namelessnumberheadman

namelessnumberheadman

BandAlternativeAvant-garde

Carefully mixing acoustic and electronic instrumentation to create a dream that calms and guides you through a hazy panoramic photograph. It's genuine, honest celebration but, all the same, it is fighting the feeling that there is no one left to believe anymore. Then we sing at the top of our lungs

Biography

People who've never been there might hear "Kansas City" and think Dorothy and Toto or, if somewhat more enlightened, jazz and barbecue. But there are more progressive things going on there than you might expect. In their own humble and low-key way, the Kansas City, Missouri-based trio Namelessnumberheadman have been blazing a trail that solidifies the invisible bridge between far-off galaxies and rural landscapes. They take heartfelt, melodic pop songs with a folk-ish acoustic tinge and swirl them into futuristic, electronic soundscapes. Their songs are both ear-pleasing and exploratory; you can hum along and feel like you've been transported somewhere new. As critic Scott Wilson aptly put it in a recent Magnet review, "if the group called Iceland home, it would end up on the cover of The Wire."

Named after a character in Steven Soderbergh's film Schizopolis, the group has an anything-goes approach that allows ample room for surprise. Sometimes the best way to go somewhere new is to do whatever you want and see where it takes you. Yet their music also has a down-to-earth quality, as if they're your best friends or next-door neighbors. Their lyrics tackle real-life longings in an ambiguous way that leaves room for interpretation. Introspection and mystery meet in the lyrics and the music, as do emotion and innovation. They hit you in the heart while lifting you off into space.

Andrew Sallee, Chuck Whittington, and Jason Lewis have been known as Namelessnumberheadman since the year 2000, though they've known each other since high school and two of them made music together back then. They made their name in Kansas City through an action-packed live show which blew away even casual observers and a $5, 6-song CD (100,000 Subtle Times) that those observers took home and obsessed over. Playing at a variety of venues around KC, with some of the city's best acts, the group soon received praise from writers at the local newsweekly, Pitch Weekly, which in 2002 named the group "Best Electronic/DJ/Dance" act. The fact that they play with traveling indie-rock groups and local rock acts yet can be classified as "electronic" is a testament to the way they're combined disparate sounds into one unclassifiable musical animal.

Their live shows start with Andrew on drums, Chuck playing both guitar and keyboards, and Jason playing keyboards and other devices, but they're likely to switch instruments mid-song, managing to create more sounds than three people should be able to. While 100,000 Subtle Times was an impressive introduction to the group's sound, their local reputation was solidified with the release of their first full-length, When We Leave, We Will Know Where We've Been, released in 2002 on local Urinine Records. That album amplified everything they do; it was bigger, more layered, more ambitious and more beautiful. It was praised by local press and even slipped onto the Village Voice Pazz & Jopp Poll due to the unabashed love of it by a couple of critics. And it's an easy album to love. Rich textures and loads of atmosphere meet sharply crafted songs. The sonic confidence that album exudes seems like a stepping stone to great, magical things. Namelessnumberheadman is still very much a Kansas City band -- they're played only a handful of shows outside of the area -- yet it's only a matter of time before their name is known everywhere. – Dave Heaton

Lyrics

The Beginning

Written By: Andrew Sallee/Jason Lewis/chuck whittington

Bright lines in color
Typeface to weather the wear
A slight, fine, decided air resolving to

I’ll follow through with what I said
I’ll follow through with what I said in the beginning

Spine bent and tingling
Broad strokes that grind to the page
With stark white and lines full black revolving through

I’ll follow through with what I said
I’ll follow through with what I said in
the beginning

Lesser Fates

Written By: Andrew Sallee/Jason Lewis/chuck whittington

Over everything
It’s still
Cicadas buzz
The rain has had its fill

In your gracious hand
The weight
The weather vein
In place of lesser fates

Branches of Branches of Branches

Written By: Andrew Sallee/Jason Lewis/chuck whittington


The census logs the beating hearts – blood flow per square mile
Amend the Grand Digestion Schemes accordingly
We prepare resplendent feasts of salt and soap and wire
Accept it stands and must suffice until

We isolate the One true One

Shuddered halls convey the steps – descend the underground
Samples drawn from God’s Own Code and multiplied
Our bodies rest with speckled screens and learn to fertilize
Consult the autumn almanac until

We isolate the One true One

When fibrous roots have burst the pipes and pavement’s fissured out
All restored to patient balance – instantly
When vines and leaves and trunks explode to feed us all again
We’ll eat the pulse of branches of branches of branches

Isolate the One true One

Discography

2007 - Wires Reply (Saint Ives)
2004 - Pauses, Ums, and Eyebrow Raises (self-released free EP)
2004 - Your Voice Repeating (The Record Machine)
2002 - when we leave, we will know where we've been (Urinine Records)
2000 - 100,000 subtle times (self-released)

Set List

Opposable Thumb
Animal Kingdom
Attic Fan
Lesser Fates
The Beginning
Unchopping Our First Tree
Sing Your Peace
The Hour Has Come
An Argument to Stand On
(At Least) Three Cheers for Cause and Effect

Safely Gone