H-Beam's wild stage show pulls influences from a strong upbringing in the entertainment industry. By fusing aspects of theater and music, the band fathers a musical variety show resembling genes of Rocky Horror and Frank Zappa. Sweeping, psychedelic melodies and bizarre lyrical content propel their sets, as slews of props and masks add to their outrageous on-stage antics. With elaborate compositions pushed to the boundary by weird twisted humor, H-Beam captivates audiences by leaving them with a unique musical experience. The band harnesses the power of sheer sensory overload and imprints a lasting memory in the minds of those that dare to stray from the comforts of predictable rock formulas.
Over the last two years, H-Beam has performed nearly 175 shows traveling from Nashville to the Midwest, Northeast and all through the South. Showcasing their talent two years in a row at Next BIG Nashville and RedGorilla Music Fest during SXSW in Austin, TX, H-Beam has also performed at several festivals including the Terrapin Hill Festival, Rites of Spring, Waterfest, Vexfest, and more. H-Beam has shared the stage with artists such as, Benevento-Russo Duo, Keller Williams, Feist, Lil' Jon, Tea Leaf Green, Nappy Roots, Grace Potter, and The Samples. Along with their live performances H-Beam's music is also receiving airplay on stations such as Nashville's 102.9 The Buzz, WRVU 91.1, Knoxville's WUTK, Philly's Endless Boundaries Radio, Youngstown, Ohio's Rukus Radio, Circle7 Radio, and is being broadcasted in the UK, Japan, and the Netherlands.
"If onstage theatrics and an epic throwback to the psychedelia and experimentation of the 1960s are your style, be sure to check out H-Beam. The psychedelic and classic rock sound that H-Beam brings to the table will have you dancing and playing air guitar till you drop to your knees. " -Versus Entertainment
matt walberg : electric guitar/vocals
current touring electric bass/synth/vocals: Dan Pinson
current touring drummer/vocals: Adam Brown
set may also include:
Abilgil Wilensky: Violin/Vocals
Andrew Hagen: Bass/Tenor Saxophone
StayC Givhan: Actor
Mitch Huffman: Road Mangler
The Love Panda
The Rhythm Chicken
Olivia the Unicorn
The Vacay Piggay
and more colorful characters!
(2006) Oojah EP
2. Alla Really Wanna
3. Fantasy Life
5. Thrifty Bitch
Recorded in February 2006 in Atlanta, GA at TreeSound Studios. Produced and engineered by Kenneth Mount and Zack Odom.
Girlz Gone Wild
© H-Beam Music
.:Local Nashville Band of The Moment: H-Beam
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"H-Beam is the Frank Zappa/Mike Patton fix that you’ve been needing for the past 5 years. Their mus..."H-Beam is the Frank Zappa/Mike Patton fix that you’ve been needing for the past 5 years. Their music is spastic, eccentric, non-sensical, and terribly amusing to the point where you find yourself chuckling in your car-seat while on a business call. Their debut album, Useful Box Of Hair, has the Dune Review Seal-Of-Approval and is certainly something to check out. When I say its a mix between Zappa and Patton, I mean just that. But in NO way is that a bad thing in this situation. I’ve heard bands influenced by Zappa and Patton before, and it sounded like absolute garbage. When bands try to pull it off it sounds tried and unoriginal, but H-Beam pulls it off so well that it makes you wish Frank was still alive so that he and Patton could do a double-album together" - Dune Baydoun, The Dune Review
.:Useful Box of Hair Review
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"Walberg's Useful Box of Hair album is the most unique collection of songs that I've ever heard! It'..."Walberg's Useful Box of Hair album is the most unique collection of songs that I've ever heard! It's Clapton meets Hendrix manic guitar-driven music with lyrics by Hemingway and Zappa. And Charles Manson doing monologues between cuts."
