Tag Archives: Signal Kitchen

Down in the Heartland with Twin Peaks

Jack Dolan and his bandmates have been around the block.

Touring together since high school, Dolan’s band Twin Peaks released their third studio album in May. After hitting the West Coast and Europe on tour, they are making their first appearance in Burlington on Dec. 5.

The band’s roots are in Chicago, where they grew up attending and playing DIY shows in basements all around town. “We grew up going to shows hearing music that became a big part of our music,” said Dolan.

“There’s really no one true sound here,” he said, “all your peers grow up and have different styles but still stay true to Chicago.” 

DANIEL TOPETE. Twin Peaks.
DANIEL TOPETE. Twin Peaks.

During their time on the road, the band seems to have found their place in the bigger picture of contemporary music. “You get midwest cities like Madison and Milwaukee doing hardcore punk, New York with their hip underground scene,” he said.

“In Europe you get a lot more disco stuff but then places like Madrid that are really into rock,” said Dolan, “Madrid’s the shit.”

Though they’ve traveled from Paris to the Pacific Northwest, the band keeps the midwest in mind. “We just went to see Hoops from Bloomington, they’re awesome,” said Dolan. “Broncho, too–the last record they put out was super underrated,” he said of the Norman, Oklahoma natives.

Dolan and his bandmate Cadien Lake James attended high school with fellow Chicagoan Chancellor Johnathan Bennett, known as Chance the Rapper, as well. “We’ve always stayed in touch with him and took note of all the good things he does for the city,” he said.

The band recently played a voting rally downtown with Bennett, marching to the polls with thousands of locals on Election Day. “Tensions were interesting out in the city, it was a little intimidating,” said Dolan.

They have been vocal about recent political developments, but Dolan insists on staying diplomatic. “It’s easy to get hung up and shit on a bunch of conservative states,” he said.

DANIEL TOPETE. Twin Peaks.
DANIEL TOPETE. Twin Peaks.

“We play in front of great people who come out in small towns, it feels good to play rock and roll in a place where they need it.”

After their short stint touring the heartland, the band is heading east to tour with their latest album. “Down in Heaven” is a swirling trip of classic rock riffs, hazy harmonies, and subtle nods to classic motown with brass on several tracks. Slow-burners are balanced by their playful lyrics and signature slacker indie.

“A lot of the new songs are more low-key,” Dolan said, “but we’re challenging ourselves, we’re trying to refine a bit by doing a lot more harmonies.”

The album has a distinctly slower pace and ripe soul to it, a slight departure from the hectically emotive “Wild Onion” days, and even further from the melancholy, quasi-grunge character of “Sunken.”

“I don’t know about the other guys but I’ve been listening to a lot of D’Angelo lately,” Dolan joked.

Whether they’re playing mellow, folksy slow jams or fired-up rock songs, listening to Twin Peaks is a blast. Catch them playing Signal Kitchen with Golden Daze and together PANGEA on Monday at 8:00 pm.

And The Kids Share Lovers

“I’m trying to wrangle everyone into a group costume…but it’s a secret!,” said And The Kids frontwoman Hannah Mohan. Mohan and her bandmates are gearing up for a two-night run at Signal Kitchen Thursday and Friday, excitedly rallying friends and assembling outfits for the weekend’s festivities.

“We love playing in Vermont, there are so many amazing bands playing with us,” Mohan said, “I have all my best friends so it’s really fun.”

The band has been touring with their new album, “Friends Share Lovers,” for the better part of 2016, and are finishing off the year with shows in the U.S., Canada and Europe. They’re coming back home to New England with friends to see and old times to revisit.

Mohan hails from western Massachusetts, where she and the band spent their formative years living in tents, playing residencies and growing together. “When we started the band, we decided ‘ok, no jobs for us, we’re not gonna pay rent,’” Mohan said. “We found this piece of land in Hadley right on the [Connecticut] river and payed this guy 100 bucks a month to live on the property while we were on tour.”

And The Kids. COURTNEY CHAVANELL.
And The Kids. COURTNEY CHAVANELL.

With a makeshift practice space crafted from a Pods container, Mohan and drummer Rebecca Lasaporano roughed it during the band’s inception. Mohan testified to the importance of place in her life ever since, which seeps into her music as well.

“I’m a cancer and our whole thing is we revolve around home,” she said. “I’m also a crab, so my home is on my back. There’s a huge inspiration for me to write about habitat.”

Even on tour, Mohan’s connection to place inspires her. “Out of nowhere, I loved Madison, Wisconsin,” she said, “I got really attached — we bought a tape deck at this vintage store, I just really didn’t want to leave.”

Anchoring to home has been problematic for And The Kids, too, as Canadian synth player Megan Miller’s visa troubles have kept her from touring with the band in the U.S. “We wrote “Friends Share Lovers” before our keyboard player got deported, so there are some songs about her,” Mohan said, “we had to come up with power songs we could play as a two piece.” 

