You mean heartless cyborgs?!
Lacking a lead singer, losing venues and gear, the New Humans still do OK without favors from former mates
The way I figure it, I taught Scott Simpson how to play guitar in high school. He might figure it differently. So might Cole Cuchna, but he got his stage legs and hairstyle on account of me, through a small project we guitar-licked into the ground a few years back, called Red Top Road.
Oh yeah. We totally rocked. I know I did. Now Simpson and Cuchna have the New Humans thing going on. Now they showcase a range of elegant floating piano themes, heavily distorted percussion loops, synthesizer hooks, walking bass lines and precise, intelligent drum beats. Now they’re playing bars and galleries, drawing crowds big enough to fill your mom’s house and spreading fresh electro-satisfaction all over the city.
It’s a really good band, actually.
And I can’t help but notice that I’m not in it.
Yeah, they don’t even use guitars, and they say they’re looking for a singer, but my cell isn’t ringing. I wonder if I’m not getting a signal …
Anyway, somehow these guys have amassed a solid group of, well, groupies, and they’re not yet even a full band!
Well, clearly, it’s thanks to the musical values I instilled in them back in the Grove. Only after being properly versed in blues, hip-hop, electronica, Euro-indie-rock and punk could Simpson (synths, samples, keys) and Cuchna (more keys) make the most of Apple’s GarageBand software—accumulating a skeletal catalog of potential songs—and then join forces with Robbie Lacasse on bass and Adam Saake on drums. Only after being encouraged to embark on literary affairs with the likes of Jack Kerouac, Cormac McCarthy and corporate business manuals could this band really have something of its own to say.
What’s that? Oh, uh, yeah. Of course I taught them all of that.
With bodies twitching and limbs swinging, they opened up their distorted, synthed-out melodic mayhem at the CoolCat Gallery just last month, earning attentive smiles and bobbing heads from the crowd. Now CoolCat’s shut down (see Trust Your Ears). Weirder and worse, that show was a benefit for Sol Collective, where the band practiced, surrounded by paintings and assorted artworks that together seemed to create just the right atmosphere for their hook-heavy, stylized sound. That is, until last week’s Sol Collective fire melted the majority of their gear (see “Sol casualty”) and all the art on display into a useless, scorched sludge.
And they still don’t have a singer. Or want a guitarist.
So, to sum up: That leaves the New Humans with no guitar, no singer, no amps, no drums, no practice space, no guitar, and, with the closure of the CoolCat, one less place to play.
Wow. You’re thinking, “OK, it’s so totally obvious that God is punishing them.” Right? That they shouldn’t have ditched me, plain and simple? Hey, I don’t make those kinds of rules.
Or you’re thinking, “Chillax, brah. Maybe them making it, in spite of it all, is just cuz they’s righteously good. Let your homies have their moment.” You should know I’m a class act. Just recently, as a matter of fact, I caught up with the fellas over a bottle of “Two Buck Chuck” and some paper cups.
I figured we’d discuss how much they owe me, but of course, we talked about them. Like this article’s even about them.
What? Oh, right. We chummed it up about their process and ambitions. You know, how they’re so eager for new noisemakers and accordingly filling hard drives with free songs from iTunes and MySpace. How, while they promote themselves and keep searching for a vocalist, they hope to expand the scope of Sacramento music. How their strategy for this master plan—putting out highly danceable, laser-light-show-worthy tracks—obviously is working. Damn.
So, here’s the deal. When you take off your slacks next weekend, instead of buying that pack of Parliament Lights, squeezing into your skinny jeans and tuning your scenester receiver in to the frequency of Sacramento’s current contenders, just go ahead and stay home watching the third season of Lost on DVD. The New Humans will be just fine. They’re just so damned resourceful. They don’t need you any more than they need their gear. Or their play space. Or a singer. Or me.