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Band of the Week: Dana 


Madeline Jackson (vocals, theremin), Chris Lute (guitar), Val Glenn (bass), Courtney Hall (drums)


A little over two years ago, Jackson reached out to a guitar player friend of hers and talked about an idea for a band. She was sitting in the parking lot of a pharmacy while she told him about the psychedelic music she wanted to play. "We got to work shortly after that," she says. "The first show we played as a three-piece and did an improv kind of deal. We had a similar sonic starting point. We love Pere Ubu and Stooges and proto punk. There's a lot of that in our music and a lot of '90s influence, stuff like Brainiac. We strive to be among those weirdo Ohio bands like Rocket from the Tombs, Devo and Brainiac."


On its Facebook page, the band cites "custody battles and pissing contests," "that glass prison cell they had to put Magneto in," "gas station chicken," "night sweats" and "Googling your own name" as influences. What the heck? "That's just how my brain works," says Jackson. "I think in fragmented vignettes. That comes across lyrically. Our songs are about human behavior and interaction and feature tableaus of Rust Belt shittiness."


Because she didn't want to play an instrument that would keep her tethered to the stage, Jackson chose to pick up the theremin. "I something helped me have some sway in the songwriting process and figuring out what the melody would be," she says. "I run it through a series of effects pedals. I use a tremolo and a Moog chorus pedal just to give some more texture and take the edge off. A little goes a long way. I have fun with it. I can do some soloing on it too."



"Demon Dawg," the single from the band's new self-titled album, features lacerating guitars and hiccupping vocals and sounds something like PJ Harvey if the Jesus Lizard backed her up. With a recent lineup change, Jackson says the band continues to refine its approach. "We're hammering out how we want it to sound," she says. "I want to get more material going. We've been doing this set for a while. With the lineup changes, it feels really fresh. Our previous drummer is now playing guitar, so it's been a musical chairs type of situation."


Dana performs with Ma Holos and Shagg at 9 p.m on Friday, May 19, at the Happy Dog.

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