Music

LIVELY IN LIVING MUSIC: RISKY SUMMERBEE & THE HONEYTHIEF

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text & photo: melancholico

When music is important for you, and I don’t just mean the usual “I can’t live without music” statement that people much too often blurb out without even thinking how illogical that sounds, if not extremely cheesy… But when you truly care for music in such way that good songs liven you up, bad songs drag you down, and certain songs simply make you feel and think better; then you are a clear evidence that music is a form of art. Not that the world needs more convincing, but just in case the world has forgotten, with all the crap they call music nowadays (that most people “can’t live without…”).

It is important to keep the strong connection between art and music, for obvious reasons, but mainly to keep producing more of the goodies than the baddies. Maybe this is why musicians or bands with members that have backgrounds in art; such as Roxy Music, The Clash, Pulp, The Beatles, The Who, Pink Floyd, Blur, Talking Heads, and more, have made such unforgettably new sounding music at their times, that are still relevant to this day. Why? Probably for the extra added self-determination and overwhelming desire to create beyond the humdrum, that art encourages, not to mention the talents they possess to shape those energy into forms accessible to the world outside their own. Music is a form of art, and who better to create it but artists themselves?

This is my cue to whip-out the name Risky Summerbee & The Honeythief, a five members band based in Yogyakarta, which happen to be the art capitol of Indonesia. When it comes to the term “musicians slash artists”, they are your men. With three principal members (a guitarist, a bassist, and the front-man, Risky) that occupy themselves in projects relating art with music; such as spending time working alongside an independent theatre company from their hometown and the band’s tendency to give out experimental art performances from time to time, complemented with projected visuals and the whole sha-bang; many ended up dubbing them the obvious “Experimental Band” label. However, they are merely a bunch of good solid musicians who play impeccable sounding music, the kind you experience rather than just listen to. Their music is a mix of genres from pop, folk, blues, jazz, progressive rock, and psychedelic; twisted around to produce their own sound. One might call it Contemporary music because it is young, fresh, sexy, and very smart. You can never tell where it is going, because none of their songs are predictable. That is a mark of great musicians slash artists.

Their debut 11 tracks album entitled “The Place I Wanna Go”, released in 2009, offers a kind of musical story-telling concept that is richly filled with their substantial expertise, knowledge in music, but yet familiar sounding vocals. The songs flow through and tickle your mind and heart; so much so that you know for sure what you are experiencing at the time is a form of living art. I’m not kidding.

Risky Summerbee & The Honeythief, at their first performance in the monthly gig “SUPERBAD!”, in 2009. Their second time was in 2011, in conjunction with RRREC FEST #2.

 *Have a listen to some of their songs at: http://www.myspace.com/riskysummerbee.

* Watch their second live performance in the monthly gig “SUPERBAD!” (in conjunction with RRREC FEST #2) at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME-54bHK4ko