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Braid with Pity Sex and Signals Midwest

Thursday • Southgate House Revival

By Brian Baker · July 9th, 2014 · Sound Advice
soundadvice_braid_photo_ mitchel wojcikBraid Photo - Mitchel Wojcik

Somehow, it seems we’ve ripped the pages out of 21 calendars since Braid roared out of Champaign, Ill., with a Post Punk/Emo sound that deftly combined dissonance and melodicism, thundering heaviness and lightning heat, stuttering time signatures and straightforward riffage. 

Between its birth at the University of Champaign-Urbana in 1993 and its first hiatus in 1999, Braid turned out three spectacular albums — 1995’s Frankie Welfare Boy Age Five, 1996’s The Age of Octeen and 1998’s Frame and Canvas — all of which explored the band’s dual fascination with the DC/Dischord and San Francisco Hardcore scenes, which made them indie stars in their own right. 

After touring and economic woes forced them into a reassessment, the quartet — Bob Nanna and Chris Broach on vocals and guitars, Todd Bell on bass, Roy Ewing and then Damon Atkinson on drums — called it a day in 1999 and split amicably with four final shows in Milwaukee, Chicago and Champaign.

The following year, Polyvinyl released the two-disc set Movie Music, comprised of Braid’s extensive non-LP tracks. The live album Lucky to Be Alive, culled from the second Metro show in Chicago, and a VHS of the last four gigs titled Killing a Camera were also released in 2000.

Nanna, Bell and Atkinson reteamed to form Hey Mercedes in 2000 while Broach concentrated on his side project, The Firebird Band. In 2004, Hey Mercedes had several open dates due to cancellations and Broach was between commitments, so the door opened for a spontaneous Braid reunion, resulting in a summer U.S. circuit and a quick Japanese tour. Six years later, Nanna and Broach reconnected in Chicago and Braid lurched to life once again, this time in the form of a new four-song EP, Closer to Closed, and more festival gigs, individual shows and the Frame & Canvas Tour. 

Late last year, the band reported they had signed with Top Shelf Records and their first new studio album in 16 years, No Coast, was ready for 2014 release. No Coast began streaming from various locations last month in advance of its July 8 release and the band has been peppering their recent sets with new tracks. The hair standing up on your arms and neck? That would be the Braid effect.
BRAID, PITY SEX and SIGNALS MIDWEST play Southgate House Revival at 7:30 Thursday, July 7. Tickets/more info here.
 
 
 
 

 

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