considering the band is rooted in the "live experience," it is no coincidence that the impetus for the music is spontanaeity and surprises. "We knew that we could take the power of the live performance and add what we learned while our previous album, you know, the electronica over our style. So we did it. We just knew it was time to make the breakthrough record," says bassist Marc Brownstein.
And when it came time to put these songs to tape, The Biscuits mixed their many influences such as rock, electronic, drum 'n' bass, dub, groove-laced beats, etc., but all of these elements crafted into very structured songs with valleys and peaks, building and climaxing into cohesive songs. "A lot of the songs on this album have extended jams in a live setting and some didn't have endings. We made sure that every note counted. Pre-production was a key element," comments Magner.
After many nights of trying to name his imagined, yet-to-be purchased dog, drummer Sam Altman stumbled upon the name Señor Boombox. After suggesting the title to the band, it eventually emerged as the title for the album. "The funny thing is, while I still don't have a dog, there is a real Señor Boombox cruisin' around Santa Cruz (the band's current home). We were walking down the street the other day, and this Mexican dude is strutting his stuff with a cowboy hat and a shiny boombox way up on his shoulder blaring salsa music. I guess Señor Boombox is in all of us," explains Altman.
Señor Boombox does indeed represent this gathering of souls and community sharing of their music. The boombox is perhaps a symbol for these gestures--a sort of a soul pumping from this boombox that represents four fiercely independent musicians, yet all four coming together when the boombox appears. And when The Biscuits are not playing live, it's an extension of them-- a rich, electric measurement of their current state of mind.
"When we were too young to have a band, we liked to listen to music one way, through the boombox, sitting on a park bench next to our best friend, Sr. Boombox, who was king of the community," reflects Brownstein.