Winter Music Conference, the annual week long celebration of bleeps, blips and untz, untz, untz, is once again descending upon South Florida. To celebrate the knob tweaking dance-a-thon, Brotherly Love Productions is throwing a kickoff show at the Stage in Miami this Friday which will spotlight a recent trend within the world of electronic music: live, band-style renditions of bot produced music.
Now, just where the line is between "live" and "not" is debatable, especially if you can go along with the idea that turntables and records are instruments and that knob tweaking and clicks of the mouse happen in the present moment just like taps on a hand drum.
However, what all the acts performing as part of Jamtronic Chronic WMC Kickoff Party have in common is the presence of musicians on stage playing instruments that can make music without the help of electricity-- like basses, drums, guitars, and pianos (well, keyboards at least) -- and jam sensibility inspired by acts like the Disco Biscuits.
Headlining the event will be Jacksonville's Greenhouse Lounge, along with Sounduo, Aquaphonics, EP3, Bitch, Please!, and Broward's own DuBBle James. The latter of which is a side project of two members of the popular jam band the Heavy Pets, both of whom happen to be named James. County Grind caught up with keyboardist James "Jim" Wuest ahead of the show to chat about the project, knob tweaking and such.
Wuest has been interested in electronic music for a long time. He studied it as part of his "computer geek" curriculum at Syracuse a while back, and really got hooked while out in San Francisco recording with the Pets. Upon returning to South Florida, he and fellow Pet, drummer Jamie Newitt, started rocking out as DuBBle James, a live house and dubstep duo. That was back in February of 2010.
The band has been a nice escape for both Jameses from the music they play full time, and a chance for them to experiment.
"It's my laboratory," says Wuest. "I'm not going to have my laptop on stage with the Pets, ever."
With the popularity of dubstep and electronic music on the rise, along with the popularity of the Heavy Pets, it's an exciting and inspired time for exploration in the field of blending what the Jameses do in the Pets, playing music with instruments, with inspiration in the direction of music that is traditionally bot centered.
"It's the first time I'm actually performing this stuff, seeing what I can do with it."
Perform is the key word for Wuest. For him, that's what makes it live and interesting:
"I don't think you need instruments to be a live act, I just think you need to be performing it in real time. And there is the risk of playing it at the wrong time and having it not come out perfectly. I think that's what makes it live. It's produced in the moment."
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Friday night's show will feature lots of all that -- real, right, and wrong.
Jamtronic Chronic featuring Greenhouse Lounge, Sounduo, Aquaphonics, EP3, Bitch, Please! and DuBBle James. With Live painting by BPaul. 10 p.m. Friday, March 16 at the Stage, 170 NE 38 St., Miami. Tickets cost $10-$20. Click here.