Weirdo rock act Push-Pull, composed of three guys named Mike, is just one of many Bloomington-based bands turning heads and landing regional or national record contracts, on a list that includes The Delicious, Kentucky Nightmare, Good Luck, Knifey Spooney, Totally Michael and Prizzy Prizzy Please.
Like so many other bands formed in a college town, it all began as a lark. Guitarists Mike Bridavsky and Mike Notaro were idling one day outside of Russian Recordings, a then-Nashville, Ind.-based studio owned and operated by Bridavsky at which Notaro, a go-to live sound engineer in Bloomington, also recorded some bands.
"We thought how awesome it would be to find another Mike to play with us," Notaro explained. "Mike Bridavsky worked with a band where Mike Hoggatt was the drummer ... we figured it was worth a shot."
Hoggatt took the bait. Push-Pull was born.
"Statistically speaking, there are 291,500 people named Mike in the States," Notaro said. "Looking back on the genesis of the band, the chances of finding another Mike who also plays drums is less than 1 percent. I think we had a better chance of getting infected with AIDS."
(Editors: Several Web sites that shouldn't be cited in academic papers report that, according to 2000 U.S. Census data, there are between 230,000 and 291,500 Mikes in the U.S. We leave the reader to calculate the ratio between the chance of finding a drummer named Mike and the chance - given one's behavior - of contracting the virus that causes AIDS.)
After the unlikely prologue, Push-Pull began building a name for themselves with wild live shows and ear-grabbing tunes, drawing comparisons to Primus, Weezer and Pixies. The band's new record, Between Noise and the Indians
, expands on past material.
"We didn't try to make a better album," Notaro explained. "We enjoy playing music together and capture it in its most honest form. If this means stripped down or layered beyond belief, then so be it."
Songs from Between Noise and the Indians
are all over the board as far as intensity, subject matter and time signatures.
"It's a reflection of everything around us," Notaro said. "Some of it's grotesque, some of it's splendid. The music, the words, the art and the noise all have a purpose."
Between Noise and the Indians
will be the band's first album for local powerhouse label Joyful Noise, following their debut last year on the label with a split 7-inch EP shared with Prizzy Prizzy Please (the PPPPP
"Joyful Noise injects music happening locally and globally into the community's arm," Notaro explained. "We need this. Karl [Hofstetter, who operates Joyful Noise] is supporting the music he likes by putting everything he has into it. We have music because we have a pulse. If we escape it we are dead. Karl puts it out on one big table and yells, 'Feast!'"
This just in (June 1):
Joyful Noise will be offering extra-rare versions (only 33 available!) of Between Noise and the Indians
featuring original artwork by Mark Rice (The Coke Dares) and including a certificate for a digital download of the album (no CD or physical recording included). We'll yield to the press release to explain the rest about this version of the album, titled the "Burly Indian Noise Kit":
"The following statements are true about the Burly Indian Noise Kit:
All Burly Indian Noise Kits...
1. are one of a kind.
2. feature a digital download code located in the belly of the kit.
(Using this code will ensure a proper fetch of the delicious sounds of Push-Pull.)
3. are made from roughly 90% recycled materials
4. include a Sick Stick, Analog Barcode, Non-violent Rifle,
hunk of Glow-in-the-dark Dragon's Breath, and portrait of a local feline.
5. are limited to 33 hand-numbered copies"
A Burly Indian Noise Kit