A Thousand Times Yes
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A Thousand Times Yes

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


""Michigan" review"

A Thousand Times Yes Michigan Soxys Records www.athousandtimesyes.com The second release from Michigan-based trio A Thousand Times Yes is a quintessentially American piece of work, which isn’t to say that it sounds like Sonic Youth or X, but that it emerges from the same fabric of autumnal small-town myth that permeated the first several seasons of Roseanne. Let me jump to an appraisal of the album’s fourth song, “My Heart Is in Atlanta,” to give some sense of the record’s geography: the way riot-slurring Sparx (“the girl”) completes the chorus, we discover her heart is there, yes—“although [she’s] never been there.” Why not? Because she’s in Michigan. Likewise, “The Well Dressed Culprit” has all three members intoning, “If they knew who we were, they’d let us in,” and: “Give us Madison.” I can’t help keeping all the place-names and spatial ephemera scattered across the record’s lyrics in mind, and given the tone of the guitars (which recalls Yo La Tengo at their gentle best) and the generally lovely production, I’m apt to e-mail the TRL screen-crawl, offering the thought that there’s really no reason this shouldn’t be the national popular music—an “early ‘90s” all over again, like when one could turn on the television and find Lanford, IL—America actual and current—captured with painstaking accuracy every week on Ms. Barr’s series. ATTY’s lyrics aren’t great, but their song titles are. Take “Rhythm, South Dakota,” or “Momma Had Doubts,” for example, in which Sparx gives flight to a sexy voice sent satisfyingly enough into the sort of paroxysms that stand in, I suppose, for whatever is the emo equivalent of sex. There’s a counterpoint-duet here of the “Trying trying trying trying to hold on to our hearts” sort, but it’s Sparx’s voice that circles the pop myth square. As the terms of pop music find the loneliest prettiest souls vying to architect our hearts, the men with voices indistinguishable from each other’s must take their places in the back of the room—what this means is that they should be mixed very low on the track. Not the case on this record, but Sparx’s vocals are up front so often that I should be equally upfront in expressing my admiration for this quintessentially American album—delicate, fragile, honest, and melodic enough. -Craig Keller

- Repellent Zine


""Michian" review"

A THOUSAND TIMES YES Michigan (Isoxyz) Two boys and a better-voiced girl, just like the other two bands here. The untrustworthy legend on their website says their name comes from a lost 1933 epic folk ballad recorded in "Rhythm, South Dakota," which is also a song title. Other place-names: "Yes, Michigan" (their true home), "My Heart Was in Atlanta" (which says they've never been there), "Doom River" (their most comprehensible lyric, and not all that doomy), "Desert of Law Abiding Souls" (an X-like faux Tex-Mex hoedown). The CD begins and ends with their most lysergically droned Great Society harmonies; more often, their airway zooming and recurrent crescendos are 1987 Sonic Youth, but with a cappella parts, whistling, disco handclaps, surf twang, and melodies they fortunately never quite manage to subvert. - Village Voice


"Hamtramck Blowout Review"

A THOUSAND TIMES YES :: friday @ belmont Ryan and I headed over to the Belmont, where we were greeted with a very solid set from the entrancing A Thousand Times Yes. It’s taken me three days to think of a way to describe this act, and I still don’t think I’m even really close to having the band’s sound figured out. This three-piece plays a form of modified, modernized garage-Americana, full of vocal rounds and stand-alone multiple-part lyrical passages. Guitarist Casper played an acoustic that was string-miked to give it a tone that fell somewhere between standard acoustic and electric sounds, giving the band’s songs a very personalized feel. Bassist Sparx held down the low end with deep bass work, while punctuating songs with her lulling voice. Lull’s drumming was sharp, and the songs were very active, though the band itself came off very low-key. All in all, this was a pleasant surprise amongst the Blowout weekend. -Mr. Gary - MotorCityRocks.com


""Michigan" review"

"A Thousand Times Yes Michigan Isoxys Records Picture sober kids and adolescent scholars with troubled complexions standing around some stage at dinner hour staring with impassive expressions at kid cousins of Sleater-Kinney going full throttle on nothing but heart. Terminally indie, terminally ironic and terminally punk-rock-itchy cute. But don’t hold any of that against them. The band’s second release, Michigan, is a workable afternoon aside to the cheap seductions of cable TV and the spirit-diminishing addiction of downloading song files; there’re puppy dog Sleater-Kinney intimations and power-pop rushes like schoolyard crushes. What’s more, the whimsical beauty of album closer “The Desert of Law-Abiding Souls” might even withstand the disposability and here-today-gone-today temperament of pop and indie. The trio’s focal point is Sparx, a fetching bassist/vocalist whose trailer-court-goddess voice gives the songs a peculiar innocence, the ability to impart a yearning for time and place. She can intone a line like “My heart is in Atlanta/Although I have never been there” and you believe it, intuitively. The record may rattle with sloppy lo-fi dubiousness, and the songs are usually better than the performance, but so what? There’s a pulse and a heartbeat stepping above the potholes. Browse to www.athousandtimesyes.com." -Brian Smith - Metro Times


"Review of New Single"

Besides nearly filling every hipster-circuit bar around town in the last few months, boy/girl-plus drummer indie trio A Thousand Times Yes have been making a record. A good record. While the full-length is not quite done, the band are now giving out a two-song preview at shows. The album is being recorded at Harmonie Park Studios by Rob Shelby (who produced Back In Spades and says, "I'm also working on the new Four Tops and Aretha Franklin CDs"). If the samples are indicative of the final product, then the new AMxYes album should be their best work to date.

