One Hand Loves the Other
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One Hand Loves the Other


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Best Local Pop Band: One Hand Loves the Other"

There are dozens of musical categories that could easily depict ONE HAND LOVES THE OTHER’s many faces. Electronic, R&B, modern classical and experimental music all come to mind. But it’s the group’s ability to blend them all into a seamless pop tapestry that makes it stand out in Atlanta’s alternative music scene. On the group’s self-titled debut CD, vocalist Lou Rodriguez’s dramatic croon billows with dark passion over a deluge of strings and electronic textures. The marriage of laptop precision to the warm, natural tones that emanate from cello and violin strings tussles between red-blooded desire and sparse musical arrangements. Not only is OHLtO’s debut captivating, it introduces to the Atlanta music scene a remarkable new talent — one that has much more to offer. - Creative Loafing Atlanta - Ocotober 2007

"One Hand Loves the Other: Fanfare for the uncommon band"

It's not every day that a mega-star like Liza Minnelli comes out to a show featuring an experimental pop band from Atlanta that's signed to a willfully obscure label rooted in punk and hardcore. But that happened when One Hand Loves the Other performed at the Annex in Manhattan on June 4. Minnelli didn't just make an appearance, she dominated the scene -- laying claim to a front-row table, cheering wildly and demanding to meet the band. When asked about the experience of such a surreal and enthusiastic cheerleader in the crowd, all four members of the group eyeball each other. They're hesitant to say anything that might scare away their newest No. 1 fan. After a few awkward moments, vocalist Lou Rodriguez leans over his noontime beer at the Righteous Room on Ponce to save face. "She was very kind," he offers as he straightens the dingy and worn red bill of his trucker cap. "She was supportive and said that she sees us going far." But his assessment doesn't even come close to cutting the tension that lingers over the table as the rest of the group smirks.

A review of the show posted at captures the sense of excitement best: "I'm not shitting you, Liza Minnelli was there, complimenting and kissing the lead singer of the band after the show ... ."

So what the hell was she doing there? As it turns out, OHLTO's publicist, Shane Marshall Brown, works for Springer Associates PR, who also handles publicity for Minnelli.

An encounter such as this sends tremors throughout the DIY community on the home front. But even though a brush with a celebrity has raised the group's profile somewhat, OHLTO is still moving at the pace of a local band.

The group's self-titled debut was released in April on Stickfigure Records, and when OHLTO booked its first East Coast tour earlier this summer, it didn't even have a CD to push. Rodriguez, along with Nancy Shim (flute, keyboards), Tracy Tzen (cello) and Mikey Johnson (electronics), booked most of the tour by sending MP3s to people in towns where Stickfigure already had friends.

It looked to be a standard-issue tour of sparsely attended clubs, low pay and life on the road as temporary gypsies.

Rodriguez spent the money they made from the CD release show at the Drunken Unicorn a few weeks prior on a big pillow, in case he had to sleep in the van.

It's a common concern for the average indie-rock band on the road. But OHLTO isn't the average indie-rock band, and it's certainly not of the gruff, outsider, post-hardcore stock for which much of Stickfigure's catalog is based. The music is jarringly clean-cut by comparison to the more aggressive Stickfigure titles – perhaps too precious for fans of releases by Blame Game, Electrosleep Int'l and Deerhunter.

The group's sound is an amalgamation of classical music, glitch-laden electronica and dramatic pop tones. Shim and cellist Mary Knight, who recently replaced Tzen, craft a pensive backdrop of subtle string and woodwind melodies. Johnson, who also performs as the knob-twiddling unit Music for People, adds crackle and distortion to the music while Rodriguez puts a sharp point on songs like "Interpret a Poem," "Tortoise" and "Burden of Barnacles." His voice embodies a distressed quality that spans a vast range of shattered and theatrical emotions as he plows through soaring high notes and darker tones in one flowing motion.

On stage the group is a sharp-dressed lot, adorned in flowing, colorful dresses and GQ duds that are fashionably out of place amid the smoke-filled ambiance of a rock club.

Rodriguez laughs wholeheartedly when he recalls that prior to starting OHLTO, he was working on a development deal with Sony Records. But once he heard the marketing geniuses refer to him as "the ethnic Justin Timberlake," he jumped ship.

