Corbin Dodd ’18 and Ryan Dugan ’17 met through the Macalester music department a few years back. Dugan met Juliet Kelson ’20 when their separate bands played a concert together in Chicago, and Dodd later met Jack Lickerman through music department events. Now, the four of them are on their way to dropping an album.
Geyser’s genre is difficult to pin down. Dugan calls their music “indie-alternative rock,” while Lickerman specifies it as “art rock–” a listener online once dubbed their sound “angular pop.” “The more you think about that, the less sense it makes,” laughed Dodd. “But it sounds good, so we’ll go with that.”
The group of current and former Macalester students came together at the beginning of the 2018 fall semester. Says Lickerman, who plays the drums, “we’ve gotten together about every week since then, building our music from the bottom up.” Now, the band has a collection of eleven original songs that they’ve performed across the Midwest over the past few months, travelling through the Chicago area, Kansas City, Iowa, Wisconsin, and the Twin Cities.
“Our tour started off as a cluster of mini-tours in our home cities,” explained Dodd, who sings and plays the bass. “Jack and Juliet are from Chicago, so we did some shows there. I’m from Kansas City, and I had a connection that got us a show there. And of course we’ve been around up here.” Last weekend, the band played at Can Can Wonderland, a 21+ mini golf course in St. Paul.
“My favorite stop was in Quantico, Wisconsin, which is a suburb of Milwaukee” said guitarist and singer Dugan, with nods from the rest of the band. “It was so unexpected, we were kind of in the middle of nowhere, and this guy gave us a call to play on his radio station. He had this incredible setup in his basement with computers and stuff: stacks of records, and a drum set.” “He probably had like, forty-something guitars,” added Kelson, who also plays guitar and sings. “It was kind of bizarre.”
The band also played at University of Minnesota’s Radio K before their stop at WMCN last Saturday. Radio K was a highlight for Kelson, “because we wore these headphones and could hear each other really well, instead of through earplugs and in a small space where all the sound is bouncing off all the walls.
“It made me really excited to record,” added Lickerman. “We all have our specific parts, and we don’t always get to hear each other and all the intricacy in the songs.” Lickerman works with Essential Sessions Studios in Minneapolis recording and mixing sound, which allows the band to book recording time.
Geyser’s short live performance on the WMCN broadcast “Live from Garth’s Living Room” was a preview of their upcoming album. Their individual harmonies became clearer as the show went on, so while at first it was difficult to hear Kelson’s vocals over Dodd’s, each part became much clearer within a couple minutes.
Geyser is set to play at The Amsterdam in St. Paul on Thursday the 28th at 8:00, and would love an audience. “We don’t have a lot of draw, you know, since we just started,” said Lickerman. “There’s a lot of gigs where we just play to the other bands that are on the bill and a few other people: that’s the audience. It’s always a good time when there’s a good crowd– that’s what we had in Kansas City, because the other band playing was pretty popular. That was my favorite stop on the tour.”
The show at New Amsterdam is 21+ with free admission. Come give the “angular pop” group another good crowd in their home city. More information can be found on the band’s Facebook or Instagram pages @geysertheband