Dry River Yacht Club
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Dry River Yacht Club

Tempe, Arizona, United States | INDIE

Tempe, Arizona, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative Avant-garde

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Dry River Yacht Club’s “Ramona Louisa” encompasses the musicians’ whimsical, story-telling melodies laced with a calm, thoughtful cadence. The music video, directed by Justin Koleszar, features vivid imagery and artistry that will captivate music and film buffs alike. - Echocloud Productions


Music fans who attended last month's third annual Festival en el Barrio started off the day with a bracing blast from the Phoenix-area band Dry River Yacht Club, a striking nine-piece rock ensemble notable for its high energy, creative songwriting and unconventional instrumentation—violin, viola, cello, bassoon, tuba, accordion and bass clarinet, as well as acoustic guitar and drums.

Dry River Yacht Club plays a combination of rock, blues, folk and chamber pop, seasoned with pinches of Middle Eastern and Eastern European styles, pumped up with a vigorous gypsy stomp and showcasing the jazz-inflected vocals and fablelike songs of one-name singer and accordionist Garnet.

The band's website calls its music "acoustic symphony indie rock on a dancin' pirate's rusty yacht," which seems as good of a description as any, although the pirate aspect isn't immediately apparent. The music does project a rambunctious character, and onstage, Garnet radiates the air of an outlaw queen at a rollicking party that could be taking place on the high seas.

"We know how to rock, baby," Garnet says on the phone a few minutes before a recent rehearsal. "I think we probably think of ourselves as pirates because of our attitude, and our filthy mouths. We're hardcore, and we go big."

DRYC will play this Saturday night, May 26, at Club Congress. They'll play in between two bands: Phoenix's A Life of Science will open the show, and Tucson's The Tryst is the closer. (The group also was recently added to a June 12 date at Congress that will include the bands River City Extension and the Drowning Men.)

Formulaic isn't even a word in DRYC's musical vocabulary. As documented so far on two EPs and one album—a 2008 self-titled EP, The Ugliest Princess (the full-length) in 2009, and last year's Family Portraits/Calm Mutiny—each of its compositions sounds nothing like the others, which isn't surprising, considering how many styles and interests the band's players bring to the table.

"When someone says all our of songs sound different from one another, that's the highest compliment someone can give us, in my opinion," says drummer and percussionist Henri Benard. "But it's all part of a cohesive style that's easily identified as us."

All of the band members contribute to the songwriting process, Benard says.

"I feel like that versatility has been such a big positive force and way to focus in our band. In our songwriting process, we bring ideas to the others, and we bang them around. Anyone can veto them. It feels like our band, uniquely. There's no real forced formula or a prearranged way we want this to work out."

To which Garnet responds, "Amen." (This is her response to Benard's statements several times during the interview—almost like a bluesy Greek chorus.)

The band formed about five years ago and has undergone transformations in personnel before arriving at the current lineup. In addition to Garnet and Benard, it includes bassoonist Kristilyn Woods, violist Ben Allred, cellist Steve Bohn, bass clarinetist and saxophonist Fred Reyes, tuba-player Andrew Masiello, violinist Megyn Neff and guitarist Corey Gloden.

"We all came together very organically, very naturally," Garnet says. "It wasn't like we had a game plan on what instruments we wanted to include. We knew we didn't want the traditional rock lineup of bass, drums and guitar. We had all been there and done that in other bands. We just wanted to follow our instincts, and when we found people who were interested and seemed like they wanted to bring something to the group, they were in."

When Garnet writes lyrics, she likes to weave stories, whether drawing from mythology or creating new fables of her own, equally enamored of classical music and rock 'n' roll.

"All of my writing is very therapeutic," she explains. "I write a lot about violence and murder, and people being resilient and surviving that—about people taking care of themselves and getting away and getting bett - Tucson Weekly


The Beatles are a tricky band to cover, but local gypsy rockers Dry River Yacht Club were up for the task. The group learned Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for Cover the Crescent and played the songs as close to the original versions as possible.

"Every time I've heard a Beatles cover where [artists] put their spin on it, I didn't like it. I was like, 'You ruined a Beatles song,'" says vocalist Garnet Lashley.

The main task for DRYC was dissecting all of the nuances of a Beatles song.

"All of the songs we did have all of these little parts that you never really pay attention to when you listen to it, but when you start to break it down, they're so essential. It's not that song without a little flurry here and there, so we had to pick out those parts and arrange it all. Arranging was really difficult, but fun," says violinist Megyn Neff.

A typical guitar/bass/drum band would likely struggle with a song like "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," but Dry River could pull it off thanks to its instrumentation.

"I don't think we would have even attempted this record or these songs without the instruments we have," says percussionist Henri Benard, "All of the interesting instruments allow us to convey the orchestration and all of those extras that made it so interesting, that made the record so intricate when you listen to it because there's so much movement."

Dry River Yacht Club is scheduled to perform at the San Tan Wheelie Jam at Steele Indian School Park on Saturday, April 28 at 3:45 p.m. - Phoenix New Times


There are a surprising number of drinking adults (including the scene staple bum stumbling about) for an all ages show. As the night’s second band, Arizona gypsy folk-rockers Dry River Yacht Club prepare to board the stage wagon, accompanied by the heavy scent of patchouli in the air, the setting seems perfect for Friday’s Neon Reverb female-fronted showcase at the Gypsy Den.

Sponsored by Girls Rock Vegas—the non-profit organization that encourages young women to empower themselves through music—the five band showcase features all female-fronted acts.

With the hypnotic vocals of Dry River Yacht Club’s Garnet (no last name), and the accompaniment of the frontwoman’s twirling dance steps and flowing garments, the eight-member group would make the perfect candidate for a Gypsy Den house band, if there were such a thing. The eclectic noise of instruments like bassoon, sax and tuba rise and fall with Garnet’s mesmerizing singing stylings, conjuring up comparisons to the ultimate mythical Greek female power—the sirens. - Las Vegas Weekly


There are few bands you find that garner such admirable loyalty and admiration from their fans as Dry River Yacht Club, not only here in town, but across a huge expanse of these handsome Western States. I’ve had friends from Oregon, Colorado, California, Texas, New Mexico and everywhere in between bring them up in conversation, fawning over a live performance they were blessed to see, telling me to check them out since I’m in their hometown and finding out subsequently that I’ve been writing about them for three years. In the years since their first EP release in 2008, Dry River Yacht Club’s sound and dynamics have become refined and cultivated into something akin to an addictive drug that has the power to move you when you are least suspecting it. Each release exceeds its predecessor, each show seems to top the last and somehow they always draw an enormous, eclectic, energetic crowd bent on getting their minds blown by the seven, eight or nine members on the stage on that given evening.

No one can argue that there is something distinctive, organic and tranportationally anachronistic about the sound and performances of Dry River Yacht Club. Whether it is Garnet’s gorgeous vocals delivered during her hypnotic dancing, Henri Bernard’s propulsive percussion, Fred Reye’s impressive work on sax and bass clarinet, the entwining strings of Megyn Neff’s violin and Ben Allred’s Viola, Stephen Bohn’s moving cello work, Kristilyn Woods’ mighty bassoon or Andrew Masiello’s tuba—their performance becomes something enchantingly carnivalesque. On record and on stage the band creates a universe all its own, where gypsies and pirates pervade the night air, where centuries of folk music traditions mix seamlessly with a sense of gothic Americana and indie rock, where they bring a heady, humid haze to an impossibly dry climate. They alter your perception for the hour or so they occupy the stage and occupy your soul. There is almost no better aural vacation than simply getting lost in the swirling whirl of layers like musical draperies culled from the last three centuries, woven into mystical curtains for your mind to hide behind.

With that force in tow, Dry River Yacht Club returns this year to South By Southwest in Austin, Texas—a festival that they may have more experience playing than anyone else in town for all of the return visits they’ve made over the years. This time they are bringing lots of friends with them from the local scene, which will culminate in the EchoCloud unofficial SXSW Showcase at the Hole In The Wall, Friday, March 16th. For DRYC they have made the occasion one to make a tour of the Southwest that began last Friday at Teakwood’s in Phoenix, starting at home and heading straight East for shows along the way, accompanied by the nearly perfectly matched music stylings of Decker. who joins them throughout the dates and places during this tour.

All of this seems to be only the start of DRYC revving their engines to take on 2012 in fine style. The band has many great things in store upon their return, not the least of which is plans on releasing yet another record, which, if this is like their last, will be another mind-bending trip through their vision of the ages, uniting the modern with the ancient, the mystic with the cryptic, the beautiful with the disturbing. In light of all that is yet to come, it is nice to know, that Dry River Yacht Club is not exactly our little secret and now, even less so after Paste Magazine recently named them “10 Arizona Bands You Should Listen To Now.”

