Three Little Piggies

Jaden Clarke, Staff Writier

Left from Right: Matan Birnbaum, Abe Dashnaw, Ethan Christi (one being held)

 

One of the greatest aspects of Fort Collins is it’s vibrant local music scene. One of the most unique bands has the moniker People In General. You can find their music on Spotify or Youtube. Please pause to put their song “Sunrise” on before finishing this article. In terms of genre, they are a bold fusion of Jazz, Pop, and Math Rock. They feature the guitar and vocals of Abraham “Abe” Dashnaw, the keys of Matan Birnbaum, and drums of Ethan Christi. Affectionately known to some as “PIG,” the band has an incredibly polished sound. When people hear People in General for the first time, they don’t expect it to be a young local band. They think they’re listening to full-time touring musicians with a national audience. This reflects how refined the band’s understanding  of songwriting and performing is. 

When the current lineup of People in General came together, these three musicians already had years of experience playing together in various other musical acts. Abe may sing and play guitar for PIG, but they also are the bassist for Grace Kuch Music, and the drummer for Bruised Peach Band. Ethan is also a multi-instrumentalist, drumming for both PIG and the Grace Kuch Band. He also plays bass in Worthless Commodity. Matan also occasionally plays keys for Grace Kuch, as well as Hotel Wifi with Jae Smith. With Pig, Matan manages to turn one instrument into several, with a diverse array of synth/keyboard sounds. He also plays the bass lines that can be heard on their studio releases, which he also produced. 

Because they all have such diverse influences, the members of People in General give listeners unique approaches to their instruments and songwriting. While they all demonstrate remarkable technical talent as musicians and an unmistakable Jazz influence, they write incredibly catchy tunes. This just goes to show that a song doesn’t need to be simple to get stuck in your head. 

Featuring sparkling clear tone and riffs that carry both the melody and the chord progression, the guitar sits very prominently in the mix on piglet. Despite this, there isn’t much in the way of a guitar solo as classic rock fans would expect there to be. The keyboard and various synth parts may not be the most obvious part of these songs on their own, but they certainly fill a lot of harmonic space and beautifully compliment the other parts. Piglet also features several keyboard solos that are absolutely mind blowing. The vocal tracks are also outstanding, delivering pithy yet relatable lyrics. All of this is perfectly accented and supported by upbeat drum tracks. Many three piece bands sound sparse or overly minimalist. People In General is the exact opposite, offering lush soundscapes that absolutely fill the room.

Currently People In General only has one album and a couple of singles released on Spotify. The album is called “Piglet.” While they clearly put an incredible amount of time into releasing these tracks, it leaves audiences begging for more. Never fear, more music is on the way. While a firm release date has not been mentioned, the band has another EP coming our way soon. 

My personal favorite tune from “Piglet” is called “Boolin’. When I reached out to the band to divine what exactly it means to be “boolin’,” I was not prepared for the revelation I was about to receive. It goes as follows (in abbreviated form): “The history of the art of bool is very complex. Inherent in all living things there is an energy that allows our vessel to communicate with the Universe. This energy is called Vibe . . . with training you can allow the vibe particles to interact with each other . . . Once 80% of your vibe particles are interacting with each other, the body enters a trance-like state called Boolin’ . . . when you are Boolin’ your body becomes capable of superhuman abilities. . . there is also a force in our bodies called Muck. Muck blocks the connections of vibe energy. Muck is the physical manifestation of negative emotion. . . if you have too much Wan’t in your heart, your body fills with Muck. . . the more you try to get rid of Wan’t the stronger it becomes . . . the less you Wan’t, the less you will have. . . you need to accept they muck and let if flow freely out of your body. . . if you have no Wan’t . . . you’ll stay content in a Booling Coma.”

Truly visionary. Let’s compare this for a moment with the lyrics of the song. The refrain goes, “I’m fine, just tired and one dimensional, just usually better than this.” At first glance, this has nothing to do with Vibe, Muck, or Wan’t, but it actually encapsulates all three of the ideals with it’s subtlety. The feeling of being one dimensional and wanting to be much better than this is a narration of how it feels when Wan’t and Muck consume your body. Bear in mind this is my analysis of what it means. Ultimately, it’s subjective so what matters is what the lyrics mean to you. 

 

Here are links you can use to listen to the bands mentioned in this article

People in General – https://open.spotify.com/artist/1GL5BPD0kFTdpgzmrXZUtW?si=KfMmVNY4Ri-yvV-1maxECQ

Grace Kuch – http://youtube.com/user/GraceKuchMusic  https://soundcloud.com/gracekuchmusic

Bruised Peach Band – https://m.facebook.com/Bruised-Peach-102641868175417/

Worthless Commodity (very explicit) https://worthlesscommodity.bandcamp.com/

Hotel Wifi – https://open.spotify.com/artist/1nq3MEofqKm1fY5XK5OOB8?autoplay=true

The album cover for Piglet