Kite to the Moon
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Kite to the Moon

Athens, Georgia, United States | SELF

Athens, Georgia, United States | SELF
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"Kite to the Moon celebrates debut album release"

September 22, 2010 by ZACK TAYLOR
Filed under Music, Variety

Kite to the Moon isn’t just putting on a concert; they are putting a celebration for the upcoming release of their debut album, “Pounce.”
Tim Conley, vocalist and “slinky toy” player for the band, does not expect it to be a normal show.
“It’s going to be a lot of eye candy, goodness, fists in the air, drunken abandonment and rock ‘n’ roll,” Conley said. “We are also hoping to get some rubber chickens for the show.”
Drummer Andrew Hanmer likens the dynamic of the band to that of a certain cartoon.
“Were like the Powerpuff Girls of the Athens music scene,” Hanmer said. “Tim’s Blossom, Jay Rogers is Buttercup and I am definitely Bubbles.”
The band had originally formed under a different band name, Aqualove.
“We decided to ditch the whole Aqualove thing and came up with the name Kite to the Moon,” Hanmer said.
Conley said, however, while the lineup is almost identical to Aqualove, Kite to the Moon is not just a whole new direction, but a whole new band.
“We’re much more in your face, we’re rude and crude,” Hanmenr said.
To pin Kite to the Moon down into a specific genre of music would be as hard as, well, pinning a kite to the moon.
“It’s like wild pop, it refuses to adhere to barriers, it colors outside the lines,” Conley said. “[The songs] are like irreverent vignettes about life on Earth.”
Although the band is very experimental, they do admit to having some influences.
“If you had to compare us to something you could say post-grunge Weezer meets Ween,” Conley said.
Conley said that the music, however, is varied and surprising.
“You know, one minute the music can be like Black Sabbath and the next it could be like Simon & Garfunkel, all in the same song,” Conley said.
While this is the band’s debut album, Conley wanted new listeners to know that they have been around for bit. “
We spent a long time mixing the album, we were really finicky with it,” Conley said. “People have been coming to see us for a while now, it’s a big deal for us to have a CD out.”
Listeners of “Pounce” may notice influences of Conley’s solo project “Nerd Sexy,” but Conley assures listeners that the album is bit more filtered for the mainstream.
“Nerd Sexy is straight of the back of my cerebral cortex where as Kite to the Moon feels a lot more coherent and consistent,” Conley said.
Conley does, however, feel like the some of the band’s music —though experimental — is fit for the mainstream.
“We do have radio friendly songs, there is also stuff you would never hear on the radio,” Conley said. “Hopefully Kite to the Moon would be the kind of thing that would bridge the distance of what is ‘cool’ and what you here on commercial radio.” - The Red and Black


"Kite to the Moon - Ready to Pounce"

The members of Kite to the Moon are not shy individuals. They don't draw a crowd with pensive, introspective music; their listeners do not gaze—at their shoes or elsewhere. A K2M show is not the time for self-reflection—not when the band is playing the brand of exuberant, unrestrained pop music showcased on its debut record, Pounce, the release of which K2M will be celebrating at Farm 255 this Saturday.


Kite to the Moon
Frontman Timi Conley calls this music “wild pop,” and that's an apt description for the 12 songs on Pounce, which span a wide range of musical influence, drawing most notably from '90s stalwarts Ween and Weezer. The album's production and feel recall Mutations-era Beck, remaining idiosyncratic despite its polish. Conley describes a kinship with these influences, not just with the music itself, but also with the way in which these artists have opened the doors for bands to do what they please with less regard for genre.

Kite to the Moon's unbridled creativity extends beyond the actual tunes.

Tracks with titles like “The Psychotic Possessive Sex Song” and “Freak a Nerd” give some idea of the sort of unapologetic, goofy lewdness to expect from the band. The album art is dominated by a prominent feline sex motif. The music video for the song “Slavery,” which is available for viewing online through the band's website in anticipation of the album's release, features the prurient interaction between, among other things, a dominatrix, a gorilla and a vacuum cleaner.

The album itself arose out of a two-year gestation period, the result of a collaborative approach that had each member contributing to the process. Recording at Full Moon Studio in Watkinsville—where drummer Jay Rodgers works as an engineer—the band concentrated on finding the right sound for each track. Not shying from the demands posed by such an eclectic mix of songs, the band made sure that each genre touched upon got the right treatment. Mixing by Matt Yelton and mastering by Rodney Mills and John Keane ensured that no rough edges remained.

Conley took a different approach when recording his solo album Nerd Sexy. Working at home allowed him to explore a variety of ideas when fleshing out tracks. Although the recording process was different, Pounce seems informed by this freedom. Working alone has given Conley confidence, and the band has followed his lead. The album has a loose feel, showcasing a group unafraid to give reign to its impulses or be hemmed in by any specific sound. But the band functions well enough as a single unit to keep the music from losing direction. Each member—Conley, Andrew Hanmer (drums) and Jay Rodgers (bass)—has benefit of experience, having been in town long enough to have been involved in a number of Athens bands, and this experience show in the album's cohesion. Moments on the album that may see to digress serve a larger function, like a brief segue into The Beatles' "Helter Skelter" that pays homage to the band's influences while at the same time demonstrating the high level of musicianship among tis members.

