Art & Design Magazine

Luce Unplugged Showcase: (Almost) Five Questions with Chris Taylor of Pygmy Lush

By Americanart

Just in time for the arrival of D.C. heat and humidity, we're bringing you our special Luce Unplugged Community Showcase, live from American Art's Luce Foundation Center this Friday, July 18th. By now you know the drill, but just as a refresher: the showcase will include a summer happy hour combination of music, art, air conditioning, and beer!

This month's Luce Unplugged featured local performers are D.C.'s The Sea Life and Virginia's Pygmy Lush. Chris Taylor of Pygmy Lush answered a few questions for Eye Level about the show.

Pygmy Lush

Pygmy Lush. Photo by Ben Tankersley.

Eye Level: We're excited to provide live performances in the already unique museum space of the Luce Foundation Center. Have you ever performed in an "alternative" space before, or an interesting venue that you consider unique?

Chris Taylor: Over the years, we've played a lot of interesting venues, I'm constantly surprised by the resourcefulness and work ethic of kids around the country, all it takes is an outlet sometimes, and in some cases not even that! The first thing that comes to mind when you say "unique" is a show we played about five years ago in Billings Montana, the place is called "Yellowstone Perk." It's a coffee shop that was closed when we got there, but the show was outside in a sort of faux Old West ghost town movie-set-type setting. Behind the faux storefront buildings was a junkyard full of old cars of every make and model. By the time we played that night, there was a huge sky above us, and two people standing in front of the stage, we played every song we knew, and the owner let us camp in the junkyard. We stayed up all night telling ghost stories and talking about old times by the fire. It was magical, and by far the most memorable if not unique venue we've ever played!

EL: In the spirit of combining different forms of expression with a concert in an art museum, besides music, what other types of artistic expression inspire you?

CT: Mike Widman and I are both carpenters. The job has a creative element that I didn't expect when I first started doing it. You find yourself helping people make decisions about the place they will spend most their time in: home. They may see a million times something I've built. And something as subtle as working out where a window should go can really affect a person's day-to-day experience. I find that inspiring.

EL: Bands often offer pared-down sets of their music to sound best in the acoustics of the Luce Center, which you will be doing on Friday! You typically perform your "noisy punk rock" as you put it, so what can we look forward to with this different type of set from Pygmy Lush?

CT: Well, we've done some pared-down sets in the past, usually by necessity. This one is exciting to me because Johnny Ward will be performing with us. He has always been a strong creative force behind the subdued side of Pygmy Lush. And it's a pleasure to indulge in our friendship and chemistry with him, if even for just a little bit. He brings the wanderer out of us.

EL: Is it true you are writing a song specifically for the upcoming Luce Unplugged performance?

CT: That is the intent, we'll see where it goes!

Join us on Friday, July 18th to find out! Everything starts at 6:00 p.m., so come beat the heat and get here early to enjoy both bands.

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