The Chairs
Gig Seeker Pro

The Chairs

Band Rock Alternative

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


So last Thursday was just a regular Thursday in Nathaniel world: post some covers, go to class, watch The Office, have a few drinks.. same ole, same ole. The only slight difference in last week's edition of Thursday and Covers was the fact that I played host to some less notable bands in preparation for a feature on them this week. After a lot of reader interest (comments, emails, etc.), I'm going the route of giving the people what they want and focusing (first) on a Wisconsin band called The Chairs.

Well, my friends (ew, John McCain), you and I have some impeccable timing to write about this young and upcoming act from the land of cheese. For, today, The Chairs are releasing their debut November EP to the worldwide web for absolutely nothing. In this regard, says the band, they are like Radiohead but that's not the only comparison one could make for this band. Indeed, they've got a fantastic blend of mellow bass lines, off-kilter synthesizer, emotive vocals, and dueling sets of lyrics and guitar riffs that sounds as if they are engaged in a heated game of back-and-forth ping pong. You already know they did a fantastic cover of Neutral Milk Hotel so you might assume "Polly" is a timeless Nirvana cover; tell 'em what they lost, Johnny! "Polly" is an original track that showcases some of The Chairs' potential to develop into a music mainstay.

[MP3] The Chairs - Polly


The track starts out as something eerily drifting about, wrapped up in slick synthesizer before giving way to a catchy melody and opening lines, "The astronauts are turning pale / They see their ship is set to sail / Look down the right side of the sun / You'll see our lives and stars are done". The haunting and lonely sounds of the synthesizer play perfectly into the space-toned lyrics, all narrated by the vocals of Alex Schaaf who sounds like a mix between the northern tone of The Weakerthans' John K. Samson and the emotion of Thom Yorke. I am eager and excited about The Chairs; much like the joys of gardening, the most exciting part is watching the plant sprout and quickly stretch to the sun and soon thereafter blossom into something you never thought a single seed could produce. The Chairs have germinated and their egg carton has been in the windowsill for awhile, watching them stretch and blossom is gonna be something else.
- I Guess I'm Floating


I am always amazed at how far-reaching and influential Neutral Milk Hotel's 1998 album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea has been to so many artists.

On their debut recording, Wisconsin band The Chairs, with Alex Schaaf doing the vocal honors and searing guitar licks, pay homage to that source of inspiration. This cover is featured on a five-song EP that the band is self-releasing tomorrow on their website.

But the Chairs aren't just a cover band; their original songs are well-written and arranged with just the right balance of assertiveness and restraint. "I Gotta Go" has great dynamics, laying low at first and then coming out with a blast of sound. "Polly" is my personal favorite. Listen to them all on the little player on their website. Their November EP is a fine debut. - Speed of Dark


Our friends from up north, Appleton's The Chairs, release their November EP today. You can listen to the whole EP on their Web site, and I suggest you do. Here's why we like them:

1. They're emotive without being whiny.
2. The songs employ ambient shoegaze elements while having strong composition.
3. Guitarist Phil Kronenberg plays hot rock guitar solos and noisy textures, but doesn't wank or noodle.
4. Alex Schaaf's voice is a sweet meld of Thom Yorke and Gordon Gano.
5. The rhythm section is strong, simplistic but unique - no generic beats/basslines here. The grooves are rhythmically quirky and supportive of the melody. Well done.

Not to mention they have the balls to cover Neutral Milk Hotel.

MP3: "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea," The Chairs (Neutral Milk Hotel cover)

Now if they'd just book a Milwaukee show. I will say, however, seeing bands at Cranky Pat's in Neenah is definitely worth the drive. Thin-crust pizza buffet + rock show = euphoria - Fan-Belt Milwaukee



The Chairs deserved a post a lot earlier than this. I have been enjoying their November EP for a few weeks now, but somehow I managed to push this post back. The Chairs are a band from Wisconsin that are slowly gaining lots of blog buzz thanks to their very strong EP. One of the EP highlights right from the get go for me was their cover of the masterful Neutral Milk Hotel's 'In The Aeroplane Over The Sea'.

'Dark Clothes' is a solid way to start the EP setting the mood just right. The NMH cover is absolutely on the money. Lead singer Alex Schaaf displays impressive vocal's, along with his bands fine instrumtation that give a call to one of the best modern rock songs of all time. Dark deep bass gets 'Fire And Ice' started along with simple yet effective drumming and leads into a modestly paced song. The simple but effective playing is what makes this debut so impressive. There are some cool effects hidden beneath the surface, letting Alex's vocals do most of the talking.

The highlight of the EP is 'Polly'. It starts off with space-like effects and develops into a solid rock jam. It is quite a song. This November EP is a very good introduction to The Chairs. There is a lot of talent here. The band showcases their ability to play simple rock songs, as well as adding distorted dirty guitars. 'I Gotta Go' ends the EP appropriately with a frenzy of distorted fuzzy guitars that floats near shoe gaze. These guys have a lot of different territory of sound that they can hit. I am excited to see what they sound like live, and to hear what a full length of theirs would sound like.

Don't let the Chairs out of your sight. They are going to be making lots of waves in 2009.
- We All Want Someone to Shout For


The Chairs deserved a post a lot earlier than this. I have been enjoying their November EP for a few weeks now, but somehow I managed to push this post back. The Chairs are a band from Wisconsin that are slowly gaining lots of blog buzz thanks to their very strong EP. One of the EP highlights right from the get go for me was their cover of the masterful Neutral Milk Hotel's 'In The Aeroplane Over The Sea'.

