Velvet above ground

BY DI STAFF | FEBRUARY 18, 2010 7:30 AM

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The experience of being on tour has definitely been interesting for Velvet Davenport — even if it hasn’t been the most hygienic.

“You just have to get to a place, play music, and have fun,” said Parker Sprout, who plays guitar and writes music for the band. “And you don’t brush your teeth as much.”

The band will play at the Picador, 330 E. Washington St., at 9 p.m. today. Admission for the 19-plus show is $4. Viking F— and Parade in the Old Country Sky will open.

Velvet Davenport’s sound is described on its MySpace page as “psychedelic pop,” and Sprout said he enjoys writing music that is “weird and interesting.” The band has an album out titled Happy Endings, and it is working on a second record, which will be called Warmy Girls.

Although one might think that the band is from a certain city in eastern Iowa, Velvet Davenport is based in Minneapolis. Members of the band — Sprout on guitar, Samuel Cramer on bass, Aaron Baum on keyboard, Jonathan Kennedy on drums, and Tomas Aksamit and Pat Kessler also on guitar — have been playing together since the spring of 2008. Most of the band members have known each other since high school, Sprout said.

The name of the band itself also springs from his earlier years.

“I had a pet fish that was named Velvet Davenport when I was younger,” he said from New York, where the band was leaving from being on tour. “I don’t know why I named it Velvet Davenport; that’s what the name originally was.”

He also does artwork, which he creates by putting various pictures together. His work will be on the cover of a 7-inch, which the band also hopes to put out soon.

When asked how audience members react to Velvet Davenport’s music, Sprout keeps his expectations pretty standard.

“I just hope … that people can listen to it and it sounds good to their ears and to their mind, too,” he said. “And that they’re able to get something out of it.”

— by Marisa Way

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