Yip Deceiver, Black Joe Lewis hitting Norman next week
By Doug Hill
Davey Pierce promises that when he and band mate Nicolas “Dobby” Dobbratz play Opolis they will not sway behind a MacBook. They’re the duo called Yip Deceiver (YD) who will be highly disappointed if everyone in the room doesn’t leave happier than when they came in.
“Our show is going to be a good time,” Pierce said from home base Athens, Ga. “We don’t just get up there and play songs. Getting everyone in the room involved from a party aspect is what we do. It’s fun for us so we want to make it fun for everybody else.”
YD is part of the new wave of electro dance music in the vein of Chromeo, Sammy Bananas and Cyhi Da Prynce.
“We enjoy what we’re doing which is good because we definitely have no idea how to do anything else,” Pierce said. “I’m content to think we’re pretty much one-trick ponies right now.”
The duo’s freshman LP titled “Medallius” takes cues from inspirations as disparate as Chaka Khan and Led Zeppelin. Lascivious adventures, off-beat sports and gender bending attitudes inform their lyrics in songs that are highly entertaining.
YD benefits from the hyper-diverse Athens scene that welcomes all kinds of music.
“You want to see a reggae band, indie rock, rappers, techno dudes, everybody you can think of are here,” Pierce said. “You can draw on what they know and teach you things and they can learn from you. It’s the first actual community I’ve lived in.”
Dobbratz and Pierce share a band dynamic based on equality.
“Dobby helps out mainly with the lyrics and he’s a genius with melodies,” Pierce said. “I tend to go in rabbit holes writing songs and then the words come from him. We both work on production and it’s a very good give-and-take sort of thing.”
They share a non-sarcastic love for Usher, pop, hip hop and 90’s R&B. The simplicity of Motown appeals to both cats and they unabashedly adore Luther Vandross.
“A lot of people today write super complicated songs for musicians. You can sit down and appreciate them but I get lost,” Pierce said. “I really like a groove, that solid thing that just keeps on going. Repetition with a guy or girl singer who’s just the best thing you’ve ever heard. That Motown sound is magical and I feel like it’s kind of lost these days.”
He’d rather the listener come away from hearing YD thinking it was fun rather than being impressed by their musical virtuosity.
“There’s the tendency to over-think things so it’s good to be able to provide an escape,” he said. “We try to write songs about love and sex, things that matter to people.”
BLACK JOE LEWIS
Black Joe Lewis is currently on a 27-date coast-to-coast tour in support of new LP “Electric Slave.” Smack dab in the middle of his itinerary is a free concert on OU’s campus at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.
“I’m glad were coming back to Norman, man. I didn’t used to like Oklahoma,” he said. “We’d play Tulsa and they’d have that watered-down beer. Then we started playing Norman where people would show up and get into our music.”
He played the 2011 Norman Music Festival’s Main Stage and had a large, appreciative crowd. Lewis’ sound is murky and heavily electric recalling the early days of psychedelic rock. Comparison to Jimi Hendrix is tempting but the music itself is more like San Francisco’s Blue Cheer. Lewis’ vocals are a strongly masculine baritone. Some tracks on “Electric Slave” feature a smoking brass section for a real vintage vibe.
“Some of my songs are about stories I read in the paper or about personal situations,” Lewis said.
Growing up in Austin he listened to rap but then discovered Nirvana and blues in high school.
“I like what I’m doing now, no more day jobs,” he said. “I get to travel around the country meeting people and seeing all these great places.”
If You Go
What: Yip Deceiver with Pink Pony in concert.
Where: Opolis, 113 N. Crawford Ave.
When: 8 p.m. Sept. 30
Cost: $8 in advance, $10 day of show.
If You Go
What: Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears with Pickwick in concert.
Where: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art lawn, 555 Elm Ave.
When: 8 p.m. Oct. 3
Yip Deceiver's Nicolas "Dobby" Dobbratz is returning to Norman. Shown here as frontman for Sugar and Gold at the 2009 Norman Music Festival.