Dry River Yacht Club’s SXSW Tour:

Mar 9 – Teakwoods (Phoenix, AZ)
Mar 11 – Low Spirits (Albuquerque, NM)
Mar 14 – Carousel Lounge (Austin, TX)
Mar 15 – Daytime House Party (Austin, TX )
Mar 15 – Annie Street Arts Party (Austin, TX)
Mar 16 – Hole in the Wall, Echo Cloud Unofficial Showcase (Austin, TX) - Java Magazine


7. Dry River Yacht Club

Hometown: Tempe

Members: Garnet, Fred Reyes, Stephen Bohn, Ryan Probst, Kristilyn Woods, Henri Bernard, Megyn Neff, Ben Allred, Andrew Masiello

Album: Family Portraits/Calm Mutiny

Running through the heart of the Valley of the Sun is the Salt River, which for the most part is a dried-out river bed. This gypsy rock outfit boasts nine members on instruments ranging from the typical acoustic guitar and drums to a cello, viola, accordion, bassoon, bass clarinet and a tuba. Their live shows are authentic and emotionally take you to the back alleys of a European city. They’re currently on tour and heading to SXSW before planning their third album release party back in the Valley. - Paste


After seeing your favorite local bands playing week after week, perfecting their craft, putting their shoulder to the wheel and really making their art into a viable career—there is simply great fun in seeing them let go of that for a night, kick back and perform something out of their idiom. It’s great to see bands take a break from themselves and see how they launch into, say, an evening of covers. What’s even nicer to see is when the show has the proceeds going toward charity, they get to have fun, you get to have fun and it’s all for a good cause. So it was the case when Crescent Ballroom unveiled Cover The Crescent last Wednesday night. Some had already experienced the joy and frivolity of a covers night last November at The Beatles Tribute Night at the Rogue and while last Wednesday wasn’t quite the six or seven hour odyssey that was, Cover The Crescent was pretty astounding in its own right. The lineup was very nearly perfect with Born Loser And The Hangers On covering songs from The Pixies Surfer Rosa, Colorstore covered songs by Tom Waits, Painted Faces paid tribute to Elton John and Dry River Yacht Club took on songs from The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. If something in there doesn’t pique your interest, I’m not sure anything would.

I have to admit that one of the big draws of the evening was Dry River Yacht Club performing songs for Sgt. Pepper. It was another event that I couldn’t wrap my head around, but like Colorstore before them, I’ve never seen DRYC disappoint and I’ve never seen them approach anything without absolute and total enthusiasm. I have to admit the only thing I was disappointed in was that it was only a four song set—in my mind I had imagined they would do the whole album, but after talking to Garnet and Henri before the show, that dream was dispelled and in the end, I didn’t walk away disappointed in any capacity. “When I’m Sixty-Four” began the set and immediately, my mind was blown—the band was in top form, Garnet’s voice working through the magic of The Beatles was intensely perfect and the energy in the house was at a peak. Their mindblowing version of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” followed and as they worked through these songs our parents taught us, the room came together around a familiar fire and soaked themselves in the psychedelic warmth that radiated from the eight people on stage. “With A Little Help From My Friends” explored the music hall tradition that is at the foundation of that song and at this point in the set it no longer mattered that they weren’t going to do the entire album, all that mattered is what they were doing at that moment. The set concluded in pure face melting perfection with a transcendent, transplendent version of “Day In The Life”, during which no one could doubt the power of Dry River Yacht Club, a band who rarely touches covers, to display their powerful, musical mastery and at the same time blow everyone’s collective mind. Though they had only practiced four Beatles songs, the crowd demanded more and so DRYC generously bestowed us with The Doors “Alabama Song” and left the stage and the audience ablaze with the final throes of a fantastic evening had by all. For many hours after that, many of us about town reveled in the glory of all that we had just heard, seen and experienced.

The story doesn’t end there though, this month, Cover The Crescent will return on Thursday, January 19th with Robin Vining covering PJ Harvey, Secret Fox covering Guided By Voices, Terra Firma with friends taking on Joy Division and The Madera Strand paying tribute to The Police. Doors open at 7pm, Music starts at 8pm, be sure to show up on the nose if you don’t want to miss a song or an act. Proceeds go to benefit the Boys & Girls Club. This should be another great time, that’s for sure. - Echo Cloud


The Ugliest Princess may well be on of the most important albums to come out of the Phoenix area in a long time, a band that could prove to have a long lasting career across the country and well beyond the native shores. - JAVA Magazine by Mitchell L. Hillman


I was at the TEDx Phoenix event this past weekend and the onstage musical act was “Dry River Yacht Club”. Because I, like most people are familiar with the music that I am familiar with, I shamefully knew nothing about this band or it’s lead singer “Garnet”. So I committed the sin of reading the little write up on them in the program guide, which said think of Bjork, which is fine except, I found myself listening and looking for Bjork, and unfortunately I was not listening to this group (so I thought).

On the drive home after the event I kept hearing in my head faint musical images of the band and so pledge myself to find their website and listened again for what I missed consciously and what was still living inside of my subconscious. I won’t tell you what I heard or who they are like, other then to say I liked them and hope to hear them live again. Listen for yourself, make your own judgment if you’ve not heard them before they don’t sound like anyone else. - Review - Bob Martin


FOLK/ROOTS/BLUES
1. Cloudsplitter* – Cloudsplitter (Off Season)
2. Whitehorse* – Whitehorse (Six Shooter)
3. The Deep Dark Woods* – The Place I Left Behind (Six Shooter)
4. Capitol 6* – Captain Rehap EP (Light Organ)
5. Dry River Yacht Club – Family Portraits Calm Mutiny (Have Not)
6. Hugh Laurie – Let Them Talk (Warner)
7. Maria Taylor* – Overlook (Saddle Creek)
8. Carmel Mikol* – Creature (Sound Of Pop)
9. Arnold McCuller – Soon As I Get Paid (What’s Good)
10. George Thorogood and the Destroyers – 2120 South Michigan Ave. (Capitol) - CSJW - Calgary's Independent Radio 90.9 FM


Last year’s TEDxPhoenix was one of my favorite local events. This year it is returning bigger and better than before. Best yet, TEDxPhoenix 2010 is being held in downtown Phoenix!

TEDxPhoenix will host their second TEDx event on Saturday, November 6th, 2010 from 11:00am to 7:00pm at the Eight KAET PBS Studios in Downtown Phoenix. This year’s event is building off the theme for TED2010 – “What the World Needs Now” – and what they feel the world and Phoenix needs now are more Optimists & Catalysts.

That’s why this year, the organizers are bringing us a full day of thought-provoking talks by some of the Valley’s most inspirational and innovative thinkers and doers. These are people who have spoken at PopTech, survived civil war, made the list of the Valley’s most intriguing individuals, championed local movements, represented the Navajo Nation, made regular appearances on the Science Channel, have spoken at the Googleplex, and authored books on science, entrepreneurship, and design.

Speakers include:

Dr. Lawrence Krauss, Jany Deng, Kimber Lanning, Jay Rogers, Bob Grossfeld, Prasad Boradkar, Pamela Slim, Jolyana Bitsuie, Margaret Regan, Syed Toufeeq Ahmed, Eric Torres, Nina Miller, Goran Konjevod, Helene Neville, and a performance by Dry River Yacht Club.

TEDxPhoenix is the Phoenix-metro’s opportunity to help make our local and global communities a better place through big ideas worth sharing and doing.
—Tomas Carrillo, TEDxPhoenix Curator

In addition to witnessing these great talks, attendees will also be treated to the most TED-like event that Arizona have seen so far. Organizers around the clock to make sure that attendees get to experience the electric atmosphere of TED from the TED-like badges all the way down to the free coffee, snacks, drinks, and gift bags. In addition, attendees will get to enjoy a free catered lunch in the Civic Space Park.

All of this is not being done to simply pamper attendees, but to promote collaboration and the exchange of ideas. This is an event focused on ideas worth sharing, spreading, AND doing! - Yurbanism


The eight plus ensemble is ascetically more reminiscent of a show choir than an indie/folk/bluegrass twinged ensemble, but that’s just a piece of the atmosphere their elaborate storytelling music creates. With instrumentation variances from everything from the bass clarinet to the French horn, the eclectic style of DRYC is always an interesting experience. They strongly remind me of a more diverse instrumentation version of The Decemberists, (which is no easy feat mind you) but they have their own eccentric air that sets them apart. - ASU State Press


The valley’s homegrown record shop, Stinkweeds, recently hosted the national conference for record stores, called AIMS, the Alliance of Independent Media Stores. The 4-day conference attracted record store owners and managers, record label representatives, band and tour managers and A&R folks from around the country.

Guests from Austin, Nashville, St Louis, Atlanta, Cincinnati, New York, Portland and everywhere in between stayed at the Clarendon in Central Phoenix and rode the lightrail to a different show each night. Featured bands included Colorstore, Hot Birds and the Chili Sauce, What Laura Says, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Dry River Yacht Club and Kinch. Each band that played poured their hearts into their performances.

You see, here in Phoenix, our talent is not jaded and were actually thrilled to have these guests in town raising the bar on their performances. So, what happened? The AIMS Coalition was so impressed with our homegrown talent they contributed an additional $1000 to distribute equally amongst the bands. Eric Levin, the president of the AIMS Coalition, said he could not believe the talent we have in Phoenix.

Now, if we could just get Phoenicians out of their homes and into the venues to experience it. - Discovery Triangle


It has never been a secret that Dry River Yacht Club is one of my favorite local bands, not only on record, but live on the stage–I have tried on countless occasions to defy the urgency to dance and it has never once worked, by the end of every set I’ve witnessed I am a sweaty mess and well worn thin from moving non stop for an hour or so. It only makes sense that their new video, brought to us by the fine folks at Music Venue Menu, for “Dead Mother Dearest” captures them live at the Sail Inn in Tempe–and capture them it does. The video does Dry River Yacht Club great justice in showing just what it is that makes them an amazing live act and hones in on the absolute madness that is their generous and inspiring performance. It’s also fitting that the song itself, “Dead Mother Dearest”, is presented here live, as it is on this years brilliant EP, Family Portraits: Calm Mutiny. On that EP the song is a serious highlight and shows off how effective they are in the setting they are most comfortable in: on the stage, fans dancing and roaring away to the sound of this crazy, gypsy, Americana drenched indie rock washing them in a grand shower of sounds so fine.


