City Arts magazine has created a new kind of musical mashup. And their version offers a behind-the-scenes look into what makes the magazine great: insightful collaboration.
The new series, Band Crush, pairs two musical entities set to come together to play an evening of live music. “It’s a pretty simple concept,” says Band Crush co-organizer, Ryan Devlin, “but we wanted to break down the boundaries around the traditional show format – band gets on, band gets off, that sort of thing.”
The first installment, which featured the combination of world-class instrumental groups, Industrial Revelation and The True Loves, kicked off in December of 2016 and the second night will be this Saturday (Oct. 7th) at the Piranha Shop. The event will showcase violin virtuoso Andrew Joslyn, and multi-talented vocalist/musician Will Jordan. The two previously collaborated on Joslyn’s debut album, Awake at the Bottom of the Ocean.
While the concept – pairing two bands together – is relatively straightforward. The execution takes precision. And if the intention is achieved, audiences, who may not be privy to the ins-and-outs of an arts and music scene, will get to see a side of Seattle that City Arts fosters. “The idea stemmed from a conversation [City Arts music editor] Jonathan Zwickel and I were having,” says Devlin. “Seeing two bands we love joining forces and all that kismet energy that comes from that.”
The venue for the show – the well-worn Piranha Shop – likely isn’t the first venue most musicians or performers would think of for a major gig like Band Crush, but, says Devlin, the idea was to fit the night into a different type of spot, one that felt similar to a house show. “The bands will set up in the round in the middle of the room,” says Devlin, who plays in Seattle rock band Smokey Brights. “The audience is completely around the performers.”
The idea, of course, is to get closer; to taste how well the proverbial-but-musical peanut butter and jelly go together. “As a lifelong, card-carrying band dude,” Devlin muses, “every band I’ve been in, invariably, you start to find other artists that you play a lot of shows with, or maybe share a practice space, or share a member, or just grab beers with them to talk about aesthetics and composition. This is one of those series meant to put a lens on those relationships that are already there but wouldn’t otherwise be public facing.”