The guitar tones are more varied, the drum work more tight and the singing more refined. "Love Song For Me" features Sparx (fun with stage names!),while "Body Of My Own" has a mix of singing from guitarist Casper Von Hoffman and Sparx. The songs convey urgency and energy without being over the top in a manner of upbeat Guided By Voices. The basslines are prominent and the songs are well-crafted, but the boy/girl vocal interplay is the group's lynchpin. If Mates of State were keyboard-free and less annoying, they might achieve something close to this.
-Keith Dussenberry - Real Detroit Weekly


Discography

Michigan- full length CD, Isoxys Records 2003

mp3s of "Yes, Michigan", "Singing A Song" have streaming. Radio airplay mainly at college stations

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

The city of Detroit is unlike any other city nestled in the diverse confines of the United States. Its streets are littered with personality; step one way and you’ll find yourself entrenched in a mysterious cloud of smoke bubbling up from the cities countless sewers. A step in another direction could lead you into the cultural avalanche that is Mexican town. But, no matter where you go, diversity (as well as a little bit of danger) is guaranteed to rigidly tap your shoulder and demand attention. Check that. It’ll grab you by the shoulders and shake you to your knees, leaving you forever affected by the struggles it’s seen throughout its years. It’s fitting, then, that one of the most diverse and dynamic rock bands the city can call its own has not only drawn inspiration from this metropolis in waiting, but echoes it’s every nook and cranny in their ever evolving, hardly derivative and character-filled epicness. That band is A Thousand Times Yes; and like the city of Detroit, they have embraced an ethic purely based on defying the expected. When a direction seems fully plotted within the context of a song, the three horsemen (actually two horsemen and one horsewoman — drummer Lull Tucker, singer/guitarist Casper Von Hoffman and singer/bassist Sparx) snap the reigns and charge full on down rarely beaten paths of manic tempos, restrained beauty and bursts of poetic fury. Comparisons could be countless or very few; it just simply won’t matter once the fevered rush of the band’s push and pull sets in. It can be as fast paced as Jefferson Ave. in the middle of a workday, or as stark and haunting as the Cass Corridor at 4 a.m. And that’s the beauty of a band intent on wooing you with the charms of heart and struggle. But, where and how did that struggle begin? Some say in Rhythm, South Dakota, where the three dusty punks with their hearts sewn on the outside of their t-shirts found themselves surrounded by the air of kindred spirits. Others proclaim it started in the bookish, yet surprisingly disheartened realms of Michigan’s state capital. Whether or not either happened — whether or not you want or need to know the truth — is of no consequence. In truth, it’s the power of song that dropped like-minded magnets in the pockets of Lull, Casper and Sparx; one based off of the story-telling nature of folk and the furious delivery of punk, with equal amounts of pop and post-rock thrown in for good measure. It’s a simple mix that often times comes off with complicated results. But, don’t be fooled: A Thousand Times Yes are not here to show their superiority over you. This is a band fashioned on a sense of community — a sense of togetherness — that will win your heart and your mind over. After incarnations that found them playing basements and bars with rustic glee, the band collaborated on their first attempt at a body of recorded work. With the writing, recording and release of “Michigan,” the mitten-state was used as a foil that not only provided initial inspiration to the group, but an almost lifeblood holding the songs up when even they couldn’t tell if one was set to collapse. Called a “quintessentially American album — delicate, fragile and honest” by Repellent Zine, the band tackles geographic struggles of the heart and mind with a confidence that often behests other bands with the gall to attempt something that comes close to having a “concept.” And here we are again, roads traveled, friends made and music hatched from the womb of our three heroes. After countless performances in Detroit’s familiar watering holes, and successful tours completed, sharing the stage with such acts as: Back In Spades, The Fags, Thunderbirds Are Now!, +/-, John Doe, The New Year, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Slumber Party, The Dismemberment Plan and We Ragazzi, the band has sewn together more songs that zero in on the uncharacteristic beauty that the city emits. “Heart Beats” is the answer to “Michigan”’s sense of longing, confusion and heart ache, as the gears are wound tighter, the words are all together as direct as they are abstract and the intensity level is stretched to its most dangerous capacity. With the buoyant plea’s of “Bodies” and the slicing screech of “Sibling Rivalry, Sibling Love” an undeniable heat is generated; one that can only be matched by the smoke bubbling up from Detroit’s underbelly. And like the cities hard-working, blue collar peoples, A Thousand Times Yes deliver a muscle that isn’t based off of random acts of violence. It’s one based off of honesty; a quality that brings the band and the city even closer together with tightness that could deflate even Detroit’s most essential hipster’s garage-rock affiliation. Despite their love and admiration for Detroit’s greased gears, this is a band that eschews genres and stereotypes, unlike many of the better-known city-dwellers with a stash of vintage gear and Mick Collins’ number on speed dial. Fittingly, calling a record “Heart Beats” is, in essence, what keeps this