Artists swarm around Papadosio

BY JOSIE JONES | MARCH 11, 2010 7:30 AM

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Spotlights of lime and indigo flash in various directions behind the band members of Papadosio as they enter an electronic state of music. The lighting incorporated into the group’s live shows highlights its artistic impulse.

“I think it provides a scenery,” guitarist and vocalist Tony Thogmartin said. “I don’t want Papadosio to be just a live band — I would like it to become someday a circus.”

Papadosio will perform its electronic music at 9 p.m. today at the Yacht Club, 13 S. Linn St. Admission is $6.

In an effort to expand beyond the music, other artists, from intuitionists to live painters, tend to show up and present different talents at Papadosio’s performances. The band feels this addition helps create an artistic community.

“It tends to be a very different experience,” Thogmartin said. “More different than people are used to. And I mean that in a sincere way.”

The band formed four years ago after playing together at a pub in Athens, Ohio. During an open jam session, the four members came together on stage and felt something click among them musically.

“Whenever our combination would come up, it just seemed to be something magical,” Thogmartin said.

Papadosio enjoys the experimental aspect of its work, he said, describing its performances as more of a variety show that seems to be a dancer’s style of music.

Because their sound is something audiences aren’t really used to, the band members feel they can write whatever they want that pleases their creative desires. Described as psychedelic and electronic, Papadosio members said the fusion of different musical and technological elements is what makes them excited about their art.

“We’re writing music that we love,” Thogmartin said. “And I think a lot of bands can’t say that, even though they’d like to.”

Performing on average of 150 shows each year, and sometimes doing yoga before going on stage, the band is sustained by touring. Despite playing since April 2006, Papadosio has never toured in the northern Midwest, but the members want to expose its music in every possible place.

“There are so many bands out there nowadays,” Thogmartin said. “And if you don’t try very hard to set yourself apart, then you’re not making any artistic statements. We’re trying really hard to do that.”

Although it may appear that the group is attempting to achieve a lot with its experimental and electronic music, all the band really wants is to create an experience that allows the audience members to walk away with it stuck in their minds.

“We’re just trying to change what it means to go see live music,” Thogmartin said.

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