Super Adventure Club
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Super Adventure Club

San Francisco, California, United States

San Francisco, California, United States
Band Rock Alternative

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"The Deli Magazine - Super Adventure Club at Hotel Utah Jan. 6"

I told the duo after the show, "What stands out for me about you guys, and what I hear right away - you guys are pros. You're polished; you really have command of the stage and your craft. It's not often that you find two guys doing all this live and with such great time," speaking of their rhythmic tightness. Jake, who either didn't hear me correctly or was just being true to his humorous form - I couldn't tell which, responded, "Well, why do it if you're not going to have a good time?" I laughed and said, "Yes, that too." There is certainly "good time" happening in more ways than one when Super Adventure Club goes into action.

Super Adventure Club (for those who have not yet become charter members by witnessing the club's action in person) is, in bassist Michael Winger's words, a "multi-tasking, multi-lingual power duo." In addition to playing bass, Winger also serves up the lead vocals and mans a keyboard. Jake Wood, the other half of the duo, simultaneously plays drums and lead keyboards while holding his own on background vocals. On top of the musical multi-tasking, they currently have songs in five languages: English, Russian, Spanish, French and Italian. My head is spinning just writing about it. And after talking with the adventurers, it seems that's a large part of the appeal for them - making their own heads spin. If it doesn't involve conquering multiple levels of coordination, well, they're just not interested.

Winger and Wood both work independently on various projects. Winger is a producer with a special focus on rootsy singer-songwriters, and Jake is a drummer supporting singer-songwriters and others in need of a drummer who can knock out a show after a brief rehearsal. They take the music of the artists they work with very seriously. Consequently Super Adventure Club is their cathartic release and the point is more or less NOT to take their own music very seriously. Or so they say. They do have a lot of fun with their adventures, I'll give them that.

On the other hand Super Adventure Club has got to be the most serious approach to un-seriousness I have ever encountered. They started their adventures mid-2007 and started playing shows after only a couple months of battling the challenges of musical multi-tasking. I was told their rehearsals average 3-7 hours and that early on they even did one 10-hour stint. Imagine the silliness that must have ensued. At this point they rehearse several times a week for a minimum of 3 hours each time. That's some serious commitment to adventure! And this says nothing of the solo rehearsal time these boys put in training their brains to do 3 things at once. Winger noted that they also "run the show before the show - on the day of the show." So they'd had a rehearsal earlier that day to run through the whole set before packing up their gear and carting it over to the Utah. Yeah, that's some pretty serious un-seriousness if you ask me.

Having said all that, there are few who can disguise such seriousness in a semblance of complete and utter un-seriousness. And now it's time for one of those "you really had to be there moments," and trust me, it's really too bad you weren't. For the ultimate climax, Super Adventure Club closed with their adventurous version of Justin Timberlake's "Sexy Back." The interplay between their characters on stage was truly entertaining. Jake stole the show for me with his caricature background vocals, and Winger was dancing and prancing as much as his musical multi-tasking would allow. According to the comments I overheard from those around me, the only downside was that the Utah doesn't afford much room to dance. Well, for those of you who might be interested in bringing a little sexy back of your own, I see Super Adventure Club is reconvening at the Elbo Room on Feb. 13 where there's a little more room to shake things up.

Alas, this article would not be complete if I did not also mention the laptops that accompany Super Adventure Club. Between songs the laptops come to life with various movie dialog sound bytes that contribute to the adventurous action. I asked Jake if the keyboards were referencing the laptops for sound banks. At first there was some confusion about what I meant, especially given that we were limited by my knowledge of only the English language as opposed to the multi-lingual approach he and Winger are accustomed to. We got it sorted it out and yes, the laptops do provide the library of synth sounds for the keyboards to use. However, I thought it would be a brilliant if the laptops didn't really do anything but just sit there for looks - a little adventure product placement, maybe gain some sponsorship from Mac. You could always reach over and ceremoniously hit a few buttons at particularly climactic moments. With these grand ideas I think I may have surpassed even Super Adventure Club's threshold for silliness.

I asked Super Adventure Club where they would like to go with this adventure. Without an ounce of hesitation Jake responded, "Domination of the World Wrestling Federation." I laughed and told him to send me the list of facetious goals and I'd put them in the article. He said, "No, I was quite serious about the wrestling." When I quizzed him more about it today he said, "Wrestling? Who said anything about wrestling? We are a very serious band and it has never been about the easy money, the hard sex, or even the free drugs. And wrestling??? Our goals are for Ultimate Fighting Championship Mixed Martial Arts battles!"

