we’re playing a fundraiser at Buddy Guy’s Legends in chicago on thur, march 15, 2018. all proceeds go to chicago food depository. we play 9:30 to midnight, both Heads music and other dance songs.

you can get tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/commercial-real-estate-awards-after-party-2018-tickets-43560022199

use the discount code “TMBTB” (all caps) to get tickets for $100 each, and all money goes to helping our neighbors feed their families. i can’t think of much that is more important. the event is 21+

Dec 23 2017 tickets to martyrs were oversold by like 400 people. some weird computer glitch. we supremely apologize to anyone who received an email saying their tickets need to be moved to Dec 22 at the Vic. If anyone can’t do that, martyrs will refund your money. we are not dealing with that ourselves, but just wanted to update everyone.

Dec 22 2017 tickets to the Vic go on sale Dec 1 at the Vic website.

They are $25. almost every scrap of that money will go to help Puerto Ricans deal with that terrible hurricane. many still don’t have water and a large portion are without power.

We are donating to a few different charities but the main one is Resilient Puerto Rico, which aims to restore power in a way that can be controlled by the residents themselves, and we happen to think that’s very important.

you have to be 18 or older to get into this show. hit us up with requests, we’re just gonna play 180 minutes of whatever Heads songs anyone wants to hear.

Our good friends Genome is opening.

Saturday Dec 23 at Martyrs is sold out, we are hard at work finding a venue for Friday Dec 22. Please check back soon. thanks and sorry for the confusion.

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

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.

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 martyrslive.com for details.

Apr 27, 2015

Martyrs’ in Chicago

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

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 strangecrop@gmail.com 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:

::CONTEST::

::CONTEST ALERT::
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!!

https://www.facebook.com/thismustbetheband/photos/a.392217198478.173759.67778613478/10152339883673479/?type=1&theater

After 7 years, TMBTB is calling it quits. I’m sure that Talking Heads has altered the course of many lives, but few more than all the members of this band. We have had the privilege of playing music we believe in for thousands of excited, strange, lovely, dancing people. We have traveled around the country, seen and done so many fun things, made so many friends.

I not only learned how to sing through Heads songs, I somehow found my own voice. Through dissecting albums like Remain in Light and Speaking in Tongues, I learned how to produce my own music. Maybe most importantly, by leading 25 unique people, I learned how to find peace in my own personal relationships.

I’m making this decision to shut it down because, much like I imagine David Byrne feels, at one point the music starts making too much sense, the words have been re-created and re-understood too many times, and basically all the juice is gone for me. I believe this is a natural thing, so I’m not too worried about it.

Due to the advice of everyone I know, I am hesitant to call these the “Final Shows,” since so many bands break up and then do the reunion tour, which then seems more for publicity than fans. However, I know how I work, and I know this is the right decision for me and if I have to eat my words later, no problem.

I think I speak for all the past and present members of This Must be the Band when I say that we love the people that come to shows, we love the music and what it stands for, and we are all very thankful for the ride. That’s why, for these shows, I’ve invited every person we’ve ever played with to come on stage and sing, or dance, or play their instrument for a song or two. There’s like 40 people on this list, woah!

-Charlie Otto

Please join us at Martyrs’ in Chicago on Friday, October 17th and Saturday, October 18th to celebrate the final shows!
TICKETS are available HERE.

Sunday, July 13th – Belmont/Damen – Chicago – 8 PM – $8 Suggested Donation at Door