Lick it Ticket
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Lick it Ticket

Cedar Falls, Iowa, United States | SELF

Cedar Falls, Iowa, United States | SELF
Band Rock Jam




""If an ice cream flavor was formulated with Lick It Ticket in mind, there would be...""

"If an ice cream flavor was formulated with Lick It Ticket in mind, there would be chunks of funk, bold blues, riffs of rock and waves of Jazz churning into a mixture fluid enough to tickle the most fickle of taste buds. It's a sound, particularly when heard live, which requires all the senses to be fully imbibed." - Kristen Steffey, Iowa City Press-Citizen - Iowa City Press-Citizen

""People who came to Lick It Ticket's free show got a thorough chill...""

"People who came to Lick It Ticket's free show at the mosaic stage outside of Russell Hall Friday got a thorough chill, some great music and a serious dose of Halloween fever.
The University of Northern Iowa's self-proclaimed jazz/jam/funk/blues/fusion/alternative band took the little-used stage and played a two-hour set comprised almost entirely of original material. They also performed a cover of the song "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker, Jr., as a sneak peek of their upcoming Halloween show at the Hub.
Lick It Ticket was formed in October of 2009 by UNI music students Robert Espe, saxophone player; Ryan Pearson, guitar player and lead vocalist; Collin Braley, drummer and singer of "Ghostbusters"; and UNI alumnus Andrew Thoreen, bass player.
"I put together a group to play for my senior recital," said Thoreen, a former jazz studies minor. "I had a bunch of compositions that I wrote, and each composition had a different instrumentation. One was a jazz combo, one was a duet and then there was the four of us, and we played a song called ‘Winkie Tips.'"
The group gelled during this performance and began playing on a regular basis, but Lick It Ticket wasn't born until they needed a name.
"It was vomit out of my mouth," Thoreen said. "We were being serious and trying to think of really cool names, and then I jokingly said ‘Or we could go with something stupid like Lick It Ticket.'"
Lick It Ticket was not the only name the group came up with, but when asked to provide one for their upcoming show, Ryan Pearson went with his gut.
"My least favorite thing about bands is coming up with a name," said Pearson, a philosophy major and music minor. "It can be so pretentious. I have trouble naming my songs too. Every time I write a song, the last thing I do is pick a name for it."
As they all come from a background in music, the members of Lick It Ticket have a unique way of working through the material that will become their songs. It's a perfect balance of serious musical thought and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants improvisation.
"I've played in a lot of bands before, and this is the first band where I've been handed a piece of paper with music notes," said Collin Braley, a senior music composition major. "Since we all study music and know the language, we can all interpret it to our own instrument."
About half of Lick It Ticket's music is instrumental, based around a set structure with a lot of room for improvisation and reworking. The band doesn't play any song the same way twice. On the other hand, a lot of Pearson's songs have extensive lyrics and intricate melodies.
"I just kind of start singing something," Pearson said. "I'll usually find a melody I like. The words just slowly fit themselves into the melody."
For the most part each member will write his song and introduce it to the others in this manner. After they have learned the basic structure of a song, it can be workshopped by the band, improved upon and changed when necessary.
"It's sort of like a skeleton, a basic idea that we flesh out together," said Espe, a senior bioinformatics major with minors in music and ethics. "We're actually getting better, I think, at being able to write tunes together. The more and more we play together, the more we know how we each play, and what sounds to expect from one another. The best part is that we're still surprising each other."
Near the end of their first year together, Lick It Ticket began to tour more extensively. During the summer, they played a multitude of shows and festivals in Iowa, Minnesota and Colorado.
"The music scene in Colorado is blossoming right now, especially for music like ours," said Braley. "We haven't even been together for a year, and they gave us five shows out there. We'd do well in Denver."
In the coming months, Lick It Ticket will be playing shows around Iowa, including a Halloween party at the Hub. The Strayer-Wood Theatre's burlesque show, set to take place during second semester, will feature Lick It Ticket as the house band. - The Northern Iowan

""We all know what it is to listen to music...""

We all know what it is to listen to music that makes us feel dumber (remember Mmm Bop?). A few years back, a Cal Tech grad student actually charted this out, correlating ACT and SAT scores with students’ favorite music. Jazz and pop didn’t fare well on Virgil Griffith’s grid, but he clearly didn’t factor in the smart new release by Lick It Ticket. The Cedar Falls band has made a sophisticated sound its playground, fusing modern jazz and pop with indie, funk, blues, jam, progressive rock and IDM (look that up, Virgil!) and crafting it into a self-titled album featuring 12 bright, original tunes.

