How Program Board Got Carissa’s Wierd To Perform In Kimmel

Last month when the Program Board announced that Carissa’s Wierd (yes, that’s spelled correctly) would be performing in Kimmel for four dollars, our jaws dropped. We rubbed our eyes, pinched ourselves until we bled, and then screamed our shouts of collective joy. Okay, we didn’t all freak the fuck out, but this blogger definitely did.

Formed in 1995, the Seattle based indie rock band basically created the modern northwest sound. Listen to Songs About Leaving or Ugly But Honest and try to deny that this band was a huge influence on Death Cab For Cutie, The Decemberists, or even Modest Mouse. We dare you. Despite their enormous amount of influence on the sound of the region, the band never attracted more than a small following of devoted fans.

The world just wasn’t ready for these forward thinking visionaries, and in 2003, the band split up leaving the world with just three albums worth of raw, melancholy love songs filled with beautiful harmonies and dragging melodies that recall the rainy weather of the Pacific Northwest.

Many believed that was the end for Carissa’s Wierd, but last year, the band got back together for a one-off reunion show in Seattle, and last month, they released a new single entitled Tucson. Now the band is set to play their first non-Seattle gig in more than 8 years at Kimmel’s E&L Auditorium this Monday. For a very small group of people, this show is the equivalent of Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s five-day stand in NYC last spring.

The Program Board’s New Music Chair, Nicole Cobb, who was responsible for booking Carissa’s Wierd, explained that she had been in touch with Jen Ghetto, one of the band’s two vocalists, to try and book her new project S. “I asked about the possibility of getting Carissa’s Wierd to play. I knew it was a long shot, but I had to ask. At first, she said that it probably wasn’t possible, but this July, she let me know that it could be a possibility, and at that point, I did everything in my power to make this show happen.”

To round out the bill, Cobb booked Kayo Dot and Arms & Sleepers. “I think they both bring interesting things to the show. Kayo Dot, similarly to Carissa’s Wierd has a really strong underground following. Not a lot of people know their name, but those who know them tend to love them,” she explained.

“I chose Arms & Sleepers, because this event is also going to be a visual arts event — we’re doing some really cool things with art like a limited edition silk-screen poster, which will be sold for fifteen dollars on the day of the show, and we’re going to be giving away post-cards with original art on them — so I wanted to bring in a band that also incorporated some visual arts elements and Arms & Sleepers has a really cool set of projections that they show behind them. It seems like a good compliment.”

While there was certainly a small group of Carissa’s Wierd fanatics who went nuts when they heard about Program Board’s incredible accomplishment in booking the band, the majority of the NYU community probably heard about the show, shrugged, and went on with their daily lives. Cobb acknowledges that most people don’t know them, but she hopes that students will give the band a try; “they’re one of those bands where I don’t know anyone who has spent any time listening to them who doesn’t love them. There’s something about them that’s very magnetic.”

“I’m the chair of new music, and while Carissa’s Wierd isn’t a new band, their music will be new to a lot of students. I’m really excited to introduce the larger student body to one of my favorite bands.”

Tickets are on-sale to the NYU community now through Ticket Central for $4, and after 5pm on monday, the general public will be able to buy tickets in Kimmel room 206 for $8. The doors open at 6pm and music starts at 6:30.

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