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Electric Junction opens for Diplomats of Solid Sound at Yacht Club

BY NICK FETTY | APRIL 16, 2009 7:38 AM

mp3 sample: Electric Junction

"The Fire"

In 1987, Brian Waller and Brock Beekmann forged a friendship while attending Nodland Elementary School in Sioux City. Today, the two are the founding members of Des Moines-based psychedelic-indie-jam quintet Electric Junction.

Along with Chicago’s the Right Now, Electric Junction will open for the Diplomats of Solid Sound at the Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn St., Friday night. The show will start at 9 p.m., and tickets are $7.

Electric Junction began in 2003, when Waller and Beekmann completed their studies at Colorado State University and the University of Northern Iowa, respectively. That same year, the duo recruited a drummer, UI alum Dan Tripp, as well as a bassist who was replaced by Chris Lachky in 2006. The group rounded out its current lineup by adding keyboardist Josh Kaufman last year.

“Traditionally, we’ve played a lot of Widespread Panic covers, so we’re kind of in the jam vein but not really,” Tripp said. “We’ve kind of moved with our new material — over the past year or so — to a little bit heavier music but still real listenable, real danceable.”

Tripp started playing the drums when he was in elementary school, and he was involved in jazz band throughout high school. He majored in English while attending the UI and played with several Iowa City-area bands.

Electric Junction has played a cancer benefit in Kansas City for the past two years in honor of Lachky’s close friend John Haugan, who died in January 2008.

“That’s been really fulfilling to be able to go down to help out a friend and his family and be involved with something like that,” Lachky said. “That’s really what I carry in terms of what the band means to me, because it’s such a camaraderie that I’ve found with these guys.”

Tripp recalled a more upbeat instance while on tour last year when Kaufman stopped at every gas station “to find the most awkward, funny thing” he could. Kaufman eventually found a pink Hannah Montana hat and wore it for that night’s show.

“He probably got more compliments on that hat than anybody in the band had ever gotten on anything our entire time together,” Tripp said. “That was kind of a fun way to keep things light and keep everybody laughing and enjoying themselves.”

No stranger to the Yacht Club, Electric Junction has been a regular act there for the past three years. Last year, the venue housed the band’s album-release show.

“We always love playing at the Yacht Club,” Lachky said. “It’s kind of like our home away from home.”


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