Overman
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Overman

Plainfield, Illinois, United States | SELF

Plainfield, Illinois, United States | SELF
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"Daily Discovery - Overman"

ARTIST: Aaron Kelly (1/4 of the band Overman)

SONG: “Come Home Soon”

BIRTHDATE: When I turned 25.

BIRTHPLACE: Cross-Fire Hurricane near Chicago.

AMBITIONS: To be part of a collective effort to re-build the bridge between Good Music and Popular Music.

TURN-OFFS: OMG, LMAO, ILY, JK. //////\\\\\\, K, L8R

TURN-ONS: Sonia Bear, Barleywine, and Vinyl… on the same night

DREAM GIG: Tonight at Red Rocks: Overman with special guests John Prine and Guy Clark… and free shuffleboard at the afterparty!

MOVIE I’VE SEEN MORE THAN ONCE: Arrested Development: The Movie

PETS: Hash the Cat, Russell the Guitarist, and I’d like to rescue a dog soon.

I NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT: Used to be a 4×6 notepad and a G2 pen, but now I use “Notes” on my iPhone. Digital words don’t seem nearly as important or relevant as pen to paper. I used to dream of a G2/Pilot endorsement deal.

5 THINGS EVERY MAN SHOULD OWN: A good atlas, a pocket knife, Beggars Banquet (Exile is a fine substitute), a favorite pair of jeans, a taste for Malort… and a real good grasp of how to make his partner feel like a million bucks.

MY GO-TO FEEL GOOD RECIPE: Throw some veggies in with them Ramen Noodles and pass the pepper.

I WROTE THIS SONG: after hearing that a friend was coming back from serving in Iraq. I immediately started singing, “Woe is a battlezone, Zach Skeen’s coming home, I hope he stays.” The first half of the song is from the friend’s perspective, second half is from soldier’s perspective. Zach is home, safe and sound, and just got married to the love of his life. And he thought Iraq was hard.

Stream “Come Home Soon” and more music from Aaron Kelly at American Songspace. - American Songwriter


"Review of Overman's"

A truck carrying a four-piece band has just crashed through the front of your home, and they're whipping up a euphoric block party in the rubble of your living room. Welcome to the world of Overman, and their debut Evolution EP.

The extremely sing-able rock vibe of this Chicago-area outfit is even more fun when set against the lyrical melodrama unfolding in the songs. In "Princess," Overman is in love with the most beautiful girl they've ever met. So what if she overdosed on heroin and crashed her car into their house.

"Sweet Escape" is roll-down-the-windows-and-blare-the-stereo rock for which acts like the Allman Brothers and Freddy Jones Band became known. "Move On" faces a failed relationship with a dark, laid-back style reminiscent of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Check out Overman's web site – it's packed full of worthwhile extras including a funny and insightful comic strip series starring the band. - http://www.listencloselynow.com/


"Evolution Rocks!"

"Hey, that's absolutely the coolest thing any rocker has done for science. Thanks for elevating our hero to the status of rock song icon!"

-Michael Shermer
Publisher, Skeptic - Skeptic


"Just Like Hagfish, Evolution Rocks Your Lame Ass"

I believe this is a first for us here at Bona Fide Darling: hosting a song endorsed by The National Science Teachers Association. I honestly never knew they were in the business of endorsing anything--who knew? Apparently the song is also used in classrooms to teach the little children all the wonders of evolution.

I received this song in my inbox last week from a Chicago band called Overman. I gave it a spin and I dug the School House Rocks! vibe of the song. Their Evolution EP is out and is actually pretty good, in the vein of Barenaked Ladies--funny, fun and full of whimsy. - Bona Fide Darling


"Overman: The Evolution EP"

Overman is a local Chicagoish band who really deserves some airplay and some attention. I say Chicagoish since they live in Joliet, about 45 miles Southwest of my great city. They do play here, I just missed a series of gigs they had at the Elbo Room, dang it! And Matt, their spokesman, tells me:

We have one Chicago show coming up though, we are helping St. John’s Episcopal Church at 3857 N. Kostner Ave. celebrate ‘Darwin Day’, and have a small set including our hit ‘Evolution Rocks’ prepared. It is open to the public, but will be far from our standard rock show.

Now why would a band be playing Darwin Day? And when is it? Well, Overman has a song they’re really proud of, a song called “Evolution Rocks.” You can find it on the Hype Machine. It’s got this cool endorsement from the National Science Teachers Association and everything. And Darwin Day, (yeah I googled) is on or around Feburary 12. And don’t get me wrong, I dig “Evolution Rocks,” but… they have a whole EP out and there’s another song I quite like. Overall, Overman has a sort of Neil Young, Allman Brothers, with an indie rock flair to it, jam-band feel. You really want to be sitting on your front porch with a beer (or beverage of choice), on a hot summer night, listening to this band just play for hours on an extended set that consists of five maybe six songs that take three hours to play. Somehow, even though these songs are entirely new, they made me feel quite nostalgic for my youth - for the South, for the 70s, but don’t let that dissuade you! There’s plenty of modern indie pop in these guys too. That’s my take on Overman, what’s yours? xoxox - I Correct Myself, I Mean All The Time


"Featured Artist: Overman"

When I first heard the Chicago area indie rock/pop band Overman, I thought about Phish and how they might have started out. Overman seem to have that eternal youthful exuberance and enthusiasm (and plain old fun), keeping a sense of humor while touching on more serious and sometimes dark issues.

