Of Montreal talks 'Song Dynasties,' shares playlist

pdonohue@beaufortgazette.comMarch 7, 2013 

The Of Montreal concert starts with opening act Royal Canoe at 7 p.m. March 8 in Forsyth Park, Savannah. The concert is free.



    WHEN: today through March 9

    WHERE: Venues vary

    COST: $30 one-day pass; $50 festival pass (limited time); $120 VIP

    DETAILS: www.savannahstopover.com


    WHEN: Opening act Royal Canoe starts at 7 p.m. March 8

    WHERE: Forsyth Park in Savannah

    COST: Free

Instead of being cooped up in one of Savannah's historic theaters or in a small club along River Street, Athens, Ga.-based psychedelic indie rockers Of Montreal will have all of Forsyth Park to play with when they perform there March 8 as part of the Savannah Stopover Festival.

Known for performances that often include costume changes, skits and elaborate homemade props, Of Montreal has never played Savannah but is looking forward to their performance as the festival's headliner, frontman Kevin Barnes said.

"The stage (at the park) is pretty big, so there will be no restrictions as far as what we can do," Barnes said. "We're going to be bringing a pretty big ensemble -- six band members and four performance artists. There will be a light show and a video show. It's going to be very psychedelic and hopefully transportational for the audience."

The concert in the park, which opens with a performance from Winnipeg, Canada's Royal Canoe, is free and begins at 7 p.m.

Founded in 1996 by Barnes and members of a group of musicians calling themselves the Elephant 6 Collective, Of Montreal has appeared on TV shows, including "Late Night with David Letterman" and "Yo Gabba Gabba!"

More than most, Of Montreal is a band with little to no regard for genre. Indie, pop, punk, dance and psychedelic are all words that have been used to describe any one of the band's 11 records, including last year's "Daughter of Cloud."

Barnes said he likes keeping music critics and the band's fans guessing.

"I'm always trying to write new songs and find new forms of inspiration," Barnes said. "Right now, I'm listening to a lot of Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. Could our next record have that kind of sound? It's hard to say that those artists will be the inspiration for the record, but that's kind of where my head is right now."

The band also recently used the popular crowdfunding website Kickstarter to raise more than $90,000 in a month to finish "Song Dynasties," a feature-length documentary chronicling the band's history and its "Skeletal Lamping" tour.

Barnes said he was humbled by the money raised and added that he isn't sure how he will feel when the documentary is finally released on DVD later this year.

"It'll probably be really bizarre," he said. "Like my life flashing before my eyes. I'd imagine I'll feel so disconnected from it. Like, 'That's not me.' It'll probably feel like a dream."

Of Montreal headlines a bill for Savannah Stopover that includes fellow Athenians The Whigs and Chelsea Light Moving -- the sight project of Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore -- cellist Ben Sollee and more than 70 other bands.

Now in its third year, the festival has grown significantly, and organizers have had their sights on landing Of Montreal, said Kayne Lanahan, event CEO and founder.

"It's the band's first time in Savannah and something we've been working on since we started the festival in 2011," Lanahan said.


The full Savannah Stopover schedule

Of Montreal's website

To follow, Of Montreal on Twitter

Trailer for upcoming Of Montreal documentary, "Song Dynasties"


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