Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Casual Listening: Mathematicians

Pete Pythagoras raging. Photo courtesy of Mathematicians MySpace

I recently saw the disco/punk trio The Mathematicians play at a local bar/club. They are a bit like local legends on the music scene in Upstate New York. I had heard about their high-energy live shows and their quirky math-geek modus operandi, and while intrigued, had never before ventured to see a show myself.

Meanwhile, they have been on 11 nationwide tours, tearing up college towns, frat parties, DYI clubs in Mexico, and music clubs in nearby Burlington, Vt., all the while.

Before I go any further, let me explain who The Mathematicians are:
One might argue they are half theater production, half band. Each member has an alias that plays into their "math geek" MO. There's Pete Pythagoras (a.k.a. Nick) on bass, guitar, and lead vocals; Dewi Decimal (a.k.a. Ian) on keyboards, guitar and vocals; and Albert Gorithm IV (a.k.a. Tim) on drums, laptop and vocals.

They go even further with the theme at live shows, wearing lab coats, tech glasses and sweater vests.

When I first heard of them - four or five years ago -I wasn't aware of bands like Daft Punk, LCD Soundsystem, Devo or The Talking Heads. But now that I've come to like "disco-punk," I can really appreciate what The Mathematicians have developed into and what they have accomplished on their own- including two albums and a DVD.

Dewi Decimal said they are often compared to Devo, The Talking Heads and The Beastie Boys, but admits they were heavily influenced by 1980s D.C. punk acts like Fugazi.

"We touch on a lot of genres at this point. We wanted to write songs that were fun and people could dance to. We're bringing the pulse to the people," Ian said in an interview.

They are a true "DYI" band, self-producing albums and acting as musicians/technicians at live shows, setting up their electronics, complete with lap tops, homemade light boxes and projections, and plenty of MIDI.

Check these guys out HERE. Buy their songs on iTunes, buy merch on their site. I promise you won't be disappointed. I have a feeling their third studio album, a self-proclaimed "rock" record recorded in a house in rural Salem, NY, will get them noticed.

"The future is wide open," Nick said.

Indeed. Good luck boys, it was a pleasure talking with you.


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