DEERPEOPLE: Revisited

Left to Right: Brennan Barnes, Alex Larrea, Derek Moore and Julian Shen.

After recently reviewing DEERPEOPLE’s latest EP Exploragasm, I decided to go see them play the Opolis this past Friday. I was not disappointed. They play true to sound and they put on a hell of a show. Frontman Brennan Barnes has the stage presence of a mountain goat covering Iggy Pop, scrambling atop speakers and amps and stage diving into the audience to stir things up. You’d have to be a stickler-for-the-rules type not to enjoy his frenetic, joyful performance. It was also endearing to see that as Barnes nearly tipped off his chair several times, a gentle hand or two would reach out from the audience to steady the chair so that he wouldn’t plummet into his keyboard or onto the stage. Even in the midst of high drama rock, Okies are ready with a helping hand.

I got a chance to talk to Barnes before he and the rest of DEERPEOPLE went on stage. He said that DEERPEOPLE’s first EP was based on a concept album that went out the window, yet the songs on both EPs are inspired somewhat by the original story line. The gist: on the planet where the DEERPEOPLE live, some green radiation from the planet’s core is leaking and threatens to destroy everything. Taking a page from the Superman playbook, the DEERPEOPLE ship out pods of their offspring to other planets in the hopes one of their species makes it to a hospitable world. Enter Ulysses, who makes it to Earth. Ulysses takes the form of a puppy and although his duty is to grow up and procreate, he would rather just sleep and do puppy things.

Cutest premise for a rock opera ever.

DEERPEOPLE are currently hard at work on their first full length album. So far Barnes reports they’ve written seven of the twelve songs they are planning to write, and they have assured me that there will be no French titles on the LP. (My French is worse than I thought. After mistranslating “Des Bonbons Et Des Pipes” as “Candy and Cigarettes” in my review of the EP, I have learned that it is actually french slang for “Candy and Blowjobs.” The story behind that title: long time bassist Derek Moore left to tour with his other band, and the band told a potential replacement that “Being in DEERPEOPLE isn’t all candy and blowjobs.” Moore is now back with the band, but the story spawned a song.)

Maybe it’s not candy and blowjobs, but the DEERPEOPLE live experience is still sweet and satisfying.

DEERPEOPLE are:

Brennan Barnes – Vocals, Keyboard
Alex Larrea – Guitar
Julian Shen – Accordion, Violin, Synths
Jordan Bayhylle – Drums
Kendall Looney – Vocals, Flute
Derek Moore – Bassist

 

“Pretty good turn out for DEERPEOPLE this past Friday night. You can’t really see their soft baby skin in this photo, but I’m sure over half this crowd has yet to vote in a Presidential election, meanwhile I’ve voted in the last two.” –  “Old” Helen Grant.