Photo By IJWPhoto
I think what I wrote in the March 2011 issue of JAVA Magazine summed up this song accurately:

“Because of the quality of Dry River’s live performances you’d almost mistake the next song for something recorded in a full on studio, but alas, this took place at the Rogue and “Dead Mother Dearest” is simply amazing or as the band would happily agree with its lead singer’s opinion, “The live track is awesome.” Yet another live favorite, which is assuredly why they included it here, this song and specifically this live recording shows exactly what makes DRYC so great and at the same time so popular. They take music that is anachronistic and out of context, with lyrical content that is absurdly dark and brilliantly out of step with the times and make it all relevant, house crashing brilliant, beautiful dance music for those who just love to move to music made right. It’s that simple. In this case it’s a song about “how rats kill humans”, plague material from two centuries ago, really—yet, it’s brought to life in the modern day with eclectic and esoteric musicianship turned on its head to present a number that finds crowds of hundreds dancing to it weekly. That’s amazing.”

I don’t think there is any reason to attempt to trump that. So enjoy this amazing song, the brilliant video and the sound of Dry River Yacht Club. There is almost nothing better or more eclectic available in town and if you haven’t seen them live yet or heard their records I can’t urge you enough to buy their records and get to their next show with haste. You will not regret the time you spend with this wonderful collective of amazing musicians. And then watch the video again and again, this is the Dry River Yacht Club live: a sound as infectious as it is, quite literally intoxicating, a buoyant experience which assures everyone that while the river may well be dry, this yacht club floats and is willing to take everyone along for a stunning ride. - Sounds Around Town


ry River Yacht Club is the kind of band whose brand writes itself – nine individuals playing gypsy rock on old-school instruments. Band members range from being classically trained at Doctorate levels to others who are self-taught to late bloomers on their instruments at hand.
The frontwoman is the charismatic apron-clad Garnet and there's a bassoon and bass clarinet, French horns and accordions to boot. And yet, despite their quality quirk, the Phoenix band is realizing it takes more than refined raw talent to make it in today's music market.
For example, DRYC released its latest EP Family Portraits/Calm Mutiny in March but didn't have the tools or time to promote it until November. The group recently partnered up with 80/20 Records, a distribution organization for independent artists that splits royalties 80:20 with its groups, which is one of many improvements the group has made in the last year.
Drummer and band manager Henri Benard is open about the band members' weakness in self-promotion, but that doesn't mean the group's incendiary live performances haven't earned it a spot as one of Phoenix's go-to bands. Just this year, DRYC played the main stage at Oktoberfest in Tempe and will headline the All-Tempe stage at the Fiesta Bowl Block Party on New Year's Eve.
"There are so many good bands out here and the community is so strong, musically, that you've always got to be thinking of ways to revamp what you're doing to keep up with your peers," Benard said. "I think that's awesome."
To record the EP, the band worked with L.A.'s Have Not Records, where Phoenix's The Whisperlights recorded Surfaces. For 2009's The Ugliest Princess, Benard said the band was a less focused and songs were being rushed into finality in the studio.
"Everyone gets what we're supposed to do when we write songs now," he said. "It's straight-to-the-bone collaboration."
The band is maturing and with that Benard is more confident in the band than ever.
"It's exciting to say we're on a new level of recording [and] we're on a new level on the stage," Benard said. "What used to be this wide-eyed little band excited to be playing all these shows is transforming into a nationally touring act. […] There are no more parties before the shows. There might be a beer or something. […but] now it's goofball time with a purpose."
What also excites Benard, who describes himself as a DJ in training, is the interest from local DJs who want to remix some of DRYC's songs and the amount of sampling that went into the EP. One of the more fascinating samples is featured in the track "Ramona Luisa," for which Benard recorded preschoolers' laughter beneath a parachute, bringing a color and depth to the track relatively absent in the last album.
"Those are huge steps for us," he said.
More huge steps will come with the band's headlining gig on the All-Tempe stage at the Fiesta Bowl Block Party, which has an expected crowd of 5,000 people.
"We don't play crowds of 2,000 people," Benard said of Oktoberfest. "I think our biggest draw was our EP release [in March], we must have had a thousand people [at Yucca Tap Room] at least. Well, there were 750 paid tickets and then March Fourth Marching Band has like 36 members […] it was awesome. It's really good to get those kind of gigs to get comfortable in front of crowds like that. We want to be doing festivals. We want to be working that circuit. I feel like, and I know everybody in the band feels like, we've been going to these events for a long time, like Fiesta Bowl Block Party, and watching when I was younger and wondering, ‘How do I get my band to these levels?' And now we're playing them.
"It's a very nice and humbling experience. […] To headline the All-Tempe stage is a big deal for us, we feel like we're representing the town on that stage that night. It's fun and nothing more than just a ‘calm mutiny.'" - College Times


?Thousands of independent record labels are started each year, some more successful than others. Over the past decade, as major label profits have declined thanks to file sharing and even legal downloading, independent labels have been searching for a new, more effective method to turn a profit.

The Valley's Mike Zimmerlich hopes he found the solution. He's signed his first two artists to his record label, 80/20 Records, including My Lost Remedy and Tempe's Dry River Yacht Club.

The twist is the small cut of overall record sales Zimmerlich will take. True to its name, 80/20 records works on a model of 80 percent of profits going to the artist and 20 percent going to the label. Even independent record labels have been known to take up to 40 to 50 % of artist recording and touring profit.

We talked to Zimmerlich about snagging one of Arizona's most sought after bands and the changing record label model.

Up on the Sun: What made you want to start 80/20 Records?

I wanted to start 80/20 Records because I was tired of witnessing the decline in the music industry while very little was being done to innovate and adapt. Record labels were desperately trying to hold on to a business model that has become obsolete, so I decided to try something completely different and re-invent what a record label means and how it relates to how we consume music.

What's the history behind 80/20?

Actually it started when developing a music social networking website back in 2006, after it was released we received great feedback and had over 4,000 visitors per month. However, during that time, other sites such as Pandora and Last.FM became very popular and our project was lost in the mix. So we decided to take our knowledge and experience to focus on a record label, but I didn't want it to be like other labels out there. I wanted to create something different that would prove that the music business model can change for the better.

Why do you want to give 80 percent profits to the artist, when major labels, and even indie labels, give considerably less than that? Is that sort of model sustainable?

I feel that the artists are putting so much of themselves into their music and working so hard to create these works that they deserve the majority it reaps. The reason why we can sustain giving 80 percent royalties to our artists is being efficient within the label. When you are able to record a quality album using equipment for a few thousand dollars and release it to the world with numerous channels at your fingertips you don't need to spend as much as you had in the past. From the very beginning we decided not to release CDs initially and offer our albums as download only. If the album sells, well then we can determine if physical mediums are necessary. We don't have to risk fronting money for an album that may or may not sell. I find it ironic that years later, the major labels have decided no longer to distribute CDs by the end of 2012. This is just one of many examples. It's all about being smart with what you invest in and how to utilize the tools available to you at the fullest.

What artists do you currently have signed?

We have two artists currently signed to the label, Dry River Yacht Club and My Lost Remedy.

What plans do you have for Dry River Yacht Club in the future, as far as 80/20 goes?

We have a lot of exciting plans with DRYC but nothing I can discuss at the moment.

How does it benefit an artist to sign with a label like 80/20, rather than working the DIY method? Especially local artists.

There are many great musicians but many of them aren't great when it comes to business, and they don't have to be. We can advise artists on how to promote themselves and distribute their music, and then help them implement our suggestions such as marketing campaigns. We also help artists determine based upon their fan demographic what type of merchandise to sell, at what prices, and where to sell them. When all musicians have the ability to put their music on iTunes and promote themselves on Facebook and twitter you have to find ways to make yourself stand out. Even the musicians who are business-savvy it takes a lot of time and effort to take care of these tasks. Essentially we become a "helping hand" for artists that assist with the business side of things.

Do you plan to keep 80/20 focused on local music, or do you have plans to expand?

Ideally we prefer to stay local however I'm always open to listen to any artist in any region. I've spoken to artists from California to Israel. In fact one of the bands on my label, My Lost Remedy, is located in New York. However, we have a strong connection to the Phoenix music scene as it has supported 80/20 Records over the years and there are many gems in the desert. - Phoenix New Times Magazine - Up On The Sun


?Thousands of independent record labels are started each year, some more successful than others. Over the past decade, as major label profits have declined thanks to file sharing and even legal downloading, independent labels have been searching for a new, more effective method to turn a profit.

The Valley's Mike Zimmerlich hopes he found the solution. He's signed his first two artists to his record label, 80/20 Records, including My Lost Remedy and Tempe's Dry River Yacht Club.

The twist is the small cut of overall record sales Zimmerlich will take. True to its name, 80/20 records works on a model of 80 percent of profits going to the artist and 20 percent going to the label. Even independent record labels have been known to take up to 40 to 50 % of artist recording and touring profit.

We talked to Zimmerlich about snagging one of Arizona's most sought after bands and the changing record label model.

