Friday, February 17, 2012

Cirrus Minor To Battle for Spot at Summer Camp

On a trip to Cirrus Minor, saw a crater in the sun... A thousand miles of moonlight later. -Pink Floyd

Tomorrow night Cirrus Minor will be headlining a show at the Vaudeville Mews in downtown Des Moines. It's another in a series of  Battle of the Bands, this one with an opportunity to play at the Summer Camp Festival on the line.

Summer Camp is an annual jam band festival that takes place Memorial Weekend in Chillicothe, Illinois. Since 2001, it has featured such acts as Ecoostic Hookah, The Samples, Umphrey's McGee, Leftover Salmon, Two Cow Garage, Rebelution, Los Lobos, Family Groove Company, Junior Brown, Buckethead, and Victor Wooten. Cirrus Minor won Des Moines' battle last year and made the memorable trek across the Mississippi. Like most kids who go to summer camp, they want to go back again.

Cirrus Minor started out in 2008 when Aaron Lea (of Reality's Flaw) met with Rich Cantrell (Redwing) and Mike Ruby (Alchemist) about forming a band that would appeal to a newer audience. Cirrus Minor was born, and they have been steamrolling ever since.The name was lifted from a Pink Floyd song, made famous from the More soundtrack. (This is my speculation... I have not confirmed this.)  They are the chameleons of the Des Moines rock scene, changing their genre from show to show, and sometimes, even song to song.

"We are like an Ipod on shuffle." Aaron told me last week while sipping beers at the Hull Avenue Tap. "If you are partying all night, and don't just want to hear Reggae, or Funk, or Metal, then we are your band."

Corbin, Lea, Ruby and Cantrell
(Photo courtesy of Sherri Irons)
It works too... Cirrus Minor is, in a way an all-star band, consisting of four of Des Moines' most established musicians (Joe Corbin plays drums). As their influences they list Primus, Tool, Zappa, Floyd, WSP, hundreds more.... and I can attest to the fact that their music is a reflection of each of these bands, sometimes all wrapped up into one. When they play Funk, they play it like Funk is supposed to sound - with sex-infused slap bass and panty-dropping guitar licks. When they play Reggae, it's reminiscent of a party scene in Jamaica. You might as well have sand in your toes and a big old skanky spliff sittin' on your lips. When they play hard rock, they are in their element... Same as when they play Psychedelia. There is no style that these guys don't seem to have a handle on. They even do a Doors tribute show once or twice a year that's unbelievable.

But that's the limit of their cover band status. 99% of the music Cirrus Minor records or plays live is original, with the elements of each style represented in their songs. It's a twisted curvy road they take, but they handle it with the ease of a Maserati on the Autobahn. Nothing seems to phase these guys, and it always seems that they are having as much fun as their audience is, which is usually alot. They have shared the stage with the likes of Widespread Panic, Blues Traveler, Primus and Zappa Plays Zappa. Once they were named the unsigned band of the month in High Times Magazine.

Mike Ruby within the lazers
(photo courtesy of Sherri Irons)
If you haven't heard Cirrus Minor, leave a comment and I will make sure that you get a copy of the new CD "Animadverto-Demens" (Ok, the first 3). Unlike many bands, the CD actually gives a genuine feel as to what Cirrus Minor is all about. Their picture is so much bigger than can be parlayed into words. It must be heard.

And seen.

Head down to Vaudeville tomorrow night and check out their set. They play last, so they can really use your support. Simply enter the venue and put your one vote into the envelope with their name on it. Let's not deny them a chance to go back to summer camp.


Associated links:

Cirrus Minor Reverbnation

Cirrus Minor Facebook

Summer Camp Festival official



Anonymous said...

Cirrus Minor photo credits- Sherri Irons!