Monday, February 11, 2013

Sharing Some Laughs With Iowa's Har di Har: "You Will Be Able to Shake Your Ass Half the Time."

Iowa duo Har di Har hits LFK on Friday, February 15 for a quadruple bill at the Jackpot alongside Something and the Whatevers (we showcased them recently: read it here), Electric Needle Room, and Tiger Waves.

Will Har di Har make you laugh?  Perhaps.  Will they make you dance?  Yes (at least half of the time).  Will they impress you with their technical prowess?  You bet.  Check them out on FB here and take a listen to their Feudal Kind EP via Bandcamp.

We caught up with Har di Har's Andrew to chat about "experimental folk" and whether or not Chip can dance continuously through an entire Har di Har set to score sweet prizes!

Chip:  When a lot of people hear the phrase “experimental folk” they get a little nervous, because it might sound like a bunch of different-sized frogs getting hit over the head with mallets or something.   You just never know what you're getting into.   Describe your sound to our readers and convince them that there’s nothing to be frightened about.

Andrew: Your readers don't need to worry about frog brutality in our case.  We use soft mallets when dealing with frogs.  "Experimental folk" is a bit dated as the best description of our music as we've been writing and touring a lot for the past five months so our sound is evolving.  Yes, some of our songs are reminiscent of Fleet Foxes/The Antlers/Bon Iver/early Dirty Projectors, but our new music is reaching into new realms.  A better way to describe our music would be progressive psychedelic-pop/folk with echoes of four-on-the flour minimal B-movie synth-scoreing chamber-rock... what's there to frightened of?        

Richard:  I like the description on your FB page that the music sometimes sounds “as though Miles Davis were performing Gregorian chant.”  Can you offer us another comparison that fills in the blanks with another odd combination?  

Andrew: If Janis Joplin had been parented by Frank Zappa and Joni Mitchel, befriended Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins, and received consultation from Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear while recording music, the result would be similar to Har-di-Har...     

Chip:  I hear you have a passion for dance music.  Will I be able to shake my ass at this show?

Andrew: You will be able to shake your ass half the time.  Or you could shake half your ass all the time.  All of our songs have sections where you will want to dance your face off.  However, it is a goal of ours to make the crowd work for it.  With winding instrumental break downs, meter changes, and grand pauses, we reward anyone who can successfully dance continuously through our set either with presents or beer.   

Chip:  I'll take that challenge!

Richard:  I like the haunting refrain in "Campaign" : “What a mess we’ve made... in the garden…what a mess we’ve made.”  Tell us what that song is all about?   It doesn’t sound like a very Har-di-Har kind of message!

Andrew: People often say "Hardy har har" when a bad joke has been told or when a good joke is poorly delivered.  We feel like the US political system and electoral process can be compared to one such joke.  That is what "Campaign is about".  Har-di-Har is a reaction to how cultural and societal norms become adopted/adapted over time.  To some this is process is comical; to others it is a serious matter.  We chose to lie somewhere between the two.  If you think about it, the underlying reasons why things are funny are frequently serious in nature.  

[Chip reflects for awhile on his boner jokes].

Chip:  What’s it like being a married couple on the road together all the time?   Do you play a lot of shows in which you’re secretly or not-so-secretly PISSED OFF at each other?

 Andrew:  There are pluses and minuses to arguing in a car.  + We can't walk away from an argument.  - We can't walk away from an argument. + Julie can't throw high heels at my face when she is pissed off. - She can neglect to feed me while I'm driving...which makes me hungry and also makes me not want to argue. 

But, seriously, we are very rarely pissed at each other. We really don't fight that often.  There isn't much to fight about besides who gets to eat the last of the trail mix or some stupid shit like that.  How can you fight with your spouse when all she wants to do is write music, play shows, travel the states, drink good beer, eat good food, and meet stellar people?  I can't complain and neither can she.  
Honestly, the best part of being married on the road is going home with a lady every night.  Duh.  

Richard:  Leave us with a blurb that convinces our readers that they absolutely MUST attend the Jackpot show on the 15th, right after Valentine’s Day.

Andrew: Look, to be honest Richard, what we do in a live setting is fun to watch and difficult to pull off, whether it's the day after a made-up holiday or not.  If your readers don't like our songs or music (which they will), they should at least come out to see two people play four instruments while singing at the same time.  

Julie is the lead singer, but she sings while playing keyboard and drums simultaneously, and I play bass or guitar while drumming with my feet and singing back-up vocals.  Your readers are probably asking, "Can they actually pull this shit off???!!"  Honestly, the only way to find that out is to make it out to the show.  I really don't know that much about Electric Needle Room, Tiger Waves, or 
Something and the Whatevers, but what I've heard online I dig, so the bill alone should be an added incentive for your readers to come out to this show.  We've heard really good things about the scene in Lawrence, so we have high hopes for this show and for music lovers in Lawrence.  Don't let us down and we won't let you down!!  

 Show flyer:
Har-di-Har, Tiger Waves, Electric Needle Room & Something and the Whatevers
Feudal Kind EP cover:

Feudal Kind EP cover art

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