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Two "Rocktronica" bands to perform at Jackie O's


Jamtronica/Rocktronica is the combination of electronic elements, generally with a synthesizer, combined with standard rock instruments — guitar, bass and drums — to create otherworldly rock music.

Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery, 24 W. Union St., is set to host two practitioners of the genre, Broccoli Samurai of Cleveland and Athens’ own Manitoa, Saturday.

Both are veterans of a newer festival circuit in Ohio, playing Rootwire Music and Arts Festival, Werkout Music Festival and ColorDance Music Festival.

Broccoli Samurai emerged out of jam sessions keyboard player Ryan Hodson and drummer Chris Walker where they were “having fun and drinking beers.” Hodson said in 2012 the band started to really book shows and with the addition of guitarist Josh McCarron, the band began to pick up steam.

“It was pretty much up until we were working with Josh McCaron in 2013 that we said ‘wow, this is something that we can (pursue),’ ” Hodson said. Now the band has gone as far as Chicago and Buffalo with more out-of-state performances coming in 2014.

Broccoli Samurai does not have a vocalist; the sound that comes from the quartet is enough.

“We feel that our instruments are powerful enough to lead your mind to a place to bring your head to where the thought is going,” Hodson explained. “Words aren’t needed.”

Show-mates Manitoa aren’t big on vocals either aside from a cover of “The National Anthem” by Radiohead and originals performed by guitarist Eric Turner, said keyboard player Collin Lesko.

Lesko said the similarities between the two bands do not end with the lack of vocals and emphasis on virtuostic instrumentation, pointing out that bands like Sound Tribe Sector 9, The New Deal and Lotus “paved the way” for both groups.

“(STS9 and Lotus) took the standard jam band and started incorporating more electronic in their music via synthisizers and software,” Lesko said.“Manitoa has taken that a step further, incorporating even heavier electronic compnents one might in electronic music like … Pretty Lights.”

This combined with interest in bands like Umphrey’s McGee and Tool are how Manitoa derives the name ‘Rocktronica,’ said Lesko.



What: Manitoa and Broccoli Samurai

Where: Jackie O’s Pub & Brewer, 24 W. Union St.

When: 9 p.m., Saturday

Admission: $5




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