Oddball Protocol
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Oddball Protocol

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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Night at the Nomad"

The Nomad World Pub is a rather recent addition to the West Bank nightlife scene. Music journalist Paul Bowman offers DinkyTownExchange readers an inside look at a recent performance.

November 17, 2005

Artists: Caleb Riley, Dave Olson / Atom Robinson, Oddball Protocol, Victor Barnes

I walked in during Caleb Riley’s set to an empty Nomad - well, empty except for the artists themselves (as well as the trumpet-in-residence, Jason Marks, from local band Gold Standard) and their friends (which included me). At least it didn’t stay so empty.
The response to Caleb was limited, but I did my best to make my appreciation known. Caleb takes the stage as a one-man band, an act he pulls off with his loop machine and an assortment of instruments on stage. Caleb’s talents range from vocal beatbox to looping to percussion to slap bass to guitar solos. All I could think during his short performance was that he was able to showcase his own talent without the help of a band.

The craziest part of the show for the crowd was Caleb’s original acoustic instrumental “Freight Train” which segued into a loop of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” To dissect his looping for you, here’s an example: he played an acoustic guitar part coming out of “Freight Train” which he started and stopped a span of maybe six seconds, letting it play by itself. Next, he picked up a bass, and within the groove of the repeating six-second guitar piece, he played a bass solo and then looped another six seconds of a bass-line within the guitar lick from before. He continued with drum sticks, claves, and picked up the bass again for one more slap solo. To add the final touch, he picked up an electric guitar and soloed on this massive loop that was already taking place. Catch Caleb Riley and hopefully you’ll get our set closer: the Beatle’s “Norwegian Wood” into the “Peanuts theme” segued through on bass. Watch out for this kid: you can check his music out at his Myspace page.

Dave Olson, a local singer/songwriter, was up next with bassist Atom Robinson. The crowd seemed to think it was more important to talk over their playing, but I did my best to stick it out. Dave’s great lyrics and voice really made the forty-minute set impressive. Many of the songs felt like references back to my own life. Choruses like “There’s no telling how far I’ll go / I hardly see the distance for a woman I hardly know” and “She’s not here tonight / So go grab your cigarettes / Go grab your light / cuz she’s not here tonight” really spoke to different times in my life, I felt like he knew me personally. Right down to the last song: “Stupid and Mean,” introduced by Dave as “a song about a group of people that just don’t know.” Dave played with a harmonica on his neck while strumming his acoustic, singing the great chorus with Atom: “Stupid and mean / break another heart / tell another lie / stupid and mean.” You can check out Dave’s website at daveolson.net for some free mp3s and upcoming Twin Cities tour dates. The next show is Friday, December 16, 2005 at Old Man River Cafe, St. Paul, MN- on the corner of Annapolis and Smith, West St. Paul, 7pm.

Finally. After months of wanting to see this band live and not having it work out (see Enchanted Ape CD Release Party article) I was at last able to see Oddball Protocol (formerly Hook, Line and Swayze). Having only seen Bobby Patrick without his band, I knew of his guitar skill, but I had no idea what to expect. The four-piece includes an electric bass, two electric guitars and a drum kit. Their jam style was very close-knit, to the likes of Umphrey’s McGee, Phish and moe, but still unique. Oddball guitarists Bobby and Tyler traded off solos and vocals with an ease that made this band feel like they could be much bigger (they don’t even have a website).
The songs were written for extended jams; the band wasn’t afraid to challenge their talent. They played a song for the first time, “Compass” which Tyler sang. Many of these songs came from songs that were slow and rootsy, but progressed into exciting improvisation. They had Jason Marks come up to play trumpet on one of their songs and later, in the middle of a jam, asked Leif Magnuson to sing a song with them. It all sounded great. I can’t wait to see what these guys become; they’re already treading into the waters of the most skilled jam bands. They have another show on December 15th at the Nomad World Pub and one more on December 29th at O’Gara’s Bar and Grill. Check those bars’ websites for more details.

By the time Victor Barnes was set up, it was 12:15. This wouldn’t normally be an issue, but I had been up since 6:00 that morning and wasn’t quite in the mood for another two hour set after three bands had already played. A third of the crowd had left by this point because of the time and the fact that it was a Thursday night. But, I was still impressed: Victor Barnes had a great voice and was a great acoustic picker. His band (fiddle, keyboards, acoustic guita - by Paul Bowman - dinkytownexchange.com

"Oddball Protocol"

When I was asked to write an article on Oddball Protocol my response was the same as yours. Oddball who? But after I listened to them I knew why the world had to be informed of their existence. These guys are GOOD!

A band of four, Oddball Protocol have enough energy to get even the laziest crowd off there butts and onto the dance floor. Having been referred to as having the sound of Umphreys McGee, Phish and moe. OBP has also been said to sound like The Allman Brothers Band had a bastard child with Iron Maiden.. When asked what OBP thinks they sound they said, "We hope we just sound like Oddball Protocol, and that people will hear us and remember our sound as an original idea, instead of just another jamband clone."

With all four of the members having different musical backgrounds it is hard to pigeon hole OBP into a genre. Each member brings his own musicality to the band and when writing music or playing a show creative input from every band member is not only encouraged, but expected. This gives Oddball Protocol a full and unique sound but does not get the audience overwhelmed. OBP remarks, "We try to write songs with structure and meaning, rather than total free form improvisation. Rock and roll is the backbone of our music, but there are heavy elements of funk, blues, jazz, punk, reggae and just about every other genre throughout our catalog. But make no mistake about it, every OBP show is a rock show at its heart." And because of all the different musical genres that influence their music there is something that everyone will enjoy. "There is no target demographic for our music. We try to appeal to an extremely wide range of tastes" says OBP, "the most apparent thing about our band is that every person who comes to a show can tell we are having the time of our lives every time we are on stage. The audience feeds off that, and in turn we feed off the energy that they give us when we know they are enjoying themselves too."

Having only played their first show together a year ago at Summerfest in Milwaukee these four guys; Marty Bement on drums/ percussion, Tyler Melton on guitar/vocals, Bobby Patrick on guitar/vocals, and Peter Verdin on bass/vocals; sound as though they have been friends since the womb and have been playing music together for their entire lives. With fluid, easy to comprehend transfers between different parts of a song and an understanding of how each other plays, Oddball Protocol will jam your socks off. Even though, "We want to bring old fashioned rock and roll back to the jam scene. say the OBP guys."

So what should you expect from an Oddball Protocol show? OBP says, "We hope to throw an old fashioned hootenanny, and everybody goes home tired from dancing." Show up Friday at 10 at the Nestor. You won't want to miss Oddball Protocol.
- by Spencer Palder, High Plains Reader - Fargo, ND


Various live recordings in circulation.



Feeling a bit camera shy


Oddball Protocol is a Minneapolis based band. A variety of musical backgrounds and influences gives the band a flavor of versatility and virtuosity that has been described as "...very close knit, to the likes of Umphrey's McGee, Phish, and moe., but still unique."-Paul Bowman, DinkyTown Exchange. That unique sound is a product of Oddball Protocol's sense of humor and passion for quality music. Every show consists of original compostions, sprinkled with unpredictable cover songs, and sit-ins from some of the region's finest musicians. From bluegrass AC/DC to Ween to spot-on renditions of Pink Floyd, Widespread Panic, and The Rolling Stones; audiences never know what to expect from an Oddball Protocol show...and that is just how OBP likes it!