Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Benjamin Verdoes is a busy guy these days, between his new solo record and the upcoming debut record from Iska Dhaaf, his duo with Nathan Quiroga (better known to many by his Mad Rad nom de mic Buffalo Madonna). Before these ventures. Verdoes was the frontman for Mt Saint Helens Vietnam Band, but this post goes back further, to a little band called In Praise of Folly.
IPOF were essentially a melodic indie rock three piece, consisting of Benjamin and Peter Verdoes of Stanwood, plus Wisconsin transplant Matt Dammer, who would later co-found Mt Saint Helens Vietnam Band. There was always a fourth member, but it was a revolving door of drummers until Benjamin moved from guitar to drums, at which point the revolving door become one of guitarists and bassists, depending on which of the two instruments Peter was settled on at the time.
They put out two albums on Lujo Records, in 2003 and 2005, the first, The Present Age, being melodic, intertwined guitar focused, reminiscent of Sunny Day Real Estate's How it Feels to Be Something On LP. Somewhere between the first and second record, Means/Ends, they discovered math rock, and thus added to their sound a lot of shifting time signatures, angular guitar riffs, and generally more complex song structures.
Here's In Praise of Folly playing at The Paradox in July of 2004. For those extra interested, there's a few minutes at the end of short candid clips during a recording session for their second album, Means/Ends.
And here's another set from the same era, performing at the Graceland in August of 2004.
Download In Praise of Folly's CD-R EP here.
You can listen to both In Praise of Folly albums on Spotify, as well as Benjamin Verdoes' new album, The Evil Eye.