Papadosio brings 'livetronica,' serious message
URBANA — When Papadosio comes Wednesday to the Canopy Club, the band members will also bring a message of unity.
Their latest double-album release, "To End the Illusion of Separation," calls for people "to reject artificial barriers of wealth, class and creed and come together under the flag of humanity."
Their style, sometimes dubbed "livetronica," mixes exacting electronic music with jam music, tribal rhythms, psychedelic excursions and jazz.
The band's Anthony Thogmartin, who does guitar, keyboards and vocals, said there is a jazz heritage to Papadosio.
Thogmartin, 28, played funk and other styles before he met up with jazz-trained players at a jam session in Athens, Ohio.
The band now finds its home in Asheville, N.C.
Members include drummer Mike Healy, bassist Rob McConnell and brothers Billy and Sam Brouse on keyboards and synthesizers.
Together they worked out a sound that owes a lot to Thogmartin's childhood love of video games.
"I used to remix video game songs on my parents' PC," he said. "They were very complex and often changed keys.
"Back then, the eight-bit graphics were so simplistic, the music had to make up for it. The music was really something."
Thogmartin has built on his electronica skills, engineering recordings for other bands. Still, he wants other sound experts to make master recordings of Papadosio.
"I think an extra set of ears is good for mastering," he said.
The band says it has a sound for the information age, and it has a well-thought-out lyrical component.
Thogmartin said music and words come together for unity, a principle he holds close to his heart.
"What we can tell is that we are moving away from being caught in an illusion of separation, and toward something more unified," the band's mission statement reads. "So in that spirit, we created this conceptual collaboration between us and a team of truly amazing friends whom we have had the pleasure of meeting along the way."
Thogmartin said unity is necessary for communities to continue.
"We're kind of a democracy" in the band, though he writes much of the material.
Music and living are shared experiences, he said, especially in a round of constant touring the band has engaged in.
"This is the first time I've had some time off in years," Thogmartin said just before the tour began.
Like a band, a community needs to work together, he said.
"It's a way of living. I don't necessarily think we are specifically advocating anything other than speak your voice," he said. "It's not an us-against-them situation."
Thogmartin said we share a limited space.
"If anything's going to make sense in a practical manner, if there's an issue in the world, it's everybody's issue, like a starving child in Uganda," he said.
If you go
What: Jazz-influenced "livetronica" band Papadosio with guests Dopapod
When: 9:30 p.m. Jan. 30; Doors open at 8
Where: The Canopy Club, 708 S. Goodwin Ave., U
Of note: Must be 18 or over to enter