~Meniscus Archives~
Autumn 2004
Issue #5
September-November 2004

Issue #5 Home


This is the End My Phriends
Jon Heinrich
For every Phish fan, the first show blew our minds, and the second show hooked us for life. Now, 21 years later the moment ends—its over. Phish has called it quites.But their legacy and music lives on in a thriving counter culture and a generation of music lovers.

The Motet
Music for Life

The new album by the Boulder-based jazz and funk band displays propulsive percussion that defies categorization.

Show Review:
Still Want More?
Phish, Chula Vista, CA- 7/8/03

i.e. The funniest review you'll ever read.
"I've reached the point in my Phishing career where the boys could just wear diapers, sit in kiddy pools filled with lima beans on stage, and punch handicapped Ewoks with brass knuckles and I would be thoroughly satiated..."

CD Reviews:
Perpetual Groove-
All This Everything
King Chubby-
Infradig- Kinetic Transfer
Harbor Nights


The Motet

Music For Life

Published 9/25/04

Photography by
Regan Teti

“Just because there are no vocals it doesn’t mean we don’t have something to say,” exclaims Dave Watts as he drives across the windswept plains of Wyoming, on his way to Burning Man, in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. Intertwined within their genre-defying jazz beats, the six members of The Motet bring more to the stage than just melodic interplay and high-altitude fusion. Social responsibility and the mentality of change dominate the philosophy behind their newest album, Music For Life.


On the album, the six members of The Motet have achieved a consistency not present in their past albums. They’ve typically been all over the place genre-wise, but now they have a cohesive feel from song to song. But don’t mistake consistent for typical, because they are anything than typical of the standard jam music coming out now. Its been two years since their last album, and despite the fact they had ample material to put out several discs, they chose to use fresh material that was less than 6 months old.


First of all, having drummer Dave Watts at the songwriting helm of the band is very unusual. To write melodies for the band, Dave will sit down with his multi-track recorder and record a bass line, a guitar part, keys, even a vibraphone and play out the parts as he hears them in his head. He’ll mix the arrangement together electronically. Then to communicate his ideas, he’ll compose the music into charts for his band mates, either by hand or on computer. He’s found this is the most efficient way to compose music. “With everyone being on the road all the time, you really have to find the most efficient means of communicating your ideas,” says Watts. So where does all that Afto-Beat, Afro-Cuban, Latin, Funk, Jazz come from?


Boulder, Colorado. On the music front, you have the richest palette of sounds that can be found between New York and San Francisco including heavy-hitters in the jam culture like String Cheese Incident, Leftover Salmon, and Yonder Mountain String Band. This deep network gives The Motet a vast array of influence to meld with.


On the social side, Boulder is home to many different types of alternative energy. When a friend started talking about bio-diesel, the band knew this was something they could embrace to start spreading the message of change. Now, they tour in a bio-diesel bus and everywhere they go, they spread the positive message that there is an alternative.


Why do they do it? “The war in Iraq is based on oil,” says Watts. “Not only do we want to create less emissions, spreading the word is equally important.” In being responsible members of the community, they’ve begun to spread the expression everywhere they go on tour. And the word is definitely spreading.


Another cause the band has adopted is Rock the Vote. Going along with The Motet’s theme of change, they would really like to see an adjustment in the White House this November. “Rock the vote is so important because of the economy, and the war in Iraq. Right now our actions reflect badly on the U.S. and [the current situation] doesn’t create an economic climate that is conducive to being an artist,” states Watts. “I can’t think of a more important issue out there right now [than the election].”

But for the next week at least, Dave Watts is off to spread his musical message to the Burning Man festival in Nevada. He’s the only one from the Motet going however, playing with Otter Camp, with some of the String Cheese Incident guys. The experience is a place to stoke the artist within and perhaps recharge some of that creative juice. In fact, everyone is encouraged to be an artist, there’s no vending or selling allowed at Burning Man, only trading and gifting.

Despite all that’s happening on the music and political front, the band has one priority. “For me, “ says Watts, “it’s to stay focused on the music and concentrate on ways to make a living.”


For more information about The Motet, visit www.themotet.net

Photography by Regan Teti
Aggie Theatre, Ft. Collins CO, October 2003
Visit Regan at www.wondermonkey.net


Meniscus Magazine © 2004. All material is property of respective artists.