'Dark Clothes' is a solid way to start the EP setting the mood just right. The NMH cover is absolutely on the money. Lead singer Alex Schaaf displays impressive vocal's, along with his bands fine instrumtation that give a call to one of the best modern rock songs of all time. Dark deep bass gets 'Fire And Ice' started along with simple yet effective drumming and leads into a modestly paced song. The simple but effective playing is what makes this debut so impressive. There are some cool effects hidden beneath the surface, letting Alex's vocals do most of the talking.

The highlight of the EP is 'Polly'. It starts off with space-like effects and develops into a solid rock jam. It is quite a song. This November EP is a very good introduction to The Chairs. There is a lot of talent here. The band showcases their ability to play simple rock songs, as well as adding distorted dirty guitars. 'I Gotta Go' ends the EP appropriately with a frenzy of distorted fuzzy guitars that floats near shoe gaze. These guys have a lot of different territory of sound that they can hit. I am excited to see what they sound like live, and to hear what a full length of theirs would sound like.

Don't let the Chairs out of your sight. They are going to be making lots of waves in 2009. - We All Want Someone to Shout For


10. This Is Ivy League - Crown Of Love (Arcade Fire Cover)
When I'm feeling less epic and more bedroom, I put this version on.

09. Throw Me The Statue - If This Is It (Huey Lewis And The News Cover)
I still want The Hold Steady to cover "The Power Of Love"!

08. The Editors - Acceptable In The 80s (Calvin Harris Cover)
The Editors wisely turn this song into a nice, moody build.

07. Spoon - Peace Like A River (Paul Simon Cover)
Spoon covering Paul Simon = j*** in my pants.

06. The Chairs - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea (Neutral Milk Hotel Cover)
Hard to do NMH justice with a cover, but The Chairs pull off their soft/loud prom-styled cover excellently!

05. French Kicks - Trouble (Lindsey Buckingham Cover)
I think the French Kicks have got their new sound...

04. Dirtbombs - Sherlock Holmes (Sparks Cover)
An excellent update of a classic tune!

03. Vampire Weekend - Everywhere (Fleetwood Mac Cover)
Someone else's wet dream! Pretty well executed too.

02. La Pompe Moderne - Plus Dur, Meilleur, Plus Rapide, Plus Fort (Daft Punk Cover)
Usually stripping down Daft Punk doesn't work, but this low key acoustic take totally brings home the pork belly.

01. Ssion - Credit In The Straight World (Young Marble Giants Cover)
This might be considered the complete opposite of YMG's stripped down punk! - Let's Sexy Fighting


Perhaps 2009 will be the year that truly marks the death of the physical format. Radiohead got the ball rolling with their online release of In Rainbows, history will inevitably judge that as a pivotal moment in music distribution. The Chairs are an unsigned band from Wisconsin and you can download their first EP November, without even the hassle of paying for it! This will inevitably be a route bands take in 2009 and beyond, using free releases to demand music fans and bloggers attention. Using the Internet to build hype is nothing new, although giving away entire albums is rare. With every Myspace wall cluttered with musicians desperately trying to flog their wares, it is usually only the truly exciting bands that make it down this path (the execrable Lily Allen notwithstanding). So are The Chairs good or exciting enough to make it? Well on the basis of this five track EP, they just might be.
Their songs range from the jaunty haunty indie-pop of Polly to the ambient vocal-heavy rock of Fire and Ice, as well as a quiet grunge-tinged I Gotta Go. Lead singer Alex Schaaf sounds a lot like The Weakerthans’ John Samson, although perhaps half an octave lower. His songs are often a strange juxtaposition of mournful and hopeful. The excellent bassist Andre Juan paints the whole EP with a light shade of funk. This is an extremely accomplished debut, it doesn’t sound particularly lo-fi, but it is clear they will benefit from a more equipped studio and some experienced producers. It seems only a matter of time before The Chairs are signed, it isn’t inconceivable that when they are their label may halt the free downloads. The lack of foresight in the record industry never fails to astonish. Go download November now, if for no other reason than to wait till they get popular and say “I only like their early stuff.” - The Comment Tree


"The Chairs are a small band from Wisconsin looking to trade in their string cheese for some stringed instruments. Be it by bartering, pawn shop, or musical boutique - this foursome got their hands on some stringed instruments and digital gadgets alike to record a handful of songs. You've got to crawl before you can walk so this group is merely stretching their legs by covering "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea". A solid set of pipes, few twists, and amped up guitar distortion gives one the impression that they're heading in the right sounding direction. - I Guess I'm Floating


I got a great Neutral Milk Hotel cover in our inbox today from Appleton, Wisconsin’s The Chairs. It comes off their new November EP, due out next week. - Switchblade Comb


Discography

November EP - 2008
Laugh, It's a Fright - 2009
Horse with Hoof Guns EP - 2009

Photos

Bio

Hello, we are The Chairs. We are from Wisconsin. Our band has five people: Alex Schaaf, Phil Kronenberg, Eric Klosterman, Colin Stiemke, and Collin McCanna.

Our music has been described as a mix between Wilco and Radiohead, with a little bit of Neutral Milk Hotel and Death Cab for Cutie thrown in. We were drawn together by our inclinations towards mixing the standard rock form with more experimental, innovative sounds, along with pop harmonies and sensibilities. We are determined to bring both a boundary-stretching studio mindset and an unpredictable live show to the table.

Only so much can be said about the band in words. Our music, both live and recorded, is much more efficient in telling our story. Our official website is www.thechairsband.com, where we direct all our fans. There you can stream all of the songs off of the November EP, as well as see information about upcoming shows and other news.