-Rich Barnet, author This Business of Concert Promotion and Touring
.:H-Beam's cd release show review
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"...Then H-Beam started. These guys are always a trip. They were introduced by a Tony Clifton type c..."...Then H-Beam started. These guys are always a trip. They were introduced by a Tony Clifton type character wielding a chipping wedge and a purple pimp hat. This was just the beginning of the parade of characters to come through this show, as is typical with H-Beam. The music was really tight, as would be expected from a band that has been playing and listening to these songs in the studio for months. They have sort of a Flaming Lips/Zappa type sound with a stage show that could have been an episode from the Muppets. Leader Matt Walberg was excellent on that guitar of his. Russell Wright was a good stable bass substitute, as always, and the rhythm chicken on drums was really good too. Also props to him for the hand fart solo. Awesome. The show came to an abrupt awkward ending when one of the crazed mutant characters apparently pissed off the drummer enough to storm off the stage mid song. You never know, with H-Beam, this could have been planned although probably not the best way to encourage the crowd to buy your new record, which is probably why Beam did it. Kings of theatrics and drama these guys are. I hope Matt comes through on his promise for the next show to be "something we have never seen before." -Raul Kemp, Shows Big and Small
.:H-Beam to release Useful Box of Hair
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"H-Beam are Nashville's resident psych-weirdo specialists. If you've never seen one of their elabora..."H-Beam are Nashville's resident psych-weirdo specialists. If you've never seen one of their elaborate live performances or heard the trippy rock H-Beam is noted for, do yourself a favor and check out the release show for their forthcoming album Useful Box of Hair." -The Deli Staff, Nashville
.:Review- H-Beam's Performance at Vanderbilt's Rites of Spring
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H-Beam's performance at Rites of Spring was not for the faint of heart … or the sober. The psychedel...H-Beam's performance at Rites of Spring was not for the faint of heart … or the sober. The psychedelic rockers opened up Alumni Lawn on Saturday to a whole new world where giant panda suits, frog masks and homosexual rock opera reigned supreme.
The band performed a rock opera titled "Jane," which details a Nashville coed's quest for self-understanding. The story journeys through a Nashville bar (which H-Beam hinted at being Vanderbilt favorite Fuel), to Cancun, Mexico, and back again, eventually leading Jane to discover and embrace her sexuality as a lesbian.
Characters featured in the opera included Jane's father (Admiral Doc Hop-a-long, a bass saxophonist crowned with a giant frog mask) and "The Love Panda," a mascot-sized panda dressed up in a Lil Jon costume complete with bling and dreadlocks.
Vanderbilt Music Group member Lauren Richman said she felt that H-Beam's performance was "new for the Vanderbilt crowd but well-received." Festival attendees enjoyed the opera, laughing along with the humor of the Love Panda while sympathizing with Jane's struggle with her sexual identity. If onstage theatrics and an epic throwback to the psychedelia and experimentation of the 1960s are your style, check out H-Beam's MySpace at www.myspace.com/hbeamlive
.:H-Beam in Nashville
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“H-Beam cannot be accused of falling into the old Nashville rock rut of shoegazing; their outlandish...“H-Beam cannot be accused of falling into the old Nashville rock rut of shoegazing; their outlandish use of unorthodox instruments and props in a superlative live show set their act a cut above most bands playing the club circuit.”
~All The Rage (ATR)
Nashville Entertainment Weekly
.:The Deli Magazine -Interview
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"One thing's for sure—there is nothing like an H-Beam show in Music City." Wesley Hodges, www.thedel..."One thing's for sure—there is nothing like an H-Beam show in Music City." Wesley Hodges, www.thedelimagazine.com/nashville
How does an everyday shoe-gazing jam band transform themselves into a must-see "theatrical experimental rock extravaganza"? Enlist a panda dressed as Lil' Jon, a saxophone-playing frog and center a hilarious rock opera around a fiddle-playing newfound lesbian (JANE) and the rest will kind of take care of itself. Local rockers H-Beam pushed the envelope at their recent mid-afternoon set at Vanderbilt's Rites of Spring festival and debuted an oddly engaging and somehow well-produced (given the lack of rehearsal) rock opera called JANE. Many music fans cringe at the utterance of the rock opera concept, but H-Beam embraced the idea and had a great deal of fun in the process, endearing themselves to the early bird crowd who came to watch the production unfold. This week, Wesley Hodges of The Deli Magazine catches up with brothers and founding members of H-Beam Matt (guitar/vocals) & Topher Walberg (bass/keys/vocals) to discuss JANE, playing in Music City, and all things H-Beam.
