Carpe Adventure: Let’s Take A TripLip Down Memory Lane…Sometimes Adventure Involves Amazing Hair

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from their FB

The first time I saw the current members of TripLip, Kevin and Pat, they were members of a different band, and they were playing at the Kacey Jones Pavilion in our little hometown. These boys were still in high school, and I…well I was not, hahaha! But I could already see the budding talent.

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Several years later, I saw them again, just the two of them, and they were jamming under the name of Judge DDrugs. Thistriplip001 time, I really paid attention! We were at a dive bar, fondly dubbed BarBar (probably not the name of the bar now) in Downtown Denver, Colorado. Instantly I was intrigued as these two oddly handsome fellows with AMAZING hair, took the “stage” (which was on the same level as everyone else–basically they took the corner of the room); one picking up a bass, the other climbing behind the set of drums. Before this, I had only ever seen one other band with this set up–a bass and some drums–and that was Red VS Black, another infamous group in my small town. Clay, the bassist for Red VS Black, was the first one to really make me take notice of the bass as an integral part of a band (as I mentioned in the blog about Facial)–I was honestly and superficially amazingly impressed by Clay’s arm muscles; takes a lot to play a bass that well and thoroughly, hahaha! (The drummer for Red VS Black is pictured above as the drummer for Pat and Kevin’s previous band. His name is Sam Tallent, and he is an accomplished comedian. Definitely look him up–he has even worked with the amazing T.J. Miller!)

But with Judge DDrugs, aka TripLip, it was the hair I noticed first, hahaha! This “experimental progressive” rock band was sporting some locks that would make Brett Michaels jealous! And I was in love, hahaha!!

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I am now a full-fledged fan, but I still have the boy-band-groupie love that revolves solely around their hair! I cannot explain enough how upset I was when Pat cut his off, hahaha!!triplip025 triplip023 triplip015

I have known them as TripLip for longer than Judge DDrugs, and I have seen TripLip play many times. In fact, when my photo gathering for this blog started to head towards triplip040, I had to back off. These two are my absolute favorite band members to photograph (again, because of the hair, hahaha!). Also, the faces that they make. Even if this is not the type of music that you enjoy listening to, I guarantee that you will totally enjoy watching them!!

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triplip019Pat is the man to know when it comes to going anywhere musically. He has been thetriplip021 frontrunner in every Mile High Festibowl–the main guy who sets up the locations, sets up the bands….he is just phenomenal. He is also a really nice guy! He has personally made me feel so special and needed at his shows. Although he is capable of playing other instruments, I really love watching him on the drums. No matter what band he is playing in (there happens to be quite a few), from heavy metal, or experimental progressive, to surf rock, to a little bit of a Macklemore vibe (sorry Preston, hahaha! I know you dislike that reference), he is crazy good! Pat is consistently maintaining a connection with both the fans and his fellow band mates. Pat lets you know that he sees you, and he appreciates that you are there. And he is an outstanding drummer! He puts his all into drumming–forces you to notice that he is there, hahaha! You never forget about the drummer when he is around! And he makes the best faces ever!!!triplip006triplip022

Kevin….what can I say about Kevin….hahaha! Just kidding! I would call Kevin “the Mouth!!” Not triplip028only does he possess one of the biggest orifices that I have ever seen, he is also super loud!! Kevin is always in the triplip027crowd while the other bands are playing, and one can easily hear his “Yip! Yip!” above any noise, as he shows his support for his fellow musicians. He is also in the crowd while playing, hahaha. He has a really long cord and super supportive fans who never let him get tangled. In addition to being a bassist, Kevin is also the lead singer. Yes, most of the lyrics are screamed at you, but he has such an interesting and identifiable voice, you can’t help but enjoy it. And his bass skills….I will really dive into it in a later post, but I recently went to a TripLip concert at the Lion’s Lair on the 17th, and, unfortunately, Pat could not attend. Instead of cancelling the show, Kevin decided to do it solo. Honestly, I was like, “Really? How is a bassist alone going to entertain this crowd?” Man, did he make me feel guilty for even doubting him!! Keven went up there with a bass and a looper pedal (unsure if that was the technical term for that particular piece of equipment, I’m mainly a photographer, hahaha!), and blew my effing mind!! This guy had the entire audience enthralled. He didn’t sing or anything like that; he just played every inch of that instrument–strumming, plucking. taking a tour of the entire neck of the thing–forearm muscles moving and bulging and veining the whole way. This huge-mouthed, loud, long-haired rebel is a beast on that thing! Truly talented!

