Live Show Preview: Teach Me Equals, Joey Sprinkles, The Apollo Era

Jimmy Peche, contributor

Ahhh… fall has fallen, and it is getting on time to put your witch hats on and get freaky. Anyone else taste the essence of eye-of-newt in the damp, chill air? Well, what better an occasion to kick off your spooky-season’s celebrations than the return of doomy electro-classical duo, Teach Me Equals!

Teach Me Equals is all about energy work and sonic alchemy. Their last record, Fix History, which received a perfect score of 12 out of 12 Crushed PBR cans here at Savage Henry, exercised a level of restraint and virtuosic attention to detail to ensure that when an impact was designed to be felt, it was devastating. I’m talking ego-death, heroic dose, devastating. There is something both terrifyingly surgical about the songs on this record, and recklessly unrestrained. If Jekyll and Hyde were to find unity through a piece of music, this record would be it. The sonic landscape they paint is a bit like the best surrealist horror movies as well – utilizing a vast dynamic range and unusual sounds to build tension that both pays off big, yet seems to never fully relent.

Their performances are both cathartic and provocative, often inducing acute emotional experiences or trance-states with the audience. (Ecstatic dancing is somewhat common, as is weeping. Seizures, less so). That isn’t to say it’s all work and no play for the audience, many of their cuts are readily danceable, and catchy as hell . . .  with TME, it’s more about immersing yourself in an alien universe, quieting your mind, and letting your body call the shots. For a good taste of what’s to come, check out their most recent music video – an animated piece set to the title track of their last record:

Joining Teach Me Equals for the evening are two acts that are sure to book-end Teach Me Equals intensity with a sense of revelry and adventure – Joey Sprinkles on tour from Ohio, and locals The Apollo Era. Joey Sprinkles is the solo project of Joe Boyer, former lead guitarist of Cloud Nothings. Joey shares in Teach Me Equals’ appreciation of classical and punk rock, being both a veteran DIY/ punk musician in his own right, as well as a lifelong student of classical piano. Joey’s songs also show a great affection for early rock and roll and doo-wop, featuring an ear for tunefulness that is never obscured by the noise and more experimental flourishes that decorate his work. Joey Sprinkles is unpredictable in many ways, careening from tight lo-fi pop songs, to full-on blasts of punk fury. Nonetheless, his musicianship never steers the ship astray. This will be his first ever solo performance in Arcata, and it is not to be missed!

The Apollo Era, on the other hand, expertly craft psychedelic rock music that just oozes cool… It’s the sort of sound you want to blast on a late-night drive with a new love, windows down, passenger’s feet on the dash… Making new memories indelible as the street-lights whiz by and paint a picture in your mind so perfectly surreal that you will have to remind yourself it actually happened. The Apollo Era are a band that may very well end up breaking into the mainstream. I say see them in an intimate setting while you still can.

Teach Me Equals     Joey Sprinkles     The Apollo Era

Thursday, October 25th     The Jam     901 H Street, Arcata 

9:00 PM    $5 Dollars

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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