TAUK Taps Naughty Professor Horns For Fresh Take On Tunes January 07, 2018 20:59
Interview by Brett Hutchins: Brett on Bands
The live music scene of Atlanta was booming this New Year’s Eve, but if it’s exploratory instrumental virtuosity you crave, Variety Playhouse certainly had you covered. Rising heavy jam rock band TAUK combined with New Orleans-based psychedelic jazz and funk band Naughty Professor for a horn-driven take of their tunes. Prior to the show, TAUK keyboardist Alric “A.C.” Carter chatted with us from the road about the magic of the South, the art and science of improv, and what to expect from Sunday night's mammoth collaboration.
The South has been good to you guys. What's so special about it?
AC: It’s all about the vibe. There’s a lot of live music lovers around the country and around the world, but down in the South, it seems like people take the time and have the patience to appreciate it a little differently than other places. They’re very welcoming. For us, that’s been something we’ve noticed from the start. We feel like we need to give back that appreciation. It’s always fun.
It’s cool you guys can notice that difference from up on stage.
AC: Every state and every venue is different, but you can definitely see it in a positive way.
What's the preparation process like for these shows with horns? It seems like a workout, especially with some of the tighter compositions you guys have.
AC: Naughty Professor are great players. Their style fits our sound and how we approach music.. We’ve done a couple shows with them before and we enjoy them immensely. We emailed them some of the tunes and gave them the freedom to take it where they wanted. It’s nice to allow bands to add their own voice independently. They came back and killed it with the arrangements. It’s better than anything I could’ve come up with.
Do rehearsals happen or is it just a back and forth email conversation?
AC: They didn’t have to send it back. There’s more of a trust factor going on there. They have a high level of musicianship so there’s an understanding and they delivered. We ran some things in soundcheck about one time each and they nailed it. That’s what happens when you have a pro section.
What's the New Years format going to be? Fun covers in store?
AC: Their whole band is opening and then the horns will come out for a number of tunes throughout our set, both originals and covers.
Your tours with Umphrey's really put you guys on the map, but you've done some odder bills as well. I've got the Railroad Earth shows in mind. How did that come about and what's the common ground there?
AC: A bunch of those guys are from Jersey, close to us in New York. They were kind enough to invite us out to Hangtown, a festival they curate. One of their guys came out and watched our set and they had a lot of positive feedback for us. They reached out when they did the Capitol Theatre and had us open. For us, that’s an awesome venue. It was a no brainer. It’s a different genre of music, but they’re great at what they do. Railroad Earth plays a different genre of music than us, but their fans were receptive to our set. It wasn't awkward at all. Their fans were respectful of what we were doing.
How do you stay sane doing so many shows a year?
AC: We’ve toned it down to 110 this past year, because we are recording a new record, but yes, it’s still a lot of shows. We try to be as honest with each other as possible on the road to make sure we keep each other in check. We’re always writing, whether it’s in Ableton or Logic or other music notation programs. Or just jamming. There are definitely things we do outside of Tauk. It’s who we are as people and as musicians.
What's the atmosphere like in the van when you guys are going from town to town on tour? Are you all nerding out on music together or just looking at Facebook memes like the rest of us?
AC: Right now, it’s nap time after two ragers in Charleston. I was just watching There’s Something About Mary. We’ll write, watch movies, laugh together, and of course there’s the Instagram and Facebook scrolling. It all depends on how bored you are in the van.
What do you listen to that might surprise us?
AC: Boyz 2 Men? There’s some cheesy stuff in the mix for sure.
Why were you drawn to instrumental music?
AC: I don’t differentiate between the two. It’s just about what feels good and what sounds good. I do understand that’s completely subjective. I started out doing classical music. In the context of TAUK, we started as a high school band and had vocals. As our sound matured, we found that melody is an important tool to make our music accessible. We still design our songs to be accessible and melody is our main tool in doing that.
Talk about about the art of improv for TAUK. How much of the shows are dedicated to “going there”?
AC: Every show we try to go there. By going there, I’m assuming you mean take it to a high level. That’s something we’re conscious about. We want every show to be unique and find cool ways to change it up. When you’re doing so many shows a year you have to do that, both for your listeners and for yourself. It gets boring for everyone otherwise.