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from their FB

TripLip just got back from a national tour. Sure, they packed a bunch of dudes in a van, as opposed to a spiffy tour-bus, but they still received great reviews and got to play with some sweet bands–like Daikaiju (so amazing!), Giraffes? Giraffes! (so talented!), Snail Mate (just saw them and I love them!), Lucida Tella (awesome), and many many more–from Colorado to Louisiana to Buffalo, New York, these boys have been all over!!

Richard Ingersoll, a former member of Cosmic Sound Child (mentioned in Facial), is a phenomenal guitarist and an absolutely jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring artist, sometimes joins the two for shows here in Colorado, and on tour.

from their FB, with Richard

from their FB, with Richard

Recently, TripLip has begun to wear masks during their performances, but due to an unfortunate accident with my harddrive, pictures for these amazing occasions are not available. But I do have several videos, the link to one of which, is listed below.

I strongly suggest to never limit your musical tastes, or let appearances detour you from attending an event, because you could miss out on some phenomenal talent! Again, I was a boy-bander. Pop music is my thing. Slowly, rock filtered in during high school, then a little rap and R&B. But it was not until I was 21 that my musical tastes exploded! If you would have asked me at 15 if I would go to a punk concert, the answer would have been a huge N-O. But my “brothers” needed a ride to Antiflag and The Casualties, and I was it. I treasure that concert because it brought me to where I am now–surrounded by a vast array of amazingly talented musicians. I can now say I love punk, math rock, surf rock, screamo, emo, and even a bit of dubstep (Shout out to DJ Thumper and DeadHand!!!). Carpe Adventure, people. And the very best thing? The people. Those dirty, scrouty punks are the best. They will pick you up when you fall, they will accept you as you are, if you are good to them they will go out of their way to be good to you….let’s just say that, if you get kicked out of a punk concert, you 100% deserve it, because you are a….jerk, yeah, let’s go with that, hahaha, a JERK! I mean, I still listen to “horrible music” on my own time, I rarely rock anything of these bands when they’re not in front of my face, but I find I am hard-pressed to turn down a TripLip concert!!! Good people, good vibe, good music, talented artists, and very very entertaining performance!

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So keep an eye out for TripLip!! They very well could be playing at a dive near you sometime soon!!

Watch their YouTube video, TripLip at Pho Cao: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0E7YZon9sc

Listen to their album: http://triplipdenver.bandcamp.com/

Check out their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TripLip-160031120718417

To check out their masked look, here is a decent video I shot (I am short and pliable, so it is shaky, hahaha!) at the Armory, Festibowl 2015: https://www.facebook.com/rachel.campbell.71271/videos/1132047610155001/

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from their FB

*all other photos were taken by me! 🙂

Getting a Facial with “Math Rock”–Sometimes Adventure Involves Math

Math Rock, you say? What in the world is “Math Rock?” Is that some newfangled lingo you youngin’s have come up with to try and make math cool? Well, I do approve of that…

According to Wikipedia, Math Rock is defined as:

  • Math rock is a rhythmically complex, often guitar-based, style of experimental rock and indie rock music that emerged in the late 1980s, influenced by progressive rock bands like King Crimson and 20th century minimalist composers such as Steve Reich.

I assure you, I giggled the first time I heard the expression “Math Rock” because I was sure that it was a reference to Adventure Time–a show that my young adult brother was obsessed with. When asked, my brother defined it as, “making music with math equations.” I’m still unsure what that means, but I was simply excited to give this new genre a whirl! It turns out that math rock is just really really cool rock music!

(The following pictures came from their website)

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The band Facial, is currently my math rock obsession. Its members include Joe Hatfield on guitar, Alex Norrel on drums, and Ethan Evanchek on bass. I do admit to some bias where its members are concerned, seeing as I have known Joe and Alex long enough and well enough to claim them as “brothers,” and have been impressed with Ethan for at least five years, having seen his spectacular bassist skills in several other bands. Prior to Facial, Joe and Ethan were members of Cosmic Sound Child–which is the band that really made me take notice of the drummers and bassist, and appreciate the necessary impact that they provide to any band! When I first witnessed Cosmic Sound Child play, I cried! Hahaha! I honestly did. I was devastated when they broke up, my sunny skies instantly turning a stormy cloudy gray. But a ray of hope burst through that cloud cover when I heard about Facial!