Well, I would say there will always be some kind of adventure to be had as long as these two boys have a club. If I had not had the opportunity to talk to them after the show I never would have imagined their long hours of rehearsal nor their intense brain-training battles with multi-tasking mastery. It was an inspiration to me to seek out an adventure and challenge myself.

Rachel Allgood is a San Francisco-based producer-engineer. She's worked with artists such as New Order, Vanessa Carlton and many members of the local scene. - Rachel Allgood


"EQ Magazine - One Handed Synth Trics"

Super Adventure Club is one of many hipster outfits across the planet informing its style with '60s film soundtracks and Esquivel-inspired lounge melodies, and spicing up the musical mélange with dashes of whimsical humor. SAC is very good at what it does, but that's not really the story. The shocker is that drummer Jake Wood and bassist Michael Winger sought to expand their sound with keyboards, albeit without actually adding a keyboardist to the group. This necessitated performing their main instruments and their keyboard parts simultaneously, which is a pretty thrilling visual statement live, but the duo also decided to bravely (or insanely) record its tracks the same way. (Check out "Former Ladies of the Cold War," "Mexican Gun Fight" at myspace.com/superadventureclubmusic) No loops. No sequences. No overdubs. - Michael Molenda


"RARWriter.com - Nuts for Adventure... Make that Super Adventure Club"

Michael Winger, left, identifies himself as "Bass, Keyboard, Vocals, B Movie Actor" (read more about him at www.michaelwinger.com), while Jake Wood, right, identifies himself as "Drums, Keyboard, Vocals, Failed Comedian" (read more at www.jakewood.net). Together they are the Super Adventure Club and, for RAR's money (as if) one of the most entertaining duos anywhere on the planet. If you stop reading now and click here, you will go to the duo's MySpace site where you can listen to some of the silliest stuff you are likely to hear this month. Not sure why I picked "this month," other than that these dudes may top themselves next. I absolutely love what they do, as exemplified by their goofy tribute "Former Ladies of the Cold War" (i.e., "Ukranian girls, Estonian girls, Lithuanian girls, Latvian girls...I like to see them on the Internets...to see which one I maybe gets..."). It is the rare act that makes fun of its audience at all, and even rarer to find one that does it with such respect. They are smart and they assume you are too. - Rick Alan Rice


"Jake Wood in Drum Magazine"

Some of you New Blooders need to stop working so hard, because you're really starting to embarass me. Let's take the appropriately surnamed Jake Wood for example. As just a wee whacker, he woodshedded Elvin licks and Bonham kicks before studying for three years under jazz great George Marsh. Now an over-achieving 24-year-old, Wood has seven recording credits on his resume (including two albums this year) currently gigs with at least four different bands in the Bay Area, teaches over 30 private students and even finds enough time to compose for his very own aggressive jazz group. Those are impressive enough credentials, but what really takes Wood over the top - besides as he writes, "dashing good looks" and a penchant for "farming arugala lettuce" - is that the dude can play funky. Downright dirty, stanky funky. And he sent along as proof a ten track freaked-out drumfest - all cracking and snapping and popping with excellent ghost notes, slooping hi-hat patterns and a bouncing bass foot, as well as clever little touches like fills on rims and integrated brush beats. Oh and he owns a drum set covered in leopard print fur. Grrr, baby. - Drum Magazine


"Kronos Quartet "Bloodstone" (Michael Winger co-arranger)"

Last night in San Francisco at the Herbst Theater, Kronos Quartet performed two sets of pieces arranged or composed for them, including several with electronic, prerecorded backing tracks. The concert, the second of two nights, was part of the San Francisco Jazz Festival’s 25th anniversary.

The evening opened with “Bloodstone” by the great drum’n'bass/breakbeat figure Amon Tobin, whose imagination seems to expand with each passing year. The original version appears on his 2007 album, The Foley Room; Tobin built “Bloodstone” from field recordings made in Kronos’s nearby Sunset District studio. Kronos leader David Harrington explained that for the live performance, arrangers (Stephen Prutsman and Michael Winger) had transcribed the string playing as heard on Foley’s “Bloodstone”; that was then set against electronic elements also heard on the album — bits of percussive grace notes and focused noise. The string playing had a “falling apart and then falling together” structure that didn’t necessarily distinguish it as a formal composition, but complemented the nature of the background cacophony. - Disquiet


"Michael Winger Solo Performance"

Former Dayroom frontman Michael Winger forges new territory

By Sarah Lee
Staff Writer

In the midst of writing and recording his first solo CD, ''The Modern World,'' Michael Winger made a trip to California in order to -- in so many words -- practice what he preaches.

