The Olive Street Band or Olive Street formed in early 2006. Its original members included Lindsey “James” Belk, Jason Wilkinson, Kyle Mylius and Adam Kreft.
The original four were housemates on the corner of San Antonio and Olive Street in San Marcos, Texas, and due to a certain synchronicity, formed a band.
The name Olive Street is in honor of the musical heritage of the house, which had been previously occupied by The Butthole Surfers, Jeremiah Clifton (former drummer for The Fluffers Union and audio engineer at Tequila Mockingbird), as well as Dave Whitbeck (Tour DeForce) and Bel Stuart.
Olive Street has a unique musical style combining americana, indie and hip-hop beats.
Olive Street has always been an equity project, all members are contributors to the music. Frontman, Lindsey “James” Belk, writes the lyrics and initial music for the songs. The songs quickly evolve during practice. “I write the foundations of the songs, it’s very minimalist. I write the words and the general structure, I introduce it to the gentlemen, and generally it’s almost night and day. The way that I originally wrote it and after it’s composed with the rest of the band; it’s almost a different song. It’s almost a miracle because they fill in all the things I couldn’t figure out how to express.” Bassist and horn player Pete Apostola underscores this collaborative approach when he says “...there will be songs with trombone.” Olive Street’s musical strength comes from the fact all the members are experienced musicians with prior experience in other bands. Keyboard player Kyle Mylius has played with many bands, including Rebecca Creek, and has taught piano. Jason Wilkinson, has played drums with Pavlov’s Dogs, Our Favorite Colors, Pedestrian and many others. Pete Apostola, bassist and trombone player has performed with Weezer, Priscilla Ahn, the early career of Evan Voytas (Teddy Geiger), Dragon and Phoenix, Salero and various other ska and funk groups.
The musical range and diversity of the members of Olive Street, as well as the “musicianship” definitely define the complexity, subtlety and beauty of the music, and make it difficult to define.
Ultimately, it isn’t about a genre or style but about the quality of the music and the intent. Olive Street’s purpose is summarized well by Lindsey “What I write about is very personal, but I don’t use names very often. I have in a song or two but I don’t use names because I want the audience to be able to hear it and apply their own perspectives to that song. In a sense I want them to hear what I’m saying and to recognize that this person is going through the same thing that I’ve gone through. All of our problems are universal. The resolutions that I come to in the song are very open. I try not to make them too blunt so that my solutions would be applicable to someone else’s problem.” Pete says it this way “I’d like someone to feel the way about us that we felt the first time we saw someone like Dan Bern or Ryan Adams. If I ever heard someone really incredible, the first thing I’d do is drive home and practice, or if I’m in an art gallery and I see something that completely knocks me out, then I’d go home and start painting. I think that would be cool-- just to fire up somebody else.”
Insight and inspiration as well as mastery of craft, passion and dedication create a uniquely enjoyable performance. Olive Street prides itself on the range of music that we deliver, dancing while thinking is not an uncommon occurrence at an Olive Street show. Olive Street is proud to provide a powerful musical experience to our fans, while remaining passionate about our art.
Lead Guitar and Vocals
Bass Guitar and Horn Section
Electric Guitar and Vocals Aaron Williams
Priorities (Due out summer 2010)
Oxblood Festival Rocks Halloween
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“Indie San Marcos group The Olive Street Band, who’s sound was reminiscent of Bright Eyes Connor Obe...“Indie San Marcos group The Olive Street Band, who’s sound was reminiscent of Bright Eyes Connor Oberst and the Counting Crows, began the third day bright and early at 11:45 a.m...”
by Ashley Cass, News Section Editor, www.newstreamz.com
Olive Street Band delicate, but catchy
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The Olive Street Band, with its classically catchy and yet completely new and original style, formed...The Olive Street Band, with its classically catchy and yet completely new and original style, formed almost serendipitously here in San Marcos in 2008.
Lindsey James Belk is the guitar player, singer and song-writing mastermind behind their songs. Kyle Mylius covers the meandering, melodic and at times almost classical piano accompaniment. Pete Apostola takes the bass and occasional trombone, and Jason Wilkinson backs the whole thing up on the drums.
Sets by Olive Street run the gamut, musically, from jazzy down tempo pieces to more upbeat numbers with something of a western hoe-down feel. The variety of influences each band member brings to the table are subtly apparent in all of their songs. The final product is a tapestry of sound leaving a lingering impression of delicate cascading and poetic lyrics over the low-key, intimate guitar and bass that forms their generally laid-back vibe.
The Olive Street Band formed, as they put it, coincidentally.
“I met Lindsey over at the Coffee Pot,” Wilkinson said. “I sat in and played music with him one night, and I decided it was a good idea to keep playing music. A few months down the road I needed some roommates and started putting people together, and Kyle, Lindsey and I were living in the house and we started a band.”
