Spotlight on campus bands

Members+of+Dabbles+in+Bloom+-+left+to+right%3A+Jonas+Myers+13+%28Pianist%29%2C+Rimmy+Dooway+12+%28Vocalist%29%2C+Robby+Seager+13+%28Drummer%29.+Songwriter+Adriel+Borshansky+12+is+currently+studying+abroad+but+is+still+dedicated+to+the+band+and+sending+songs+via+email.+Photo+Credit%3A+Julia+Bowman

Members of Dabbles in Bloom – left to right: Jonas Myers ’13 (Pianist), Rimmy Dooway ’12 (Vocalist), Robby Seager ’13 (Drummer). Songwriter Adriel Borshansky ’12 is currently studying abroad but is still dedicated to the band and sending songs via email. Photo Credit: Julia Bowman

Nate Lessler

Despite it’s small size, Whitman College contains a large amount of campus bands–all with very distinct styles. In this issue, The Pioneer spotlights four of the many campus bands, and investigates what these bands are up to this semester.

Dabbles in Bloom:
“I would call it hopeful, happy, upbeat indie pop-rock with slight jazz influences,” said band member sophomore Jonas Myers describing Dabbles in Bloom’s unique sound.

At one point consisting of only a variety of part-time members, Dabbles in Bloom solidified itself last year as a four-person band after previous members went in separate directions.

The band now includes Adriel Borshansky ’12 (songwriter, guitar), Rimmy Doowa ’12 (vocalist), Robby Seager ’13 (drums) and Jonas Myers ’13 (piano).

Although founder Borshansky is abroad in Nepal this semester, the band has remained active. Borshansky has written multiple songs in Nepal and sent them to the band via the Internet. The band released a new music video on their website in September. In addition, the band  has managed to still perform gigs  and plans on playing at an upcoming Mr. Whitman event.

“It will be interesting to play without Adriel, but also good for us,” said Myers. “We  need to keep up our hype, and our group dynamic, and keep evolving, so this will be beneficial.”

According to Myers, there is tentative discussion of a new album in 2011.

The band’s debut album “Greetings”, which has been well received by multiple online indie music blogs, is available on iTunes as well as at the Whitman College Bookstore. For more information on Dabbles in Bloom visit the band’s website: www.dabblesinbloom.com

Plateau:

One of the longest existing Whitman bands, Plateau was originally formed back in 2007 in Enumclaw, Wash. The band consists of Adrian Tuohy ’11 (guitar/lead vocals), Matt Sweeney ’12 (bass/backing vocals) and Alex Folkerth ’12 (drums/backing bocals). Touhy, who also writes the songs, describes Plateau’s music as “alternative rockish,” citing influences such as The Replacements, The Lemonheads, Nirvana and The Beatles.

While most Whitman-based bands perform all their gigs on-campus or in Walla Walla, Plateau also tours in Washington and Oregon. Plateau has also released a few albums including the most recent extended-play recording titled “Along the Line.”

Recently, the band has been playing shows on weekends throughout the recording of their second full-length album.

“Our new album will be released some  time in the next two weeks,” said Touhy. “So far, it’s our best work yet.”

The band plans for an extended west coast tour after next semester once Folkerth returns from a semester abroad in Africa.

“Hopefully we all make it back in one piece,” said Touhy.

Plateau’s music is available both online and on sale at Hot Poop in Walla Walla. Visit http://www.reverbnation.com/plateau to find out more about Plateau and stream their music.

Chastity Belt:

Formed just last semester, this all-female band is one to keep an eye on over the next couple of years. Chastity Belt consists of Julia Shapiro ’12 (songwriter/guitar), Lydia Lund ’12 (guitar/bass), Gretchen Grimm ’12 (guitar/bass) and Annie Truscot ’12 (drums).

The band was formed after Shapiro and Lund decided that Chastity Belt would be a fitting name for an all-female post-post-punk band.

And Shapiro doesn’t regret the decision.

“Being in Chastity Belt is honestly the best decision of my life,” she said. “It’s just sort of a fun thing right now, but I also have a feeling we’ll go places. Every band member has something excellent to offer.”

Chastity Belt won Beta-fest’s Battle of the Bands last spring. More recently, the band has been working on new material and practicing whenever they have a chance.

“Our plan is to dominate the Whitman music scene, and with our angst and post-post-punk attitudes, I think we’re already on our way,” said Shapiro. “Hopefully we’ll get some gigs soon, but a lot of our gigs are impromptu, and involve us taking over the stage after a real band has played. Not to say that Chastity Belt isn’t a real band, we’re real alright. So real.”

Check out the band’s Facebook page at  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chastity-Belt/158641240823567

Orange Fight:

Unlike the previous campus bands, Orange Fight is not made up of students. Rather, the six-piece band consists of a variety of Whitman faculty members. Band members include:  Director of Institutional Research Neal Christopherson (guitar/vocals),  Associate Professor of Sociology Michelle Janning (piano/vocals), Associate Professor of Psychology Matthew Prull (guitar), Chair of Social Sciences Keith Farrington (bass), and Norrie Gregoire (drums).

The band was formed by Christopherson, who got the name Orange Fight from his brother, who called his home-brewed beer Orange Fight. Their music is described by one website as a blend of  Wilco, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd and the Velvet Underground.

Orange Fight has played at Coffee House in the past, and has an upcoming gig at Sapolil Cellars in Walla Walla on Friday, Oct. 22.

The band released their first self-titled album in spring of 2009. The artwork for the album was designed by Grammy award-winning graphic designer/photographer Sally Carns (who happens to be a college friend of Christopherson’s).

The album can be found on iTunes. For more information on Orange Fight go to www.myspace.com/orangefight