||This article reads like a review rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (December 2007)|
|Origin||Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.|
Askeleton is a band from the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Askeleton has former and current members of bands such as Kill Sadie, Hidden Chord, Aneuretical, The Swiss Army and Ela. The present line-up of Askeleton is: Knol Tate (vocals, guitar and percussion), Noah Paster (bass guitar, keyboards) and Scott Johnson (keys, guitar and backing vocals). Everyone plays a bit of everything.
In 2000, Askeleton was founded during the breakup of Knol's former bands Kill Sadie and The Hidden Chord. Using a free version of a digital audio program he wrote songs based on samples, simply arranged keyboard and guitar parts and left over Hidden Chord lyrics. During 2000 and 2001 Knol made two records released in 2002 as the Sad Album full-length CD (Minneapolis label Blood of the Young Records) and a CD/EP called Modern Fairy Tale (New York’s Alone Records). A modest amount of favorable press and reviews followed both releases.
In order to promote these releases Knol assembled a band to play the songs live. Many different versions of the live band where formed and finally in 2003 the line up that is now known as Askeleton was in place, making it no longer a solo project.
Askeletion has toured with bands such as Seattle's Minus the Bear, The New Trust and Velvet Teen, and Che Arthur. They have also had many local shows with local and national bands like of Radio 4, Dosh, Mark Mallman, Kid Dakota, 12 Rods, One AM Radio, Har-Mar Super Star, Motion City Soundtrack, Ted Leo, The Soviettes, and Detachment Kit.
In 2004 Askeleton released the second full-length album called Angry Album -or- Psychic Songs on Atlanta's Goodnight records.
The final album of the trilogy was released in 2005 it was sarcastically called the Happy album. After some success, positive reviews and winning Minneapolis weekly’s Cities Pages “Song Writer of the Year” for 2004's Angry Album, bandleader and multi- instrumentalist Knol Tate went straight into his own recording studio to work on the follow-up. Ever changing sounds and aesthetic Tate moved away from the sample and lo-fi based digi-pop sounds of Sad Album and the digital rock meets minimalism of Angry Album. The (Happy) Album utilizes the Twin Cities community of musicians and the Askeleton live band. No longer a one-man band. Askeleton leaps out of the world of the computer composers.
Keeping with some of the aesthetics fans of Askeleton have come to know, the music and lyrics are simple yet to the point. With songs about simple subjects like cities, cars, rock n’ roll and the idea of individuals and groups becoming simply “some people” Tate draws complex and sometimes abstract pictures with simple ideas and words. (Happy) Album is true to its name. The songs are brighter and more positive than past efforts and yet have the parenthesis around the songs (like the title) to clarify some of the meaning behind the underlined sarcasm of the happiness of the record. In a sense (Happy) Album is the perfect (happy) ending to the trilogy.
The music Askeleton makes is deconstructionalist or simple. Some people call it pop music, some people call it punk, some people call it rock, some people call it new wave.
The band, although starting as a one-man project and becoming a 5-person band works in recording primarily as a large orchestra of indie musicians. that list is as follows.
- Knol Tate - vocals, guitar, synthesizer, balalaika, bass, programming, xylophone, piano, electric piano, Casiotone, Casio sk-1, percussion, drums.
- Noah Paster - bass, keyboards
- Steven Yasgar - drums, percussion, laptop
- Billy Caperton - guitar, vocals, beatbox, casiotone.
- Scott Johnson - guitar
- Courtney DeaKyne - keyboards, vocals
- Jacy McIntosh - bass, guitar, vocals, organ
- Eric Dickie Vong - drums, percussion, casio sk 1, vocals
- Ellen Fitzgerald - vocals, electric piano, organ, synthesizer.
- Robert Skoro - electric piano, percussion, vocals.
- Steve McPherson - guitar.
- Elliot Manthey - drums
- Brock Specht - guitar, farfisa, electric piano, percussion.
- Micheal Rusteck - programming, guitar, bass, organ.
- Erin Tate - drums
- Jesse Johnson - moog
- Daniel Buettner - bass
- Judd Hildreth - drums
- Martin John Huebach - guitar, keyboards
- Emily Dantuma - cello
- Alex Ellis - saxophone
- Jonathan Kennedy - trumpet
- Kelsey Crawford - vocals, electric piano, flute
- Jeff Brown - drums
- Matthew Rezac - bass, organ, synthesizer
- Mike Dombrock - bass
- Jacob Barker-Huelster - bass
- Sad Album, 2002
- Modern Fairy Tales, 2002
- The Future EP, 2004
- Angry Album -or Psychic Songs, 2004
- Happy Album, 2005
- The Personalization, 2008
- Isolationist EP, 2010
- We Are The Elite EP, 2010
- Askeleton's official website
- The Future as uploaded by frontman Knol Tate music video for "the future" single
- Birdman as uploaded by frontman Knol Tate music video for "Birdman" single
- places where people gather as uploaded by frontman Knol Tate music video for "places where people gather" single
- ghosts as uploaded by frontman Knol Tate music video for "ghosts" single