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What the Academy Is

BY RACHAEL LANDER | APRIL 08, 2009 7:30 AM

The pop-punk sound of The Academy Is comes to the Picador, 330 E. Washington St., at 6 p.m. today with singer/songwriter Evan Taubenfeld. Tickets range from $10 to $12.

The Academy Is started out as just the Academy, before tacking on the last part in order to distinguish it from other bands that previously claimed the name. Under the title the Academy, the band released its first self-titled EP, which caught the ear of Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz, and he assisted the group in getting a record deal.

With its second album, Almost Here, in 2005, came a myriad of changes in the band’s lineup. The band finally came to the ensemble of William Beckett, Mike Carden, Michael Guy Chislett, Adam T. Siska, and Andy Mrotek.

The Academy Is has toured with numerous well-known bands — including Fall Out Boy, Something Corporate, and HelloGoodbye. The Academy Is also has gigs scheduled in London and Manchester.
From the band’s genesis in 2003 to now, it has evolved its sounds from a planned recorded feel to having a more spontaneous vibe. According to the band’s website, its latest album, 2008’s Fast Times at Barrington High, named for the Illinois school some of its members attended, captures the spontaneity of music popular in the 1960s.

That’s the essence of that era’s music — when it was good, artists wrote it down, recorded it, and it was ready for release — is what the members of The Academy Is tried to capture on Fast Times at Barrington High, and a feeling that many fans and critics say has aided in the band’s evolution.

The Chicago-based quintet recorded the album in New York, a definite departure from its previous recording locations of Florida and Los Angeles. On the band’s website, Siska noted that recording in New York allowed the group to play off of the energy in the fast-paced city, something the members had not been able to do with other albums.


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