SeattleNoise: Smile Brigade
WHAT: It makes sense to hear the refrain "Smile, smile, smile" in a Smile Brigade song. "You are dead to me/ You are dead to me," on the other hand, comes as a bit of a surprise. The way this folksy foursome makes it work, however, is keeping the rhythms brisk and the melodies light so that everything just sort of smiles, even the listener. There's also some demonstrated musicianship, especially on the band's new five-song EP, which was recorded in 24 hours; it also features string filigrees that give the collection a slight touch of urban hipster hootenanny. The group includes Jeremy Charbonneau (percussion, vocals), Peter Colclasure (keys, piano, vocals), Leonardo Hartomo (bass) and principal songsmith Jesse Hiram Boggs (guitar, vocals).
MONIKER: "Jeremy had an orthodontist shirt with teeth marching. He said it looked like a smile brigade and a light went off in my head," Boggs recalls. "Reminds me of the names Joy Division, Bright Eyes and Nirvana. Real positive sounding and kind of fresh."
CAREER DEBUT: The High Dive, November 2007.
RULES: "We practice regularly, and if one member shows up late he takes a dollar out of his wallet and murmurs 'Forgive me,' and then he tacks his dollar to our band-fund wall. It encourages punctuality."
RELEASES: "Take the Precious Edge Off This Treacherous Ledge" (LP, 2007), an acoustic EP, "Eering, Creaky" (2009), and one 7-inch single, "Sing Song" (2005)
WHERE TO LISTEN: smilebrigademusic.com
NEXT SHOW: Saturday at the High Dive with Spanish for 100; 21 and over. Tickets: $6 at the club. Information: highdiveseattle.com
-- Shawn Telford