Music News

The Visible Men

As long as musicians are on the right side of popular trends, they're golden -- but when such fads run their course, performers need a Plan B. Bassist Dan Schmid and keyboardist Dustin Lanker understand this necessity all too well. The pair were members of Cherry Poppin' Daddies, a rock/ska combo whose dalliances with vintage music paid off big-time in 1997, when their Zoot Suit Riot compilation was powered to platinum status by the decade's swing revival. Inevitably, though, the movement ebbed, as did the number of born-again lindy-hoppers who'd boosted the Daddies' career. So after contributing to 2000's underperforming Soul Caddy disc, Schmid and Lanker bailed in favor of the Visible Men, a project featuring drummer Jordan Glenn that wisely eschews retro moves. Rather than mine musical veins the Daddies exhausted long ago, Love songs such as "Three" and "Guilt Trip" explore relationships and other universal topics over hooky, slightly jazzy piano pop that stops well short of shtick. The results sound nothing like the Daddies and aren't married to any current crazes, either. That gives these Men a chance to remain Visible no matter what fashion is in vogue.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts