Sunday, September 25, 2011

A CIMB Interview with Timmy Williams of Whitest Kids U' Know

I was recently fortunate enough to come in contact with the (soon to be) comedic legend Timmy Williams.  You know him best as an extremely lovable and talented member of the comedy troupe Whitest Kids U Know.  Whether you've seen them live on the summer festival circuit, had their show relentlessly hold space on your DVR, or dig through YouTube trying to find the best video to discuss your religious co-worker two cubicles down from you, you have probably seen our friend Timmy.  Sometimes he places the far too nice punching bag of the group.  But, die hard WKUK fans will always hold the likes of "Timmy Dance" and the recently hilarious "Baked Beans" as just a couple of the finest moments in the show's history.  And that just wouldn't be without the brilliance of Timmy Williams.  Fresh of the farms of South Dakota, Timmy has seen the early stages of his comedy career turn into some great success.  And the future can only look brighter and brighter for this rising talent.

 The show has since had it's finale, and will only grace our cable boxes via syndicated bliss.  But, Timmy and crew have given us a half a decade groundbreaking work (poop has never been covered so well prior to this show) that will definitely be remembered.  For a while anyway.

I thought it would be nice to have a quick chat with Timmy and share shared statements with the likes of you fine CIMB readers.  Check it out as we discuss music videos, Andrew W.K., fatherhood, South Dakota's comedy scene, and more!  Enjoy!

As a comedian who has worked between the realms of stand up, acting, and sketch comedy, which do you rightfully prefer?  

This is as tough a question as "what's your favorite food?"  I like all 3: stand up because it gives me complete independence and instant gratification, acting because it's fun to collaborate with a huge group of people, and sketch because it's fun to collaborate with a small group of people.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I can't remember exactly, but I'm sure it was either the baby or a fart.

You have recently become a father for the first time, can we expect some family oriented type bits from you in the future?

Well, my stand up is already becoming peppered with baby stuff.  I always wanted to be a comic that "doesn't do that," but once you have a kid, you realize you have nothing else going on to write about.

Video still for Golden Bloom's "Rhyme To Reason"
How did you become involved with Shawn Fogel and his Golden Bloom music video directed by Alicia J. Rose?

Boring story.  A friend who knows Alicia asked me to do it.  Done.

Yeah, that was pretty much a shameless plug for my good friend Shawn anyway.  So, what made you choose the City of Roses as your current residence?

We wanted to start doing some urban agriculture stuff, like raise chickens and garden.  Now we're going to move to LA so I can earn some money because that other stuff doesn't.

How was the comedy scene around you growing up in rural South Dakota?

What comedy scene?

Sadly I know exactly what you mean.  So, now that you're living, temporarily, in the land of 100,000 musicians, and been featured in an indie rock sensation's music video, I have to ask....are you in a band? 

No.  I have very little musical talent.  I can kind of play the sax and am "funny" at karaoke, but not good.

You know, CIMB hosts regular karaoke sessions, of which you are obviously invited to.  That being said, if you could sit in with any band, active or not, for just one show, who would it be?

I would love to sing backups with Andrew W.K.

What does the future hold for you post WKUK?  Will you still tour with the troupe, or is officially disbanned?

The troupe is still together!  We're writing a movie, we're working on a tour, and I'm sure you'll see us around the TV in one way or another.  We're definitely not done filling the world with poop jokes.

Lastly, and obviously most importantly, where did you learn to dance with such grace and zest?

You know what's crazy?  I can actually explain that.  Every summer between the ages of 12 and 16, I attended an arts day camp for a week.  One of the mandatory classes was ballet, and so I actually know some ballet moves.  That's silly.

Silly, yes.  Utterly impressive....always!  Thank you for your time Timmy!

Friday, September 23, 2011

FREE SHOW/BEER this Friday September 23rd

“Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you’ll be a mile away and have his shoes. “

An unknown wise man said that, and since 2007 the good people at Crappy Indie Music: The Blog have been… um… stealing your shoes. Now is the time for them to show off, and three musical projects from our bloggers will be rocking The Old Church on September 23rd.

