Localized: Coelacanth

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photo of Coelacanth from MySpace

Words by Erin Wolf

A band named after a rare fish? Bass and drums — nothing else? If one knows the musical history of Milwaukeeans Peter J Woods and Daniel Friedman, it’s obvious they could pull it off better than most: Woods and Friedman create oddball, crushing sounds that are the perfect soundtrack for prehistorical fishes. For anyone’s who’s seen the duo’s additional part time act, E=MC Hammer, knows that the quality vs quantity rule applies and Wednesday sees the advent of their latest quality project, Coelacanth, with two shows to send them off: their first show, ever at the Borg Ward with Cartilage Party and Dead Man’s Carnivale, followed directly by  a second show at The Cactus Club with All Tiny Creatures and The Caribbean. Fan-belt talks to drummer Danny Friedman about  just what Coelacanth has in store for Milwaukee tomorrow night.

Who’s involved in Coelacanth?

Well, Coelacanth is a new project with me on drums and Peter Woods on bass guitar. This is not to be confused with our now six-year, running abomination, E=MC Hammer. These are two entirely separate entities.

How long have you been playing?

This is kind of a difficult question to answer. Some of the songs that we have written for Coelacanth have been kicking around in some form or another for nearly a year, but we didn’t officially adopt them under the Coelacanth moniker until very recently.

We’ve been working on writing a wide body of material before taking it outside of practice, and in fact, we will be playing our first show as Coelacanth for an all-ages audience at the Borg Ward before our show at the Cactus Club. So…I guess it’s a pretty new project?

How is this any different from your other projects like E=MC Hammer?

E=MC Hammer is a band that Peter and I have been playing in for the last six years that is comprised of some coherent music but mostly absurdity. Within the last year, Peter and I started writing a body of related instrumental work with the intention of releasing a concept album about the paving/plowing jokes found on the Poblocki Paving Co. billboard on I-94 West, heading towards Madison. All of the songs sounded distinctly different, with a somewhat ‘post-rock’ direction to all of them.

To make a long story short, we decided to use them for a different project (Coelacanth), rather than try to make them fit into our previous rubric that didn’t really make sense for them. Although Coelacanth isn’t really a joke band like E=MC Hammer, the songs still bear paving-related one-liners as their names, and we continue to name them as such in the spirit of the original endeavor.

Isn’t a ‘Coelacanth’ a fish? 

Well, the Coelacanth is my favorite animal. It is a Devonian-era fish that was presumed to be extinct (disappeared from the fossil record) until it was randomly discovered off the coast off the coast of South Africa in the 1930s. It’s really ugly and has fins that look like legs, is not edible, and can’t survive at shallow depths. It’s a weird/anomalous animal with an interesting name, so it seemed pretty fitting to name a band with Peter and I after it.

How’d you get hooked up with the Cactus show with All Tiny Creatures and The Caribbean?

I’ve been friends with the members of All Tiny Creatures for some time, and I’ve shared a recording studio space with Ben, their drummer, for the last couple of years. It’s not very glamorous, but Ben called me up from the road (they’re on tour right now) and told he needed another band for the show on the 12th, and the rest is pretty self-explanatory.

Catch Coelacanth’s first show at The Borg Ward (823 W. National) Wednesday night at 7 p.m. with Blunt Objects Theatre, Ad Hoc, Dead Man’s Carnivale and Cartilage Party. At Cactus Club (2496 S. Wentworth) at 10 p.m. opening for All Tiny Creatures and The Caribbean. 21+

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2 Responses to “Localized: Coelacanth”

  1. Ben Turk Says:

    This first paragraph mistakenly states that the show is at Y not 3. It’s actually at the borg ward. Just clearing up any potential confusion.

  2. Erin Says:

    Apologies to the band…it’s all changed! A bit sleepy today.

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