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The Rachel's Band began in Baltimore, MD under the direction of Christian Frederickson and Jason Noble. They are not from England. They met and became close friends with Rachel Grimes. Rachel was given a copy of their Rachel's Halo cassette (a Christmas gift) because of her first name and soon the three began collaborating. The three members went on to record the first Rachel's album, entitled Handwriting, which featured many different artists from radically different bands including Shellac, Rodan, and The Coctails.

The group went on to record "Music for Egon Schiele", which was accompaniment to a play about the early 20th century artist Egon Schiele.

The Sea and the Bells was the group's third album. It was inspired by the poetry of Pablo Neruda.

Selenography was released in 1998. It used more electronic equipment than before, but still follows the same pattern as past albums.

They recently collaborated with Matmos on a revision of "Full of Night" form the Handwriting album. It will be released sometime in summer of 2000.

All of their albums are available on Quarterstick Records.

I saw Rachel's in concert last night (Saturday, April 6) at the Wexner Center for the Arts on the OSU campus. I'd never heard anything by them before, so this was a bit of a first for me. A friend and I decided to go based entirely on what we read about them in reviews, we figured they were enough like some bands we really liked to make it worth the risk. We arrived early and checked out the art exhibits, before finally being ushered into the performance space. Much to our surprise, there were chairs this time. Being early as we were, we managed to snag front row center seats. SCORE! This meant we were about 2 feet from the musicians, and several times during the night they spoke to us (not the audiance, but us) and that there were times I had to pull my legs back to let them by. That was kinda cool. But this is all rather irrelevant, isn't it?

At about 8 pm, Shipping News came out. They are a side project of Rachel's Jason Noble and played a quick 3 song set. Granted, the songs were longer than three minutes, but still it was pretty brief. They weren't too bad, although the songs were all a bit different. The first song managed to pull off a decent if more guitar oriented godspeed sound, but the second track was more rock oriented with somewhat of a weezer sound. It was wierd... During the intermission they played a music video of one of their songs, which feature people who were not them playing a variety of instruments. It was actually quite funny.

I know, I know, when are we getting to Rachel's? HOW ABOUT NOW.

Rachel's came on at about 8:45. There was a second show at 10:30 so we figured we'd not be getting a long show tonight. I would say they played 5 songs. There were 7 people on stage, we had violin (Christian Frederickson), cello, piano/keyboards, synth/sequencer, drums (with the drummer from shipping news), guitar/bass (Jason Noble), and Xylophone. They also had an iBook on stage plugged into the pa which they played some pre-recorded stuff from. They played 5 songs, ending the show at about 10.

Ok, so now you want me to tell you if you should like this band or not, right? Well, I don't know. I think I got my $10 worth, but if it had cost $1 more I don't think it would have been worth it. Rachel's is a good band, no argument about that, but really not what I expected. I was hoping for the dynamics and sonic explosions of godspeed, but they apparently don't do that. Most of the music is carried by the violin and piano, there was almost no guitar involved. While there are times when they build up, they never really explode or cut loose. The sounds are nice and interesting, but not really complex and dynamic like other bands in this genre do.

The verdict? It's good music to play in the background. I don't think it could keep my attention too long, nor does it really move me. It's soothing, it's nice, but that's about the best I can say.

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