Up on the Sun: What made you want to start 80/20 Records?

I wanted to start 80/20 Records because I was tired of witnessing the decline in the music industry while very little was being done to innovate and adapt. Record labels were desperately trying to hold on to a business model that has become obsolete, so I decided to try something completely different and re-invent what a record label means and how it relates to how we consume music.

What's the history behind 80/20?

Actually it started when developing a music social networking website back in 2006, after it was released we received great feedback and had over 4,000 visitors per month. However, during that time, other sites such as Pandora and Last.FM became very popular and our project was lost in the mix. So we decided to take our knowledge and experience to focus on a record label, but I didn't want it to be like other labels out there. I wanted to create something different that would prove that the music business model can change for the better.

Why do you want to give 80 percent profits to the artist, when major labels, and even indie labels, give considerably less than that? Is that sort of model sustainable?

I feel that the artists are putting so much of themselves into their music and working so hard to create these works that they deserve the majority it reaps. The reason why we can sustain giving 80 percent royalties to our artists is being efficient within the label. When you are able to record a quality album using equipment for a few thousand dollars and release it to the world with numerous channels at your fingertips you don't need to spend as much as you had in the past. From the very beginning we decided not to release CDs initially and offer our albums as download only. If the album sells, well then we can determine if physical mediums are necessary. We don't have to risk fronting money for an album that may or may not sell. I find it ironic that years later, the major labels have decided no longer to distribute CDs by the end of 2012. This is just one of many examples. It's all about being smart with what you invest in and how to utilize the tools available to you at the fullest.

What artists do you currently have signed?

We have two artists currently signed to the label, Dry River Yacht Club and My Lost Remedy.

What plans do you have for Dry River Yacht Club in the future, as far as 80/20 goes?

We have a lot of exciting plans with DRYC but nothing I can discuss at the moment.

How does it benefit an artist to sign with a label like 80/20, rather than working the DIY method? Especially local artists.

There are many great musicians but many of them aren't great when it comes to business, and they don't have to be. We can advise artists on how to promote themselves and distribute their music, and then help them implement our suggestions such as marketing campaigns. We also help artists determine based upon their fan demographic what type of merchandise to sell, at what prices, and where to sell them. When all musicians have the ability to put their music on iTunes and promote themselves on Facebook and twitter you have to find ways to make yourself stand out. Even the musicians who are business-savvy it takes a lot of time and effort to take care of these tasks. Essentially we become a "helping hand" for artists that assist with the business side of things.

Do you plan to keep 80/20 focused on local music, or do you have plans to expand?

Ideally we prefer to stay local however I'm always open to listen to any artist in any region. I've spoken to artists from California to Israel. In fact one of the bands on my label, My Lost Remedy, is located in New York. However, we have a strong connection to the Phoenix music scene as it has supported 80/20 Records over the years and there are many gems in the desert. - Phoenix New Times Magazine - Up On The Sun


Recently reunited in August, Dry River Yacht Club’s nine members embody the indie creed that “more is more” and band mates are there for more than just back-up vocals. Keeping in spirit with Gogol Bordello or DeVotchKa, the band plays their unique blend of gypsy tunes, a self-described mix of “acoustic symphony indie-rock on a dancin’ pirate’s rusty yacht”—and the nonet dress the part. Now the Tempe-based band are taking their gig more places than ever. Flag Live sat down to speak to Henri Bernard (percussionist,) Kristilyn Woods (bassoon) and Megyn Neff (violinist) about their new EP and the musical atmosphere in Arizona.??Troy Farah: What does the name of your latest EP Family Portraits/Calm Mutiny mean???Henri Bernard: We had this hit we played in the car on the way home from a show in L.A. We thought of putting everyone’s baby pictures in there; we’ll call the album “Family Portraits.” Our cello player liked “calm mutiny,” maybe because it sounds like community. Family Portraits fits us. We’re a bigger band, but we’re all very tight. And Calm Mutiny comes out in our music, in reference to a mutiny on a pirate ship. And the sense of calm is there.??It seems to me with a name like Dry River Yacht Club, and the fact that you guys are definitely focused on being a very local band, that Arizona is very important to you and I want to know what it means to you.??Henri Bernard: We take a lot of pride from being in this music scene. I think that all of us see the potential in the Phoenix music scene and we take a lot of pride in being one of the main bands that can draw attention here and represent it elsewhere.??You give the city of Phoenix a few labels and few booking agents and I think the city has a lot of powerhouse bands that can go on the road. They don’t have the people to help them as much—that’s the thing that Phoenix lacks. These bands are drawing sometimes three, 400 people here. That’s a big testament to what’s going on musically. What I love is that you’ve gotta play great all the time because there’s so many bands that are so hungry to be so good around here that you’ve got to keep it moving. “What am I doing to keep a following going, what am I doing to keep it stronger, bigger instead of just getting comfortable?”??How do you feel about bands from Phoenix that got big, left and kind of forgot about Phoenix???Henri Bernard: Like Miniature Tigers or Gin Blossoms? I don’t think they ever abandoned Phoenix. I know Scotty Johnson of the Blossoms still does some open mics, so I don’t think those guys ever really abandoned Phoenix. Their view changed, Mill Avenue changed—where they came up.??I can only imagine when Mill was only music venues, all about music, all about a culture versus Abercrombie and Fitch. I guess that’s culture, but I don’t think it’s conducive to building a thriving arts and music community.??Exactly. It’s very heavily mass produced and it’s not local.??Henri Bernard: But for a band like Miniature Tigers, I remember Charlie Brand when he wasn’t huge. I understand as a musician why you might need to take your band somewhere where you can get the necessary exposure to get functioning professionally.??I think a lot has to do with how you sell your band when you do that. If you still say you’re based out of Arizona or somehow rep that you got started in Phoenix, I think that does a lot of good for the city.??Those are big labels and big opportunity and it’s awesome that bands from our little nest have gotten into those places. I don’t think any of those guys lost their roots, they just had to take a job when they got to go: “This is the offer, this is what we’ve been looking for for 10 years.”??How familiar are you with Flagstaff’s music scene???Kristilyn Woods: I think Flagstaff’s cool because of the scenery and just the nature of the town brings together a lot of artistic people that stay there for reasons other than a thriving music scene. It’s a cool little bubble of really creative minds.??Henri Bernard: And the shows in Flag are always awesome. The kids come right to the stage, they’re ready for it and they’re always open minded for new bands. Tempe’s awesome and I don’t mean anything negative, but sometimes I think if I had seen that band in Flagstaff, I would have seen more dancing and less stiffness. They just get crazy, rowdy. If you’re trying to have an awesome show I think you want those rowdy folks, clapping and stomping and screaming. It’s amazing energy and makes it so much fun. - ERI Jams


If you go to local shows on a somewhat regular basis, there's a good chance you've seen Dry River Yacht Club perform at one point. If not, this eclectic eight-person band is worth checking out. French horn, accordion, violins, and bassoon come together to create a gypsy-inspired sound tied together by Garnet's captivating vocals and stage presence.
Descriptions and photos only go so far to explain the band's consistent unbridled, energetic performances. "Dead Mother Dearest," DRYC's latest video, provides a glimpse of the band's tour de force shows. It was recorded live at The Sail Inn thanks to Music Venue Menu, the same group responsible for Mergence's "Me And My Family Vs. The Robots."

Dry River Yacht Club hosts an official music video release party at The Rogue Bar on Thursday, September 8 with Banana Gun, Funk Family Band, Failing To Fly, and Tele Speak. The first 40 guests will receive a free copy of the video.

Watch the official "Dead Mother Dearest" video and read Garnet's explanation of the song after the jump.

"Writing stories for the wonderful, collaborative music melodies that we write together as the Dry River Yacht Club is a true passion and 'Dear Mother Dearest' has been a true testament to that fact for me. It is the last song in a three part song series inspired by a 'lost' poster I stole in Burbank while on tour with the DRYC a couple summers ago. I didn't feel bad for stealing it. The 'lost' animal was actually found and was dead to boot...a 'found' poster for a dead cat that explicitly said it was being held in a container. What kind of psychosis would create this maddening type of cat person? That sent the wheels spinning (that and getting drunk on absolute while making fun of the poster for a couple hours with the rest of the band). It got me thinking: humans kill cats, cats kill rats, and rats kill humans. After I wrote the first two songs to explain the first two parts of the trifecta, it was time to clue in the reasoning behind the character's cat psychosis.
I pictured a bastard young man whose mother died by household vermin and their filth, probably due to complication brought on by HPS (Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome). The only way to avenge her death was to clean out and kill the vermin that were to blame that resided in the house (much like the visuals from the 70's documentary Grey Gardens), By making a pact with a group of stray cats, to forever collect their dead to restore them to the underworld, the young man rids his house of the rats and mice that killed his mother. He is left to forever walk the earth finding and placing the bodies and souls of lost cats. The verses are the back and forth dialogue of the orphaned son and the head cat Kitty, with the narrator coming in and out during choruses and verses. The live recording of 'Dear Mother Dearest' at The Rogue Bar for our EP makes me excited to get back in the studio to eventually track down this song, and the other two, that complete the full story." - Phoenix New Times "Up On The Sun" Music Blog


Q: What are your inspirations behind the music?
A: Life. Every day is a journey full of stories. And according to Garnet's story-telling lyrics, death and eating people seem to be some big aspirations. - WHOA Magazine - Music: Spring 2011 (pg 35)


Here is a heart-wrenching delivery that grips you by the core and shuffles your soul to a darker, introspective place. Dry River yacht Club takes you to winter in a place that truly knows no such season as it is delivered to the rest of the world. The effect is amazing as it warrants the moments it takes to arrest your senses. - JAVA Magazine



?which reaches a climactic ending after seven and a half minutes of rise and fall. Singer/guitarist Dan Somers described the song as "ridiculous", and embodied that by playing the last bit of the song on his knees.