Do you listen back to the shows for ideas on future compositions?
AC: Absolutely. There’s a lot of times where we will try new ideas within a song and listen back to see both how the crowd reacted and how we felt. And we’ll take notes. It’s kind of like writing a paper in a way. There are multiple drafts before you get a final draft submitted. We make edits and listen to suggestions on how to change it.
That’s an interesting balance between the romantic, free-flowing idea of improv and then the actual work you have to put into it.
AC: Right. It’s not something that’s always exact in certain songs. Certain songs have a different feel and require different approaches and make you look at things differently.
Are there times where you listen to yourself and cringe?
AC: Absolutely. I try to remove myself from that because the bias is inevitable, but the more you listen and pay attention, the better you become.
Watch TAUK perform "Waver" at Terminal West in Atlanta (2016) here:
Win Tickets To See TAUK + Little Raine Band In Auburn October 23, 2017 13:51
Photo by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen
TAUK makes its highly anticipated return to Auburn's Bourbon Street Bar on Thursday, December 26th, and we're giving away a pair of tickets to one lucky winner. Birmingham's Little Raine Band is slated for direct support, and considering the band's deep roots in Auburn, you couldn't ask for a better way to start the night. To enter the contest, head over to the Live & Listen Facebook page, share this post directly, and tag a a friend in the comments section. Make sure your settings are set to 'public' so we can see the share on our end. We will announce a winner on Thursday morning at 10:00 AM EST.
TAUK will be performing songs from their entire catalog including last fall’s Sir Nebula, Collisions, Pull Factors, and fan favorite Homunculus that was released on vinyl on Sept. 11th and made available exclusively at the TAUK merch booth. The newly pressed vinyl version of Homunculus features the original album mastered for vinyl and 3 bonus tracks from the recent Sir Nebula album sessions.
The band has been making multi-track mixes of select shows available for sale via Nugs.net, Those shows are available to stream via the Nugs.net streaming app, which can be downloaded here. The app gives fans access to over 10,000 shows from bands in the extended jam scene.
See below for further details on this show and TAUK's remaining 2017 tour dates, which include a two-night run at The Charleston Pour House on 12/29-12/30, and a big NYE show at Atlanta's Variety Playhouse on 12/31. Naughty Professor will be on hand for 12/30 & 12/31, which means you can expect the Naughty Professor horns early and often during TAUK's sets.
Watch a recap video from TAUK's recent show in Boulder, CO here:
Dominican Holidaze Reveals Stacked 2017 Lineup May 09, 2017 13:27
Host bands Umphrey's McGee, STS9, and The Disco Biscuits have revealed the lineup for The 11th installment of Cloud 9 Adventures’ Dominican Holidaze destination concert event in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. This year's festivities are scheduled from December 1st - 5th. Along with the host bands, this year’s Holidaze will feature GRiZ, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Lotus, The Motet, TAUK, Spafford, Sunsquabi and Wolf + Lamb, plus a poolside set from Umphrey’s McGee’s Brendan Bayliss.
All-inclusive packages for returning Holidaze guests go up for grabs on May 17. If rooms remain following the pre-sale, there will be a public on sale on Thursday, May 18 at 12 p.m. ET via Dominicanholidaze.com. Head to the festival’s website for additional details.
Watch the Dominican Holidaze (2016) official aftermovie here:
Win Tickets To See TAUK + Maradeen At Zydeco (3/6) February 27, 2017 21:02
From the hazy atmospherics of “Time’s Up” and soaring riffs of “Program Select” to the urgent rhythms of “Shenanigans” and sprawling melodies of “Where You Are,” Sir Nebula finds TAUK introducing a cosmically inspired element to their music. “The album ended up taking on a more ambient kind of vibe than anything we’ve done before—there’s a spaciness in the songs that lets you get lost in the sound,” says Dolan. And while the album is endlessly hypnotic, TAUK also deliver the dynamic tension-and-release jams that have helped earn them a devoted following while drawing critical acclaim (the Washington Post, for one, praised TAUK for “creating a hard-charging, often melodic fusion that—thanks to a penchant for improv—offers limitless possibilities”).
