Folk-Pop Mathematics with Twins of a Gazelle
The D.C. combo Twins of a Gazelle has a lineup that ranges from three to eight or more members, which makes it one of the smaller groups Dave Mann plays in—there's the 40-plus-member Spelling for Bees collective and the 18-piece Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie, not to mention Mittenfields. Twins performs tonight at the Velvet Lounge, opening for the Caribbean and Ryan Holladay of Bluebrain. I e-mailed Mann some questions about his latest folk-pop endeavor.
Washington City Paper: How many people are in Twins?
Dave Mann: The folks in Twins of a Gazelle are actually thee main permanent members, which are Emily (violin/vox), Liz (violin/vox) and myself (vox/acoustic guitar/bass). At [tonight's] show the remaining lineup includes Lisa (keys), Igor (electric guitar), Shannon (bass/acoustic guitar), Hallsi (glockenspiel), and my personal favorite, Art on theremin!
WCP: Do you do any covers?
DM: We are covering "Stray Dog and the Chocolate Shake" by the band Grandaddy, who I am heavily influenced by. The fun thing about this cover is that the main melody is normally played on a keyboard, but our violin players are playing that melody, which gives it a nice tone. I would like to see us add more covers as time permits, possibly something a little more obscure from an earlier decade, but for now Grandaddy is solid enough.
WCP: Do you have any music available (mp3s, YouTube videos)?
DM: We have a free three-song demo that was recorded at the Art Institute of Recording in Rosslyn. If anyone wants one all they have to do is e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to send them one.
WCP: Is working with these folks more "manageable" than working with the whole 18 -group?
DM: Working with any band that does not have 18 people in it is definitely manageable, in the sense that you don't have a likely trainwreck on your hands. However, Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie does not allow for such a thing, since our songs are composed and the parts are all played by classical musicians who can play to sheet music. With Twins of a Gazelle, I write the songs and have different musicians play with me from show to show. All I ask of them is that they have fun and be creative with their instrument.
Twins of a Gazelle, the Caribbean, and Ryan Holladay of Bluebrain perform at 10 p.m. at the Velvet Lounge, 915 U St. NW. (202) 462-3213. $8. Photo courtesy of Michael Jantzen.