Dry River Yacht Club closed out the evening with their usual nautical gypsy folk symphony craziness. Everyone who was not bolted down by an instrument danced nonstop, especially Garnet, the singer. Although the venue cleared out a bit after Lisa Savidge wrapped up their set, DRYC had plenty of die-hard fans bobbing along.

The Necronauts were originally scheduled to play last, but switched to the opening slot. Maybe they were worn out from their tour kick off at the Yucca Tap Room the night before. Their melodic punk makes them sound a bit like a modern version of The Dead Milkmen.

Critic's Notebook:

Last Night: Lisa Savidge CD release party at The Rhythm Room.

Personal Bias: Dry River Yacht Club is always a blast.

The Crowd: Lisa Savidge's friends and family with some familiar faces, including Factories and Jalipaz Nelson.

Overheard in the Crowd: "I wonder what kind of apron Garnet will be wearing."

Random Notebook Dump: Man, The Necronauts are going to be exhausted once they wrap up their tour. - Phoenix New Times


THURSDAY, Feb. 3
Stinkweeds Music Industry Party
Staged to coincide with this weekend's Alliance of Independent Media Stores convention, Stinkweeds' local music showcase features several leaders of the local scene - What Laura Says, Kinch, Colorstore, Hot Birds and the Chili Sauce, Dry River Yacht Club and, performing outside between sets, the always-entertaining Andrew Jackson Jihad.

...


- AZCentral.com


New Times Soundcheck Music Festival - 2 day festival featuring 40 bands Feb 4-5-2011. Bent Self is performing w/ Miss Krystle & DJ Three5 on stage at 9:30 Feb 4th 2011 @Red Owl.

Other guest playing the festival include Digital Summer, Authority Zero, Hollestate, Fred Green, Fayuca, Whiskey Six, Dag Nabbit Stubbs, Room for El, Selfless, Dry River Yacht Club, Fat Free, Hush, Buried By Design, Echoes the Fall, Haven James, Rook & many more.

Get off the couch and support 2 days of great local music, and pick up some merch from your favorite bands. Contact: management@bentself.com or go to www.ticketweb.com for tickets.

Get ready for some fresh experimental experience from Bent Self & Miss Krystle.

visit: www.BentSelf.com
visti: www.misskrystle.us - CDInsight.com


Hoodlums Top 100 CDs of 2010
The following list contains Hoodlums’ Top 100 Selling CDs of 2010. We like to print up these sorts of lists and scrutinize on ‘em a bit. We figured just in case you like to see what you and your fellow Hoodcustomers were buying, we’d post ‘em for you as well. There’s some really great titles on the list… feel free to come down and grab some today.

Hoodlums’ Top CDs of 2010

Black Keys – Brothers
Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More
Arcade Fire – Suburbs
Broken Bells – S/T
Jimi Hendrix – Valleys of Neptune
JJ Grey and Mofro – Georgia Warhorse (in-store performance)
National – High Violet
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Mojo
Ray LaMontagne – God Willin’ and the Creek Will Rise
Florence & The Machine – Lungs
Spoon – Transference
Bad Religion – Dissent of Man (in-store performance)
Dry River Yacht Club – Ugliest Princess (in-store performance)
LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening
She & Him – Volume Two
Justin Townes Earle – Harlem River Blues
Jack Johnson – To the Sea
What Laura Says – Bloom Cheek (in-store performance)
Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street (cover artist autographed)
Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
Vampire Weekend – Contra (special edition)
Vampire Weekend – Contra (not special edition)
Fun – Live at Fingerprints (Record Store Day)
Mgmt. – Congratulations
Band of Horses – Infinite Arms
Bruce Springsteen – Promise
Sufjan Stevens – Age of Adz
Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record
Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Johnny Cash – American VI
Sharon Jones and Dap-Kings – I Learned the Hard Way
Norah Jones – Featuring Norah Jones
Edward Sharpe & Magnetic Zeroes – Up From Below
John Legend and The Roots – Wake Up
Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards
Ryan Bingham & The Mescaleros – Junky Star
Kings of Leon – Come Around Sundown
Sade – Soldier of Love
Carolina Chocolate Drops – Genuine Negro Jig
Cee-Lo Green – Lady Killer
Gaslight Anthem – American Slang
Ray LaMontagne – Trouble (our highest charting catalog CD)
Drive-By Truckers – Big To-Do
Grace Potter and The Nocturnals – Live in Skowhegan (Record Store Day)
Robert Plant – Band of Joy
Jimmy Eat World – Invented
New Pornographers – Together
Avett Brothers – I and Love and You
Manchester Orchestra – Live at Park Avenue (Record Store Day)
Neil Young – Le Noise
Sleigh Bells – Treats
B. B. King – Indianola Mississippi (Blues Blog)
Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – S/T
Bob Dylan – Witmark Demos
Mavis Staples – You Are Not Alone
Roots – How I Got Over
Dr. Dog – Shame Shame
Devo – Something for Everybody
Massive Attack – Heligoland
Rolling Stones – Exile Deluxe (Cover artist autogaphed)
Belle & Sebastian – Write About Love
Metric – Fantasies
Big Mama Thornton – With the Muddy Waters Blues Band (Blues blog)
Roky Erickson/Okkervil River – True Love Cast Out All Evil
Beach House – Teen Dream
Peter Gabriel – Scratch My Back
Yeaslayer – Odd Blood
Budos Band – Budos Band III
Cage the Elephant – Cage the Elephant
Crazy Heart – O.S.T.
Jeff Beck – Emotion and Commotion
Jerry Garcia – Jerry Garcia Collection, Volume Two: Let it Rock
Lady Gaga – Fame Monster
Elton John/Leon Russell – Union
XX – XX
Charlotte Gainsbourg – Irm
Ray LaMontagne – Till the Sun Turns Black (big year for Ray on our charts!)
Derek Trucks – Roadsongs
Paul Butterfield Blues Band – Butterfield Blues Band (Blues blog)
They Might Be Giants – Here Comes the Science
Jenny & Johnny – I’m Having Fun Now
White Stripes – Under Great White North
Eric Clapton – Clapton
Hold Steady – Heaven is Whenever
National – Boxer
Ratatat – LP4
Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion
Los Campesinos – Romance is Boring
Mgmt. – Oracular Spectacular
Ozzy Osbourne – Scream (in-store autographs next door)
Gogol Bordello – Trans-Continental Hustle
Jakob Dylan – Women and Country
Preservation: Album To Benefit Preservation Hall
Susan Boyle- Dreamed a Dream
Cee-Lo Green – F**k You (Record Store Day)
Weezer – Weezer Ratitude (Record Store Day)
Robert Plant/Alison Krauss – Raising Sand
Frank Zappa – Hot Rats
Grinderman – Grinderman 2
I’d add a bunch of cool graphics and things like that, but I’ve got to go type the Top LP list. Happy New Year. Thanks for the biz. - Hoodlums Music and Movies


"Dude, um ... a mermaid just dropped from the ceiling."

That quote uttered by a dear friend pretty much sums up our experience the last time Portland circus-infused big band MarchFourth Marching Band rolled into town. Other quotes from that night include, "What the f*ck did you take us to?" and "I just had a serious conversation with a devil on stilts while smoking a cigarette."

The 20+ member collective of blaring horns, guitars, beats and vocals puts on what is perhaps one of the most visually entertaining shows on the scene today, employing dancers and stilt walkers in full costume to entertain the crowd. That's not to say their sound is lacking. It's a delightfully insane blend of cabaret and rock - slightly dark and retro, yet insanely fun. Even before the show begins on stage, the band comes outside to draw the crowd indoors, performing their first song of the night on foot.

This isn't the Big Pick of the week, really. This is the Big Pick of the semester. At $12 and with an opening set by one of the Valley's most talented local bands, Dry River Yacht Club, this is a show you can't afford to miss. Seriously ... a freakishly tall beast might lurk in the shadows to nab you otherwise.

MarchFourth Marching Band w/Dry River Yacht Club, Sail Inn, October 8, 7:30 p.m., $12
- The College Times


Dry River Yacht Club is certainly an odd fit in the local music scene. Odd, but welcome.

In a time where most local bands border somewhere between indie and shoegaze (and could tell you the difference between the two), Dry River Yacht Club is doing something entirely different.

They're a little bit world, a dash of Greek, Hebrew and Russian thrown in. Lead singer Garnet's voice accompanies bass clarinet, bassoon, cello and accordion to achieve a sound that would probably be a better fit overseas, but they're local through and through.

The band is releasing their live CD this week, recorded at Tempe's Marquee Theatre. Local bands Yellow Minute, Fatigo, What Laura Says, Black Carl and more will be at their CD release show to celebrate with two stages of live music. Show up and get a copy of the new CD.

And, so we can get out of our system, we're going to say the word "local" a few more times. Local, local, local, local, local.

Dry River Yacht Club Live CD Release, Sail Inn, April 3, 3 p.m., $10 - College Times


"... As I watched the next band, Dry River Yacht Club, prepare the stage, I could tell I was in for a fun show.