While preparing for the show Saturday, K2M has joined local jammers Perpetual Groove on tour for a few dates. Conley reports a positive response from the PGroove crowd which isn't surprising considering K2M is dedicated to putting on a consistently entertaining, if bizarre, live show.

The band's website promises “glow sticks, balloons, Super Soakers and maybe even a case of rubber chickens” for the show Saturday. Conley also shares with Flagpole a technique he's developed that allows him to play guitar with a Slinky. Here's hoping he pulls that one out Saturday night as well.

Elite tha Showstoppa, whom Conley performed with at this last year's Flagpole awards, will open the show, ensuring that the crowd will be in proper party mode.

And not to be forgotten are the Tiger Girlz. The crowd at Farm will be privy to an exciting visual display as trained trapeze artists dressed in spandex tiger suits will be soaring overhead as the band plays below. This strange combination arose out of a collaboration with the band and the trapeze artists, who appear in the band's videos as well. As for the cat thing, each member owns at least one. The album's name, Pounce, sums up the attitude with which Kite to the Moon approaches the task at hand: bringing bizarre, furry exuberance to audiences in Athens and beyond.

Marshall Yarbrough - Flagpole Magazine


Discography

Nerd Sexy - solo album by Timi Conley - released Nov. 2009

"POUNCE" - Kite to the Moon - released Sept. 2010

Photos

Bio

Kite to the Moon, formed in 2007, is the brainchild of relentlessly creative Athens, GA resident Timi Conley. Conley has lived and performed in Athens for many years and is known for his ability to do just about anything he wants- and pull it off with a fabulous style uniquely his.

His many projects include Abbey Road Live- the widely known, popular Beatles tribute band, Fuzzy Sprouts- one of the most beloved party bands known to Athens' history, Ziggy Stardust the Bowie Tribute- where Timi performs as Ziggy-era Bowie in full-glam costuming, and now Kite to the Moon- the rowdy, wild pop culmination of all his biggest visions.

Each of these acts has won awards in Athens and been recognized as being the top of their classes in a town that is completely saturated with talent. Never one to dwell for long on a creative success though, each time Conley has gotten right back to the process of creating the next work or event, always with an eye toward topping his previous achievements.

Kite to the Moon, though barely 3 years old as of this writing, has released 3 music videos in HD, headlined at The Georgia Theatre and 40 Watt Club, played as far as Los Angeles, toured with Perpetual Groove, had their music featured in award-winning films, given themselves to as many charity benefit shows as was humanly possible and released a studio-recorded full album called POUNCE. Timi has managed it with aplomb... all in addition to his touring with Abbey Road Live and his life as a full-time dad / massage therapist / graphic designer.

As if that weren't enough, Conley has launched a new annual event into Athens' massive social landscape as main organizer and Master of Ceremonies of The Wild Rumpus Athens Halloween Parade (which, in 2010 at second annual running, boasted an attendance of an estimated 2000 participants and packed over 1000 costumed revelers into his Kite to the Moon show that night.)

The band also features Jay Rodgers on bass guitar and Andrew Hanmer on drums.

Jay has been called "a bassist with true panache" by Athens Human Rights Festival organizer John Miley. Initially, when Conley found out Rodgers was unafraid to perform dressed as a hot dog with mustard, they immediately partnered and the band was formed. An accomplished studio engineer as well, Rodgers' solidly crushing, yet melodically exquisite bass work gives Kite to the Moon it's raunchy growl and heavy party vibe.

"World Famous" Andrew Hanmer is a veteran of many successful bands, most notably the Charlie Mars band. He has even appeared as a drummer on the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brian- a clear testament to his incredible abilities. Hanmer has, for many years, been the go-to session drummer for Athens' legendary engineer / producer David Barbe of Chase Park Transduction Studio for the simple reason that his tone and playing skills are at the top of Athens' mountain of percussion talent. Andrew's finesse and chops, plus his reputation as an unpredictable, high-rolling playboy, cement Kite to the Moon's undeniable force as a musical outfit.

Kite to the Moon is becoming known as one of the wildest acts in the southeast. Their over-the-top music showcases a crazy mix of pop genres and is almost always accompanied live by vivid visual elements... whether they be outlandish costuming, imaginative video projection or most infamously, The Tiger Girlz of Athens. The Tiger Girlz are a troupe of highly skilled aerial performers who dance cirque-style on trapeze and fabric slings to the boisterous Kite to the Moon delivery. The three dancers, Ann Lily-Woodruff, Carrie Kretzer and Lauren Puls, regularly wow audiences with their bright costumes, undeniable sex appeal and jaw-dropping, athletic artistry.

This mix of stunning visuals and infectiously fun music is Kite to the Moon's signature, and the chemistry of these 6 talented performers, combining their enthusiastic, creative visions together, makes for one of the most fun, entertaining, interesting and enlivening musical experiences you will ever see.