Squid City on 'Rocket Shop' 2/16/11!

squid-ciy-couch Words by Julie Jay Seger. Photos by Sam Donnelly

Burlington trio Squid City (From left in photo above: Tyler, Tom, Andy) hung out last night on 105.9 F.M for Big Heavy World's 'Rocket Shop,' a local music radio hour with host Kelsey Hanrahan, every Wednesday from 8 to 9 P.M.

Tyler, who plays guitar in Squid City and is also a Radiator DJ with his show "People Are Strange"  on Wednesday nights 5 to 7 P.M., chatted about Squid City's upcoming performances, including a gig tonight, February 17th,  at Muddy Waters in downtown Burlington at 8 P.M.

Tom and Tyler actually met at their UVM orientation (aww) in a twist of fate that would lead to That Toga Band,  a musical collaboration in the form of a comedic rock group: "think Tenacious D, but jazzier."  That Toga Band expanded with the addition of Andy on percussion, and eventually moved to having him rock a full drum-kit. That Toga Band represents the earlier sounds of the group: "We were pretty wacky, we showed off our personas with a lot of stage antics" says Tom.

The group more recently changed its name Squid City, and began work on in a completely different direction of ambient, electroacoustic, and progressive sound. Squid City tunes sound far more complex than 3 musicians, something Andy attests to their "big spirits." At any rate, Tyler's guitar, Andy's percussion, and Tom's acoustic-bass style give the band what The Deli Online called "an instrumental edge that is impossible to ignore."

Last night Rocket Shop sampled a few old-school tracks recorded at a Squid City performance at UVM's Slade Hall in 2008. But get excited because Squid City is ready to release their first studio album, 'Welcome to Squid City' a project they recorded during 2009-2010  in Vermont's North East Kingdom. Recorded solely on nights with full moons, the album features new songs and a "spontaneous improv" track called "The Possibilities." This  jam was captured in the studio with unusual background noises from hundreds of actual field crickets. "We do everything naturally," says Tyler. After seven years of playing together, Squid City's latest creative energies should thoroughly impress.

"Welcome to Squid City" features artwork by artist David Powell, who is also responsible for artwork on The Allman Brothers 1972 'Eat a Peach' album. Andy reflects, "It was really cool to see someones visual interpretation of our music. He took our songs and the idea of a Squid City to come up with something amazing." To hear Squid City, see the artwork, and check for upcoming shows, visit the bands myspace page.  Or, stop by while Squid City throws down at Muddy Waters, one of the band's favorite venues, tonight starting at 8 P.M.


Tyler, Tom, and Andy working their photo-shoot skills with grapefruit-resembling maracas at The Radiator.