Lush Progress
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Lush Progress

| INDIE

| INDIE
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"Elevator Dream Album Review"

Tampa-based quintet Lush Progress cut their way into the musical pie and serve up some home-baked goods on their sophomore release Elevator Dream. It’s 11 tracks of indie, rock, experimental and classical all mixed together with a whimsical combination of elegance and skill. Title track “Elevator Dream” encapsulates the medley spirit of the entire album. “Pop Song,” “Tired Eyes” and “Wilhelm Lehmbruck” are catchier songs, while “All in Good Time,” “Sunsets with Pictures of Patti Smith” and “The Ocean, My Mother” feature the impeccable synergy of their craft. Together they harness soundscapes spanning classic Pink Floyd to the modern likes of Radiohead while maintaining their unique sound. The essence of progress is timing and that’s their signature trait. From the ambient streaming of orchestral compositions with experimental edges to the sprinkles of thematic melodies, the album’s moderate pace gives way to a consistency and diversity unmatched by most mainstream work. The musical execution is spiced up with two lead vocalists, a chivalrous cello, tender winds and amicable keys for a cohesive conglomeration of dense transcendence. That’s amore. –
Stephanie Bolling - REAX 2008


"Lush Progress at Sacred Grounds."

LushProgress

Reflections on the Event of hearing LushProgress upon sacred ground.

As the planets move through space they vibrate at a given pitches, each unique. The ancients conceived this heavenly harmonics as iron wires of varying length upon which each planet, as a strummed note, sang. Upon the mathematics of this conception modern musical theory grew, eventually birthing such spawn as the octave.

These thoughts spring unbidden to mind as the two bright birds of LushProgress progress their way through their set at Sacred Grounds Coffee Shop, the only coffee brewing establishment in the entire Tampa area worth visiting at all. (Indeed, one wonders what goddess intervened upon this city’s sorry fate in order to grant the heavenly sanctuary that is Sacred Grounds. Mayhap, it is no other goddess than the owner, for Athena herself would be no greater a matron.)

But back to the business of music. Who would have thought that dark hair went so well with the rose wood finish on a guitar?

Amidst the plastic popping plethora of first year voice or guitar students dreaming of being the next American Idol has been, these delights stand out like escargot in a McDonalds. If a snail could sing one word would suffice, melodious... the word applies just as well to these delicate dears.

The Druids of ancient Britain forbade music of the voice to ever associate with music of the strings. Forgotten wisdom holds true. How dangerous the alliance between human voice, born of the Gods, and the strumming seduction born of earth and tree! One is lulled by this sound of harp, sitar, or guitar which never the human throat could bring to be. It is so foreign it could only be born of the wild. Then, while the mind sways, entranced, the human voice whispers the song’s hidden message and we are helpless to resist. Oh, beware beware this siren’s song!

But lordy, if only they had found a better wardrobe than jeans and tee-shirts. Sons of a sordid stupid age, look to the dramatic! Learn well the lesson of Dave Matthews, that morbid martyr; one can be rich and famous, one can earn millions putting people to sleep with their latest album, and still one will look like a homeless middle-aged alcoholic. The facial stain of the slacker can only be washed away with work and imagination. Up spears of human inspiration!

But I was speaking of Herr Matthews, whose work is neither lush nor progressive. However, this verdant evolution which is the topic at hand, is far from appearing either middle aged or homeless. No, they are young and both seemingly sober and well housed. Surely, this must only work to their benefit.

The key virtue of artistry is generosity. Only an honest overflow of vitality should lead to creation. Thus did LushProgress flood the coffee house with their life-blood in the form of CDs and copies of their lyrics. Salvador Dali did no less when, in his early years of schooling, he used to "make change" for others while always giving more than he received. In this way, he was certain he would make a fortune. He was not wrong.

Each book of Dante’s Divine Comedy ends with the word "stars". His muse drove him to extol the "the love that moves the sun and the other stars." But what muse inspired LushProgress in their search for the stars? Allow me to indulge in quotation; "I woke up on the beach and you pulled the stars into my reach... as they burned my hands it made me laugh..." Indeed, one feels that all their music must transpire while "on the beach reaching for stars..." There is more than a little dualism here. See it, the empty beach and the stretching sea that can be sensed only as a rumbling darkness. There are few things so terrifyingly empty as the endless black ocean at night. It is omnipresent, but never seen. It can only be felt like fear and human passion. But look! Look up above the expanse of void, where delicate fire glitters tauntingly so far above. From the emptiness below, we reach.

Within the hopping hubbub of the packed coffee shop, LushProgress was indeed "the man who brings the ocean and the sand," The double presence of stars and sea is inescapable. The lost feeling of dark shorelines haunts us until each coffee drinker is alone, shivering in the salty spray.