Deli Magazine: Tell me about the birth of H-Beam. What did you guys do musically before H-Beam and what led to the birth of the band?
Matt Walberg: Out of high school, I did some coffee house gigs. Eventually I put a band together of the acoustic rock variety and we did some shows. I talked my baby bro into picking up the electric bass. In 2002, I moved from California to Tennessee and started The Hollywood Band with Kenneth Mount (who has produced Cartel, Jimmie Eat World and Ludacris), Marcus "Stix" Finnie (Space Capone, Wooten Brothers), and Dillon Smith (Happy Birthday Amy). Shortly thereafter, I picked up an electric guitar again. The Hollywood Band was no more and H-Beam was created. Brian Rosser on drums and we were a trio. A lot of player changes and an album recorded. From then to now, H-Beam has evolved from what I would call the typical jam band to a theatrical experimental rock extravaganza.
Deli: What do you love most about playing shows in Music City?
TW: Nashville audiences exude this notion that they've seen it all, granted this is Music City. So the expressions on their faces when we get on stage is priceless. That's what I love the most.
Deli: How did the concept for the “Jane” rock opera come about? Were the songs in place before you guys put it together or were some of the tracks written particularly for the Rites of Spring show?
TW: During the set, like usual, Matt and I were ad-libbing some banter between tunes and we both spontaneously began running with this theme for the remainder of the show. The meat of the banter was tied to our song "Jane & Jane", which is simply about lesbians. Once we returned home, we began scoring and writing the script for the opera which grew into "Jane". By show time, we had written two new pieces, several new arrangements for some of our material being toured currently, and we debuted the entire opera at the Rites of Spring performance.
Deli: How much rehearsal time went into putting together such a hilarious and strange performance? Do any of you guys have acting/drama experience?
MW: Our Mom was a figure skater with the ice follies back in the days of disco, where she met our Dad who was the musical producer at the time. He went on to be a head musical engineer for Jim Henson and his live Muppet shows. That might shed some light on things.
TW: It would be safe to say that both our daily lives are constant rehearsals for our strange stage antics. Joking aside, I was lucky enough to catch a break—a short one at that—as a child-actor. When I was seven years old, I was cast in the movie "Little Giants." I was also cast as a regular in the Nickelodeon cartoon "Hey Arnold!" as the voice of "Stinky." That was the extent of my career, a very educating one which has adapted well to our stage show.
Deli: What does H-Beam have going in the near future?
MW: A new album is in the works and it's about time. We hope to have a more steady flow of material via albums and online releases.
TW: We both work very spontaneously, which breeds immense creativity in every aspect of what we do as artists. Just as "Jane" was conceived with only a little more than a month before it's debut, you have as good a guess as I do when it comes to what's coming next.
Deli: Do you guys have any grand aspirations of doing something in a similar vein as "Jane" every show where it is somewhat of a production that fans can expect each time they come to an H-Beam show?
MW: The whole act is always evolving. The past year we played 71 dates, which helped us get way more comfortable on stage. Why not make a gig into a wild and crazy time with the help of some lights, a fogger, songs about lesbians, a masturbating panda, and whatever else we think would make a few people laugh out loud? We just really need a budget…and a van. Paper Mache, hot glue guns, cardboard, and Hertz rent-a-van will only get us so far.
TW: Our stage antics and visuals will always be an integral part of what we do. I constantly joke, "It's all over when we get a budget."
One thing's for sure—there is nothing like an H-Beam show in Music City. Be sure to catch an encore performance of JANE at the EXIT/IN May 24. -Wesley Hodges
.:H-Beam brings the funk to Rites
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MUSIC: H-beam brings the funk to Rites Submitted by Chris Gearing on 03-19-08 (Vanderbilt Versus) ...MUSIC: H-beam brings the funk to Rites
Submitted by Chris Gearing on 03-19-08 (Vanderbilt Versus)
Although you may have had stars in your eyes when you heard that names like Spoon and Lil Jon are coming to Rites of Spring this April, let’s not forget a little Nashville-based psychedelic rock band that really harkens back to the days of Steve Miller, Hendrix and maybe even a little bit of Bowie. What group could deliver such an eclectic punch, you may ask? H-Beam, my friends - the answer to all your groovy, funkadelic and classic rock prayers.
