Follow Friday is an interview series in which each Chicago artist we talk to recommends a fellow local act.
This week's guest: Roommate
Recommended by: Algernon
It's not often that you can recommend a band to both Neil Young fanatics and Air fans. But Roommate splits the difference between intriguing, sometimes wistful lyricism and dark, dreamy electronic soundscapes. It's all done with an intimacy that makes it easy to imagine how the band began as a solo recording project of Kent Lambert in Brooklyn, NY in 2001. Roommate is now five members strong (though many others have passed through its ranks in the last six years) and is readying its third full-length, Guilty Rainbow, for a fall release (you can check out a version of its closing track here, and download a bonus cover track here. Lambert took some time out from mixing to offer some tidbits about the group.
Describe your sound in 140 characters or less.
Synth-heavy groove-based soul-searching shape-shifting cinematic stoner-crooner pop music?
Where and when was your first show - and what was it like?
Our first show was on April 23, 2004 at the Hideout. It was a benefit for Video Mundi, a festival that I helped my friend Jim Finn organize. I started the show with a cover of Camper Van Beethoven's "Sweethearts" that was just me singing along with beats and blips on a Gameboy. The rest of our set featured a rag-tag band of friends I plied into playing with me: Anton Hatwich on upright bass, Evelyn Weston on musical saw, Dewayne Slightweight on glockenspiel, "Uncle" Woody Sullender on banjo... and yours truly on the mic and keytar. We closed the set with a cover of Scott Walker's "Thanks For Chicago, Mr. James" and I somehow had the nerve to get the crowd to join me in a tender sing-along for the finish. The Thin Man headlined and the show was a blast.
Name three of your favorite Chicago spots (bars, restaurants, venues, parks - whatever).
1. The Bloomingdale Trail
2. The patio at the Logan Square Small Bar
3. The Old Town Spice House
What Chicago artist/band should we interview next and why?
You should interview Love Raid. They are good friends of mine - all three of them are or have been heavily involved in Roommate, but you should interview them because they make really tight, effervescent pop music. Their song "Interview" is a first-rate jam that definitely warrants an interview with you.