And The Kids. COURTNEY CHAVANELL.
And The Kids. COURTNEY CHAVANELL.

Despite Miller’s absence on tour, she is anything but missing from the album. Her synth riffs float through the album’s most atmospheric tracks, like “Creeper” and “Picture” with exquisite and ethereal spookiness.

“Creeper is my favorite because of Megan’s fucking synth part at the end,” Mohan said.

“We went deeper into the ocean of experimenting with sonic shit on this album,” she said, “We recorded it on tape, too, so that’s fucking amazing.”

The album is nebulous and playful, resounding with anxious emotion and confusion, yet remarkable sophistication. “We were trying to have more of a concept linking all the songs on this one,” said Mohan.

Along with strikingly evocative sounds is And The Kids’ glittering and gorgeous album art by Brooklyn, New York  artist Chase Carlisle.

“Aesthetics are really difficult because we have different visions, some of us want a more mature look and some want sketchy drawings,” Mohan said. “Now I just want fucking gorgeous stuff that doesn’t take two seconds to make.”

“I’m gonna hang out with a bunch of my friends and go to my old house in Colchester, maybe build a fire,” Mohan said. “We’re trying to make a music video with Joey Pizza Slice too, he makes awesome VHS videos.”

Gone, sadly, is their trademark inflatable deer, Andrea, that Mohan rescued from the woods in Washington, D.C.

“Andrea the deer…she had a really rough tour with Ra Ra Riot and she’s kind of out of commission now,” she said. Regardless, And The Kids has incredible music, lovable antics and a guaranteed sprinkling of glitter to offer when they return to Vermont. Catch the band at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 27 and 28 at Signal Kitchen and in the station at WRUV Friday at noon.

The Internet at Signal Kitchen

If you have never heard of Odd Future or Tyler the Creator, then you’ve missed some truly artful hip hop. Tyler, specifically, has been brought into the spotlight for his satirical crudeness.

His tracks are either rowdy and full of hyperbolic violence towards women and himself, or serious reflections on race and his own experience growing up as a hyperactive child without a father. Odd Future is a record label and extensive rap group created by Tyler and features many talented rappers like Frank Ocean and Earl Sweatshirt.

Within Odd Future, there are many subgroups that have broken off to establish their own style. One of the most well-known of these groups is The Internet.

The Internet PHOTO COURTESY OF
The Internet pictured PHOTO COURTESY radiowebitalia.net

The group features Syd the Kid, who has become the official DJ behind all of Odd Future’s beats. It also features Odd Future’s Matt Martians. Non-Future members of The Internet include Jameel Bruner, Christopher A. Smith, Patrick Paige, and Steve Lacy.

Seeing the Internet last Saturday was a night of firsts. It was my first time seeing The Internet and my first time at Signal Kitchen and I was impressed to say the least. It was by far the smallest venue I’ve been in but the crowd filled the space up and brought it to life. The small intimate space and energy from the crowd created immersive heat, a stark contrast from the chill outside where many patrons broke for a cigarette throughout the night.

It was also my first time seeing the opener, Moonchild, who opened with easy-going, sensual beats reminiscent of the electronic chillwave genre. They paired electric guitar, sax and keyboard back ups with smooth melodious jazz vocals over top that brought in the euphoria of dream pop. The crowd swayed to the sexy, soulful energy. Amongst the euphoric chill a killer drum solo kicked out, somehow still coinciding perfectly with the sax.

Moonchild exited the stage and the anticipation began to build as the crew began to set up for the Internet. Everyone was clearly trying to save some energy, having a drink and sitting down for a while. All the same, people started dancing and jamming to the tracks played during the long setup. The venue played the R&B and trip hop that is expected at such a show, with some Drake and Lil Wayne peppered in.

Finally, the Internet came out and everyone went nuts. No greeting was necessary from the band, so they jumped right into their first song, which I actually had never heard before. It was grungy like Naked and Famous but with a funk and jazz twist. Pinkish purple lights mostly stayed still and focused on the group and its minimalist set. The rest of the concert continued with their classic funky and jazzy R&B style. They played their more well known classics, like “Girl,” “Under Control,” “Fast Lane” and “Special Affair.” Beyond that, the set mostly consisted of their more recent tracks off of “Ego Death.”

The crowd was going wild. Everyone was getting into the music, filling the room with the signature energy of the Internet. Part of the crowd started getting into the sensuality of their music and grabbed someone to get funky with. Everyone in the room was either swaying, thrashing (no joke), grinding, shaking their ass or some combination of the four.

The night ended and everyone left, some with people they didn’t arrive with. The Internet minus Syd the Kid actually exited the venue shortly following the crowd. This sent the final wave of excitement through the patrons, getting an upclose and personal experience before we all had to trek home after a killer show.