Even though the specter of mainstream appeal hulks over OHLTO, self-sufficiency serves the group well. The CD was recorded in Johnson's bedroom, aka Hot Stub Studios, where the sound booth was a bay window curtained off by a blanket. "We didn't have a microphone stand so we hung one from the ceiling, and there was just enough space for Tracy to play her cello, but she kept hitting the blanket with her bow," Shim explains. "Mikey was convinced that the cat had peed on the blanket, but we just kept recording."

Ingenuity like this bodes well for a group left to its own devices. And, when OHLTO arrived in New York without a place to stay, it looked like Rodriguez was going to need that big pillow. But publicist Brown also had ties with sales execs at who hooked the group up with a suite for five days.

As happy coincidences like these added up, OHLTO didn't return from touring with the same horror stories of sleeping in vans and playing to little-to-no crowds. "We played one of the best shows ever that night in New York," says Rodriguez. Celebrity gossip only goes so far, and any notoriety the group gained from rocking Liza Minnelli into hysterics is based o - Creative Loafing Atlanta - July 2007

"Ties the Other..."

I’ve never bought into the whole “support your local (insert entertainment or creative media here) just because they’re local” mindset,particularly when it comes to journalistic, critical coverage/review/feature. If proximity was to be the dominant, or a least a major, deciding factor in wielding that ever-lovely binaural label of “good/bad”, every crappy New York band with red Lip Service ties and black Lip Service jackets (ordered together, from the online store, to save on shipping costs-you can bulk order for your band, you know…now THAT’s good B2B salesmanship) would be gushed upon by photocopied upstate undergrad attempts at newspapers.

Oh, wait…

Anyway. I’m probably an ass for saying so (probably?), but how close a band/artist/DJ/producer resides to me really is relatively little concern of mine. There are some, like, say, Deerhunter, that the Fork-Gum folks would kill more babies than they already do to have performing at the local Chuck-E-Cheese, and I basically refuse to *ever*, ever, engage a Deerhunter live show again. And I think in the next week I’d have four opportunities, if I desired. I just can’t find the beauty of their recorded stuff in the audience-punishing live show, but I digress and repeat myself. Then there are some local bands, like The Swear, that I just don’t get to see enough of-consistently rockin’ live, and with a disappointingly small recorded output, the only way to get the full force of Elizabeth and her band is to step into the realm in which they truly excel-live performance.

I am hoping my new local obsession, One Hand Loves The Other, ends up in the sort of category that bridges the cradled-to-my-chest headphoneloving I have for Deerhunter with the rabid desire to catch every show they every play in this area.

Seriously. Having just popped up on my radar, and making it a little cloudier yet crisper, One Hand Loves The Other’s self-titled debut album (the name, I assume, comes from a line in Bjork’s “Unison”), released this year by Atlanta indie stalwart Stickfigure (home to one of my favorite, and coincidentally local, bands of all time-the cathartic screamo collective with the greatest band name ever, I Would Set Myself On Fire For You), is the sort of emotional, orchestral, classical composition-infused glitch pop that doesn’t seem of this world. Too crystalline, too textured, too fragile and open, pumping with real blood augmented with chasmic, silver-electronic veins.

From One Hand Loves The Other’s myspace bio

Lou, the lyricist and voice, emerged from a background inspired by blues and soul artists of the twentieth century female persuasion. Nancy, the flautist and fingers of the synthesizer, blossomed out from classical piano and flute instruction. Mikey, the electronics engineer and composer, came from the pits of electronic haze with a clear idea of the ability to merge the organic and synthetic. Lastly, Mary, the cellist extraordinaire, picked up the bow where her precursor left it. She can make like the dickens on the strings of the cello.

Gotta love a band bio that sounds like Dave Eggers wrote it. More to love, though, than the quick-witted press material (or even the ramped-up pr push that’s building fans like Liza with a Z…we at Res sure as hell can’t compete with that, though My Chem can), are the actual songs on One Hand Loves The Other. Having shattered the windows of contemporary post-WARP glitch aesthetic, and re-assembling it with fragments of smart pop stained with sunset hues of opera and neo-classical composition, One Hand Loves The Other isn’t the Stupidisco that’s oozing from everyone’s musical pores right now-this is smart, pretty stuff.