The lineup:
Doctor Something and the Pipin’ Hot Love Engines, post electric/folk about science (Dr. Something)
Evil Doer, heavy metal party trio (saintgoldie aka Goldie Davich)
Goddammit One Of Us Will Be Drunk, acoustic dirty duo from Coeur Machant(Jess Gulbranson )

followed by a very special Crappy Indie Music Bloggers supergroup!

A few words on the venue:

The Old Church is a cute church — not overly ornate or fancy. The stained glass is simple. The first time I walked in I felt a sense of reverence, which was tempered quickly enough with the overwhelming and exciting feeling of the historic value and importance of this Portland landmark.
I love to walk around and whistle. The reverb in the empty rooms is intoxicating, so full-sounding. I blow the air into a giant set of lungs, filling it up with little breaths that turn into mighty ‘ooooos.’ I am excited to take an old church and turn it into a place to worship new music. A classical setting for contemporary stuff. Irreverent, modern and fun music and performances against the back drop of a pipe organ. The idea of sitting down at an early show, in a building whose design supports good sound (it’s a giant amp), is appealing not just to me but everyone I’ve talked to about this project. I can’t imagine a better place to book shows. Goldie Presents is thrilled to open the doors to new artists and a new generation of worshippers of Portland’s creative output. -Goldie Presents

Show info:
Goldie Presents
The Old Church
1422 SW 11th Ave
Portland, OR 97201 Doors at 7pm
Show starts promptly at 8pm
beer with ID


Monday, September 19, 2011


Sometimes it's hard out there to be a blogger.  The other night I had the displeasure to be... let's say, "Schrodinger's Journalist", simultaneously on-and-not-on the guest list at a show, until I collapsed the waveform by getting the hell out of there.  It was all due to an unfortunately Byzantine chain of communication, and while it may have driven lesser mortals to distraction, I am taking a page out of my interviewee's book and chalking it up to "road life."
So, what now?  I interviewed Chris Martin.  I like saying it because it's true.  And no, it's not that one.
Just... settle the hell down, Mr. Martin. 
Dear Crappy Indie Music reader, I have a great opinion of you.  I know that because you are a citizen of  the world and connoisseur of fine things, that you will not mind my playful bait-and-switch, and will be glad that I did not interview... that Chris Martin.  Instead, allow me to present:

JESS: Hello Chris, good to talk to you. So for those who don't know, you're the guitarist and vocalist for IAMDYNAMITE.  Would you consider yourself a "frontman"?  

CHRIS: I would, I guess.  I think of it more like Chris and I are BOTH frontmen (is there a plural for frontman?)  Since there's only two of us, there's plenty of space for us to be both out front

Do you think that's even possible, for a band with only two people?  I doubt the other Chris would be keen on being the "backman".

Yeah, he probably wouldn't like being called that.

Speaking of "other Chris", do you get any grief from sharing a name with the singer from a certain band I won't name, but rhymes with "Goldplay"?

I'm not sure who you're referring to??  Goldclay?  I'm not familiar with them... but I will say that there's plenty of room for Chris Martins in the world.  We're a gentle breed who don't fight much.  You can tell just by the name.  Chris Martin.  It just doesn't sound like an angry person’s name.

I recently talked to David J, who was unaware that there was another David J out there in the world of freestyle poetry... so maybe you won't get crushed under Mr. Paltrow's bootheel.

;) Hopefully!

Let's talk about the band.  I understand that you were originally called "Mahoney".  What's the story behind the name change?  Is there a Police Academy reference hidden there?  

Yes to the Police Academy reference.  We just thought it was stupid and funny to call ourselves "mahoney" and put up flyers everywhere with pictures of Steve Gutenberg dressed in a police uniform.  We were just bored with being in bands and we didn't care and we thought it was funny.  Eventually we changed it into something that was more meaningful to us.    

How did you guys get hooked up with Matt Noveskey?  Your bio says you caught his eye, but our readers demand real, hard facts!  Or at least highly entertaining fables.  