''A lot of my lyrics deal with a pent-up feeling of needing to get out of where you are,'' says the 28-year-old frontman for the now disbanded Dayroom. ''I had been writing so much about California. I've always had a strong calling to go there, so I decided to just go.''

His spontaneous decision comes through lyrically on ''The Modern World,'' which is a sometimes-homage to the places he visited and the sights he saw while traveling the West. In songs like ''California'' and ''Bus to San Francisco,'' the references are clear. But others, like the lamenting yet uplifting title track, paint cities such as Los Angeles as bastions of the 20th century.

Winger, who has seen his fair share of this modern world while relearning the art of solo performance by playing in the New York subway, has what he calls ''an affinity for artists who have a lonely attachment to the natural world.''

While some would suspect such artists to dwell in the musical vein, Winger's heroes, whom he quotes frequently on the CD, are poets such as T.S. Eliot, e.e. cummings and Robert Frost.

Meshing his own 28-year-old view of the world with the opinions of revered writers, Winger has produced an album that, while musically still resembles his years with Dayroom, is lyrically a first -- made even more impressive by the fact that Winger plays every instrument, sings every line and recorded the whole thing in his bedroom on a $200 budget. ''The Modern World,'' is a personal work from a sensitive soul.

''I have lived a less than ordinary life,'' says Winger. ''After Dayroom split up, I did not want to become sedentary and have to find some weird, normal job.''

So he practiced in the subway, holed himself up in his house, played with samples and recorded what is ultimately a fine break-out solo album. Winger's acoustic guitar shines through, almost as though he hadn't spent the past nine years playing hard, bar rock with Dayroom.

The later work of Eric Clapton comes to mind when Winger sings of his own personal experiences, doing everything from sitting in L.A. traffic to lying in bed with his lover on a rainy day.

With a falsetto that hits uncompromising notes and an ability to both pick and strum a guitar with precision, Winger puts forth the gusto of a man still dusting the band scene off his boots.

''I was a little cynical when the band broke up,'' he says. ''But ever since I was 12, I knew that this is what I wanted to do. I don't care if I sell five records.''

He doesn't have to worry. Jumping smoothly from ballad rock to interesting stream-of-consciousness country, ''The Modern World'' leaves the impression that this is merely the first effort at something a bit different for a man who has paid his independent label dues.

''I just got back from a trip to India where I recorded snake charmers and chanters,'' says Winger. ''I plan on doing something with those sounds.''

For now, ''The Modern World'' is available via the internet at www.MichaelWinger.com, and has been released by Global Records for sale at select retail outlets in Athens and Atlanta. No doubt his next album will break the mold a little bit more.

''I want to focus on what I'm doing now, and what's to come,'' Winger says. ''Not on what I've done in the past.''

http://www.onlineathens.com/cgi-bin/rockathens/stories.cgi?/stories/100500/roc_1005000019.shtml - Online Athens


"Dayroom's Final Show (Michael Winger's former band)"

By Charlie Carabello
Correspondent

Dayroom

With its Saturday performance as part of the Mental Health Benefit, local band Dayroom will be closing the books on an incredible eight-year run.

It was a career that took lead vocalist and guitarist Michael Winger, bassist Ryan Kelly, keyboards player Jimmy Riddle and drummer Brad Zimmerman from jamming in a basement to touring through France and Spain.

Now, with a resume that includes several independently released albums, critical acclaim around the country and maneuvering to sign with a major label, Dayroom is calling it quits.

Troy Aubrey, the band's one and only manager and founder of Nomad Artists, says, "You get to a point where you want to try new things. ... It just wasn't as fulfilling as it had been after eight years."

Aubrey adds that once one member decided it was time to go his separate way, they all knew it would be an injustice to the fans and to Dayroom itself to try to continue with a different lineup of musicians.

"When we started to talk about (breaking up), we were all shocked at first, then we felt a sense of freedom," says Aubrey.

Drummer Brad Zimmerman adds some insight to this life-changing choice.

"While the decision was a difficult one, it was very necessary," says Zimmerman. "This band is like a family and this was a collective decision the band made as a family."

