White Rabbits

Mon Mar 26, 2012
The Independent


White Rabbits

Here it is: “Milk Famous”: the brand new and highly anticipated third album by White Rabbits. Only this Brooklyn-based band’s combination of Midwestern roots and eclectic musical backgrounds could produce the balance of beauty and bombast that is “Milk Famous.” Produced by Mike McCarthy, “Milk Famous” will be on every person of wealth and taste's shortlist of Best Records of 2012.

And what else is there to know about White Rabbits, you may ask? Well, plenty…

To begin, not one member of the band has ever perpetrated a ponzi scheme. This fact may sound alarming given how newscasts are, literally, riddled with stories on ponzi schemes these days. But I assure you that if you were to scour most of the internet or visit your local library’s microfiche machines you will not find one ponzi scheme associated with Stephen Patterson (vocals/piano/guitar), Alex Even (guitar), Gregory Roberts (guitar/vocals), Jamie Levinson (drums) or Matthew Clark (drums).
(NOTE: Thats not to say they wouldn't take your life savings given the chance, but they'll most likely do it by getting you to buy "Milk Famous" and tickets to all their shows and getting your friends to do the same... which is really not all that dissimilar to a ponzi scheme)

Anyway, White Rabbits' roots go back to Columbia, MO where Stephen, much like fellow Midwesterner Iggy Pop, was making a living playing the drums in bands alongside much older jazz musicians (in Stephen’s case, authentic grown-up jazz cats—after a youthful run of hardcore punk bands, he was actively shunning popular music for a while), which helped him assimilate to other instruments and orchestration. “It was always a struggle for me early on to learn how to play instruments that had notes. Once I started viewing the keyboards as 88 drums, it really opened up the way I can play.” (It should be noted here that White Rabbits have two drummers, Jamie and Matt, far as I can tell from seeing them live)

So... the first White Rabbits album, “Fort Nightly” was released in May 2007 on Say Hey records. Jamie, who had originally been brought on as manager, was recruited as an actual band member as the band realized their increasingly complex and intertwining rhythms required another drummer (and as a manager, Jamie was a fantastic drummer), and such was the beginning of the sound and material that would become album #2.
White Rabbits' critically acclaimed sophomore album “It’s Frightening” was released in May 2009, featuring what the band felt was a more stripped down, abrasive approach--you know, the tried and true formula for career suicide... which resulted in the song, “Percussion Gun,” which racked up a million hits on Youtube and wound up featured everywhere from “Friday Night Lights” to FIFA World Cup. Do you have any idea how many people watch soccer? Seriously, do you have the slightest idea?

Which brings us to the band’s new album, “Milk Famous,” set to be released on March 6th. The title of the record, “Milk Famous,” Stephen explains as meaning, “To be known but not for something you intended to be known for.” Which you may have figured out on your own. Or you might have wondered for a while what it meant if he hadn't said that. Or just wondered what becomes of the truly "Milk Famous" late in their careers. Like Bobby Brown. Is he alive? I mean, how stupid are you going to feel if you're trying to think of other people who are “Milk Famous” when Bobby Brown could be lying face down in a ditch?

“Milk Famous” is both the third White Rabbits album, and the band's second release for tbd records, the label most famous for being Radiohead’s current home. But technically White Rabbits signed to tbd before Radiohead. And Radiohead just added that second drummer, didn't they? So I'm not accusing anyone of following in someone else's footsteps or anything... I'm just saying.


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