The best place to start for their sound is definitely their Myspace profile, (myspace.com/hbeamlive) with five of their best tracks available for your cochlear delight. You’ll be greeted by "Cumberland Hop," which is a soothing rock ballad with a bit of a bluesy riff that will lull you into a bit of sway, if not a slow dance. This rolling rhythm is followed by the sexy and seductive bass lines of "Alla Really Wanna" with lyrics reminiscent of Steve Miller’s "The Joker" mixed with "Jungle Love." If you want a bit more punch to your music, click on "Bang" with its fist-pumping chorus, heavy guitar riff and impressive percussion really kicking your rock meter into overdrive.
Even though you may be focused on the more mainstream names in this year’s Rites lineup, don’t overlook other lesser-known acts like H-Beam. They may not have made it big yet (with heavy emphasis on yet), but they’re definitely worth your time this April. The psychedelic and classic rock sound that H-Beam brings to the table will have you dancing and playing air guitar till you drop to your knees on Alumni Lawn at this year’s Rites of Spring.
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H-Beam A jammin' rock band, a rockin' jam band, and a mind-expanding multi-media audio-visual exper...H-Beam
A jammin' rock band, a rockin' jam band, and a mind-expanding multi-media audio-visual experience all rolled into one three-piece package, Nashville's H-Beam isn't afraid to turn over a Phish cover, pay glorious homage to '70s Rawk Gods and freak everyone in the audience right the hell out all in the space of a single set. And even if you don't care for the band's nods to '90s jam bands, their leatherworn head-knocking straight rock numbers are more than tough enough to make you forgive any lapses into Phishian noodling. All of this plus pig masks and a light show too; come see H-Beam after Sundown in the City on Thursday, June 14 at 10 p.m. at the World Grotto. ( M.G. )
.: Oojah: a debut release
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Oojah: a debut release by Kelly Fenton of NOTeNEF Promotions “They have got it down to a science...Oojah: a debut release
by Kelly Fenton of NOTeNEF Promotions
“They have got it down to a science, you may as well call them chemists.”
At a point in a career where most are still learning how to crawl, this eccentric trio is sprinting while handing off batons delivering a spot on debut release. Two brothers and a Virginia born drummer spent February of 2006 in the legendary Tree Sound Studios in Atlanta with producers Kenneth Mount (Cartel, Collective Soul, Jimmy Eat World, Dave Matthews) and Zack Odom (Elton John, Outkast, Ben Harper, The Strokes). The result: Oojah. Six catchy tracks that capture the H-Beam experience into one neatly wrapped package. And for a band that thrives off of their live performances that is not an easy task to accomplish, yet they undeniably pull it off.
Consisting of fan favorites and some of the first material the band wrote together, Oojah bobs and weaves through a wide variety of genres, making it accessible to a multitude of listeners. Each member of H-Beam brings a strikingly different approach to the EP with their personal influences varying from Pink Floyd to Björk. The outcome is a fluid combination of diverse musicianship producing a distinct new sound in the music scene.
Following the recording of their debut release, the band went straight back to work converting the six tracks from Oojah into a feasible live format. And if you think a trio couldn’t possibly reproduce a recording with multiple overdubs and layers live, better luck next time. From the addition to a sampling system handled by their drummer to a set of organ foot pedals used by their bassist, all specifically to tour the release, it’s safe to say they did their homework. Not only do they capture the essence of the EP on stage, they are able to adapt and mold it with each performance while still maintaining the song’s familiarity.
Launching their first official tour this fall, H-Beam plans to play the majority of the southern and northern cities of the United States. Armed with their new release, a savvy production team, and a captivating live show, H-Beam isn’t showing signs of slowing down. If anything, they’re trying to implement rocket fuel.
This is an example of a typical (if there is such a thing) H-Beam Set
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOVE PANDA
(CANADIAN LOVE PANDA DAY MONOLOUGUE)
THE TASTY PLIGHT OF PORTILLO THE HOT DOG
GIRLS GONE WILD
NAKED LADIES DOT COM
THE CAN CAN
Covers when appropriate have ranged from the Band, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Bjork, to classical music adaptations to Nintendo classics and even a few songs from Jim Henson's the Muppets
There are no upcoming dates at this time.