Like Phish, they seem to have an openness and an unmediated atmosphere about them, as though they weren't taking themselves too seriously. But checking their gig schedule (past, present and future) and browsing through their personal blogs made me feel they may be more serious about it than one would initially believe.

Interesting that their first 'hit', "Evolution Rocks", would be embraced by the pro-science community in the Evolution vs. "Creationism" debate. Perhaps the scientific community (including certain science teachers I've come to know over the years) is cooler than I thought. Overman Rocks.

Check out Overman on their multi content/media rich site, including lots of videos, gig dates (don't forget Darwin Day on February 12th), band comics (known as Overcomics), personal blogs and much more. Also check their MySpace for more details. - Laughing Evergreens


"The Evolution EP"

I'm getting into these songs from Overman, but it's taking me a few listens to really feel it. To me, hearing Overman brings me back to bands from the late 90's on MTV's 120 Minutes program that had a lot of talent but not much in the way of promotion. These guys seem to be really GRASSROOTS in the way of promoting themselves. By the way, I hate it when people say GRASSROOTS. I should have never wrote that. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. It won't happen again.

This EP is only 4 songs long, but it's got good beats and ballads throughout. Right now, some songs that are sticking out are PRINCESS and SWEET ESCAPE. They really keep me entertained. To describe their style, I'd have to go with a pop, rock, alternative rock style. It's upbeat and happy. If you're not a happy person, stay away from Overman. They currently play in Chicago (a lot, apparently. That's where they come from).

Overman is the type of band that you would sing along to when seeing live. They're lyrics are easy to understand and very catchy (especially after you've heard them a few times). So, check out their EP, then check them out live. Tell 'em that the BIGGEST LETDOWN sent you, too! - The Biggest Letdown


"Overman Review"

Overman is a Chicago-based indie rock band who directed me to handy little site with all of their music, promotional material and photos in one easy to access place. Nice! The first song, Evolution Rocks had me flashing back to ABC's "Schoolhouse Rock!" - a series of educational musical vignettes from the 1970s that has now entered cult status. I didn't read the handy promotional material to see if this was intended, but I suspect it was. Fun stuff. Now I want to see the scratchy film cartoon video that accompanies it.


Princess is rootsy and upbeat, like the best of old school country. Very nice lead break and an unexpected cacophony of noise in the middle twist the song up, where it turns down a more serious path. Great guitar lead plays over the repetitive chorus leading out.


Sweet Escape starts out sounding like an old AM radio hit and then slowly builds into a lively upbeat track that gets under your skin quickly. I want to compare the tracks to the country-influenced songs that the Rolling Stones did like Wild Horses, All Down the Line or Dead Flowers but that doesn't quite nail it. A very well done and insanely catchy song.


The final track, Move On, was my favorite. The swampy vibe of the track, with its droning harp and bluesy rock groove brought to mind some Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, merged with some JJ Grey, with some Neil Young thrown in to give it an older vibe. Outstanding guitar work drive the track to a Freebird-like jam midsong, and then it slips back into its slow groove as it ends. - ExMogul Music


"Music, not ‘rock’-it science"

PUBLISHED: 09-22-08

Music, not ‘rock’-it science
Band makes learning science fun with song about evolution
by Meryl Fulinara

Chicago-based Overman is trying to innovate the university science scene with their music, while also achieving musical success as science advocates with a scientific method of sorts.

“Evolution Rocks,” a song written by Overman’s bassist, Aaron Kelly, for a biology class at Columbia, is the basis for how Overman plans to climb the evolutionary music ladder.

“Here I am the night before the presentation and I’m putting together this lame PowerPoint presentation that was obviously put together in no more than 30 minutes,” Kelly said, who graduated in 2006 as an arts, entertainment and music management major. “I thought I was going to be exposed and was going to get a ‘C’ [or] maybe even worse than that, so I figured I would go for it all or fail trying. So I wrote a song about evolution.”

Overman is currently in the process of trying to create a 45-minute presentation for colleges and universities around the country that revolves around “Evolution Rocks,” including new informative songs that point out the importance of science.

A simple science project thrown together for class has now made a career for this Columbia student.

Kelly, Matthew Radowski and Russell Eggenberger, friends since middle school, are the core members. The band got serious about their music around 2004 when they started playing shows in the Chicago area.

Radowski was attending Illinois State University in Normal, Ill., Kelly was starting his first year at Columbia and Russell was working at Bob Evans in Plainfield, Ill.

