Live Show Preview: Teach Me Equals / RedRumsey / The Tweeners

Ben Allen, music editor

Two touring indie rock bands as well as local favorites The Tweeners will be performing at the Jambalaya this Monday, September 8th.
Teach Me Equals is a duo comprised of New Jersey Native Greg Bortnichak and Floridian Erin Murphy. They play guitar, cello, violin and keyboards over homegrown samples created through effects pedals, noises and old metronomes. While the group’s unique approach defies conventional labels, you might at first think you’re listening to a more musically-informed incarnation of The xx or like-minded “chill wave” bands. Bortnichak and Murphy’s reserved, hushed vocals perfectly compliment the underlying dense instrumentation. Their debut album Knives in the Hope Chest was recorded by the band in a studio they built themselves. The layered sound found on their record was equally informed by the rawness of late-era Unwound and the subtlety of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska. The duo have found a following by playing over 200 shows a year and appealing to those interested in pop music with challenging musicianship.
RedRumsey is the moniker of Olympia, Washington-based musician Vern Rumsey. He will be performing material written over a number of years, reaching back to the days of his earliest explorations in music. RedRumsey combines the intimacy of early Elliot Smith and Sebadoh with the complexity of Vern’s intricate bass and guitar arrangements. Throughout the 90’s Rumsey played with a number of bands most notably Unwound, Fitz of Depression and Blonde Redhead. During a near continuous cycle of touring, he performed alongside artists such as Sonic Youth, Fugazi, Bikini Kill, Mogwai and Sleater-Kinney. After the dissolution of the highly influential Unwound in 2002, Rumsey retired from making music altogether. In May of 2014 Rumsey recorded an EP and received the offer to tour with Teach Me Equals.
The Tweeners will be opening the night’s festivities with their radical take on garage rock. A Tweeners gig is a unique experience in that they rarely, if ever repeat their live material. You might hear a bizarre interpretation of a Doors song, or perhaps a free-for-all improvisational piece consisting of psychedelic riffing disintegrating into noisy oblivion. Who knows, their set on Monday may consist solely of ABBA covers played on saxophone and theremin. Influenced by the best drug music of the past, The Tweeners are a breath of fresh air in the Humboldt music scene.
Teach Me Equal / RedRumsey / The Tweeners
Monday, September 8th
9:00PM   $7 at the Door
The Jambalaya
915 H St
Arcata, CA 95521


About Ben Allen

Our music editor Ben Allen was born one stormy evening in a quaint Northern California coastal village. Upon birth he was immediately exposed to the soothing analog sounds of artists such as Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Captain Beefheart and Santana. As the lad grew, so did his appreciation for an assortment of abrasive hard rock. A pubescent flirtation with butt metal was shattered in the early 1990’s by exposure to Nirvana and other so-called “Alternative” bands. While in college, our protagonist became a DJ on a local station, and began work as a freelance music journalist. During this period he became entranced with artists such as Tortoise, Slint, Modest Mouse, Guided By Voices and Pavement. Currently Allen resides in Arcata, CA where he continues to obsess and salivate over new recordings by his favorite artists. He works with music industry people to ensure that Savage Henry’s contributors receive music and other promotional materials. He also writes a silly monthly list titled “Ben’s 10.”

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