Piper’s call

Caribou drummer Brad Weber strikes out on his own with his percussive dance party, Pick a Piper.

Best known as Caribou's drummer, Brad Weber's no stranger to travel. He's gone crate-digging in record stores in Turkey. He's filmed music videos on the craggy beaches of Iceland. He'll be performing everywhere from Mexico to Stockholm with Caribou this spring. But today, he's at his parents' home in Waterloo, Ontario, readying himself for a two-week Maritime tour with his latest project, Pick a Piper.

The four-person collective, Weber says, creates "clubby dance music." And while it isn't exactly foam party fare, it isn't the dreamy electro-pop of Andorra, either. "When we start the process, we write all the songs starting with the rhythmic idea and then slowly evolve it," he says.

Unlike Caribou---a Polaris Prize-winning project headed by Dan Snaith---Pick a Piper is Weber's own. Assembling four old friends from Toronto and Waterloo, he wrote Pick a Piper's 2009 self-titled EP during downtimes in Caribou's busy touring schedule.

With two drummers working simultaneously, the group is "creatively managed" by Weber with percussion as its central focus. The results are part-rattle, part-hum; it's a roaring tribal drum circle paired with bass, acoustic guitar, glockenspiel and upbeat, campfire-ready group hymnals.

"It's organic music, a psychedelic drum dance party. It's not so much about synthesizers. It's a combination of worldly influences with modern pop-dance stuff."

And Weber's well-worn passport confirms his love for world music. He discovered African tribal music and Turkish psychedelic acts such as 3 Hürel and Erkin Koray on tour with Caribou, influences that are now emerging with Pick a Piper.

Central to the group's visceral live performances, which has led to spots at Pop Montreal and Canadian Music Week, is community. They'll be filming their east coast escapades as part of a travel documentary, and will be providing tambourines and other noisemakers to anyone who's willing to dance along to the group's polyphonic glee. Bring your own balama.

Pick a Piper
w/Sleepless Nights, Ace Kinkaid

Gus’ Pub,
2605 Agricola Street
Saturday, March 13, 10pm, $5

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