Through natural selection, Overman came to exist as it does today-Kelly, vocals and bass; Radowski, vocals and rhythm guitar; Eggenberger, vocals and lead guitar; and Michael Keller, drums.
After Kelly graduated from Columbia, Overman started to treat the band like a business, putting strategy to their vision.

“We were able to run into some resources that have enabled us to acquire everything we need [in order to] only be limited by our creativity and motivation,” Kelly said. “This is a spot where every band wants to be.”

The band has since redesigned their website and e-mailed professors at various colleges and universities around the world, soliciting the band as a teaching aide, offering to go in and present their songs and create discussion about the advocacy of science education.

Dr. Heather Minges Wols, a Columbia Microbiology and Genetics professor, said the effectiveness of this program will be decided upon if there is a cognizant curriculum that surrounds the presentation.

“If all there is is a prepared lecture and can’t answer-beyond what they’ve prepared-the questions students may have, it won’t be effective,” Minges Wols said.

In 2006, Overman had a test-run by sending out e-mails to 2,000 professors, which resulted in 5,000 downloads from just one release at ISound.com, a music networking site. The band decided to try it again, this time on a larger scale.

When Kelly was in his first year at Columbia, he was in a general biology class where the final project was a 10-minute presentation on something biology-related.

Kelly said he came up with the song “Evolution Rocks” because he was just starting to get into the critical thought behind science, and evolution was something he was studying at the time. He thought that since it was a biology class, it fit.

“I stayed up all night writing ‘Evolution Rocks.’ I brought my guitar, printed out lyrics and added some end notes for the class,” Kelly said.

“[The teacher] loved it, and I ended up getting a 97 percent on the final project.”

And although his then-teacher, Elaine Ross, loved it, a few professors were concerned with one of the lines in “Evolution Rocks”: “The human race, the highest product of evolution, is now the cutting edge of progress towards higher things,” which the band changed, Kelly said, in order to make the song right before they could move on to larger projects.

“The new view on evolution is that there is absolutely no highest product; it’s an ever-growing tree of life,” Kelly said. “It’s not growing toward anything in particular, one species is not higher than the next.”

Music as a teaching tool is not new. Leigh Van Valen, a zoology professor at the University of Chicago, plays songs about animal life that he composes for his students.

“The key to an effective scientific song is to present facts that are not previously known to the student,” Van Valen said.

With the evolution campaign, Overman hopes his band will be advocates of science but doesn’t want it to limit the band to do other things or be pigeonholed in that genre of music.

Next year the band hopes to start playing classroom auditoriums across the country during the day and clubs at night, Kelly said.
Overman will play Goose Island, 3535 N. Clark St., on Sept. 27. To hear Overman - The Columbia Chronicle


Discography

The Evolution EP (2009)
The Future Is Gonna Be Great (2011)
TBD Full-Length (Fall 2013)

Photos

Bio

***We play good, original music, and care a whole heck of a lot about the craft of songwriting. We scrutinize every syllable of every word***

Growing from the fertile musical grounds of nearby Chicago, Overman is the result of four distinct voices and their broad influences, congealing to create a unique and multifaceted, yet popular and accessible, musical identity.

Overman has been featured on WGN TV’s Nationally Televised Midday News, in Skeptic Magazine, by NPR, on AMC’s Emmy winning television show ‘Breaking Bad’. Their song ‘Evolution Rocks’ is officially endorsed by the National Science Teachers Association, and has been used as a teaching supplement in countless countless classrooms all over the nation.

Overman's sound speaks, variously, of the pop sensibilities of the Beatles, of the storytelling of American folk, of alternative rock and of Delta blues. A melodic cocktail that has led fans, contemporaries, and professionals to make comparisons to everyone from The Rolling Stones to Frank Zappa to Wilco.

Believing that good bands function as families, Overman’s constituent members - Aaron Kelly (vocals, bass, guitar), Matthew Radowski (vocals, rhythm guitar, bass), Russell Eggenberger (vocals, lead guitar) and Robert Cool (drums) - share an address in Plainfield, Illinois, an 1865 farmhouse that serves as an ideal cauldron for the simmering brew of the band’s creative process and experimentation. Their common dwelling enables both an intimate connection between bandmates and around-the-clock collaboration, operating as ground zero as the band has grown, since its formation in 2003, from a local barroom favorite throughout the upper Midwest.

Overman’s first release, The Evolution EP, features the single “Evolution Rocks,” a much-blogged-over ode to Darwin that’s become an anthem for science teachers nationwide and overseas and has received the endorsement of The National Science Teachers Association.

Overman's latest release, the critically super-acclaimed "The Future is Gonna Be Great" is now available on iTunes, and has been opening locked doors.

Overman performed at over 20 different festivals including the Bud Light Stage at the Taste of Chicago in 2102 and is currently recording their next album to be released and promoted throughout 2013. Book us now!

Band Members