Downtown Tripper Mind (DTM)
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Downtown Tripper Mind (DTM)

Band Rock Pop


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The best kept secret in music


"Downtown Tripper Mind Live at The Note Dec. 2003"

Before Downtown Tripper Mind began their satisfyingly febrile set at The Note on Friday, December 19, somebody handed me a flyer advertising their next show with the slogan "energetic rock and roll." I winced at the bland cliche and figured they needed a new publicist. A few minutes later, however, as the young quartet began their set, they proved the line is as apt a description as any of their classic, spit-fired rock 'n' roll: Their attack is almost exclusively reliant on good old-fashioned adrenaline and some well-worn (and time-tested) conventions, solidly played and sung. Lead singer Rob Norris comes across as a more consistently amped-up and aggressive--and significantly less poetically and vocally distinctive--version of wiry wunderkind Conor Oberst (of Bright Eyes). Hopped up on some powerful sort of caffeniated drink (was that a Red Bull T-shirt he was wearing?), the similarly wiry and youthful Norris led the band through a smoothly played round of agressive rock-n-roll numbers with Rolling Stones vigour, a dose of Zepplin grit and a dash of post-Zepplin metal soloing, plus, here and there, some very welcome slide guitar from nimble lead guitarist David Bowers, in a late-set dip into sort of Whiskeytown-esque country-rock. The band also blends in more recent modern alternative rock influences. Smart with rock licks if not quite whip-smart at songwriting, Norris kept winning back the crowd's occasionally wanderng attention; unabashedly calling out his own fans whenever chatter welled up. Each time he did, the crowd responded well, immediately shifting gears from gamming to cheering. Any temptation on the part of the audience to chatter giddily may have been due in part to the band's contagious good-times spirt, though the band's lack of outright lyrical and lick-lical originality proabably also bore partial culpablity. DTM's songcraft displays more reverence for the most familiar of rock 'n' roll conventions than imagination ("I want to die," Norris might declare on one song; "I don't want to die," he says on the very next), and generally the highest verbal ingenuity to which the band aspires is the odd alteration of a pronoun in this or that age-old colloquialism ("She's a legend in her own mind"). But (to myself employ a cliche I've don't think I've ever used in a review before) they can rock. - Chicago Gigs


DTM has released an EP of demo caliber music, which has been played locally in Chicago by WXRT Q101, and 94.7 the Zone. The band is currently in sessions to finish their first album by August 2004 which they plan on shopping to indie and major labels.


Feeling a bit camera shy


In early 2002 bandleader Rob Norris hid in his apartment for two years to write the bedrock of what would eventually become DTM tunes. He decided to combine his love of punk rock with art rock, and drew upon his influences of the Talking Heads, the Ramones, Smashing Pumpkins, Led Zeppelin, the Police, and the Stones.
After writing well over a hundred songs he decided to put a band together with only the best players available: his old friends Nate Davidson, Dave Bowers and Jamie Gallagher. All three are excellent professional musicians with degrees in jazz.
With their help DTM became a unique environment where influences ran clear across the jazz and blues, and rock spectrum from Miles Davis to Frank Zappa. This is what sets DTM apart from other bands. Their ability to fuse a very wide range of influences into fun, accessible rock n roll. Without sounding crass, DTM has players with abilities that surpass most rock musicians out there today. DTM's potential for creating music unlike anything else is unlimited and they are only beginning to realize that potential. By booking DTM a promoter or venue is guarunteed a high quality performance that would excite any type of audience.