The band’s name is a nod to the fact that the members of the band were roommates who lived along Olive Street.
“We all started as roommates and from there we were like, hey, we all play music. Let’s play together,” said Belk.
Said Mylius, “Before we were roommates. Lindsey was this really skinny kid that looked like hadn’t eaten for four days. When he moved to town, he was playing guitar for free salads from Suzie’s Vegetarian Food. He came in looking for a job and he was so sad-looking I had to hire him. I gave him a job and we were sitting around at an employee meeting and Adam [Kreft] was playing the guitar. Lindsey asked to play a song, and took out a guitar and played one of the greatest songs I’ve ever heard.”
Pete Apostola is the most recent addition to the Olive Street Band.
“I had moved here in September from a little city outside of Philadelphia called Reading,” Apostola said. “We did a gig, I had found an ad up on a website, which I think is the first time that’s worked for anything ever. I drove down to San Marcos, and I loved it. I never looked back. I was a funk trombonist in the Philadelphia music scene. I haven’t had much of a chance to play that with Olive Street but there will be songs with trombone.”
Lyrically, Lindsey James Belk is very poetic and expressive in his writing style.
“I write the foundations of the songs,” Belk said. “It’s very minimalist. I write the words and the general structure, I introduce it to the gentlemen, and generally it’s almost night and day. The way that I originally wrote it and after it’s composed with the rest of the band; it’s almost a different song. It’s almost a miracle because they fill in all the things that I couldn’t figure out how to express.”
“What I write about is very personal, but I don’t use names very often. I have in a song or two but I don’t use names because I want the audience to be able to hear it and apply their own perspectives to that song. In a sense I want them to hear what I’m saying and to recognize that this person is going through the same thing that I’ve gone through. All of our problems are universal. The resolutions that I come to in the song are very open. I try not to make them too blunt so that my solutions would be applicable to someone else’s problem.”
If there was a message that the members of Olive Street would want their fans to leave the show with, it would be one of shared experiences and inspiration.
“I’d like someone to feel the way about us that we felt the first time we saw someone like Dan Burn or Brian Adams,” Apostola said. “It’s not the same kind of garbage that they’d see on MTV. If I ever heard someone really incredible the first thing I’d do is drive home and practice, or if I’m in an art gallery and I see something that completely knocks me out, the I go home and start painting. I think that would be cool, just to fire up somebody else.”
The band is working on an album, starting with five songs already in the can that will be released as EP when they are mixed and mastered. Once the EP is out, the band will work on the second half of the album, hoping to have it out before the end of summer.
The Olive Street Band will play next on June 5 at the Thunderbird Coffee House in Austin. To check out more upcoming shows or listen to some songs, visit www.myspace.com/olivestreetrecords.
Olive Street review
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Beginning as house mates in San Marcos, Olive Street formed in 2006. The inspiration behind the band...Beginning as house mates in San Marcos, Olive Street formed in 2006. The inspiration behind the band’s name came from their living location’s side street name. The band consists of Kyle Mylius on keyboards, Lindsey James on vocals, acoustic guitar, organ, Jah Wilkinson on drums and Bel Stuart on bass guitar and backing vocals.
The self-titled EP, which was released earlier this year, features four tracks. Bringing a new detail to folk-rock, Olive Street’s front man Lindsey James sounds hauntingly like Connor Oberst while the band’s resonance is reminiscent to that of the Counting Crows.
The first track entitled “Dealbreaker,” is a soft tune resounding guitar pickings, slow drumming, and melancholy piano haunting through the quaver of James’ voice. The pain behind James’ voice is not only evident in the quivering of his vocals but through the thoughtful lyric writing---“I didn’t know what I was putting you through... I don’t think I could be with you, it was a dealbreaker baby.”
In the EP’s second track, “Sea of Mesquite,” James’ tone is more aggressive and mildly suggestive of Matchbox 20’s Rob Thomas husky voice droned with background guitar and a piano suggestive of a lounge theme. “They Grow Like Weeds,” includes more upbeat piano, easy drumming, and solemn guitar lines hemming the underlying theme of solitude for the characters in the song. The album’s concluding track, “Shapeshifter,” cultivates a sorrowful mood and incorporates an unnamed female vocalist echoing on some lyrics. Towards the end of the song however, the song becomes faster paced and louder only to return to its slow, dawdling pace in the last 50 seconds.
Approximately 115 minutes
Sea of Mesquite.
They Grow Like Weeds.
Dressed For War.
Enjoy The Ability.
Pretty Good Guy.
Ya’ It’s True.
Girl In Blue.
The Day Is Done.
Let’s Turn Down The Noise.
The Show Last Night.
The Night Is Young.
Pretty Good Guy.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.