Urgent! Everything about Everything, Now! screams for your urgent attention. And you should give it to them. Lately, Muncie has the most fertile soil in Indiana for unique and genuine bands to sprout. Among the likes of KillJoy Confetti (formally Arcade), Castle Oldchair and Charlie Don’t Surf lies the seven-piece outfit (sometimes more) known as Everything, Now!
My first exposure to the band was actually cut short, something I have been kicking myself about for some time now. Jon Rogers, singer and guitarist for Everything, Now!, played a solo show at a friend of mine’s crib sometime in the summer of 2003. Although I wasn’t able to stay to hear him, I listened to a demo CD a few days later, and my heart broke at the beauty of the songs (and the fact that I had missed the performance).
Mark Latta of Standard Recording, the local label that released Everything, Now!’s most recent record, Police Police!, talks about his first experience with these whiz kids from Muncie: “I listened to [their first album] Sunshine of Doom for the first time and it was like I caught a highly contagious virus,” he said. “Over and over, I listened to it and I felt like I just couldn’t hear it enough. We started talking to one another after that and began working on Police Police!”
Before the release of Police Police!, the band’s self-released Sunshine of Doom, a nine-song record, went out of print. While the band says it isn’t a very good representation of the current sound, or even their members (a revolving door membership has been in place since the beginning), it is still very much worth checking out. You can download it for free at the band’s Web site: www.everythingnowmusic.com.
My recent addiction to the band parallels Latta’s, in that, with Police Police! only being six songs deep, the repeat button is always a compelling companion. The explosion of applause at the end of the album (a proper celebration for such a listening experience) blends perfectly back into the first song and the pleasure begins again (and again).
The songs feel like an experiment to me, a grand one at that. The introduction sound collage seems like a soundtrack to a David Lynch dream, and from the opening lines of “Massacre at Birdshit Carwash,” your ears stand at attention. Jon spins twisted tales of anti-suburbia, street smarts and getting high with your favorite records. The music bed is the sum of multiple layers of sounds and styles added together in an almost chaotic fashion that turn out sounding perfectly complex.
On initial listens, it sounds as though they buried their vocals slightly, which added an element of obscurity — like overhearing bits of a conversation from 10 feet away. The tracks dip into melodies that could come from children’s songs and drip with heavy chords, psychedelic loops and broken beats.
Just giving it a couple of spins will draw you into joining them in their merry songs, clapping your hands in time and shouting out, “One day they’ll leave us alone and everyone will sing together.”
How are they live?
With all of this talk about the album, you might be asking, “What about the live show?” Well, joyful reader, the live Everything, Now! is slightly intense and deserves to be seen. Their unrelenting performance just might leave you speechless. In addition to the almost 10 band members, the stage is littered with toy instruments, a George Foreman Grill (at times they pass out grilled veggies) and a lot of hair.
A few weeks back I wrote that part of their intensity came from the feeling that “they are always on the edge of totally falling apart ... but not one of them is about to let that happen.” I stand by this statement and have a comparison to make as well: If you have ever seen the local experimental group Spontaneous Sound Collective, picture them with form and boundaries while maintaining the energy and slight chaos that make it interesting.
Traveling in their short bus (acquired from Jon’s uncle, and sometimes called The Dolphin) around the Midwest and beyond, Everything, Now! have been building their foundation for world domination.
Latta remembers a performance at a 2004 North by North West showcase: “It came time for Everything, Now! to play and there they were: eight Americans on a tiny Canadian stage. About five minutes into their set, two things suddenly dawned upon me. One, Everything, Now! was completely on it that night, and two, everyone in attendance knew it,” he said. “I don’t know at what point I realized that this was one of the best shows I had ever seen, but I think it was immediately after one of the guys in the band put on a huge papier-mâché George Bush head and started dancing around in the crowd while screaming, ‘One day they’ll legalize love!’”