We were always a big fan of Matt's macaroni artwork.  He takes elbow macaroni and makes shapes on construction paper, it's really quite breathtaking.  Stars, ducks, unicorns... really just beautiful.  So when we ran into him at a crafts expo in Reno, we struck up a conversation and he immediately said, "I've gotta produce these guys!"  None of this is true by the way :)

Now, about your music.  You have two members, yourself on vocals and guitar, and Chris Phillips on drums.  That's not a very common configuration- but often very intense when it shows up.  Do you think there's anything particular about it, or just happenstance? Anything particular about it that makes is more intense?

Perhaps.  I mean, you definitely get starker contrasts i think.  There's no layering of multiple instruments, so what you play doesn't get hidden behind all of that.  Everyone hears what you do, kind of unfiltered and maybe more raw because of it.

The first thing I thought of when hearing you kids was energy. Do you think that that high energy emerges from your state as a duo?

Not directly, but we do try to bring high energy.  We just want to move everyone in the room, you know?  

Similarly, how is your songwriting structure affected by that?  I've been in a two-person project, so I know how weird it can get...  

It's different than normal, I guess.  But having limited options makes you more creative, I think.  It helps us avoid adding many unnecessary parts to the songs

Do you feel like a yin-yang or a pie chart?


Tell me about your approach to making your videos.  Was that a natural step for you guys, or did you have to make it happen?

It was a natural step.  We never sought out anyone to make a video for us, we just fortunate to be approached by some cool talented people.  In particular Marty "Lazer" Stano, who's directed a few videos for us.

You're on tour right now with Noveskey's band Blue October.  What is the touring experience like?

It's pretty much play, sleep, drive.  Occasionally you end up at a party or in some crazy or weird situation and chalk it up to the "road life."  But for the most part it's just hanging out with the other guys in the crew and trying to have a great show

What's next for you cats?  What will be hearing about IAMDYNAMITE in the next year or so?  

Touring as much as possible.  Also working on as much new material as possible for the next album, whenever that happens.

Sweet.  It was great to throw some questions at you!  Best of luck!  




Monday, September 5, 2011

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Monday September 5th

Hello Dear Readers,

What's up? I have not been to any shows in a while. I should probably change that. Maybe I will. Here are the shows that look good to me today:

Valentine's is having a show with Hello Mtn, Like a Villain, and St. Frankie Lee. Hello Mtn is the group led by Catherine Odell and Matthew Morgan. Catherine Odell used to front the group Black Heart Moon. It was her first foray into guitar song writing. She was and is the cello player for Horse Feathers. In the new group she makes use of a second guitar player, some pre-programed beats and even suitcase percussion. Like a Villain is the moniker of the very talented Holland Andrews. Her set is based around her looping pedal and the wonderful arrangements she can create when it is used with her voice clarinet, and glockenspiel. St. Frankie Lee is a band that I have not seen in a long time. They are fronted by Derrick and Chelsea who write the songs together. They have a great chemistry. The show is FREE and starts at 9 PM.

Al's Den is having a show with Mike Coykendall, Marty Marquis, and Rebecca Rasmussen. Mike Coykendall has been doing a good job doing balancing his recording music with his playing music. If you have not seen him you are missing out. He has also spent time playing in M. Ward's band and his other band She & Him. He is good. Marty Marqui also plays in another band that you may have heard of, Bitzen Trapper. But I have seen him on his own and he holds his own. Rebbecca Rasmussen also performs as half of the group Douver. I have not seen her by herself but I know that she has a great voice and can play guitar. The show is FREE and starts at 7 PM.

Edgefield is having a show with Nate Lacy. Nate Lacy is better known as the frontman of Mimicking Birds. Mimicking Birds album was produced by Issac Brock of Modest Mouse. It is even put out on his label Glacial Pace. Most of the album is Nate Lacy's circular guitar parts and gentle voice. It is really nice to have all the cool atmospheric touches, but it is definitely the Nate Lacy show. This thing is FREE and starts at 7 PM.

If you see me at any of these shows please say, "hi". That would be really sweet.


Mike Coykendall plays this evening at Al's Den