From a teensy, weensy town in a dry county in Oklahoma, the men of Colourmusic have too much time on their hands. The nearest venue they can play is an hour and half away in any direction. One of their band members lives in the UK for most of the year. So, in the remaining hours, they scheme. In color.
Like fellow Oklahomans The Flaming Lips, Colourmusic isn't shy of digging through a concept with gleeful conviction. Their two EPs, Red and Yellow, are a palate of songs that dip into the warm, excitable wells of their respective color. Their forthcoming album will blend both albums into one Orange disc.
The first time I saw Colourmusic they were armpit-deep in a nuclear family moment, with each member exploding a different role (and lead singer/matriarch Ryan frantically folding laundry and passing out cookies to the audience). Despite all the fanfare, Colourmusic avoids flogging themselves into one-trick ponies. Each tour is replete with its own theme but, most importantly, the music is entirely satisfying on its own. Take a listen here.
Colourmusic could be a cult. Songs are unflinchingly affirmative. (Then again, they have yet to venture into Blue territory.) During last night's show, each member introduced himself as "Roy" (as in Red-Orange-Yellow) and performed in white terrycloth tracksuits zipped all the way up to their bearded, elfin chins. The barest hint of an orange T-shirt peeking out under their jackets came with an implied promise of ripping the stifling things off all at once, mercifully rescuing them from an entire show of savage sweating. The suspense was sweet. The payoff—their discipline in leaving them on the entire time—was sweeter.
Anyhow, the point is that they'll be playing again tomorrow night (Saturday) at the El Rey Theater at 8 p.m. And, unlike last night's show, the fifth Colourmusic member will join them in the performance. Via satellite link from England, I'm told.
Maybe they really are a cult.