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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Band Preview: Not a word, but definitely a band”

    Antlerand celebrates the first Thanksgiving dinner in 1621. On Mars.
    Antlerand celebrates the first Thanksgiving dinner in 1621. On Mars.

    Antlerand’s Chris Larson likes the fact that his band’s name isn’t a real word.

    “”We were thinking Antler and what?”” said Larson, the vocalist, guitarist and video artist for Antlerand. The four-piece, Portland, Ore.-based indie outfit liked the word antler but couldn’t think of anything to go with it, so they decided on Antlerand.

    “”It kind of rolls off the tongue,”” Larson said. “”We like the fact that it’s not a word that exists.””

    Antlerand’s music is difficult to categorize. While they incorporate the sweeping instrumental soundscapes of Mogwai or Kinski, lead vocalist Larson’s casual singing style adds a mellow element, and the frequent addition of instruments like the banjo, horns, accordion and bells serves to complicate it further.

    “”We really like pulling in a lot of our influences,”” Larson said of their everything-but-the-kitchen-sink style. “”There’s a lot coming to the table. We really made it a point to not try to sink into any one sound.””

    Ex-Sleater-Kinney drummer and current Quasi member Janet Weiss makes a guest appearance on Antlerand’s debut album, Branches, lending her thin but sweet vocals to the album highlight “”Now It’s a Year.””

    “”We thought it sounded like a Quasi song,”” Larson said. “”We thought maybe we should have her come in.”” Okun and Weiss are friends as well as members of the same tight-knit Portland musical community, so convincing Weiss to sing on their album wasn’t difficult.

    The band formed three years ago when Larson’s longtime friend, multi-instrumentalist Zach Okun, moved to Portland from Phoenix. The two discovered drummer Delaney Kelly playing for another group, but were so taken with him that Larson and Okun “”wrangled Delaney out of his band.”” Kelly jokingly added that he’s “”never looked back.”” Vocalist Jaimie Anderson joined after making an appearance on Branches. She is accompanying them on their present West Coast tour, which includes a stop in Tucson.

    Antlerand has the simplest of goals for their music: They just want it to be heard.

    “”It opens the dialogue,”” Larson said. “”People can understand what we’re about by listening to our music.””

    Larson, a graphic designer by day, creates the video component of the band’s live show. A series of images and pictures that fit the mood of each song are projected onto a screen behind the band.

    It kind of rolls off the tongue. We like the fact that it’s not a word that exists.
    Chris Larson, Antlerand member

    “”It’s like another instrument,”” Larson said. “”I choose images from the emotional content of the songs. It comes across as strong rather than just arbitrary eye candy. The images are carefully chosen.””

    Antlerand will perform Saturday in Tucson at The Living Room, 413 E. Fifth St. Tickets are $6 and the show starts at 9 p.m.

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