Complex rhythms and innovative melodies give the debut collection a playful, abstract feel. Laidback West Coast alt guitars meet nimble jazz horns, and electronic blips brighten bluesy keyboards, creating an experimental vibe held together by intuitive composition, snappy pacing and airtight instrumentals.

Group vocals add a laidback big-band dimension to some numbers, and solos soar in places—including the higher reaches of the quirky, spacey Analog Soul. But in others, a more agile, precise soloist might have better matched the group’s impressive instrumental polish, and we’d love to have heard a few numbers with the cool overlay of a female jazz vocalist.

That said, the biggest problem you’ll probably have with this musical family is that it’s impossible to pick a favorite child…the hooky, fresh Head Swivel? The catchy, funny One Eyed? The fast-paced, horn-driven Wet Handshake—which somehow leaves you feeling like you got super-lucky and the go-kart you picked just topped 90?

Bottom line, Lick It Ticket is a must-hear by a talented group with the chops to go places—a true find that will hold its place in your CD queue (and maybe even raise your IQ!) with its brainy beats and irresistible creative energy. - Des Moines Music Coalition

"Buy local and groove local to Lick It Ticket’s debut album"

"..each member of the band composes their own songs, each with a very unique style. This gives the album intriguing continuity throughout, but only the band as a whole can make each tune part of the Lick It Ticket sound." - Kristen Jossem - The Northern Iowan - The Northern Iowan

"Lick it Ticket interview and play acoustically at DG's Taphouse"

See URL to see us play original songs with a different set up. Bass player, Andrew, plays trombone, Ryan plays acousitc guitar, Robert plays Saxophone, and Collin, drummer, plays percussion. - Insider Iowa, Insider Sessions


Live at the Hub EP - 2009

Zamzow EP - 2010

Lick it TIcket Single- Mula Bandha -2011

Lick it Ticket LP - March 23rd 2012

Selections from all of these can be found at:



They have shared the stage with indie, afro beat, funk, dub step, punk, jazz and hip-hop alike, finding themselves comfortable in the company of a diverse conjunction of styles, electrifying crowds into a sweaty fervor in venues all across the country.

Informed with a modern jazz, funk, pop, and IDM sensibility, yet steeped in the blues, jam band and progressive rock traditions, their well-designed compositions and grooves are infectiously dance-able while also being interesting and compelling.

“Lick It Ticket creates a delicious balance of composed and improvised sounds. ....and it makes me want to dance."

Chris Merz - Director of Jazz Studies, University of Northern Iowa

"Lick It Ticket is a must-hear by a talented group with the chops to go places—a true find that will hold its place in your CD queue"

Ann Klein - The Greater Des Moines Music Coalition

Hailing from Cedar Falls, Iowa, Lick it Ticket is composed of past and current students of the University of Northern Iowa. As students, they came into being during the fall semester of 2009. The band has now been playing together for well over two years, constantly improving upon their craft; composition, improvisation, and groove.

Altogether, the band has accumulated over 15 years of collegiate musical studies. Each member years of experience performing with collegiate jazz bands and orchestras, touring bands, concert and pit orchestras, and studio session musicians throughout the Midwest.
Due to the bands engaging and ever-changing live performances, they have developed a devoted following locally in Cedar Falls and continue to perform in Iowa as well as Minnesota, Colorado, and most recently, Ohio and New York.

Almost immediately after forming, the band played festivals such as Project Earth, Camp Euforia, Mother Nature's ball, The Iowa City Jazz Festival, The Sturgis Falls Celebration, Skateboarding is Obsolete Launch party, and numerous charity events, weddings, and private parties. In addition to playing these festivals, the band has shared the stage with The Flowbots, Euforquestra, The Motet, The Uniphonics, Dead Larry, Heatbox, Roster McCabe, The Workshy, T.U.G.G, as well as many others.

Their upcoming debut album, recorded at Minstrel Studios in Iowa City, and mastered at Catamount studios in Cedar Falls is scheduled to be released March 23rd, 2012. Their single off the album, Mula Bandha is now available for purchase through CD baby, Itunes, and Amazon. You can access their music at:

This band will satisfy your craving. Most definitely.

Andrew Thoreen - 712-898-7297