Ah, The Envy Corps. I grew up with these guys and wrote their very first feature story for Art Scene magazine back in our Iowa days.
Since then, the group has morphed, released myriad (now out-of-print) EPs full of gems they can’t play, signed to The Killers’ record label and opened for Editors across Europe. And here they are back in the Midwest playing a packed Nomad.
The addition of Brandon Darner (To My Surprise) on guitar and a dude on keyboards freed up group leader Luke Pettipoole’s duties to play rhythm guitar and sing. But instead I noticed he was playing lead and all the solos. They’re his songs, so it makes sense. Former TMS frontman Darner must get bored playing rhythm and singing backing vocals, but I’m sure the two albums worth of new material in the hopper will give him a chance to showcase his talents, as well.
Overall, songs I’ve been hearing for seven years are alive and more vibrant than ever. Although they’ve lost the initial empathy and stripped-down genuineness of Pettipoole and the Yoshimura brothers on a tiny college stage, songs like “Story Problem” are big, fat, living songs that promise a future of hope for a corps of envy.
We Became Actors’ singer Jesse Stensby channeled Robert Smith as the group pounded out new wavey goodness for the Nomad’s “Alter Bridge!-shouting” crowd.
With an infectious energy, bright guitars and tight rhythm section, WBA has the “cure” for what ails you.
The Julie Puppets
Barfly Loft, Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis rock band The Julie Puppets brought a lot of people up to the fourth floor Barfly Loft in downtown Minneapolis Saturday night for the release show for their new studio album, Codes & Signals.
Working with local producer Ed Ackerson at Flower Studios, TJP produced a 9-track full-length that’s more than worth checking out. I first saw TJP opening for Vicious Aloysius back in DATE and was impressed by singer Russ Staiger’s stage presence.
The band took it up a notch with a fully-tricked out loft complete with VIP seating, black lights, light strings and 4-5 old TV’s propped up around the stage. A camera broadcast the set through colored test patterns, and the crowd warmed up to the band quickly. Staiger’s a born rocker.
More photos on Flickr.