The music scene in Spokane is not without holes. There's a nice crop of young up-and-coming hardcore, emo, screamo bands, and even some good punk and experimental music. But one of the things I do is to try and book the best bands that are traveling through town and looking to play a club date. The hardest part of this effort is often finding local bands that can open and support the national ones. If Deerhoof were to play Spokane, who would I have open? Shit, if Radiohead were dying to play an intimate club date in an out-of-the-way town and were booked here, who would I put on the bill? Would it be the Killers, New Order, the Replacements or Interpol?
At this point, the answer for me is Teevee. While these guys are new to the scene, I have had the opportunity to see them several times now. Each time, they remind me how much I love rock music. I love the passion, the energy, the swagger, the whole damn thing.
Influenced by some of music's most innovative and eclectic bands, you can hear bits of Love and Rockets, My Bloody Valentine and the Jesus and Mary Chain. These guys aren't a cover band, though, and they're not just trying to sound like whoever their favorite band was growing up. They maintain a style all their own, even here in a town that tends to frown on that sort of thing.
Teevee's music is powerful, well thought-out and interesting. Adam Breeden's soft-spoken vocal style is a stark contrast to his dynamic, ethereal guitar. Intelligent and provocative bass work keeps this band tight along with one of the most intense, hard-hitting drummers I've ever heard. Teevee puts on a show that will draw you in so thoroughly, you'll forget that you're in a mid-sized town hundreds of miles from musical oases of Seattle and Portland.
Bands from Portland, after seeing Teevee on stage, immediately lobbied for them to travel back to Portland, where they could bask in the majesty of the Rose City's music scene. Artsy pop stars from the East Coast share with me their sincere appreciation for what Teevee does musically. Local rockers want to share the stage with them. This is all because what Teevee does is real, intelligent and very rock 'n' roll.
Teevee gives me hope that the Spokane music climate is diversifying. For those unsure of what I'm talking about, I simply ask you to turn off your television, get on, get out and put your faith in Teevee.
Alex Caruso owns Empyrean with his wife, Shae. In a little more than a year, the coffeehouse on Madison Street downtown has become everyone's favorite place to bang out garage-band demos. With a nice back room and good sound system, Empyrean is quickly becoming a premier place to play as well.