Sunday, Aug. 22, 2004
Alot of bands form during their players' university years, but the Sim Redmond Band could be said to have congealed in the leafy college town of Ithaca, New York, back in the '90s. Starting from the kernel of brothers Sim (guitar, vocals) and Asa (drums) Redmond, the band grew into a truly organic outfit. On their brand new album, "Shining Through," the quintet serves up a tasty reggae and Afro-inflected stew that sounds as if it's been simmering on the stove for a good long while.
Sim Redmond's laid-back vocal and instrumental style appeals to a new generation of budding hippies -- the kind of college kids who like to surf rather than skate, and who listen to faux folkies like Jack Johnson and Donovan Frankenreiter rather than Blink 182 and Sum 41.
Redmond's advantage over Johnson and his ilk is not so much his distinctive Caribbean sound as his band's instinct for locating a groove that's as appropriate for dancing as it is for chilling (surrounded by lots of candles, preferably). Sim and second guitarist Jordan Aceto play off one another with lines of single-note counterpoint that create a gentle vortex of harmonies, pulling the listener in. Second vocalist Uniit Carruyo has one of those voices that dance around a melody, creating its own rhythmic dynamic. On the evocatively titled reggae smoothie "Back and Forth," her doubled vocals play against the percussion, injecting polyrhythms in the spaces between the audible beats. The sum of all these parts is more than equal to the whole.
Aug. 30, 7 p.m., Aoyama CAY, Tokyo, 4,300 yen [box office (03)-3498-5790]; Sept. 1, 7:30 p.m., Thumbs Up, Yokohama, 4,300 yen [045-314-8705]; Sept. 2, 8:30, Club Vijon, Osaka, 4,700 yen at door [advance tickets sold out; (06) 6539-7341]; Sept. 4, True People's Celebration, Muse Park, Chichibu [Phatleaf, (03) 3445-1103].