As Lou’s vocals climax and soar, the rhythm rides, and strings wrap around each other, it’s possible to get lost in the sheer musical bliss of “Don’t Know”. The lyrics, though, providing a vocabulary and vocal exercise like Anthony Kiedis’ smarter brother who aced the verbal part of the SATs, need their own attenion:

complications evaporation
subtle stasis is all encased in you
subliminal lift the weights off my chains
no more days where i dream in blue

Poetry. Gorgeousness. Like a lucid, drunken dream, achingly clear at the moment but a warm blur immediately post-awakening, this is the sound of One Hand Loves The Other.

They’re playing a handful of shows in the Atlanta area and surrounding locations in the near future, and all that info can be snagged at their myspace. You can pick up the record on iTunes, or at Stickfigure’s site.

I have not been this excited about an Atlanta band in a long, long time. For an electronic music scene that’s just now discovered the last decade of German and French electro, One Hand Loves The Other sounds fresh, real, clear as water and cool as a fall day. This may be an autumn album, but you’re going to hear more from them here at Res very soon. Believe me. - Resonator Magazine - July 2007

"One Hand Loves the Other - Performer Magazine Live Review"

One Hand Loves the Other also offered unique instrumentation. The ladies created gorgeous warm tones on cello, keyboard and flute, while behind them an electronics wizard lent back-up vocals while manning an arsenal of laptops and drum machines.

But the most astounding instrument of all was the phenomenal voice of their front man. Lou Rodriguez’s impossibly high falsetto soared with such intensity that every jaw in the room dropped agape. Clutching his vintage crooner mic closely, Rodriquez seemed to emulate the cover of Jeff Buckley’s Grace. A fitting reference, indeed, as Buckley’s voice could famously stretch over four octaves and it seems quite feasible that Rodriquez is capable of the same.

The seemingly incongruous pairing of modern electronics and classical instrumentation was further manifested in Rodriquez’ performance. Just as his voice explored operatic heights, his hands would chop through the air, gesticulating with hip-hop mannerisms along with the beat of the drum machine. The novelty of the performance stood out in front at first but once you caught up to what they were doing, the disparate sounds balanced each other elegantly. The set ended all too quickly — this was an eye-opening set to have to say “goodnight” to.

-Review by Michelle Gilzenrat - Performer Magazine - August 2007

"One Hand Loves the Other - Album Review"

While many emerging artists strive to find their own unique and groundbreaking hook, there are some who simply know what sounds good to the ear. And like Asian food in Manhattan, music today is all about the fusion. This doesn’t suggest that any bands out there are mimics or fakes, but rather that the ever-expanding hyphenates that populate the streams of MySpace and the shelves at Virgin have a strong sense as to what comes next. In what I can only describe as emo-infused-electronic-trip-pop, “One Hand Loves the Other” has arrived (however quietly) on the scene with a firm sense of the sounds that drive our culture. With the spirit of The Postal Service, the yearning of Everything But the Girl, the rat-tat-tat of Rufus Wainwright and the bitter bite of Radiohead, this band is absolutely one to watch. There’s also a classical infusion in there as well, just for good measure. Regardless of the many ingredients that compose their sound, the result is evocative and addictive. There is great movement to these arrangements, and the tracks make you feel as if you are on a quest for something miraculous. The band includes Lou Rodriguez (vocals), Nancy Shim (piano/flute), Tracy Tzen (Cello) and Mikey Johnson (Electronics). For the most part, they are all contributing writers on each song, and where they have solid beats and bridges, the lyrics are a mysteriously surrealist counterpart to the score. In “Burden of Barnacles,” the lyrics (when not overpowered by the music) can be heard as “Glorified as if you were to save me / Flitter lids / Comatose / Innards of babies / Suddenly I find out / Inner seas are in drought.” To which I sort of cock my head to the side like a confused dog, and decide not to strain myself in an attempt to comprehend it all. The music is enough to make me go back and listen to the whole thing all over again. -

"One Hand Loves The Other | The Annex | June 4, 2007"

I kind of stumbled upon this band last night by chance. I had been familiar with Music For People (aka Mikey Johnson) for quite sometime, and found out last minute that his other band was going to be playing. I knew very little about them, but it turns out this Atlanta foursome fuses all the weird electronic blips, bloops, and noises of Music For People along with a few classical instruments (a cello and a flute to be specific), a keyboard, and a vocal style that apparently appeals to Liza Minnelli.

