Too often bands are quick to filter their music through a series of predictable clichés, thus disallowing any fresh oddity or peculiarity from squirming its way into the trite formula that is so often associated with songwriting. The consequential grayness of the music leaves an unsatisfying and bland taste in the mouth of the listener. There's no personality. No character.
The goal of The Seedy Seeds is to scrap the lackluster paint-by-number song structure and integrate a seemingly endless palette of color teeming with bright, electric shades. The Cincinnati duo allows its songs to be commandeered by an onslaught of instruments and playful intricacies. Margaret Weiner and Mike Ingram work in cohesive unison, as either might at any time wield a banjo, bass, accordion, guitar, kazoo or slide whistle.
"At our first practice we decided that we would allow the toy keyboard to become part of the band," says Weiner.
The $1 thrift store find poignantly epitomizes the mentality of The Seedy Seeds. No matter how strange, whatever instrument facilitates the group's musical mindset is of critical value.
When they first began discussing the possibility of collaborating, both members acknowledged that they had a backlog of instruments they hadn't yet mastered.
"We figured it was about time we banded together, learned the instruments and became the sweetest band on Earth," Weiner sarcastically says out of the side of her mouth. "We really just wanted to write Japanese Pop songs. That was the stipulation."
Initially comprised of three close friends (Erin Althoff recently left the band due to school and work obligations), the group began practicing in early 2006 and later donned themselves The Seedy Seeds, the name stemming from their intense love for Indian food. While Ingram jokingly acknowledges the endless list of bands he has taken part in (Junior Revolution, The Story Changes, Inside Recess, etc.), Weiner admits that The Seedy Seeds marks her first true musical collaboration. The combination of personalities, however, has in a short time yielded a dynamic entourage of songs and live performances. Because the band's unique musical style is difficult to pigeonhole, the vibrant colors created by the music are able to seep into numerous crevices of the city.
"One of the best things about our music is that we can appeal to so many demographics," says Ingram. "We can play the role of the bar band or we can play for a bunch of 9-year-olds. The personal connection with the audience is what's important."
The endearing, Enon-esque quirkiness of The Seeds' repertoire of musically diverse songs is strongly supported by layers of vocal melodies. The waterfall of vocal melody only adds more lively shades to the already expanding palette that works to surround and mesmerize the audience. Each member takes his or her own part in conveying lyrical content that will hopefully invoke varying, unique reactions.
Weiner expands on the progressive thought put into constructing the lyrics and says, "All of our songs are about change and activity. We try our best to convey our messages in a way that allows for individual interpretation. We're promoting activity instead of handing you a plate with an idea on it."
The theme of change was recently taken on the road for the first time as the duo made a small venture out of town. While some bands settle nicely, and at times stagnantly, into their roles within their respective cities, Ingram expresses The Seedy Seeds' grandiose aspirations of one day taking the slide whistle and kazoo out of Cincinnati and conquering the Budokan. The band understands the importance of entrancing the local scene with its charm, which it is doing rapidly, but is also intrigued by other areas of the country filled with their own oddities and eccentricities.
"We want to go as far as we can go as a band," explains Ingram. "It's just simply fun to play in a different city you've never been or a small town where you can check out the local fudge factory or wax museum."
As thoughts of world domination continue to swirl about, The Seedy Seeds hope to begin recording their debut full-length album by the end of January at the local Candyland Studios. Don't think that the group is locking itself away in the studio, however, because it also continues to regularly grace a myriad of venues with its glowing brand of Pop. So if you ever happen to be strolling along and suddenly hear a strange array of banjo and accordion accentuated by a sheet of vocal harmonies, do yourself a favor and follow the scent. It'll be worth it.
THE SEEDY SEEDS (myspace.com/theseedyseeds) perform Wednesday (as well as Feb. 14, 21 and 28) at The Comet in Northside.