Touchdown Eagle to the Divorce: Bands vs. Bush

Show Date: October 10, 2003

How often does igDana get to a show by 6:35pm on a Friday to catch an opening band? Answer: never. That is, the answer was never until the Bands Against Bush show, and then the answer changed because Touchdown Eagle was playing second of the ten bands in the lineup.

What motivated me to leave my day-job early and get mine-self to a club before the sun had fully set? Why, it was Stacy from Touchdown Eagle, who wrote to TIG to promote the show as follows:

"We know that Bush was a pretty mediocre band and all, but it seems like people have been really down on them lately. Do they have a new album coming out or something?"

Wit, she is a powerful seducer. If Touchdown Eagle was going on at 6:35p, we would be there at 6:35p. And down on Bush!!

I am still not sure where it falls on the rock and roll scale to go directly from fumbling with work spreadsheets to indie-pop rocking out… but regardless, my stressed-out-work-mindset was quickly lightened once Touchdown Eagle hit their first high scoring chord progression.

Their mix of Aislers Set retro soda fountain goodiness with the Lois lo-fi production, and simplistic yet infectous Small Factory melodies deleted all thoughts related to columns or formulas.

And they were so sweet, I wanted to eat their heads. If I were to {eat their heads}, I think it would taste like a Caramel. With their ultra-spiffy grandfather-esque cardigans and ties… I would say it would specifically be of the Werther's Original® variety. It tastes so good, gives you a bit of a sugar-rush, and with a vintage aesthetic.

I think Tootsie Pops®?

How many tasty licks did it take to get to the center of the Touchdown Eagle indie-pop?

On the crunchy outside, they were adorable; think vintage old man sweater, ties, and Converse; think three of the four band members were chicks, though you might question which ones at first glance; think they were all so cute and talented gender felt superfluous, so cute that I coined a new term just for them: indie-rock androgyny.

Musically, I wanted to impulsively bite their sweet, nostalgically-melodic shell in order to get to the chewy, cleverly-crafted pop-rock confection core — and yet, I didn't want to lose the sweet satisfaction of the hard candy on the outside either.

We were hooked on their euphonics. They've got 50's pop purity, an all-girl rhythm section, and a baby blue guitar! They get gold stars.

 

I found them exquisitely unrefined, exceedingly charming, with understated male vocals and dulcet female harmonies. They had a strong intensity, but a sweet underlying softness throughout.

I wanted to know more. So I wrote back to Stacy Touchdown bass player, my favorite e-penpal and indie-rock androgyny queen, to solicit further information. Here's what I learned.

igDana: Stacy, do you have a web site where fans could learn more about Touchdown Eagle?
Stacy Touchdown: No, we do not have a web site. We are simply not smart enough. Maybe in the future.

igDana: When is Touchdown Eagle playing next?
Stacy Touchdown: We are playing at the Northwest Center Halloween party on Oct. 31 from 11am – 2pm. This celebration will be for clients, home staff and family members. don't forget to wear a costume!

We're also playing November 19th at 2nd Ave Pizza with Aisjump from Iowa.

igDana: Do you have a CD available that fans and readers could purchase?
Stacy Touchdown: We only have free CDs that we give to people upon request at the moment. We are working on a CD right now with a very nice man named Josh that is going to be WHITE FUCKING HOT!!

Of note, their debut self-released EP ROCKS THE HOUSE as well. Read what imaginary boy Chilly C thought about it in this month's AstroPOP!

And Touchdown Eagle were just the second in the impeccable 10 band lineup for the evening. We had every good intention of watching and reviewing these bands — but we got distracted by our need for dinner {yummy Cafe Venus pumpkin ravioli!!} and by the rules of engagement for Graceland all-ages shows: namely, the separation of music and alcohol into two separate rooms.

Post-Touchdown-Eaglers in the line-up included Anna Oxygen, Plan B, Yeek Yak Airforce (frontman Ollie Byrd was the organizer for tonight's event), the Fitness, and headliners the Divorce.

And don't forget about the hot-chick arm wrestling…

 

Ooh — are we gonna talk about that?

 

Um, YAH we are!

We turned our back for a moment, and next thing we knew, several of our imaginary boy friends were arm-wrestling with strong hot chicks at the bar, including Janie, drummer for the Preons, her fab friend Erika, and Carly, frontwoman for the Catch who stepped in late to become the bad-ass victor of the arm wrestling tournament. In fact, the girls took it, time and time again. Eventually, strangers flocked to our table to take the hot-chick arm-wresting challenge, with varying results.

Who says you can't meet new {strong, hot} friends at rock shows?

The arm-wrestling was such a fascinating distraction that we ended up missing most of the bands… but we couldn't miss the Divorce, what with frontman Shane looking so handsome in his suit and guitar-slaying Jimmy looking so positively dapper in his Navy duds.

{imaginary boy photographer Ryan Schierling fact tidbit: "Jimmy was actually wearing a Navy dress blue uniform top… that of a first-class petty officer, and a yeoman at that — the navy's version of a secretary. The two red stripes on his sleeve cuff indicated that he's been in the navy for more than eight years.

He should keep an eye open for a Navy band first-class petty officer."}

And then there was new-since-the-release-of-the-album fellow {Garrett}. He added a nice dimension to their live sound but I wonder if Jimmy, as a more senior member of the ensemble, makes Garrett do pushups and swab the practice space/deck with his toothbrush?

The Divorce's debut full-length album (There Will Be Blood Tonight) is an undeniable forerunner in the TIG top 5 albums of the year… which makes my next statement nearly obscene.

This is the first time I've seen an entire Divorce set.

Me too! I love that album with all my heart AND I've never seen a full Divorce set either.

Is there a 10 step program for underpriviledged folks like us?

If not, there should be…

But, can you believe our luck? We were able to support a meaningful cause, be front row for hot-chick arm-wrestling and FINALLY see the Divorce perform… all in one night! Three things checked off the to-do list.

I loved it all… the Garrett guitar rifts, the intermittent Jimmy screams, Kyle keeping it real and in-line, and the dizzifying poetic webs of Shane. They have got their own trademark-able precise yet unaffected style… musically and visually.

I feel lucky to have caught them in the intimate and charged Graceland this evening. The Divorce is an incredibly talented local foursome who appears perched on the very-verge of super-stardom.

Their recorded stuff has the intensity of a sweaty sold-out show and their live show
has the flawless musicianship of session veterans. Their rock- "cool record store clerk" -gone- punk- cum- 1990s-"have the house for the weekend while my parents are out of town" is all their own. And they know exactly what to do with it.

I hope they are storing memorabilia at their Moms' houses for the Divorce exhibit at the EMP.

They'd better!

AND — for you politically-minded, leftward-leaning imaginary folks, Ollie Byrd {the organizer of this Bands Against Bush event, remember?} is a fantastic resource for political activism and horrifying news about what's going in the world. He's an avid emailer of all-things-political, and helps me keep in touch with what's going on in the world deeper than the news delves. Want to get his email updates? Email him!