photo by Michael Thurber and Dustin Wilbourn
by Michael Todd
With just a slight nod of his red cap, guitarist Jim Schroeder seems to conduct UUVVWWZ on stage.
Not that he needs to. Singer Teal Gardner commands attention with her snake-charming arms and vocals that seem to be caught in the wind and control it at the same time. The rhythm section of bassist Dustin Wilbourn and percussionist Dave Ozinga, melodic and precise, keeps a steady hold on the changing song structures of the Lincoln band's new material.
In "Perfect House," the third track off the quartet's forthcoming album, the trusted language, UUVVWWZ's aspiration to "braid music theory with experimental poetry" is met. To say Schroeder's guitar and Gardner's voice occupy the same sonic space is to place creativity in a more clinical setting. Braided is a better way to put it.
The lyrics, laid out below the song download, are intertwined with the exotic, more minor melodies, and they erupt together as Gardner asks, "Is it good because it's hard?" Listen as the band moves together as it builds the "Perfect House." UUVVWWZ releases the trusted language on Feb. 5 via Saddle Creek Records. Record release shows are slated for Lincoln's Bourbon Theatre on Feb. 8 and Omaha's Waiting Room Lounge on Feb. 9 before the group heads out on a 12-stop tour of the West Coast.
my perfect house is mainly door and today I am full of walking
old chalk leaving sidewalk stroke by stroke just as it was laid down
add momentum to me to the thought of me
even more a mountain will rise and the rain will come
when it is dark and quiet time my walking turns in to sleeping
for hours past the creepy city lights if you'd just adjust I would just
when my skin bursts and burns with significance
maybe then there would be some rest when the dark is out
I put basil and mint into a jar and I left it there
working at last to get some where weeping into the creases of the Sunday paper
look alive very sick I do look alive very sick I do
I look alive very sick and I do is it good because it's hard?
now I never blink your face is a frame of mine
hung on the spaces we'd live for a while
you and mine and mine and yours have we found ours yet?
we walk around the night neighborhood
flashing on and off the light I trust falls from the sky
I would pull it in through you
and blow past the sound of quieting down
two little edges I would find and begin to write down
Michael Todd is Hear Nebraska's managing editor. Even though he has recently combatted his downstairs neighbors' cement-shaking Sheryl Crow with UUVVWWZ, this is the perfect house. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.