Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dark Dark Dark – Bright Bright Bright

Long before Charles Darwin tried to categorize all things animal and vegetable, before chemists catalogued periodic tables, we, as humans, seem to have been pushed to classify everything.  Whether as a matter of memory or utility it seems we want to pigeonhole the entirety of the universe. We even sort art.

Some things, however, are not classifiable. An unexpected kiss from your valentine. The sun on your face on a clear winter afternoon. The emotive crescendo of a swelling string section.   

I was compelled to try to categorize Dark Dark Dark and its six song EP Bright Bright Brigh” which is scheduled to be released on March 9, 2010 by Supply & Demand Music. Is it chamber music?  Well it has some elements of chamber music.  There is clarinet, cello, piano and bass, but there is also vocals, banjo, accordion, trumpet, drums and percussion. Is it choir music? Well a choir is present on some of the tracks, but there is also an interesting mixture of male and female lead vocals.  Is it folk music? Not in a traditional sense.  The banjo is not used as a country banjo, the accordion has more in common with klezmer music and the piano is quite classical. So what is Bright Bright Bright by Dark Dark Dark?

The band is composed of Nona Marie Invie on vocals, piano and accordion; Marshall LaCount  on vocals, banjo, piano and clarinet; Jonathan Kaiser on cello and in the choir; Walter McClements on piano, trumpet, accordion and in the choir; Brett Bullion on drums and percussion and Todd Chandler on bass. Marshall LaCount says that on Bright Bright Bright.  The songs are often about a character finding a place in the world, and the strange interactions that happen along the way."

There is texture and nuance in the rhythms and instrumentation.  The words speak of loss, heartache, loneliness and hope and the music sets the scene – it evokes human emotion - coldness, confusion, desire, longing, regret and sorrow. I find myself listening over and over, each time finding, and feeling, something different. I cannot pigeonhole Bright Bright Bright. It is closer to a personal experience than a genre of music.

Dark Dark Dark will tour this year almost exclusively east of the Rockies.  However, they are scheduled to play at SXSW.  Now, if I could only get free room, board and a ticket. 

-- Old School


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