Jun 24, 2011

The Verve Pipe at VerveLife on 6/20/11

Brian Vander Ark (front man, lead vocals and guitar) and Donny Brown (drummer and back up vocals) from The Verve Pipe performed an acoustic set from their latest album, A Family Album, geared towards children in the pre-tween years and the parents that love them or at least do not want to listen to Barney or the Wiggles with any regularity. You may know this band from their one big hit song, The Freshman. Brian may have written music geared toward college "freshman" in the 90's but is now writing for the pre-school crowd.

The pair performed for a small group of families at the VerveLife office (similarity in name, not intended) to promote VerveLife's latest music marketing solution that is geared to the kid (pre-tween) and tween crowd of product buyers (admittedly we often are influenced by what our kids want at the store right?). Marketers can offer music without offensive lyrics and/or innuendo. Sorry Ke$ha, not invited to this party.

The video of the song Cereal shown below does have lyrics that include the word sugar which I could personally stand to limit and may not want to promote in the realm of cereal purchasing at the grocery store. This song and others on the album span the range from jazzy, bluegrass, ballad, and light rock, so something for everyone. My kids grew up with kids albums from Ralph's World, They Might Be Giants, and Justin Roberts amongst others. I was always searching for the music that was kid friendly + tolerable (or even enjoyable!). A Family Album strikes this balance and can easily join the ranks of the aforementioned artists. Brian told me that they play at Schuba's about every 6 months so be on the lookout. He also performs as a solo act but mostly in Michigan and out east. I highly recommend seeing him or them... whichever opportunity presents itself first.

I had the opportunity to interview both Brian and Donny. They had some interesting commentary and advice for me as someone who struggled with song writing years ago. They were extremely sympathetic and supportive. Almost makes me want to try again, almost.

Hopefully Snow Patrol does not take offense to Donny's off the cuff remarks - should the band happen across this interview on my rapidly gaining in popularity even as I type Chicago music blog.

The night was much fun but I have to subtract 1 guitar for the relentless and seemingly endless loud banging and clanging on the drums (not by Donny but by the relentless pre-schoolers taking liberty with Donny's drumsticks prior to the show). I came to realize that A) my kids are older and well-behaved and B) my kids, as pre-schoolers behaving in the same manner, would have been removed from the premises at the risk of my being ostracized for not fostering my pre-schoolers sense of exploration and freedom. The Verve Pipe and VerveLife staff were much kinder and way more tolerant than I. But that was never my strength. All in all, a wonderful time. The evening gets a 4 out of 5 guitar rating! Hope The Verve Pipe gets a Grammy!

1 comment:

  1. Great interview, Melody! And what a great couple of guys! I loved your daughter's question, too. Inquiring minds want to know!