I’m not shitting you, Liza Minnelli was there, complimenting and kissing the lead singer of the band after the show outside of the club. You just have to take my word for it; I didn’t want to feel like a paparazzo. - - June 2007

"One Hand Loves the Other - Kiss Atlanta Review"

Atlanta bands are on a roll these days, and one that I think will be joining the ranks of the nationally-touted soon is One Hand Loves the Other. If you’ve been reading KISS for a bit, you might remember me raving about Music for People (aka Mikey Johnson). Well, Mikey’s joined forces with three other musicians to finalize the lineup of One Hand, and their debut album is an incredibly beautiful thing. Released by the local label Stickfigure, I expect the blogs to eat this shit up.

Mikey does such an incredible job with the electronic elements here. Some of the stuff sits right on top and hits you in the face, but what really makes it work for me is the more subtle stuff he’s thrown in. Add to that the all-over-the-place, but always angelic vocals of Lou, and the keys and strings from Nancy and Tracy, respectively, and you have a glorious sounding record that fans of Bjork and Mum will downright poo themselves over.

Atlanta folks have the chance to see them tomorrow night (Thursday) at the Drunken Unicorn. Those of you in other locales might get to see them soon, too, though. They’re lining up a tour stretching up the east coast and venturing into the Midwest as well. Check their MySpace to keep updated and/or befriend them. Do it. - - May 2007

"Band to Watch : One Hand Loves the Other"

When I clicked my way to Atlanta band One Hand Loves The Other's myspace I was intrigued as the music began to play. The song that was playing, "Burden of Barnacles", is built on the blips and bloops of a laptop and over these are laid the strings of cello and synththesizer. These aren't all, there's an airy flute flittering in and out and more, although above all these inorganic sounds soars the stunning voice of Lou Rodriquez. I wasn't sure if one of the women in the band was now singing, or not, but after a little googling I learned that Rodriguez does all the vocals. In this song he begins in his more than interesting, let's call it 'regular' voice., But abruptly he swings, or sweeps, up into the stratosphere, giving the song a lovely edge whether you know it's a man, or woman. This is surely dramatic music, music that may find a wider audience with the popularity of very dramatic Mercury Prize winners Antony & The Johnsons. This Atlanta based four piece show much promise and their collective talent will outshine any who see the vocal as a 'gimmick'. This is no gimmick, this is a gift. - SixEyes Blog

"Taking Musical Sophistication to a New Height"

I admit, I have a soft spot for local music, and One Hand Loves the Other hails from my local music scene in Atlanta, where the group's name is a familiar sight on posters for local venues. The classically infused electro-pop band's first full-length album is marked by extraordinary vocals, creative electronic stylings and classical instruments like the cello. On first listen, I wasn't sure whether I should get up and dance or sit back and close my eyes. I settled on a combination of the two, letting the rhythmic percussion of "Burden of Barnacles" get me on my feet, then allowing the piano-driven "Petey Penance" to chill me out. The classical tones eased my usual aversion to electronica, creating a new way to hear the full-bodied music. Attributing perhaps to the diversity of the band members' backgrounds, this album took my unsophisticated musical taste to a new height of appreciation for collaboration among styles, sounds and people. - Feminist Review - September 2007


2007 - One Hand Loves the Other
2008 - One Hand Loves the Remix



So many different backgrounds mashed together and then squeezed into a slightly pulpy, somewhat synthetic, though unequivocally organic delight. Originally a hair-brained idea of vocalist, Lou Rodriguez, in the winter of 2003, ::One Hand Loves the Other:: took years to assemble. However, it was not until the fall of 2006 when old members left to pursue other endeavors that Lou and Nancy were left with no other choice but to wait patiently. Naturally yet quickly, Mikey and Mary came into the hands of OHLtO, and the passionate four-piece group began to develop a new sound for their debut album. This final formation blends electro-indie beats with classical arrangements, provided by a multitude of orchestral instruments, and soulful, original vocals.

Lou, the lyricist and voice, emerged from a background inspired by blues and soul artists of the twentieth century female persuasion. Nancy, the instrumental composer and fingers of the keyboard-synths and flute, blossomed out from classical piano and flute instruction. Mikey, the electronics engineer and composer, came from the pits of electronic haze with a clear idea of the ability to merge the organic and synthetic. Lastly, Mary, the cellist extraordinaire, picked up the bow of the cello. She can make like the dickens on the strings. You've gotta love a red headed cellist.

All from different places, all on different paths, but all with the same yearning to create music. It's an amalgamation of sorts I'd say. Some may say a quixotic one, though ::OHLtO:: would probably take that as a compliment.