The difference between a band like, say, Los Angeles’ Local Natives and Same as It Ever Was, is that SAIEW is admittedly a Talking Heads tribute band. And a damn good one at that. If grainy YouTube videos are any indication, the Knoxville’s eight-piece Talking Heads tribute ensemble are musical marksmen when it comes to approximating the quirky compositions and world rhythms of the legendary art-rock innovators. Plus singer Curtis Geren is a dead ringer for David Byrne. In fact, if you close your eyes while listening to the audio of said videos and do a Pepsi challenge with a hissing early-’80s Heads bootleg, you might have a hard time picking out which is the genuine article. Since the indie-rock trend of yesterday was to ape new wave, and the indie-rock trend du jour is to ape Afrobeat, the last decade has seen the arc of smarty-pants-rock follow the trajectory of The Talking Heads discography. If you want to dance your ass off and feel cool at the same time, this show is probably the place to do it.
…And local rock group Same As It Ever Was is all about defying expectations. “When we first started the band, it was definitely about the music first and foremost,” founder Curtis Geren told The Daily Times this week. “We try to have some visually stimulating things going on. The guys wear costumes at every show, and we keep it Why the Talking Heads? Geren remembers watching the band’s videos when he was a child, but it wasn’t until his teenage years that he rediscovered the band’s music again. “I respect the fact that they discovered a way to move the body and the mind at the same time,” he said. “It’s very conceptual and very profound music, and at the same time it gets people dancing. It’s fun, very creative and very surreal at the same time. “At first, we were just excited to play the music itself, and anything else that might have come out of it remained to be seen. I think it was meant to be a really good ode to the Talking Heads, a really well-done tribute.” What it’s become is one of the most innovative groups and fun shows all over. Before forming Same As It Ever Was, Geren researched online and found no other Talking Heads tribute bands out there. Today, he’s part of an all-star ensemble that includes his brother Grant on rhythm guitar and vocals; Taylor Hiner on bass and vocals; Rusty Davidson on keyboards; Matt Aurand on percussion; Josh Hobbs on lead guitar; Steve Corrigan on drums; and local torch singer Sarah Clapp on backup vocals. The group’s music alternates between faithful recreations (“Houses in Motion,” “Crosseyed and Painless”) to reinterpretations (“Stay Hungry.”) – The Daily Times