But pray tell, what passed that night on the beach? What central moment encircles all their songs? It is from this black, crashing, glittering landscape that their melodic muse comes... but we may never know the hidden history behind it.






- (July) SMW Mag


"REAX Album Review"



A Vigorously Growing Improvement (2006)

Lush Progress

posted Aug 28th, 15:18

by Chris Kelly (chrisk@reaxmusic.com)
StarStarStarStarNo Star

Never heard of this band before? You will. Tampa smooth-rock band Lush Progress is making music sound good. Influences, maybe there are a few, but this album sounds surprisingly original. If you’re a fan of instrumental style music you’ll find these guys particularly grand. A Vigorously Growing Improvement, I can only imagine that it is a working title and fits right in its place. I’ve never heard, or seen these guys perform but am complacent to know that I will be seeing them soon. Do your ears a pleasure by picking this disc up soon.
- REAX Magazine


"Oracle Interview with Drew Cutler & Adam Husarek"

By Jacob Tillman

The Oracle (U. South Florida)
07/20/2006

(U-WIRE) TAMPA, Fla. -- Local rock band Lush Progress is beginning to make legitimate noise in Tampa, Fla.'s music scene as it prepares to compete in the Bodog Battle of the Bands competition at the Orpheum on Aug. 23. (Bodog is the UK/Canadian affiliate of Warner Music.) The members of the five-piece alternative set have honed their skills while progressing through the University of South Florida music program -- and the signs are beginning to show.

Lush Progress was formed by music composition major Drew Cutler in 2003, with an emphasis on artistry as well as music theory. Cutler's approach was a bit different than most bands': The music was first written for the EP "A Vigorously Growing Improvement," then Cutler set out to locate band members. He joined with former collaborator Adam Husarek, a fellow music major, and the music began to take its distinct shape.

Cutler and Husarek then brought on bass guitarist Bob Massicotte, who is on course to graduate in fall 2006 with a degree in music education. Matthew Antolick, a professional musician working in Orlando, played drums for the band on its EP. Current drummer Mark Feinman is a sophomore pursuing his bachelor's degree in music education.

Aside from performing in Lush Progress, Cutler has had a number of compostitions performed by various ensembles at USF events, including the USF Orchestra, cello and violin, percussion, woodwind quintets and solo flute performance, among others.

"Drew knows more about music theory than anyone I've met in my life," Husarek said.

Contrary to most bands seen or heard around campus, Lush Progress is less concerned with playing cover songs, catering to a middle-ground fan element or following trend sets. The band is more concerned with being less genre-specific and more attentive to its approach and the quality of its music.

"Adam and I once spent five hours on four chords," Cutler said. "We spend an equal amount of time on theory and artistry and lyrical content, whereas most bands you'll find are more focused on one of those extremes or another."

The band's drive to make entertaining, quality music heavily draws from its influences -- bands ranging from classic rock groups such as The Beatles and Pink Floyd, to modern artists like Beck and The Flaming Lips -- or any music with songwriting that can be examined at a deeper level.

"There are not enough words in the English language to convey the wide range of human emotions," Husarek said. "This is what I want our music to tap into, while still maintaining coherent, linear music."

Writing intelligent pop songs that are both catchy and progressive is a goal of Lush Progress.

"One of the things we want to do is find a way to spend time in the studio and experiment," Cutler said. "We want to play music for a large audience who can appreciate it. We'll play for anyone, but we hope they appreciate it."

"I'd play in Tiananmen Square if the Chinese government would let me," he said.

Lush Progress has been practicing its music and perfecting technique and sound for the past several months, while promoting the upcoming Bodog Battle of the Bands show. Lush Progress was voted the best band in Tampa on the Bodog Web site last month, and waits to compete among nine other bands from Florida at the upcoming show. The winning band from the Bodog contest will be awarded $1 million and a record contract.

The band's popularity has grown from word of mouth, evidenced from its MySpace Web page. From the 27,000-plus song plays they have received, to over 200 comments fans have made in the last two months - ranging from "your music is amazing," to "digging the tunes," to "your music is so nice -- it appears the band's popularity is beginning to progress quite nicely.

To listen to some of the band's select numbers, visit its MySpace page at www.myspace.com/lushprogress - the Oracle News Paper


Discography

2004 - A Vigorously Growing Improvement
2008 - Elevator Dream

Photos

Bio

Lush Progress was formed in 2004 by Drew Cutler while studying Music at the University of South Florida. The Lush Progress sound draws influence from pop and rock acts such as; Pink Floyd, the Beatles, Radiohead, Brian Wilson, Sonic Youth, and the Flaming Lips as well as classical composers like Igor Stravinsky, Charles Ives, George Crumb and Bach. Lush Progress consists of five versatile musicians that sing and perform with a delicate passion that is rarely found in art music today.