After the assortment of percussion instruments hit the stage, a cello, a bassoon, a trombone, and an accordion soon followed. It was quite the eclectic mix.

I’ve been meaning to see DRYC since I read Christina Caldwell’s article in College Times.

You know when people say something’s weird in a good way? DRYC quickly lived up to that standard and just as quickly proved to have all my favorite characteristics in a band: more than 5 members consisting of male and females, female vocals, eclectic mix of instruments, percussion including a tambourine and a vibraslap, smiles, laughter, passion, and energy on stage that leads to foot-stomping and dance parties.
By two songs in I ditched my pen and pad- I wanted to be apart of the DRYC experience." - Dose of Rock


September 3, 2009

There they were, sailing upon their yacht, having a jolly good time. Or as they eloquently put it into poem:

"Sailing Musicians upon a yacht/upon the seas we sailed/When one day sailing on board our ship/through a storm we had to prevail/The storm took us and threw us/and tossed us around/It bumped us and blew us/It soaked us and shook us/It grabbed us until … The storm threw us into a dried river made of salt/And there we remain still."

So goes the story of the Dry River Yacht Club, the Tempe-based eight-piece band. It might not be the real story of how the Yacht Club formed, but it's certainly the more fanciful version. And the band is all about the whimsy.

It's reflected in their sound - an artful mix of dark gypsy, bohemian, eastern European, Americana and world with a dash of early vocal blues, thanks to lead singer and squeeze box extraordinaire Garnet. The singer has drawn comparisons to Ani DiFranco, Zooey Deschanel and even Bjork.

The Yacht Club's sound can be described as eclectic to say the least, but they didn't necessarily set out to make it that way.

"I think [the sound] came about totally organically," says guitarist Ryan Probst, who was one of the founding members along with Garnet two and a half years ago.

As the musicians met each other through the years, each instrument brought a new sound to the table. Throw in a bassoon, French horn, cello and accordion and things start to get interesting. Garnet's Greek background plays a large role in forming her style, she says, adding that she naturally thinks in quarter tones when making music.

The band has taken their unique sound to the masses, embarking on a West Coast tour and performing at Austin-based South by Southwest film and music festival. But perhaps the most fun was right here in the Valley aboard the Metro Light Rail in a performance for thetraintracks.org, a site where local bands hop onto the rail for a jam session, much to the shock (and awe) of rail riders. People seemed to have fun listening to them on their way to and from places, the band says, especially the older lady who helped percussionist Henri Benard out by picking up a few percussion instruments of her own.

DRYC will be releasing their first full-length, self-funded album, The Ugliest Princess in October. Join the club October 9 for an all-ages CD release party at The Sail Inn.

- College Times


Dry River Yacht Club:
The Ugliest Princess (self-released)
GRADE: A-

Dry River Yacht Club has made a name for themselves as a bold, unconventional band. Their instrumentation, which includes French horn, bassoon, and accordion would seem to make them an unlikely choice to play at places like the Yucca Tap Room, but their sound and following dictate otherwise.

They are, in fact, somewhat chameleon-like. They walk the line between old-fashioned and modern. Their acoustic sound is sharpened and accentuated with unmistakable vocals, a distinguishing feature for them. Garnet's round, clear vibrato is intriguing and gives the music depth and rich, dark overtones.

The overall product is both sweet and eerie. Sounding almost vaudevillian at times, DRYC has a dark and fantastical quality. Their lyrics are often mysterious and leave you wondering just how literally they should be taken. One song is titled C14n14, which is an isotope pair used in the absolute dating technique. If you're not trying to figure that one out, then they're discussing the best way to season human meat in Novella De Cannibal, or you're trying to translate the words of the deep, sexy Frenchman in Circus Song, or understand phrases like, "I found your crucifix in the sink / I guess you're always cleaning it. It always seems as though the verses are either laden with symbolism or just plain unreal.

If you're a DRYC fan, and you've seen them live before, then this album is exactly what you'd expect it to be. The songs are familiar, and all the elements that make up this band are there. If you're not familiar, you're probably in for a surprise, but I'd recommend taking that trip. While you may not know where you went or how you got there, chances are you'll come out the other end.

Sarah Ventre - Phoenix New Times - Up On The Sun Blog - January 18, 2010


October 7, 2009

The first thing you're likely to notice should you find yourself wandering in unaware on a Dry River Yacht Club show is the instrumentation.

Not the acoustic guitar.

A lot of bands have those.

But the Yacht Club's eight-member lineup surrounds that acoustic with violin, cello, percussion, bass clarinet, French horn, bassoon and accordion, the last of which is wielded by a commanding lead singer whose voice is sure to make some people think of Bjork as raised by gypsies.

On occasion, they've been known to add a trombone to the mix.

The overall effect is what percussionist Henri Benard calls "gypsy Western folk-rock."

On Friday, Oct. 9, the Tempe collective will release a new CD called "The Ugliest Princess" with a party at the Sail Inn.

Here's what Benard had to say about life in the Yacht Club.

Question: You seem to be doing a lot of shows.

Answer: We have been. We've been getting out of town, too, which is nice. Everybody in the band is trying to make the transition to playing a little bit less locally and getting out of town more. And we have been very blessed with opportunities to go to a lot of really nice places, from Seattle to Austin, in the past year. But we do plan to chill out in November and December. We've got about five or six songs in the works that we're ready to finish writing, so it'll be nice to have a little break from playing live and really sit down and get back to work in the rehearsal studio.

Q: So you're already working toward the next release?

A: Absolutely. I really like our record, but it's good for us to keep pushing. Just watching our fan base grow is very interesting. It's really giving us a lot of confidence and putting a lot of fuel in our gas tank to keep pushing. So the best thing we can do is to write new material and start playing it for our fans.

Q: How would you say this new album compares with the EP you had out last year?

A: I recorded only two tracks out of five on that EP, but I had not really been involved in the project yet, and then we added our horn and violin so there's eight of us now on every song, recording in a better studio. The last one, we were gonna do a little DIY tour, and we needed something to sell at our shows. When we recorded this one, we were tighter. We were stronger. The songs had developed. They were way past what we could do on that home recording, so we felt it was necessary to document them in an environment that was conducive to all eight members.

Q: Does it feel like the lineup is pretty much settled in at this point?

A: Well, I think we've got our core. Absolutely, I do. We've actually just recently been playing with a trombone player because certain people have certain things going on in their lives and sometimes somebody can't make a show, so having that many people, we can kind of cover it and hide the fact that we're missing somebody tonight. Everybody knows everybody else's solos. So we do a good job of keeping it balanced. But I think unless we find a really awesome tuba player, with the addition of a trombone to the eight we have now, it's been doing pretty well. And then, we've had a couple trumpet players sit in that I thought were fantastic. They're just busy in their own lives. They're gigging musicians, and we don't necessarily pay because we're trying to record and get out on the road. We take that money from the shows to self-sustain.

Q: Did the type of material you're doing determine the type of musicians you brought into the band, or did the musicians determine the type of material?

A: When we start our songs, usually Ryan (Probst) or Garnet (Lashley), the guitarist and vocalist, they'll bring something to the table and we kind of go from there. And everybody's just dialed into the sound and dialed into the mentality and knows what the song needs from their instruments and personality. So it's starting to really work like clockwork when we write. Everybody brings their own piece to the table, but they bring their own piece to the table with Dry River Yacht Club in mind. If something's bad, it's OK to say, "I know you can do better." We don't settle for something that we believe to be mediocre.
- AZCentral.com


Dry River Yacht Club popped my YabYum cherry. My first article for the site was about them, way back in June. I’ve written about a lot of good Arizona bands since then. I’ve agonized over deadlines and listened to enough music to load your iPod (twice). And no one’s music has excited me as much as Dry River Yacht Club’s.

The Ugliest Princess is a giant step forward for the band. Not only is it their first full-length album, it is a victory party for their seaport tavern sing-along sound.
Increased production values bring all of the band’s strengths to the forefront. The strings (played by Megyn Neff and Steve Bohn) are absolutely gorgeous. Fred Reyes on bass clarinet and Kristilyn Woods on bassoon give the low end a symphonic feel that rounds out the songs’ worldly feel. Not to be outdone, Jordan Robert weaves the French horn through the songs like the finest silk. Garnet on lead vocals is the rarest kind of powerhouse: one that knows how to hold back when the song warrants it.


We in Arizona are lucky to have Dry River Yacht Club. With the release of The Ugliest Princess, a fleshing out of their self-titled EP’s outline, I have a feeling the rest of the country will be hearing from them sooner rather than later.

- Yab Yum Music


During the past few months, one band’s name has been on the lips of quite a few people I’ve run into. They’d all mention Dry River Yacht Club and get that far away look in their eyes like they’d heard something astonishing. Or they were having a stroke. I asked. It was the first option.

On the band’s MySpace page, there is a poem that speaks of sailing musicians being stranded in a desert by a storm. From “Circus Song,” their eponymous EP’s opener, through the closing “Broken Back,” that’s exactly what this music feels like. Like it’s made for a different place, maybe a different time. A time when news was carried between countries by boat, not cable internet. The EP feels like it was recorded in a tavern at a busy port, where this news came together from different countries, and is being shared.


The vocalist has an amazing voice, and it is the perfect counterpoint to the instrumentation. She has seen a lot in her travels, and wants nothing more in the world than to share what’s she’s seen with the customers at the crowded tavern.

