South Florida's a very transient place, especially within the local music scene. Most of the time you'll find us reporting on talented acts leaving our parts, seeking greener pastures in places like New York City, L.A.. and, as of late, the songwriter capital of the world, Nashville. It's not everyday we get the news that a killer musical unit has decided to take up residence in our parts. Let's face it, Brooklyn, we ain't.
Due to the stellar lineup playing Radio-Active Record's ode to the magnetic tape of yesteryear, Cassette It Together, this Saturday, we caught wind of a scuzzy, tripped-out, garage-rocking band called Jeremy Treetop Window. It comes highly recommend by Cassette It Together event organizer and Radio-Active's second-in-command Nat Smallish, who used the words "fresh," and serious "up-and-comers" to describe this boisterous, freewheeling five-piece who hail from Central Florida.
The group took shape in 2010 in the sleepy town of Lakeland, the largest city between Orlando and Tampa on I-4. Its biggest claim to fame that it's home to Publix's corporate headquarters. According to the group, the band began jamming out in an insulated shed on the outskirts of town.
Jeremy Treetop Window's name, the group noted, was like one a "child and her imagination gave to a pet bunny." It quickly went to performing around the limited venues Lakeland has to offer and releasing a record on the now defunct Lakeland imprint Evolution Records. The group tells us the city has many loyal music fans, but the general lack of places to perform makes it very frustrating for a local music group.
Enter South Florida; While we might not be an Austin, Texas, or Athens, GA, for that matter, we have a respectable amount of venues to offer bands who want to play original music. But that really has nothing to do with why the quintet moved here in the fall of 2012. The real reason was the band's drummer, Andrew Sears and co-bassist/oraganist/vocalist Ashley Kennedy both were accepted into Florida Atlantic University.
Before the semester started, Kennedy, Sears, and guitarist Jake Kladakis shacked up, as the three put it, in "the best double-wide trailer Boca Raton has to offer." This girthy mobile home also acts as the group's new practice space. They tell us that at their new spot, they've "done a good job at pissing off neighbors and making it hard for people to go to sleep at night."
The other two members of the group, guitarist Brandon McDuffie and co-bassist/organist/vocalist Steven Miller still reside in Lakeland and make the schlep down to Palm Beach County for practices and gigs.
From shed to double-wide, the grit of the group's confines comes to life in its musical output; the five-piece yields a raucous, spiraling psychedelic brand of garage rock that is as messy and lively as it is spirited and brash. It is the kind of band where each member jumps from instrument to instrument and doesn't commit to one main vocalist. Its half-chant, trance-enducing faraway free-for-all vocals is a big draw on its latest effort, the eponymous EP released in April. Listening to the reverberating guitar licks and its kaleidoscopic harmonies made us double check if we had maybe taken too many Dextromethorphan cold and cough pills. Not the case, the tunes just gave us a great contact high, it seems.
Jeremy Treetop Window's performance at Radio-Active is one of its first in South Florida. It presents a rare opportunity for you all to check out a band fresh on the scene, yet to be jaded by the "it-sucks-to-be-a-band-in-South Florida" mantra. In honor of the analogue, Cassette it Together theme, the group tells us they have handmade a limited number of six-song cassettes, which will be for sale at the show.
Jeremy Treetop Window will be joined by eight other noteworthy bands on Saturday. More details on that below. Sample some trippy Jeremy Treetop Window goodness from the group's EP before you buy, below.
Cassette It Together also includes performances by Fort Lauderdale's own The Goddamn' Hustle, Miami shakers Shangri-Lá, St. Pete's Sonic Graffiti, Plastic Pinks, The Sunny DeVilles, Brenner Pass, and Zombies! Organize!!! offspring Wolf Cat. Tape jockeys include Jasper Delaini, AKA Sensitive Side, and Danny Kokomo of the Jacuzzi Boys. 1 p.m., at Radio-Active Records, 845 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. Event is free and there are plenty of summer sales. Visit Facebook.