I don’t want this to be a typical blog post.
It’s not about a traditional band.
I don’t want this to be a review or a perfunctory feature story, I don’t want to have to tell you why you should go see this band.
Because this band does something wholly refreshing for me – from the onset – they’re not a band, by design. They are ever transient; indeed, Vagrants!
Ypsi/Arbor-area collective The Vagrant Symphony has been bandying about, in one form or another (or another) for nine years now. This Friday at the Blind Pig commemorates their “conception” –via songwriters/co-founders Christopher Anderson and Randy Peabody paging through a random thesaurus—that blossomed into a 20-member elastic-institution of performers/multi-instrumentalists/songwriters and overall outside-box-thinkers dedicated to conjuring their own brand of a darkly-dreamy neo-psychedelia, jangled-‘round-to-a-contemplative-daze, strummed and sweetened with hazy, lulling harmonies – a communal sonic séance of the Stones or VU – in the form of a strange new folk-pop format.
And come Friday – says Anderson – they’re hoping to pack as many current / former Vagrants onto the stage as physically, temporally, structurally possible. Multiple guitars, keyboards, bass, African drums, djembes, “and some mandolin action…bongos!” Plus: busking-entertainment outside on the sidewalk… Everything, hopefully, but the kitchen-sink.
“I’m really pumped about having my buddies: Harison Zamperla and Nicole P’Simer on the bill,” said Anderson. “I have seen them literally go through many musical phases and I love them both dearly. Laura K. Balke and The Hand In The Ocean both being on this bill is also quite wonderful. I met those acts in two church shows back in my hometown of Royal Oak at the same venue.”
Looking back: “There were a lot of trio-based phases of Vagrant,” says Anderson, “with both of the combos of (Anderson) / (Harison) Zamperla / Casey Dickerson and/or (Anderson) / Alexis King / Joseph O’Dell.” The group started as a six-piece outré-orchestra, a new-weird-wonderful-wandering folk thing, initially purposed to soundtrack a house party and soon after entering a battle of the bands at Pub 13.
Back then, Anderson didn’t even sing, it was Rashon Massey on lead vocals. “Now, I’m up to 30-originals and feeling excited to reveal our five-song set at the Blind Pig stage. It’s very representative of the catalog…” Anticipate new compositions by Anderson / Jeremy Vanheistma, mixed with “…a classic Harison-song and two oldies-but-goodies.”
So it goes – The Vagrant Symphony continues its melodious meandering, nine-years on… Toast them at the Blind Pig this Friday.
See them live at Rush Street for MiniFest…an intimate / off-the-cuff / introductory musical celebration acting as prelude to Mittenfest.
@Rush Street – 12/26 – 8 pm – THE VAGRANT SYMPHONY
NICK BERTSOS & LITTLE TRAPS
Vagrant Symphony’s 9th Anniversary
@The Blind Pig – 12/28 – 9pm – THE VAGRANT SYMPHONY hosts this epic line up:
The Hand in the Ocean
Laura Kathleen Balke
The Vagrant Symphony
Steve Smalls and Company