With their bass clarinet and bassoon, the band fills out the low end in a way that makes the songs haunting. Add to this a French horn and a violin, and it sounds like music from that one land whose name no one can ever remember.

This is a band to watch.

- Yab Yum Music


A bassoon, a bass clarinet, a guitar, assorted percussion, a cello and ethereal vocalizations are the combined elements that give Dry River Yacht Club their strange but undeniable charm.

Hear the eclectic group in action with a song called "Broken Back."


Dry River Yacht Club will soon be embarking on a two week tour of the southwest before releasing their first EP at a Yucca Tap Room release party on July 25.

For more information, check out Dry River Yacht Club on myspace. - New Times Magazine - Up On The Sun blog


It's not a question of if you will see Dry River Yacht Club but when you will see Dry River Yacht Club. In the month of April, they'll hit every locality from ASU to Chopper John's to the Desert Botanical Garden. And on that grateful night or day that you do get to sample their wares, be prepared to wait. Because the band has eight musicians and at least most of them double on something, so that means sound-checking every last clickety clack or kazoo before showtime. All right, nobody plays the kazoo but the year is still young and in their quest to leave no musical stone unturned they will find a way to work even that into the set. The percussionist Henri (the band eschews last names so everyone's on a first name basis) has a propane tank in his arsenal, although I'm not sure when or if he hit it because he was mostly obscured by singer/accordionist and resident dancing dervish Garnet for most of the set I saw the band at the Alwun House.

The music of Dry River Yacht Club isn't for the impatient or hurried. It's laconic, sly sometimes somber, often celebratory, not strictly of this time but definitely embraced by inhabitants of it, recalling the classical flourishes of a Sufjan Stevens, the genteel spookiness of a St. Vincent and the old time vaudeville/cabaret swagger of a Dresden Dolls but still achieving a Dry River zeitgeist uniquely its own.

Time constraints prevent us from talking to Freddy (bass clarinet), Steve (cello), Jordan (French horn), Garnet (vocals, accordion), Ryan (acoustic guitar), Megyn (violin), Kristilyn (bassoon) and Henri (percussion) all at once, so Henri did the honors, on the eve of the Yacht Club releasing their "Live at the Marquee" CD.

Question: You beg off describing the band's genre on your MySpace page. Is it because you yourselves have a tough time pegging it?

Answer: Not at all. We describe our music as gypsy western folk rock. We just don't really feel like people take any of that stuff too seriously on MySpace these days so it creates a chain reaction which allows us to have fun and be as goofy as we are in our daily lives.

Q: When I first a poster for your band at the Ruby Room I thought it must be some kind of DJ night because nobody would ever name their band that. But I was wrong. So who thought up the name?

A: The name came from a freeway sign that Ryan always drives by on the way to Durango, Colorado. The sign says Dry Lake Yacht Club. Then Garnet had trouble saying Dry Lake and kept saying "Dry River." The rest of the band liked Dry River Yacht Club and that was that. We thought it was ice cold.

Q: A live album isn't always the most momentous show a band has played but just the one they just happened to record. What was memorable about this night?

A: We had a chance to not only share the stage with some other amazing bands at the premier venue of Tempe, but also have all of our members on the same stage for the first time in months. Plus it was a bonus to be able to document this specific occasion on both audio and video. The album has two music videos along with four tracks, two of which are previously unreleased by the band. I think it's cool to do this and throw an awesome party with our fans, family, and friends to celebrate something that is important to all of us in DRYC.

Q: Was DRYC's unique sound one of happy accidents and happenstance or one of deliberate construction?

A: It is most definitely a combination of both. We have a great mix of raw and classically trained musicianship that allows us to really plot our courses. However, sometimes we just jam and get excited about the sound and decide to work that into a piece. It's kind of the same way all the members of the band slowly trickled in.

Q: Having unique instrumentation can be a blessing as well as a burden. Do you think DRYC will one day start acting like latter-day Chicago when they de-emphasised horns or ELO where the strings started getting pulled really low in the mix? Will the band cease to be DRYC if there are suddenly too many songs that don't require strings or a bassoon?

A: These are questions we would have to answer if that time ever comes. I would never want to imagine our band without Megyn, Kristilyn, and Steve. Yikes!

Q: Is the band purposely avoiding electricity save for microphone.? Have there even been any instances where you've performed with no electrical power at all?

A: We are not purposely avoiding electricity. We just do not feel it is extremely necessary. There is just very little room for it in this project. Ryan and Megyn sometimes have small amps for their instruments, but half of the instruments we play don't even have the capability to be electric that I am aware of. It is really nice having minimal gear for travel and such as well.

Serene Dominic - AZCentral.com - March 31, 2010


Describing Dry River Yacht Club's sound is no easy task. Not only does the Tempe octet sound unlike any other local band, but thanks to their use of such unconventional instruments as the bassoon, French horn, and accordion, they really don't sound like anyone else, period. Imagine Björk singing for DeVotchKa and you'd at least be in the ballpark, but comparisons don't really do the band justice. Percussionist Henri Benard describes Dry River Yacht Club's music as "a very eclectic blend of Gypsy, western folk rock," which is probably as accurate a description as any.

Typically, bands that push the boundaries of popular music the way Dry River Yacht Club does are destined to languish in obscurity, which makes the band's growing popularity all the more surprising. Over the past few years, DRYC has cultivated a big enough local following to headline several local music showcases at Tempe's Marquee Theatre, the most recent of which was recorded for the band's forthcoming multimedia release Live at the Marquee Theater [sic]. The CD contains four live tracks, two of which ("The Rape of Persephone" and "Sweaty Sax") are previously unreleased, as well as a pair of videos shot by Andrew Benson and Adam Wheeler.

The live release comes hot on the heels of the band's debut album, The Ugliest Princess, which was nearly universally praised in the local press. Even though Princess is less than a year old, it was difficult to pass up the chance to release live recordings from the band's recent Marquee show, Benard says.

"I thought it would be a good opportunity to take advantage and do something cool on the big stage where we had good sound and a good crowd," Benard says. "That night was just so awesome. We had fun. It's always awesome to play on those big, big stages 'cause it really feels like you're getting somewhere as a musician. When you're playing a bigger stage like that, you're just like, 'Cool, this is working. We can play a big stage like this.' The intensity level is always really high and really strong."

DRYC might be playing big stages now, but even in the band's early days, landing gigs wasn't much of a problem, despite not sounding like any of the bands they played with. Since most of the band members had previously played in other local bands, they had already established relationships with other local bands and venue owners. As unusual as DRYC's sound is, it typically fares well with other bands' fans, Benard says.

"I'd never book us with any metal bands or anything like that, because I don't think that's our crowd, but for the most part, I think we play to a pretty diverse audience," Benard says. "I think that actually works to everybody's benefit, as far as the bands go, because I know a lot of our fans will like a lot of other people's music that may not exactly sound like ours, but it's just very good music. If bands support each other and work hard and promote well and do the right things and have the right attitude and the right songs, it doesn't really matter specifically what your genre is. It's kind of more like that festival approach these days, and I think that really is an advantage for everybody. I think it's cool to get flavors of sounds instead of getting three bands that sound the same every time you go to a show."

Okay, so even if the band's unique sound hasn't been a detriment, surely having eight members in the band must present a host of logistical nightmares, from fitting everyone into a tour van to squeezing everyone on stage? Right? Not so, say Benard. Despite having twice as many members as a typical bar band, DRYC benefits from using mostly acoustic instruments.

"We bring a couple amps," Benard says. "Megyn [Neff] brings an amp for her violin. Ryan [Probst] brings an amp for his guitar sometimes, just 'cause they sound good out of the amps. Everybody else just plays into a mic. We're very minimal as far as our gear is concerned. I think it's actually very nice, not having to haul a ton of huge amps on stage all the time, move a whole bunch of stuff. Set-up and tear-down is done very quickly. I like that about the way we travel and the size of our setup. I think that's to our advantage. Not only do we not have to move a lot of stuff, but we can do it without all these crazy electronics."

Even songwriting presents few challenges for the band, Benard says. While it might seem difficult to collaborate with seven other people on a song, Benard says the band's songwriting process is remarkably smooth. Most of the songs are written by Probst and lead vocalist Garnet, with the other band members fine-tuning the arrangements on their respective instruments. In fact, if Benard is to be believed, DRYC is practically devoid of any internal strife or conflict. He compares being in the band to being part of a family, and the stability of DRYC's lineup since the band's inception appears to support his case.

"We don't really like to do lineup changes at all," Benard says. "We try to find family members. A couple of our players have moved out of town. They come in for the big shows — we fly them in — because we think it's important to really have the full sound at these bigger shows. I like the people that we work with and I think everybody in the band feels the same way. It's a band of best friends, and it makes it very easy to write, to travel, to work together, to spend time together and really dial into the thought and the idea and the concept of Dry River Yacht Club, in our collective lives and in our individual lives."

Mike Meyer - Phoenix New Times, April 1, 2010


Dry River Yacht Club Sails Through Phoenix
Tempe Octet’s Unique Sound Resonates With Fan Base

Dry River Yacht Club can’t decide what to wear. In preparation for their First Friday performance at the Alwun House in Downtown Phoenix, the Tempe octet is sifting through plastic bags filled with white laced-up corsets, miniature top hats and gaucho pants faintly resembling Aladdin’s hand-me-downs. The inspiration for the costumes stems from the band’s creation of a circus-themed vibe for their set. And they’re not far off: Since forming in late 2007, DRYC’s whirlwind notoriety in Phoenix has become a spectacle for critics and fans alike as they continue to garner appreciation for their unique sound.

