Adrian Aardvark
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Adrian Aardvark

Plattsburgh, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Plattsburgh, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Indie

Calendar

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Feb
23
Adrian Aardvark @ The Monopole

Plattsburgh, New York, United States

Plattsburgh, New York, United States

Jan
26
Adrian Aardvark @ Waterhole

Saranac Lake, New York, United States

Saranac Lake, New York, United States

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


Adrian Aardvark, Bones Positive

The four-song EP is AA's most conventionally accessible work to date. But it's still plenty strange. Musically, the eight-member collective takes influences from the likes of Neutral Milk Hotel, Devendra Banhart and, to a degree, Modest Mouse. The members form a pleasantly haphazard group. But Rigsbee's yawning vocals define its sound. The singer comes off as something like the Lonely Island's Andy Samberg on Valium, or perhaps the Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt saddled with crippling depression. That can make for a challenging but rewarding listen for those brave enough to parse AA's latest offbeat opus. - Seven Days


It’s unclear whether “Adrian Aardvark” is the pseudonym of Christopher Rigsbee or the name of the collective of musicians with which the Plattsburgh-based songwriter surrounds himself. It could be both. Or it could be neither. When it comes to Adrian Aardvark, clarity is in short supply. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

In 2012, AA released a daunting collection of material called Hidden Magic Revival. Featuring 15 musicians, the record was a dark and disorienting affair, inspired by a profound personal trauma suffered by Rigsbee earlier that year. It was, presumably, a cathartic release for its author. But for listeners the album proved a grueling exercise, almost as though Rigsbee were challenging us to immerse ourselves in his own monstrous pain through confounding compositions and nearly unintelligible vocal howls.

Rigsbee and co. are back with a new effort, American Aardvark. Featuring a smaller consortium of players, the record has a leaner and noticeably lighter feel than its unwieldy predecessor. It is no less bewildering and complex, but, lacking the pervasive sense of dread that characterized that record, Rigsbee’s latest is more accessible. Relatively, anyway.

Much as Hidden Magic Revival presented Adrian Aardvark as something like a twisted version of Broken Social Scene, American Aardvark implies a warped creative spirit. Tracks such as “Lonely Bunny” and “Betsy Ross” practically vomit a jumble of broken tambourines, saxophones and string instruments around Rigsbee’s low-toned, stream-of-consciousness prattling. It’s a mess. But, like a disheveled bedroom, it’s a weirdly comforting mess. There’s a cozy familiarity amid the detritus.

Throughout the record, Adrian Aardvark have inserted strange little interludes, non sequiturs that initially seem to exist solely for the pleasure of the band. These include a glitchy intro (“Uhhhmerica”), seeming studio outtakes (“Time Travel in 2012”), the wildly unexplainable (“Uhhhrdvark”) and a three-minute closing ramble (“Bathtub Party”). But rather than distracting, the idiosyncrasies of each break in the action have a unifying effect. They are loose threads that somehow stitch this fraying tapestry together and give the actual songs some context.

American Aardvark may never have mass appeal. Even among those who like their pop on the experimental side, the record may prove too strange and unhinged. But for those with the aural fortitude to brave its peculiarities, it’s a fascinating listen. - Seven Days


Discography

Dying Optimistically

Release: March 30, 2018
Label: EPIFO

Tracklist:
1. Just Us
2. If Only
3. Peace in a Loving Way
4. Young Pharaohs
5. I Don't Wanna Love No More
6. Little Girl
7. Creaky Wooden Floor
8. Get Gotten
9. Horny Wildebeest
10. Oo Ra Ra / The Sun
11. Misery Shaker

Photos

Bio

Adrian Aardvark offers a unique brand of rock and roll that is highly energetic, completed with costumes, theatrics, introspective lyrics, and solid grooves. The Plattsburgh, New York 4-piece is fronted by songwriter Christopher Jay Stott-Rigsbee and accompanied by Shannon Stott-Rigsbee on violin, Catherine Harrison-Wurster on upright bass, and Christopher Lee Shacklett on drums.

 

Catherine is an animal whisperer and a seamstress who enjoys making her own clothes. She also makes Adrian Aardvark’s souvenir patches by hand. Christopher Lee can usually be found either meditating or enjoying his favorite pastime practicing archery; either way, he’ll be naked. Shannon thinks dinosaurs still live amongst us and wishes she could live solely on pizza and ice cream.

Mr. Aardvark himself, Christopher Jay, is an avid supporter of Donate Life America. In 2014 he donated 65% of his liver to Catherine’s father, George, which saved his life. In 2015 Shannon and Christopher Jay were married and this year Chris Lee has also joined the Stott-Rigsbee household. These events have made the band members and their families intimately close.

Band Members