While he's been busy playing with psychedelic skuzz-rockers Wild Wild Wets, singer and keyboardist Mike Turi's been quietly working on a new solo project, Emerald Rats. Using a drum kit and a Microkorg synthesizer, he makes gloomy garage-pop tunes that are perfect for a nice, laid-back LSD trip.
The project started in 2011 as a way for Turi to write songs on his own for a change. He doesn't play guitar and has long relied on guitarists' input, but he decided to go solo after a budding project he'd been working on with Wild Wild Wets drummer Marco Piro and a guitarist who's since moved out of town went awry. After playing together for a month or two, the trio started getting somewhere with a song they'd written. Then, out of nowhere, the guitarist—Turi declined to give his name—staged a creative coup and announced that he was sending the song to other musicians.
"What do you mean you're sending this track out to other people?" Turi says he remembers thinking. The next day, he went to his drum set and synth and started working on a song. "I was just so frustrated that I had to do this."
Turi recently put out a debut Emerald Rats EP, Everyday Obstacle, via emeraldrats.bandcamp.com. He'll play at The Casbah on Saturday, March 9.
"It's nice to go with my intuition and do what I want to do. And it offers that little peace of mind," he says. "Sometimes it's good to have a side-project. If two people are in their relationship, they should be able to hang out with their friends, or have some alone time."
After nearly two years apart, indie-pop combo Secret Apollo will play a one-time reunion show at Soda Bar on Friday, March 1. Red Pony Clock, St. Cloud Sleepers and Kalashnikov My Wife will also perform.