Throughout Sir Nebula—the follow-up to their 2015 live double album HEADROOM—TAUK allow a more free-form, instinct-guided approach to steer their music into bold new directions. “With this record, we felt more comfortable in the studio and got to a new level where we were able to constantly feed off each other, so there was a lot of spur-of-the-moment improvisation that really helped shape the album,” says Jalbert. Adds Carter: “We made a point of trying to express ourselves freely and take risks even when that felt challenging and scary, instead of holding ourselves back and possibly taking something away from the songs.” At the same time, TAUK sharpened their songwriting to craft more intricately layered arrangements and powerfully intense grooves.
As with their past four releases, TAUK created Sir Nebula in collaboration with Grammy Award-winning producer/mixer/engineer Robert Carranza (The Mars Volta, Ozomatli, Jack Johnson, Taj Mahal). But in a departure from their previous work, the band made the album in one concentrated period rather than spacing the recording sessions out in between tours. Holing up at the Solar Powered Plastic Plant in Los Angeles, often pulling 12-hour workdays, TAUK ultimately found the revamped recording process hugely beneficial. “Everything just happened so naturally this time around,” says Jalbert. “I can’t think of one moment where it felt like anything was forced. We were all just completely focused and in the same mindset, which made it this incredibly fun and smooth experience.”
TAUK’s creative connection traces back to childhood, when longtime friends Dolan, Jalbert, and Carter formed their first band in seventh grade and held practice in their school basement. After playing together in various projects over the years, the trio brought Teel into the fold in 2012, cementing the final lineup. “We gelled pretty quickly as friends and as musicians, and now there’s a connection onstage that’s unspoken,” notes Teel. “You just feel it from the energy within the band and from the response coming from the crowd—all these people in the same exact headspace.”
Since their formation, TAUK have shared stages with an impressive list of bands (including Widespread Panic, Umphrey’s McGee, Lettuce, and Tim Reynolds & TR3), in addition to appearing at festivals like Electric Forest, Bonnaroo, and The Allman Brothers’ Peach Music Festival. That rigorous touring schedule has gone a long way in strengthening their chemistry, according to Carter. “We’re doing 140 shows a year and we pretty much live with each other, so there’s a healthy respect and trust and love happening there,” he says. “We all have a common goal and an understanding that this is something we’re compelled to do, and that’s definitely brought us close together.” It’s also helped TAUK develop a reputation as a masterful live act: “TAUK is unstoppable,” raved Live for Live Music. “If you haven’t see them, dear God, go.”
Now on the road again (with upcoming dates including a two-night stint at the Brooklyn Bowl and spots on the Hangtown Music Festival, North Coast Music Festival, and Catskill Chill Music Festival), TAUK also have plans to widen their output by composing scores for film and television. In the meantime, the band is focused on instilling their live show with the same kinetic energy and boundless passion that powered the making of Sir Nebula. “Growing up together as musicians and collectively going on this journey—that’s what makes this experience really special,” says Jalbert of TAUK’s continued evolution. “It’s like everything we’ve learned over the years has been funneled into this band, and now it’s taking shape in a really exciting way. We all love what we’re doing, and the band just feels like home.”
Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival Announces Initial 2017 Lineup November 10, 2016 10:45
Okeechobee Music & Arts festival has announced its initial lineup for the second annual festival held at the Sunshine Grove in Okeechobee, FL. The festival is scheduled for March 2nd - March 5th (2017) and tickets can be purchased today by clicking here. Acts include Solange, who just performed on "Saturday Night Live," Bassnectar, Usher & The Roots, Kings of Leon, The Lumineers, Usher & The Roots, Flume, Wiz Khalifa, Pretty Lights, Rae Sremmurd, Young The Giant, Porter Robinson (Live), Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, as well as several our favorite bands like Perpetual Groove, The Revivalists, Moon Taxi, TAUK, and CBDB.
A limited quantity of both 3-day and 4-day Early Bird festival tickets as well as Early Bird VIP packages are on sale now at the Okeechobee Music Festival website. Early Bird 3 day GA price is $229, Early Bird 4 day GA price is $249, and Early Bird Eternal Sunshine VIP price is $599.
