Rock the Votes Ambassadors

Featured Rock the Vote Artist

Rockin Playlist
Song Name Artist Album Genre Time
1. Black Tables Other Lives Other Lives Folk/Rock 4:34
2. Paper Cities Other Lives EP Alternative 3:52

Other-Lives Other Lives

Other Lives’ self-titled, full-length debut was released on April 7th by tbd records, the ATO Records imprint that launched a year ago with the physical release of Radiohead’s In Rainbows. The album (and the EP that preceded it) was recorded in Los Angeles with producer Joey Waronker (the Eels, Lisa Germano) and engineer Darrell Thorp (Radiohead, Outkast, Beck). Released in October 2008, the EP – also self-titled – was featured for three consecutive weeks on iTunes’ “Rising Stars of Indie Rock.”

Based in the college town of Stillwater, Oklahoma, the band – Jesse Tabish (lead vocals, piano, guitar, harmonium, organ, vibes, electric harpsichord), Josh Onstott (bass, melotron, backing vocals), Jonathon Mooney (piano, violin, organ, vibes, electric harpsichord), Jenny Hsu (cello, backing vocals) and Colby Owens (drums, lap steel) – has been playing music together for the past five years in various incarnations. They began as an avant-garde instrumental group, then added vocals and eventually evolved into Other Lives.

In a recent feature, Filter hailed the band’s music as “perfect for waking up on a crisp fall Sunday or executing a heartrending breakup in the middle of the night,” going on to note: “If Other Lives was more formulaic or eager to get rich, the five-piece would be in N.Y. or L.A., gloating about impending global success. But that’s not how things are done in Stillwater, Oklahoma…” The landscape informs their music, from the traditional folk elements to the expansive, unhurried nature of their songs. Yet Other Lives owes as much to modern-day classicists such as Jóhann Jóhannsson and Arvo Pärt and British progressive rock as it does to its folk forefathers, drawing from a rich palette that even encompasses traditional Spanish music (“Matador”).

Balancing epic grandeur with quiet restraint, the album evokes characters and civilizations hovering between life and death, majesty and melancholy, hope and despair. “End Of The Year” is a breathtaking tightrope walk between such extremes – a lilting interplay between piano and cello gives way to more somber tones, then comes full circle six minutes in with a transcendent guitar riff over elegant orchestration and drum corpsstyle percussion. “Paper Cities,” featured as a KCRW “Tune Of The Day,” is a powerful indictment of nationalism, reminding us that the boundaries drawn by war are temporal, “just lines on a map,” while the cautionary “Don’t Let Them” takes to task the powers that be – and those who put them in power, namely us.

The track listing for Other Lives is as follows:

1. Speed Tape
2. Don’t Let Them
3. Black Tables
4. End Of The Year
5. E Minor
6. Paper Cities
7. Matador
8. It Was The Night
9. How Could This Be?
10. AM Theme
11. Epic

Other Lives – Current Tour Dates

Aug 7 2009 Lollapalooza! Chicago, IL
Aug 9 2009 Mountain Stage Charleston, WV
Aug 11 2009 Union Hall Brooklyn, NY
Aug 12 2009 Webster Hall New York, NY
Aug 13 2009 Paradise Rock Club Boston, MA
Aug 15 2009 9:30 Club Washington, DC
Aug 17 2009 The Loft Atlanta, GA
Aug 19 2009 The Parish Austin, TX
Aug 20 2009 The Loft Dallas, TX
Aug 22 2009 Bluebird Theater Denver, CO
Aug 25 2009 The Venue Vancouver, B.C.
Aug 26 2009 Neumo’s Seattle, WA
Aug 27 2009 Wonder Ballroom Portland, OR
Aug 31 2009 The Music Box at Fonda Hollywood, CA

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