When DRYC first debuted with their 2008 self-titled EP, fans took notice. But it wasn’t until the release of their 2009 album, The Ugliest Princess, that critics praised the group for their distinct style and collective instrumentation consisting of a violin, cello, percussion, acoustic guitar, base clarinet, bassoon, French horn and accordion. Lead singer and accordion aficionado Garnet (who goes by one name) has been compared to the likes of Björk, with her haunting powerhouse vocals that lend perfect restraint where need be. With all these moving and influential parts, describing their sound isn’t easy, so they narrow it down for anyone who asks. “We describe ourselves as ‘gypsy-Western-folk rock,’” percussionist Henri Benard says.

For many bands, sitting down together to write and compose music can be a daunting task. But for DRYC, it’s a chance for all eight members to blend their ideas musically — regardless of how non-traditional their music has become. “Everyone adds a different part,” bass clarinet player Freddy Reyes says. “It’s different, because we start from the ground up and build each song as it goes.” Violinist Megyn Neff feels the same way. “We all kind of have the same ear — a lot goes unsaid,” she says. “Someone will come up with the full riff, and once we decide on something that sounds good, we sit down and talk about how we’re going to build up the chords and work with different textures.”

While the band is currently writing new material, they have no specific direction for how the next LP will turn out. (The octet plans to record new tracks at the Harmonic Brew recording studio over the summer.) For now, it’s all about hitting the road and playing the music that’s resonated so well with fans in Phoenix and all over the country. “Next year, we’ll hopefully be playing Coachella,” Neff says. “Having been on the road and loving it, we’d really like to play festivals with more nationally-known bands.”

Future plans aside, DRYC is quick to point out the reason they’re able to continue making the music that sets them apart from other bands: the fans. Benard says he first noticed the fan base at a show in 2008 when the band played with Black Carl, Yellow Minute and What Laura Says. “After that show, the atmosphere of Dry River Yacht Club shows started changing into more transcendental dance parties,” he says. “We really like that the fans dance and scream. It has continued to fire everybody up.”

The band feels their strong sense of community in Phoenix contributes to the appeal they generate. “I think we resonate well with fans because ours are the best!” Benard says. “They are always exciting and energetic about DRYC. Everyone in the band is extremely social, so we love to get out and meet fans, support all the other local artists and just really be a part of our amazing community.” Adds Garnet: “Tempe fans kick ass!”

From the Rhythm Room to the Sail Inn, the band performs to sold-out shows of devotees eagerly waiting to see Garnet whip out the accordion while vocally roaring on stage. Sail Inn owner Gina Lombardi is just as much a fan as she is a vehicle for their exposure. “They are the most high-energy, fun band to watch,” she says. “They draw a really cool young crowd, their music is unlike anybody else’s and the females in the band are fabulous!”

As the showtime of their First Friday performance nears, the band finally decides on outfits: Neff will wear the white corset while Benard and Reyes will opt for the miniature top hats, and Garnet is still contemplating a funky black dress that laces up through the back. As they climb on stage, it seems, on this night anyway, the final decision on attire may be the group's biggest worry — it must be because they have this gypsy-Western-folk rock thing down. - 944 Magazine


At 10 p.m. in the middle of a Tempe neighborhood, most people are going to bed — kids dreading the first days of school, parents watching David Letterman — but behind one door, there’s a family reunion going on. A Dry River Yacht Club reunion to be exact.

For the first time in a while, all eight members are together again and yes, it feels so good.



The night before they’re off to record at Chalice Recording Studios in Los Angeles, they get together to practice, have a few beers and catch up. DPJ was lucky enough to be part of the late night festivities.

In the kitchen, we talked about their history together, stories from tour days and how the new record is going to be beyond amazing.

The Dry River family consists of Freddy Reyes (sax, bass clarinet), Steve Bohn (cello), Henri Benaro (percussion), Kristilyn Woods (bassoon), Megyn Neff (violin), Ryan Probst (guitar), Jordan Robert (French horn) and Garnet (vocals, accordion).

This isn’t your usual guitar-bass-drums band, but when all these instruments come together, it’s like you’ve found that missing puzzle piece to your music collection. A well-oiled machine, at one time or another the band either played together or worked together and decided to become one band. Dry River started playing open mic nights at Yucca Tap Room in Tempe with a set list of three songs.

“We put together an EP, made shirts that we bought at the thrift store and our friend Nate silk-screened them. That’s how we funded our tour,” Woods recalls.

You can only imagine the amount of stories that will come out of 10 days in a seven-passenger minivan full of gear on tour together for the first time.

“We went out with 100 discs on that tour and sold them all,” Benaro says. “Then we were like, ‘Let’s start playing with this band.’”

The band came back to town to play its EP release show with no EPs, but no matter. They soon introduced two new bandmates, Neff and Robert. You would think with so many members that they wouldn’t be able to fit on stage, but they surprisingly do… most of the time.

“We broke a stage in Austin one time,” Reyes reveals. “Jordan and I were scared and we got back on the floor.”

Three members of the band don’t live in town anymore, yet the band still plays on. They recruit friends to come in and play shows or fill in the bandmates’ absence with a heavier influence of the available instruments. As they say, the show must go on.

Dry River has played so many places in Arizona that it took five people to remember all of them, from ASU to the Botanical Gardens, and MADCAP Theater to even the light rail. The list goes on and on.

“That felt like we were illegal bandits, man. It was cool,” Benaro said of playing the light rail music competition, Train Tracks.

As much as their local fan base loves them, they love the local music scene right back.

“There’s a very diverse palette,” Bohn says of Phoenix. Dry River has played with bands that aren’t even in their genre, and they feel like in other cities there isn’t much of that going on.

“In other cities that I’ve lived in, bands that are in the same genre are always sort of tearing each other down,” Woods says. “It’s very cliquey. Here it’s not like that at all. You’re excited when your friend’s band has a good show or wins a competition or gets to play a big festival.”

Speaking of big festivals, Dry River will be playing a festival coming in Page next month, Powellapalooza. Yes, Arizona’s very own Coachella!

And, definitely keep an eye out early next year for a CD release party.

“We’ve been giving out free champagne in the past,” Reyes says of CD release shows. “We just get as many people there as possible. You get a free disc when you get in… who knows about the free booze, but we’re gonna have a lot of fun.”

If you want to hear Dry River sooner, they are playing Monday, August 16 at 7:30 p.m. at The Rhythm Room (1019 E. Indian School Rd.) with These United States and Or the Whale. Tickets are $10. - Downtown Phoenix Journal


2009 was the year of the bass clarinet, as far as I’m concerned. Dry River brought us badass music to groove to using not only a bass clarinet, but a violin, a French Horn, and a bassoon.

With the release of The Ugliest Princess, DRYC’s first full-length release, this great band/band nerd’s revenge kicked things up a notch. I look forward to seeing what 2010 brings their way. - Yab Yum Music by Mike McQuillian


July 10, 2009

You’ll need a minute to take in everything you see onstage before Dry River Yacht Club begins to play — bassoons, violins, clarinets, and French horns aren’t exactly staples for “indie” acts (not since the 1800s, anyway). Once the instruments are fired up, it won’t take you more than a few seconds to realize you’re listening to something unique. Beyond the smattering of random instruments, DRYC have the ability to create an array of sounds that can either dovetail seamlessly or form layers. They can stir a whirlwind of emotion and collapse neatly at a moment’s notice, dialing dial up and down the intensity as necessary. In the space of a single track, like “Broken Back,” the sound shifts from Johnny Cash to symphony to the Middle East. It fits and it makes perfect sense, but don’t spend too much time trying to figure out how or why. After a successful pair of shows at SxSW, Dry River Yacht Club report that they have been at work on their first full-length album. But is there a studio big enough for all those instruments? — Brian Bardwell - Phoenix New Times


Discography

Family Portraits/Calm Mutiny - EP (2011)

Live At The Marquee - Live EP (2010)

The Ugliest Princess - Full-length (2009)

Dry River Yacht Club - EP (2008)

Photos

Bio

Tempe Arizona’s Dry River Yacht Club has been rolling into cities across the United States bringing their eclectic brand of gypsy western folk rock with them. Behind the amazing range of lead vocalist/accordionist Garnet, who has already been compared to the likes of Bjork, the band utilizes a symphonic instrumentation that includes bassoon, bass clarinet, french horn, tuba, cello, violin, viola, acoustic guitar, and high-energy percussion.

Dry River Yacht Club brings a well-orchestrated, transcendental dance party that is entirely their own. With such accolades as “Best Indie Rock Band” and “Best Band with Assorted Instruments” from Phoenix New Times, Paste magazine declaring them one of "10 Arizona Bands You Should Listen to Now," and a pair of successful SXSW performances and several west coast tours under their belt, DRYC is constantly grabbing the attention and wonder of music fans from all walks of life.

Their newest EP, "Family Portraits:Calm Mutiny (recorded/mixed at Chalice Recordings, LA), was released in March 2011 and is distributed in record stores across the country. A highly successful release, akin to a bona-fide 12-hour music festival, and high accolades in local and national press are all icing on the cake once you see DRYC perform live wonders in front of your eyes.