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  The Derby  
  Los Angeles, CA  
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After the dissolution of Tripping Daisy in the late 1990's, Tim DeLaughter had a good amount of money and a lot of creativity to spare. He started Good Records in Dallas to supply indie records to the needy central-Texas wasteland (hey, I'm from that area too!) and to release records from his new project, The Polyphonic Spree. And what a project it is: a group consisting of nearly 30 members creating a sort of psychedelic indie rock that, once seen, will change how you look at both genres.

This night, the huge band played The Derby. This is one of the more famous venues in Los Angeles. The place was founded by Cecil B. Demille in 1945, and during the late 40's and 50's it was where the movie stars spent their time. Today, it still shows off it's classic form. The room is small (300 people or so), and it is dome shaped, so the sound in the room always seems near perfect regardless of where you stand. I go here pretty often, but this is the first time that the place has completely sold out and packed to capacity. I got a great place to stand right to the left of the larger than normal stage, and had a great view of everything.

Earlimart, who I have seen several times this year, opened the show. I've written a review of them before, and that time they weren't too great. However, this band has made a point to prove me wrong. Earlimart's songwriting has certainly solidified in the last year, in preparation for their upcoming major release on Palm Pictures Records. Their sound is rocking indie in the style of The Pixies, but adding a psychedelic element in the form of sonic variations throughout many of the songs. Every time I see this band, they are better. Keep an eye out for them in 2003!

After quite a long wait, The Polyphonic Spree began their show by starting at the back of the packed club and making their way to the stage pumping up the audience. The group numbers in the area of 25, including a 10 person choir, guitar, bass, drums, french horn, trumpet, flute, trombone, tuba, theremin, two percussionists, piano, organ, a guy fiddling with electronic noise, and Tim DeLaughter supplying vocals and guitar. Trust me, it's a lot to take in. I know all of the recorded songs by heart, I must admit, but they played more than that this night, creating new versions of old Tripping Daisy songs in ways that took half a song to realize at times. This show is not just great and moving music, but an experience. With so many people on stage there is a continuous expression of joy throughout the band which at times gives it a very Evangelical Revival a praise or worship session at your local Assembly of God church. Of course, with this many members there comes many sound problems, balancing out so many voices and instruments, but they seems to have a good system of creating the best auditory experience along with the visual aspect of all those people dancing around and having fun.

All in all, a great show at a great venue. For those in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, go see The Polphonic Spree as they play there all the time. For others, as you can imagine, it's quite a challenge getting a group of this size on tour (half a dozen vans at least!), but keep your eyes and ears open for a show.

Otherwise, keep an eye out for Earlimart soon in your town. They just finished a national tour with Lou Barlow and Alaska and will be out again soon.

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