(The following pictures I have taken at their concerts)

facial010See, Joe has been a musical staple in our small country town. He is the go-to-guy for anything music related. Writing, performing, recording, filming, and producing, Joe is your man. And if you need a drummer? You better call Joe. In fact, I had seen him as a drummer so many times, that I was actually astounded the first time I heard him play the guitar–He is flipping amazing!!! It was literally a jaw-drop moment to see him run those magic-fingers up and down those struts! Wow, that sounded, ah, interesting, hahaha! Seriously though, it was fan-fricking-tastic!! Then to find out he could play other instruments too? Well, Joe, you might as well add yourself to the “Coolest-People-I-Know” list right now. Add in that he is highly intelligent, insanely deep, generous, kind, open-minded, nonjudgmental, and a superb conversationalist, and you have an outstanding specimen for a great human being!

I have known Alex almost as long as I have known Joe. I always kind of paired them together, because they were so similar infacial009 temperament. Intelligent, deep, philosophical, strong-willed, and just plain strong–he is another of my most favorite people. My friend and I fondly dubbed him “Alex the Great”–the great hugger! He was still in high school when I met him, but he towered over me even then, and he grew taller still. When I first saw Alex behind a set of drums, it was at an impromptu musical night at a random gathering. I was instantly impressed. Out of all my “brothers,” (besides my real brother) he was the only one that was not in the punk band, Ha Ha Hooligans–the band that got me into the Elizabeth music scene to begin with–so I had no idea he could even play! He surprised me again that night, by picking up an adorable strawberry-shaped guitar, and was a perfect participant to one of my all-time favorite memories where several of us sat in a close circle and played/sang Santeria, by Sublime.

facial013That was also the night I met Ethan–or at least the first time I remembered Ethan. Concerts at Kasey Jones Park were usually dark, loud, and wild–high school boys in a mosh pit?? And being the older sister, I tended to hide on the sidelines, hahaha! However, it was not until Cosmic Sound Child that I fell in love with Ethan! It was he who helped me to appreciate the bassist. In fact, until I heard Red vs Black–an amazing two-person band with a bassist/singer and a drummer/singer–I honestly did not really notice the bass. Once I saw Ethan, though….the bass is an integral and necessary component of the band! It is absolutely amazing the sounds that the bass can create. Both Cosmic Sound Child and Facial could not be as amazing as they were/are without Ethan.

It was the Mile High Festibowl, 2013, down at the aforementioned Mouth House (the best form of insanity!!), when I facial006witnessed Facial play together for the first time….and it was magical. I cannot find the words to describe the music…intricate? Complicated? Phenomenal? There are not any lyrics, but your body responds as if there are. Happy, sad, the chaos that infuses the brain in high school…you can feel all of these through the music. There is no need for words. I have seen them several times since–I try not to miss a concert. If I know about it, and my old-man car is happy, I am totally there! I once described them as, “Mars Volta meets The Grateful Dead, on crack.” You have the astounding intricacy of Mars Volta, with the jam power of the Grateful Dead, multiplied by 100, hahahaha!

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Now, being a girl of the 90’s, I am, unfortunately hahaha, a boy-bander. So talent, to me, could easily just be a pretty face (although I will vehemently defend that most of the boy-bands of the 90’s had pretty faces, sweet voices, and amazing dance moves!), at least that is the view point that most have towards a former boy-bander. However, my adult life has been saturated with all sorts of musical influences–that I would have never found on my own–and I have been drenched in punk, indie, screamo, emo, metal, math-rock, surf-rock, and whatever other term they use to differentiate the technical nuances that delineate the various genres–I am fully soused, hahahaha! But Facial is my favorite! They don’t need a ridiculously handsome front man–although they are all studs in my book–a sexy lead vocal, or some sweet poppin’ and lockin’ dance moves to be anything more than what they are, which is simply sensational.

I fully recommend checking them out! I have included several links, but if you cannot see them in person, definitely listen to them on bandcamp!

Watch them perform at the Armory in Denver, Colorado, via YouTube:

Check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FacialMusic

And listen to their music: http://facial.bandcamp.com/