MOVE busks a move

We caught up with a few of the True/False buskers, the musicians who’ll be playing during the fest.

By Morgan Magid | March 3, 2015

Tags: Music True/False Film Fest


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Film may be the main medium of the upcoming True/False film festival, but over the course of the weekend, 36 bands will also be taking the various stages all around town.

These bands are known in the festival as buskers, and they represent an incredible range in genre and style. For example, the band Flux Bikes plays on instruments are composed of bike parts, Dubb Nubb is a local family folk band, and Anonymous Choir is a ten-person singing ensemble.

One band playing the Friday of the festival is St. Joseph, Missouri’s Dreamgirl. This reggae pop sextet may have never grown up anywhere near SoCal, but its tunes will transport you far, far away from snowy Missouri.

“We just like to write summery, happy, dance time music,” member Lacey Hopkins says.

The band just released an EP entitled “Illuminaughty” back in early February and expects to draw from it for the live shows. Being so out of place in the traditional folk and blues scene of Missouri, the band usually pulls from surrounding towns like Springfield, Missouri to put together show packages.

The band generally plays shows around the central Missouri and Kansas City areas, and became involved with True/False when a friend of a friend showed their music to one of the music coordinators Leola Davis.

“We’re super excited to play with people from Columbia because that’s kind of an uncharted territory for us,” Hopkins says. “We’ve never played a show in Columbia so it’ll be cool to do seven (shows).”

The band’s youthful liveliness and eagerness to perform should make for an energetic show and help festival goers escape the chilly weekend.

One local Columbia band playing the fest is Stepdaughter — a two-piece acoustic group of Lawrence Williams and Ryan Schulze. According to Williams, the pair came together after living in the same FIG at MU a few years ago.

The band did record material last May, but is still tweaking it before actually releasing it to the public. Williams says the two hope to put something out just before the festival starts.

The duo performed at True/False last year as well, and will have seven sets this year. It’s been difficult for the two to prepare for this year, as Schulze now lives in Kansas City. Schulze says, however, the band’s great experience in 2014 makes the seven sets not seem too bad, especially because they know the fest’s relaxed environment.

“The festival was freaking cool," Schulze says. "It was the first time I’d been to True/False, and I don’t think I could’ve experienced any better. It’s cool to see the artistic crowd in Columbia come out of the woodwork and come together.”

Next, The Woodsmiths’ DIY-focused folk sound ties in perfectly with True/False’s homegrown feel. The band creates its own t-shirt designs, CD art and even instruments.

Guitarist Derek Tarwater says the band has created a washboard bass, and its own unique drum kit consisting completely of items one could find at a hardware store, excluding the cymbal.

Just a few weeks ago, the band dropped three CDs on the same date. This triple release happened because the band simply had so much material to record. Tarwater, the band’s main songwriter, says that he is constantly writing bits of songs on anything he can.

“I always have to be careful throwing things away in case there’s something written on the back of a receipt or something,” Tarwater says.

The festival booked the band because after a performance at the farmer’s market at the end of last year, a member of the True/False team exchanged emails with them and continued corresponding with them until the band was booked for six shows throughout the four days of the festival.

In previous years, the band has played around the festival in the streets of downtown. Street performances are not uncommon occurrences for the Woodsmith Band because of the band’s love of its lack of structure.

“There’s no set list or set times … we’re free to stop the set and talk to people if we want,” Tarwater said.

However, the band is very excited to be able to avoid the cold this year and play inside the Missouri Theatre.

Those attending the festival with a Busker Band Pass option have access to all the music at the fest, including the final concert Sunday night.

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