TAUK Announces Extensive 2016 Fall Tour Dates August 09, 2016 14:29
Photo by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen
New York-based funk four piece TAUK recently announced the first leg of it's 2016 fall tour dates, and we now have the second leg of what looks to be an amazing run. The band will tour in support of their new album Sir Nebula, which is due out on September 16th, with support from Naughty Professor in New Orleans (Nov. 11th) and Consider the Source in Baltimore, Lancaster (PA), and Syracuse. Tickets for the entire tour can be purchased by clicking here. Stay tuned to TAUK's official website for all future updates
New Sir Nebula TAUK Tour Dates
10/15/16 - TBD
11/9/16 - Three Links - Dallas, TX
11/10/16 - The Parish - Austin, TX
11/11/16 - Last Concert Cafe - Houston, TX
11/12/16 - The Howlin’ Wolf - New Orleans, LA ^
11/13/16 - Duling Hall - Jackson, MS
11/15/16 - 1904 Music Hall - Jacksonville, FL
11/16/16 - The Social - Orlando, FL
11/17/16 - Crowbar - Tampa, FL
11/18/16 - Variety Playhouse - Atlanta, GA
11/19/16 - New Mountain Theatre - Asheville, NC
11/30/16 - Charleston Pour House - Charleston, SC
12/1/16 - The Broadberry - Richmond, VA
12/2/16 - Baltimore Soundstage - Baltimore, MD %
12/3/16 - Chameleon Club - Lancaster, PA %
12/7/16 - The Westcott Theater - Syracuse, NY %
12/8/16 - Putnam Den - Saratoga Springs, NY
12/9/16 - Higher Ground - Burlington, VT
12/10/16 - The Outer Space (Ballroom) - Hamden, CT
^ with Naughty Professor
% with Consider the Source
TAUK's New Dual-Disc Album Available Today September 03, 2015 09:21
Photo by Live & Listen - The Ritz - Raleigh, NC - 02.14.15
The heavy NYC-based dirty funk four-piece, TAUK, is making headlines yet again. This time it's not just about their powerful live performance, but a brand new, dual disc live album, HEADROOM. The release features 16 live tracks from 8 different cities, including a jam rendition of Nirvana's "In Bloom." The album can be streamed and/or purchased today (Thurs. September 3rd) exclusively at 1320Records.com. Starting Friday, September 4th, the album can be streamed/purchased on all major online music outlets.
Recordings were taken from previous performances at the following venues: The NorVa (Norfolk, VA), The National (Richmond, VA), The Madison Theater (Covington, KY), The Ritz (Raleigh, NC), Iron Works (Buffalo, NY), The Southern (Charlottesville, VA), AURA Music Festival (Live Oak, FL), and Terminal West (Atlanta, GA). The album was mixed by Grammy-award winning producer Rob Carranza (Mars Volta, Jack Johnson), who also worked with the band on their previous album, Collisions.
Listen to the single "In The Basement of the Alamo" which premiered on Live For Live Music.
08-08 Thornville, OH - The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival
08-09 Asbury Park, NJ - Stone Pony Summer Stage
08-13 Scranton, PA - The Peach Music Festival
08-15 Spencer, IN - Hyperion Music Festival
08-21 Bartow, WV - Camp Barefoot Music Festival
08-22 Philadelphia, PA - A Midsummer Night’s Dream @ One Art
09-03 Providence, RI - The Spot Underground
09-05 Norridgewock, ME - Great North Music & Arts Festival
09-08 Syracuse, NY - Funk-N-Waffles
09-09 Rochester, NY - Montage Music Festival
09-10 Saratoga Springs, NY - Putnam Den
09-11 Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Bowl
09-12 Peekskill, NY - Paramount Hudson Valley
09-19 Bristol, TN - Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
09-22 Blacksburg, VA - The Sycamore Deli
09-24 Ferguson, NC - MANTRABASH
09-25 Thornville, OH - Resonance Arts & Music Festival
09-27 Guthrie, OK - TALOA Music Festival
10-01 Morgantown, WV - 123 Pleasant Street
10-02 Pittsburgh, PA - Rex Theater
10-03 Darlington, MD - Luna Light Music Festival
10-06 Lansing, MI - The Loft
10-07 Grand Rapids, MI - The Stache
10-08 Chicago, IL - 1st Ward @ Chop Shop
10-09 Milwaukee, WI - Miramar Theater
10-16 Denver, CO - Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
10-17 Boulder, CO - Fox Theater
10-22 Rockdale, TX - Art Outside