Pickwick – Live From the Basement
Whenever I want to make sure I’m keeping up with the best new bands in Seattle I turn to Abbey Simmons and her popular Sound on the Sound blog. She’s always got her ear to the ground and is often among the first to champion talented up and comers in town. She was instrumental in breaking The Head and the Heart, who have become Seattle’s most recent break out band. They recently signed to Sub Pop and are currently out on tour opening for Dr. Dog. If they pass your way don’t miss the opportunity to see them live.
But I digress, the reason for this post is the Pickwick video above. I’d heard their name a time or two but had never heard their music. I enjoyed what I saw here so much that I want to share it!
From the Sound on the Sound blog:
This recording with Pickwick that happened one Sunday afternoon in early December is the first in our 2011 video sessions. This first new series hopes to capture each band in their own practice spot, be it a basement, garage or abandoned warehouse, giving us a sense of how they operate and interact in a comfortable space, providing context to help us understand where the music is actually coming from. Pickwick and our Doe Bay Session videographer Tyler Kalberg had actually already been planning this particular event for some time, and in the process of coinciding with our idea, it became an opportunity to kick off our efforts with a bang, with one of our new favorite bands and with the guy behind the camera who we’re proud to have as part of Sound on the Sound.
Much of the cultural conversation around a band these days is generally focused on how each individual is special in their own contribution. Secondary is how the entire band works together to make something even more special. Pickwick is focused firmly in the second kind of thinking when supporting the momentum of Galen Disston’s fearless croon, and it’s this that ultimately produces a convincing modern take on soul that’s cohesive and fun. Injecting exuberance and the element of audience participation into songs that can be as vocally complicated as any Bill Withers tune and as musically pop as any Quincy Jones hook, if you can resist this band’s pull on your feet you might need to get your rhythm checked.
The filming of this first session was actually my first opportunity to properly take measure of this band, a group that I’d been glued to two songs from that were available only on bandcamp as a part of the first of their series of vinyl 45s titled Myths Vol. 1. I’d met the band randomly at a few venues around town and had their name dropped to me by people I trust, but was still admittedly in the dark about them. Over the course of a few hours, the effort of many takes on six different songs, and a fistful of PBRs, my time in the basement with the band and their effusive comrades confirmed my hopes: that Pickwick’s first 7″ was not a one-off special or even their best songs. Despite tearing through take after take of the same song when they had probably delivered it great on the first effort and having never heard any of it live before, I was still happy listening to those songs over and over and over again. Aside from any discussion about aesthetic, it’s that very idea that’s the crux of what defines “good” pop for a person is it not? In truth, the band that can do that is the band that we’re all in search of. Right?