So Many Thoughts On The New (Old?) Ishi Video.
Back in 2009 and 2010, Dallas electro-dance outfit Ishi skyrocketed like crazy in the local scene — and perhaps more quickly than any other Dallas band has in the past 20 or so years, according to a rant one shocked longtime scene observer once told me around that time.
They're still a pretty big deal around these parts.
Proof positive: Just a couple months back, I stood in awe as the band dazzled a sold-out crowd in the Prophet Bar's small room. The whole place was dancing and going crazy. It was an impressive display, for sure. Watching it, you'd never realize — not for a single of the band's many beats per minute — that the band had gone through a number of tumultuous changes in the past few years.
The whole slate, it appeared, was cleared. From the looks of it, far as that Prophet Bar crowd knew, this was the Ishi that always existed.
It's not, of course, and the recent release of a new music video for “Come Closer” off of Ishi's 2010 debut, Through The Trees, serves as a cold shower-like reminder of as much. (Check out the clip at the end of this post.)
The clip was shot — clearly — in early 2011 (if not even before that). An obvious indicator: The band featured in the clip still features former Ishi members Rob Bastien and Taylor Rea, who, in May of 2011, left Ishi together, citing “creative differences” from brothers John and J.J. Mudd, to form another now-popular outfit: Zhora. (Bastien, it should maybe be noted, is no longer in Zhora either, having moved, last I heard, all the way to Tibet.)
Another fun fact about this clip and that time in Dallas music history: In February of 2011, the venue in which this clip was filmed changed its name from The Cavern to The Crown & Harp.
In retrospect, I guess early 2011 was a pretty bizarre time in Dallas music, what with all of these changes going on.
Anyway: Ishi moved rather impressively forward from that big split. They simply dusted itself off and moved on, bringing one-time producer Brad Dale back into the fold (he'd originally left the band for personal reasons and was replaced by Bastien) and snagging local singer-songwriter Becky Middleton to replace Rea. Neither of those performers features at all in the new clip, though, and that much is certainly a little curious, especially given the timing of the video's release.
That's because, tonight, Ishi returns to the Prophet Bar. Originally, the show was to serve as an album release affair for the band's new album, Digital Wounds, which presumably prominently features Dale (once again) and Middleton.
But, because of “unforeseen circumstances,” tonight's affair is just a regular show; Digital Wounds' release has been pushed back to an unspecified date. So it's just a regular Ishi show, really.
Except, well, maybe not: Just down the road from the Prophet Bar tonight, Rea, who is in the new Ishi video, will be headlining a show of her own with Zhora at Trees. Originally, her band was supposed to only play main support at this show, but, with Austin's The Octopus Project cancelling their headlining role on this bill because of illness, Zhora will now take top billing.
Long story short: The Dallas music scene can at times be almost absurdly intermingled.
More proof of that: Aside from the Ishi members old and new in the “Come Closer” video, the main characters are played by Havilah Bender (sister of punk rock outfit Missile's Aaron and Ari Bender) and Cole Keaton (who is now married to Smile Smille's Jencey Hirunrusme, who herself knows a thing or two about break-ups, as is clear from every single Smile Smile story ever written).
Former Dallas musician Roy Ivy really knew what he was talking about, turns out.
Still, it's a pretty decent (if largely plotless) video, I guess. And “Come Closer” certainly remains a fun song.