Look at the photo above. What do you see? Go on, stare (if you need a larger version, click here). If you can gaze at it for at least five seconds and make any kind of judgement about it, then congratulations! According to drummer Evan Stone that means you've done your minimum requirement of daily critical thinking. It also means he and his funky, psychedelic jazz-inspired outfit, The Translucent Ham Sandwich Band, have accomplished something that few local bands even try to do anymore: getting you to think at all about issues that affect our world. It's something of a dying art these days, especially if we look at music in our own backyard and how infrequently we see bands who would do something both crazy AND thoughtful--like pose for a photo depicting a good percentage of the world's problems with the satirical bite of a political cartoon.
Leanna Flecky Evan Stone (center) and the Translucent Ham Sandwich Band
In a lot of ways the photo simply depicts old problems kept alive through current events. Showcasing elements of the debate over child vaccines and freedom of choice, gun control, police brutality against blacks and protesters, tensions between Israel and Palestine (which appears to be more of a sexual tension in this photo), gambling with our national security...it's all stuff we've heard and seen before. But in terms of artists who put those types of discussions in their music, it's becoming more of a rarity, which was Stone's point when he decided to arrange the photo titled "The Ham Dinner" (a tongue-in-cheek play on the Last Supper).More »