Exciting news from the PlayLive Mainstage… we are gearing up for not one, but TWO excellent performances this week. We will be vacating our desks today and Tuesday to party with The Front Bottoms and Lost in the Trees. Man, work is such a bummer sometimes isn’t it?
THE FRONT BOTTOMS – Monday, March 26th
“We kinda thought we were a punk band but then we’d play on bills with real punk bands and we’d be like ‘Whoa, were not punks. What the hell are we?” – The Front Bottoms
With that quote from The Front Bottom’s drummer Mathew Uychich, it’s pretty clear that his band is simultaneously defying labels while searching for a defining identity. The fact that Mathew is also listed as the band’s official bullhorn player further supports that claim. The Front Bottoms have been tearing up the New Jersey (Bergen County, to be exact) DIY scene for some time now with their catchy brand of pop-punk. Their songs are irreverent, playful and above all thoroughly enjoyable.
Currently on tour with Say Anything, the internet has helped The Front Bottoms get their name out there. They were approached by a director from Spain named Pablo Nieto who saw them online and wanted to make a music video for their song “Maps”. You can see in that video below how lead singer Brian Sella pretty much has a smile plastered on his face the whole time, which means that you can’t help but enjoy yourself as well. PlayNetwork is looking forward to having fun with The Front Bottoms on Monday, March 26th.
LOST IN THE TREES – Tuesday, March 27th
Ari Picker, the composer/songwriter behind Lost in the Trees, was once asked in an interview why young people tend to be averse to orchestral music. He suggested that many kids may have been turned off by the strict discipline and rigidity they experienced while taking piano lessons or playing in the orchestra growing up. Or perhaps the manner in which classical music is presented, what he called a “stale, upper class, Ritzy environment”, is unappealing to younger generations.
I personally experienced before-school piano lessons in the living rooms of stuffy old ladies and the dictatorial rule of a few middle and high school orchestra directors. While my exposure to classical music didn’t inspire me to practice Mozart concertos for 3 hours a day, it was certainly the impetus for a musical journey into other genres that continues today. Had Ari Picker been there to hand the 13-year-old me a Lost in the Trees album, I might have been playing a different tune (sorry, couldn’t resist).
Picker explains that despite perceptions of younger generations, “there a lot of badasses in classical music, and people would think it’s cool if they learned about it in the right context.” It’s no coincidence that his project Lost in the Trees presents elements of classical music in a modern, popular setting. Part of an ongoing trend that could be characterized as “chamber folk” or “orchestral pop”, Lost in the Trees have just released their second album titled “A Church That Fits Our Needs”. Coming off an impressive and well-received performance at SXSW, the band will be playing the PlayLive Mainstage on Tuesday, March 27th. Check out the video below for a behind the scenes look at the recording process and inspiration behind the new album.
Gabriel Marowitz – Associate Music Supervisor