24 January 2006


TUESDAY'S ARTISTS I LOVE

The OTTOMEN

Once upon a time, in the city of St. Louis Missouri, I found myself writing a screenplay. I needed to do a bit of research into the wild world of independent comic book publishing, and so found my way to a cool little comic book store hidden away near Washington University. I scanned the shelves and flipped through a few comics. Feeling the eyes of the clerk boring into me like Cyclops' laser vision, I decided to buy something. I looked for the best value, and found AMAZING CRAB #1 by David Stevenson. On the cover of the comic someone had handwritten:

"Bonus Free Ottomen CD!! 25 tracks of Ottomen fun!!"

Score! I have a fondness for scrappy indie musicians. So I paid my $2.50 and went back to work.

I popped in the CD, and found myself a new favorite band.

Okay, here's the deal. This is not a polished studio band. The songwriting is not exactly Lennon/McCartney. It basically sounds like three dudes got together with a four-track recorder, and didn't stop laying down tracks until the neighbors finally called the cops. I love this band. I used to be in a band like this, but we never recorded anything.

And I just admire the heck out of these guys. They started out in Kansas City. Half of these guys up and moved to St. Louis, and the band went into mitosis; so there was "Ottomen - St. Louis" and "Ottomen - KC". I'm a bit fuzzy on what all happened next. I think the principle members now live in New York and have formed up as "Paper Fleet". Apparently, they did an Ottomen reunion show not that long ago. Past members are still very much in communication with each other (even the guy who now lives in Japan) and they just seem like the nicest bunch of folks who ever all belonged to the same few bands at different times.

Uh . . . you should probably just check out their website.

(If I had more courage, I'd be a musician full-time.)

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