|Photo by: themindfish.bandcamp|
College is supposed to be the best four years of your life. We’ve heard this countless times and for the most part, it’s true. It plays out like a caricature of real life--all the freedom with a fraction of the responsibility and accountability, on a finite life cycle towards a definitive end goal.
But the fleeting aspect of the collegiate experience is often shoved under the rug, too difficult to talk about. Everything about college is temporary: the place, the people, the experiences. At the end of your four (or five) years you must move along once again with the knowledge you’ve attained to, hopefully, greener pastures.
Being able to move on when it’s your best interest to do so is essential to personal growth, and with Mind Fish lead singer Dean Tartaglia, leaving Athens (the last band member to do so) in the next week, the band as a whole has decided to cut ties with Athens in hopes of bigger lights and brighter exposure.
“We’ve been doing gigs in New York, Chicago and other bigger cities,” said Tartaglia. “We’re trying to work on a more national scale.”
Those are logical aspirations. No musical act that reached a worthwhile level of success was ever labeled a college band. In fact, it’s not far off to call a “successful college band” an internally inconsistent statement--college bands don’t make it out of the college town where they began. Instead, all that wasted talent gets relegated to mere memories of when you weren’t stuck in that cubicle sneaking peaks at the front page of Reddit every few hours.
So, Mind Fish is saying goodbye, but they don’t want it to be a sad or bitter parting.
“This is still home. There’s a lot of charm to this place,” said Tartaglia, who wants this farewell show to be a joyous celebration for the fans they’ve cultivated over more than two years playing shows. For Wednesday's show, Tartaglia said fans can “expect lots of confetti."
"We know Wednesday isn’t the most ideal night for everyone to be out, so we’re going to start early so people can see our whole set," he said.
It’s true that Wednesday isn’t the most ideal day for a big show, but the uprooting process for Mind Fish is already well under way. Tartaglia is the only member of the group still residing in Athens at this point, and by next week, he’ll be on tour with another group, The Sights, where he’ll be playing saxophone on the band’s nationwide tour opening for Tenacious D.
But it’s not as though Mind Fish is going on a hiatus--quite the contrary in fact. Plans for a new album are already being put together. Despite living apart from one another, the members have been able to send demos to one another via the Dropbox file sharing service.
“It’s so weird. We don’t even get to practice anymore. I’ve never been part of a band that didn’t practice,” said Tartaglia. There’s an excitement and anticipation in his voice as Mind Fish exits the shallow waters of the Hocking River into deeper, more uncertain territory.
There’s an opportunity to thrive though too, and they recognize that.
“We’ll be working out of Toledo and start recording this summer. It’s going to be a straight indie-pop record. We’re getting more accessible. That’s always been the trajectory of the band," said Tartaglia.
The other members will lay down their parts while Tartaglia kicks it with Jack and Kyle until August, when he can return and put the finishing touches on it.
So this is your last chance, in the foreseeable future at least, to catch Mind Fish in Athens.
Sharing the bill with the bands, however, are two up-and-coming acts in the Athens music scene. Rock band The Grove is a staple at Red Brick Tavern every Tuesday, known for their excellent handle on their instruments and high energy covers of crowd favorites. The Lost Boys are a trio of long haired, suit wearin’, acoustic guitar playin’ gents who roll their pant legs up and perform without shoes. The newbies formed just last winter but sound like they’ll fit right in.
A fond farewell to a community favorite and a welcome hello to a couple of acts we’ll hopefully be seeing for years to come.
The only thing that could make this better is if the show was free. Oh wait, that's right, it is free. The show will be at The Union and begins at 9 p.m. Wednesday.
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