Recent News & Events

Monday, August 21, 2017 at 2:34 pm


The band is currently hibernating, its slumber disturbed every once in a while to play an old fan’s wedding. The hunger for more Heads grows slowly, and if winter ever thaws, we may see them arise stronger than ever.

In the meantime, here are links to other current projects that feature members of This Must be the Band:

DJ noDJ – 6 piece electronic dance band
Charlie Otto – sometimes acoustic, sometimes electronic full band
Babe alon 5 – the backup singers of TMBTB become lead and theatrically sing hilarious songs from the 40′s
Old Timey – non-standards from before rock and roll
Wake Up and Live – Denver reggae

Friday, June 10, 2016 at 5:45 pm

New Album from Grood

This Must be the Band is taking a break, but they have not stopped making music.  The two leaders of the band, husband/wife duo Charlie Otto and Kasey Foster, released an album of original tunes under the moniker “Grood” in March 2016 to surprising acclaim.  Since 2009 they have been building a vibrant following of fans and performers, and this recent album is one in a long line of inspired works they have produced.   Links to the audio below:

Grood “Singles Volume 1″ on Itunes

Grood Unreleased songs on Soundcloud

Besides completing their recent 6 song EP, the band made several music videos that showcase Foster’s amazing stage antics, one of which is linked below:

One Foot in Front of the Other

Perhaps most in line with This Must be the Band’s claim to fame, Grood still performs elaborate and theatrical live shows full of brazen musical performances, set design and cotumes, and energetic crowd participation.  Once a year, they perform the ACTual Show, admittedly inspired by Byrne’s  ”Stop Making Sense.”  Below is a teaser of past years, the next one is slated for November 2016.

ACTual Show III

The rest of the band (all 20 of them) are also hard at work on other notable projects like DJ noDJ, Babe-alon 5Wild Earp, Drmbt, Genome, Origin of Animal, etc.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 11:53 am

What the Band’s Up To!

This Must be the Band is pretty much on haitus right now, but the band members are busier than ever making music, theater, film, and dance work.  Up next, Kasey Foster and StrangeCrop present “Dance Tribute to Aphex Twin,”  in which a collections of songs from a single musician/band/artist are selected and paid tribute through choreography and performance. These songs are selected from the artist’s entire catalog of music, including his/her/their earliest compositions, as well as most recent works, in order to fully comprehend his/her/their brilliance. Over forty Chicago dancers/movers/actors/choreographers are involved with every Tribute. It is a night of dance, happy chums, drinks, grub, laughs, art, and only a few uncomfortable moments. Dance Tribute is always followed by “the best dance party of your lives”, this time mix-mastered by The Abominable Twitch. Previous Dance Tributes include: Mr. Bungle, David Lynch, Bjork, and David Bowie (abridged). Be there or be square, go to for details.

Apr 27, 2015

Martyrs’ in Chicago

Poster design for the Apr 27, 2015 Dance Tribute to Aphex Twin at Martyrs in Chicago.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 1:45 pm

StrangeCrop and Thank You

We’d like to thank everyone for their work with This Must be the Band. Everyone who supported the band was a master of their craft, whether it was dancing, yelling out requests, bringing their friends, hyping things on FB, participating in contests, taking photos, posting video, or just allowing themselves to be strange out in the open.

I learned very early on with this band that the way to put on the very best show was also the easiest: let the crowd yell out what they want to hear and they make a perfect set list every time. And the more I included “fans” in not only that process but the behind-the-scenes details, the deeper the connection everyone felt to this project, like they owned the band. And how could it be otherwise? No one person had the right to ownership except maybe David Byrne himself, and I don’t think he was interested, so it was ours.

I believe that art is not an act of separation but of connection. I’m done being in a rock band that is separate from its listeners, put on a pedestal and praised for its accomplishments. Instead I want to participate in the art that took the entire community to shape, the entire fb group to comment and joke about, and anyone who wants to contribute does so and then says “that was fun.” No art we make needs to be different than everything else out there; it just has to say what we all believe together in our slightly varied shades. I bet that would be beautiful, like looking at a huge rainforest from space.

I got a taste of that in This Must be the Band, but ultimately the format and material was just too limited. We had created all the set lists, we had explored all the space in the songs, and money slipped in as a reason to do something. I think any project will start to stagnate in those conditions, which it did for us.

But I want to take the seed that germinated in this band and grow it to its full potential. I want to usher in a new paradigm in which the distinction between performer and fan breaks down completely, and everyone creates, witnesses, and archives at varying levels of involvement. I no longer want to show people MY art, add up the FB likes and claim superiority, I only want to collaborate and make art together. I’m starting a production co-op that will work to achieve that goal, by making our live shows more interactive, our digital content more collaborative, and all of our work much more open-source. It is called StrangeCrop, a small group of producers that hope to grow and combine the talents of anyone who is interested in contributing.

Some people feel threatened by an idea like this, because they don’t want to be a performer, forced to do something in front of people they don’t know; I empathize but think that they’re saying that playing an instrument or painting is a higher form of creativity than all the other essential actions that contribute to a piece of art, and I disagree. Everyone everyone everyone is brilliant at something that could enrich a work, whether at a live show or on the internet.

So my first move as head of StrangeCrop is to hold a casting call for anyone that’s interested in being involved, in absolutely any form, in making art with us. Wanna bake some cookies for an event? Make a home video lip syncing a song? Instagram a hilarious pic? Design a t-shirt or a logo? Ever wanted to be part of a flash mob? Want to learn an instrument or find people to jam with? This must be the place (our band had a rule, only one Heads pun per year per person, this is mine). Email and introduce yourself.

My second move is to ask for money. Some people find that the best way for them to support is to give some cash, and that’s cool with me. We put it all to good use buying responsibly sourced materials and paying anyone who has to devote their life to this but finds they still need to eat. We’ve set up a Patreon page for this purpose: Patreon is like Kickstarter, except instead of asking for start-up cash to produce one big thing off in the future, Patreon is more like joining a farm co-op where a steady stream of community-supported art is delivered to your door. Whether its new original music, a weekly podcast, a dance show, a short or full length film, or a multi-media event, you will get to taste all the juicy originality StrangeCrop can curate from all its very creative members (you). Find our Patreon page here

Here’s the first piece of art we made as StrangeCrop (hint: it’s a video, click the link. The best part is at the end, so either watch the whole 2 minutes or just skip straight to the last 10 seconds and you’ll be happy. It skimps on some of the ideas I laid out in this rather long stump speech, in the interest of time.

If you’d rather just get a sincere thank you for supporting the band that played Talking Heads music, that’s cool with me, here you go:

Monday, August 25, 2014 at 11:47 pm

WIN tickets to Double Door this Friday!


This Fri August 29, alter ego DJ noDJ and This Must Be the Band will burn down the house together in one of TMBTB’s FINAL Chicago shows at Double Door.

As we know some of you have been seeing the band for many years, and we want to hear from you! What are some of your favorite past moments with TMBTB? It could be anything from the group playing your wedding, to the night you face planted on the floor cause you boogied too hard! Whatever it is, post it below in the comments and tag the friends you were with when it happened.

Winners announced Thursday, so head on over to Facebook to get your memories posted and your friends tagged for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the show on Friday!

Good Luck!!