Every Thursday or Friday this here blog is gonna focus on a local Champaign-Urbana band that La Tete finds to be sexy. Certainly the sexiest band in the C-U land is none other than Dan Beahm & the Invisible Three. Sure, the dude's head is smaller than his hands (as you can see in the picture above) and his last name has an unnecessary and potentially dangerous "h" in it, but that is quickly forgotten when you hear the music this man pulls out of his whatwhat. DBi3 is the mellow, lovely, passionate, multi-instrumental, indie-tastic baby of Beahm, a man with many different musical offspring (check out his label's website...psst, those bands are all different incarnations of Dan Beahm, but don't tell him I told you). Dan's been in Champaign for around three years, and came to us from Columbus, Ohio, where he helmed the power-pop bar-rock trio DB3, which gained a loyal local following. After the band went their separate ways, Dan returned to solo work, and crafted the album Amplifier, which he released this past February. Dan plays all the instruments and sings all lead and harmonic vocals, as well as pretty much every damn other thing involved in making the album. So, on the album, the Three are in fact invisible; however, it seems that Dan has yet to discover how to replicate the playing of multiple instruments and the singing of multiple harmonies on the live concert stage (we can't all be Andrew Bird, now can we...), so over the past few months following his album release Dan has been appearing in a number of venues around Champaign-Urbana with a visible Three: a cellist, a drummer, and an auxiliary vocalist/random instrument dude. Unfortunately for C-U, Dan will later this summer be moving to Boulder, CO to follow the magical musical call of the mountains. But, neverfear C-U, you have a few more chances to catch him live.
Amplifier is quite a departure from the electric guitar rock of DB3. The album is almost if not entirely acoustic, and Dan shows his chops on guitar and keyboard in particular. "Mackinac" is a beautiful song that is a good representative for the rest of the album.
Dan Beahm & the Invisible Three - "Mackinac" [MP3 (in new window)]
"Half as Cool as Han Solo" brings out the nerd rocker in Dan, and while it is quite different from the rest of the album, it provides a great final track. I predict this song will play a role in Dan's ascent to fame and glory. Whether the picture above will help or hinder that ascent is yet to be seen.
Dan Beahm & the Invisible Three - "Half as Cool as Han Solo" [MP3 (in new window)]
I encourage you to check out Dan's website at www.danbeahm.com, where you can listen to the entire album streaming for free. Other personal favorites include "Kandahar" (a must-listen), "The Visitor", and "Two Hands". Check out the upcoming Champaign-Urbana concert dates as well. And maybe, if we're lucky, Dan will finally update the freakin' site as he's been promising to do for quite some time.
I've been fortunate enough to be playing the role of "auxiliary vocalist/random instrument dude" (as mentioned above) with Dan and the band the past few months, and I consider him to be a very close friend. However, I had nothing to do with the creation of the album (though, in the interest of fuller disclosure, I did receive a shout-out in the liner notes), and I won't be moving out to Boulder with him (just yet anyway), so my days in DBi3 are in limited supply, and I will be but a forgotten blip on the VH1 DBi3 special in 2040, a la Pete Best. Plus, I don't really like him all that much; I'm just using him to get the groupies. So, all that being said, I don't feel all that bad about this being a very-slightly self-serving post. Rawk.
Official Band Site | Buy the Album
MySpace (listen to "Kandahar" & "The Visitor")