Still, Dayroom was riding a wave of recent success. The band enjoyed a huge local fan base as well as being popular wherever it went. The band recently had picked up honors from Flagpole magazine and the Atlanta Local Music Awards for top pop band.

Why would any band quit with so much potentially ahead of it? The best answer to the burning question can be found in an open letter written on behalf of the band by keyboardist Jimmy Riddle and posted on its Web site. In it he writes, "... we realized how much we had grown, both as a band and individually. Inevitably we began to get involved in other interests that didn't have anything to do with Dayroom and Dayroom couldn't fulfill all of our desires anymore. We decided to lay it to rest in the height of our success so that it will never be tainted."

As part of the 10th annual Mental Health Benefit, a portion of the proceeds of Dayroom's final performance will go to the cause. Aubrey and Zimmerman agree that it's great to be able to give back to the Athens community because it gave the band so much. And for Dayroom faithful who can't make it to the final hurrah, Troy says they plan to videotape the show and make it available to the public on the Web site. The video will include some interviews with friends, family and fans taped just before the final show. The site will continue for the next year so fans can get their fix for Dayroom merchandise.

As far as life after Dayroom is concerned, Aubrey says he is ready to move on to other projects and will oversee booking the acts to perform at this year's AthFest. Zimmerman says he wants to stay in the music business and that he still has a passion for music.

"We did not intend for it to go this far," he says. "I came here to go to UGA to go to school, not to be in a rock band - five years later we were still doing it! I want to take on as many opportunities as possible, try as many different things as I can. ... I'm not leaving bitter or jaded. It was more like an education and this is graduation."

Story from February 3, 2000

http://www.onlineathens.com/cgi-bin/rockathens/stories.cgi?/rockathens/stories/dayroom_20000203.shtml - Rock Athens


"Paste Magazine Review of AJ Roach (Michael Winger co-producer)"

" Revelation is a simultaneously grim and lovely album, full of sharp, vivid writing and soulful singing. It’s the southern gothic gospel of the halfway house and the homeless shelter, and it’s one of the best albums of the year." - Paste Magazine


Discography

Never Underestimate The Super Adventure Club EP- June 2008

Üntz - January 2009

Photos

Bio

There's experimental punk-electro power duos and then there's Super Adventure Club - the San Francisco two-man band that's been described as "hipster, Esquivel-inspired lounge", "a drum-and-bass Devo", and "a quirky Talking Heads", only these heads sing in five languages while each plays multiple instruments at once. Just one year old, the daring duo's one-of-a-kind songs, no-budget videos, and wild shows have already won them a rabid and loyal following.

Michael Winger (vocals, bass, keyboard, laptop) and Jake Wood (drums, keyboards, vocals, laptop) formed Super Adventure Club in 2007 when they found themselves working on various albums together - Wood as a session drummer, Winger as a producer and engineer.

Says Winger, "Jake had been practicing playing keyboards and drums simultaneously for a little while and I figured it would be more challenging if we both did it - and add a couple of laptops". Wood notes, “the laptops yield an ever-expanding array of sounds, and they are damn sexy!”

They began rehearsing 6 to 8 hours a day, developing a repertoire of songs that range from disturbing to hilarious but always intelligently chic. Making their live debut in a small Irish bar in San Francisco, they were soon playing legendary SF Venues like the Hotel Utah and Cafe Du Nord, as well as the Apple Store, the original Mac Mecca in SF's Union Square. They released two acclaimed, self-made videos, "Mexican Gun Fight" and "Former Ladies of the Cold War", catching the attention of EQ Magazine, which featured the band in a full page interview, describing them as a "hipster outfit that informs its style with 60's film sound tracks." Indie music blog The Deli describes their live show as “truly entertaining”, noting “these guys are pros. They’re polished; they really have command of the stage and their craft.” And Kronos Quartet’s Jeff Ziegler commented, “These guys are amazing. There’s no one else that can do what they do”

Super Adventure Club's debut album is set to release in November 2008 with a US and European tour to follow.

Michael Winger (vocals, bass, keyboards), former front-man with Athens, Georgia band Dayroom, has engineered and/or produced recordings for the Shins, AJ Roach, Regina Spektor, Feist and others.

Jake Wood (drums, keyboards, vocals) has performed with countless acts including Nya Jade and The Bruises, appearing as a drummer on over 200 recordings and touring the US and Europe. He is also a writer for DRUM! Magazine, EQ, and the East Bay Express.