Museum Pieces
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Museum Pieces

San Jose, California, United States | INDIE

San Jose, California, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Alternative


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Museum Pieces: Hanging around Mile End"

Museum Pieces
Brendan Murphy

These new works don't want to become an old time capsule

Tyler Messick, one half of Halifax's Museum Pieces alongside Andy March, is gearing up for the Mile End version of the pub crawl.
"We're playing first at O Patro Vys with Plants & Animals, doing our folk-rock songs from the new album [Philadelphia], then, because we've been wanting to play Casa for a long time, it's sort of like our Holy Grail, we're going to head right over and do a show there, our two-piece, post-punk, rockier set."

This stylistic departure - from the sound that Messick describes as the "Americana folk thing we're trying to get out of our systems" - has, in a reversal of the usual dynamics, been instigated by the group Special Noise, who were the first signing to their fledgling label Youth Club Records.

"It's very postmodern. They do sort of collage work, very intellectual and all over the place, not just bridge-chorus," Messick says of the teenaged group. "They're destroying the notion of songwriting, and it's sort of hard to go back to standard songwriting after hearing that and loving it."

He says he and March are proactively trying to avoid the dreaded pigeonholing that frequently occurs after getting recognized for one style of music. "It's very easy to get stuck in a time capsule and become irrelevant very quickly."

As Museum Pieces head out on their first tour together, Messick points to people like Joel Plaskett and Matt Mays, as well as the federal government, as helping pave and pay the way from Nova Scotia to Montreal.

"The success of those two

guys has obviously really helped, making such a big name for Maritime indie artists, and the government here is probably the best in the country for supporting musicians. The help that MIANS [Music Industry Association of Nova Scotia] has given us has been invaluable, it's just great to get real support from that type of source."
- the Hour, Montreal

"North Of Summer"

This is a long way for Messick to have come. He was born in Pennsylvania Dutch country to parents whose jobs — they've been curators, librarians, and professors — make some sense of the preoccupations of their son's music. I can't help but be struck by the strangeness of the whole operation: an expatriate American living in Nova Scotia, a band made up of two graduates of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and a rehearsal space in an alternative school lined with books called things like Stalking the Healthful Herbs. But in the cold, dark room lit only by Christmas lights, it somehow manages to feel right.

Leaning forward in a rickety chair after rehearsal, Tyler Messick looks contemplative as he answers my question. “There are few serious, serious bands,” he says, “people who talk about serious things, and historical facts.” He's working his way through a difficult issue. I suggest that any contemporary band that wants to deal with significant matters must walk a fine line between seriousness and pretentiousness. Messick seems genuinely troubled by the difficulty of finding an audience while dealing in seriousness. “People won't come see me because I'm too serious,” he says. “I think if we can just make our music good enough, the seriousness will just be appreciated. It's hard to make serious music in this town. People resent you when you're too serious around here.”

- the, Jared Bland

"band to watch"

"Band To Watch"
Museum Pieces


Before Americans got all herd-mentality over Montreal's Arcade Fire and Toronto's Constantines, most conversations about Canadian indie rock mentioned Halifax, Nova Scotia. The hometown of '90's power-pop princes Sloan and Super Friendz should find itself topical again via the Museum Pieces, a trio headed by Pennsylvania transplant Tyler Messick. But in Halifax circa 2006, Museum Pieces' full-length debut gets its title from another city (Philly) and its sound from another genre (stately, acoustic folk/pop). While Messicks's lilting quiver strongly resembles Neil Young's voice, Philadelphia rarely sounds like a classic-rock throwback. Messick's measured pace and smart lyrics -whether he's singing about getting drunk and high ("it keeps me up") or analyzing American explorers ("Lewis and Clark") - are reminiscent of Smog's clearest days and Kingsbury Manx's nightswimming piano-and-guitar tunes.

(Youth Club,
- Magnet Magazine April/May '06

"Exlaim! Magazine record review"

Quietly coming from the East, the Museum Pieces seem to have many charms that tend to make other musicians envious. From the strength of the songs here, this band tend to have a way with a melody that most people work so very hard at to acquire. Essentially, when you start off an album with a song like 'It Keeps Me Up,' there's something special at work. Lead singer Tyler Messick's voice is able, but it's the little cracks and warbles that make in engaging. With every chorus, the song sucks you in with the same charisma that makes everyone swoon to Sufjan Stevens. Another incredible statement comes along with 'Avalon Sank,' where Jill Barber helps out, providing vocal heft and a lovely counterpoint. This amazing statement builds slowly and unassumingly, but when Jill and Tyler are building up their voices in the chorus to layered acoustic guitars, the effect is sheer beauty. While Philadelphia is recommended alone on the strength of these two songs, there are other notable country-tinged songs that make Museum Pieces a definite band to look for, but none that come close to the aforementioned jewels of the collection. - Exclaim


City of Brotherly love, 2007 EP
Nor You, Nor You. 2006 EP
Grain Sales of 1840, 2004, LP


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