Reimagining ‘old standards’ in a totally new way, the Minneapolis trio The New Standards will appear in the Chalberg Theatre on the Brainerd campus of Central Lakes College on April 13. The 7:00 p.m. show is part of the Central Lakes Community Performing Arts Center’s Cultural Arts Series.
The band reinterprets songs from a wide variety of genres, from classics like Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘My Favorite Things’ to the Clash’s ‘London Calling.’
Says TNS member Chan Poling: “First off, a “cover” band we’re not. We operate more on the model of jazz bands in the 50’s and 60’s that utilized the popular songs of their day to riff off of. We love the songs we bring to the project and try to enhance them as best we can. The great thing about this band is the fodder, the raw material, the repertory, is endless. We’ll take on Kurt Weill or Adam Ant.”
Started in 2005 as an off-shoot project between Minneapolis based musicians and friends Poling (piano), Steve Roehm (vibes) and John Munson (bass), The New Standards has grown into a globe-spanning adventure, filling theaters and clubs around the world, spawning several CDs, videos, cartoons, dance/theater projects, and ancillary gewgaws that have charmed and delighted an ever-multiplying legion of faithful fans.
The three core members of The New Standards all come from illustrious Twin Cities bands. Chan Poling founded the seminal Punk/New Wave band The Suburbs. John Munson was an original member of Trip Shakespeare and the chart-topping Semisonic. And Steve Roehm started on drums in the Texas punk outfit Billygoat and the avant-jazz Electropolis.
All three are fans of great songwriting. Sensing a lack of an interesting jazz trio repertoire beyond the usual “old standards”, they got together originally to play and sing their favorite songs – from every era, particularly post 1960’s pop music – in a stripped-down acoustic setting, making room for solos and arrangements with the freedom of jazz, and yet never fully abandoning the modest soul of pop and rock.
Another thing: though you may associate an acoustic tango version of Brittany Spears “Toxic” with camp, TNS is not a lounge or novelty act. One listen to their music and you realize that they take their music making as well as their jobs as entertainers seriously.
And yet, they are very funny.
The New Standards appear as a trio in intimate clubs like City Winery in NYC and The Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis, and also as the ringmasters of a widening array of talented musicians and guest artists in larger settings such as their popular Holiday Shows and dance-crazy extravaganza Variety shows.
“T[he] New Standards holiday show at the Fitzgerald Theater is richer, nuttier and undebatably more satisfying than Aunt Martha’s fruitcake. With an emphasis on the nuttier.” – Minneapolis Star Tribune.
“What a terrific combo. Everything they do is a surprise.” -Greil Marcus, music journalist and critic.
Tickets for The New Standards are available from the CLC Theatre Box Office at (218) 855-8199 or online at www.clcperformingarts.com
The show is sponsored by Dutch and Irma Cragun and the Brainerd Dispatch. The entire CLC Performing Arts Center season is made possible in part by an operating grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.