published Friday, July 13th, 2012

Deer Tick headlines Nightfall


What: Nightfall concert series featuring Deer Tick.

When: 8 tonight; Behold the Brave opens at 7 p.m.

Where: Miller Plaza, corner of M.L. King Boulevard, Market and Cherry streets.

Admission: Free.

Phone: 265-0771.

Venue website:


Behold the Brave is a local indie rock quartet from Ooltewah consisting oyton Davis, Zack Randolph, Joel Parks and Jeremiah Thompson. For more information, view the band's Facebook profilie at

From Saskatchewan to California, Chattanooga to London and dozens more dates in between, Deer Tick's summer tour is a real globetrotter.

Given a wide-ranging sound that stretches from poppy ballads to punky anthems, the Rhode Island-based indie quintet's expansive schedule is a case of life imitating art.

Although Deer Tick often is tossed cavalierly into the same alt-folk basket as groups such as Iron & Wine and Neutral Milk Hotel, guitarist Ian O'Neil said the band's members were most strongly influenced by the building block genres of American rock.

"Country/blues or rockabilly or punk or whatever ... that's the kind of music that we all like," he said. "As far as our influences and the closest thing we have to a genre, that's where we lie."

Deer Tick was founded in 2004 in Providence, R.I., by lead singer John McCauley. O'Neil joined the band about three years ago just before the release of its third studio album, "Black Dirt Sessions."

At the time, he was in between groups, and one of the primary attractions to Deer Tick, he said, was the band's then-limited touring schedule. In recent years, however, the quartet's increasing popularity has kept it on a constant touring circuit of the U.S. and Europe with dates alongside artists such as Neko Case, Dawes and Rilo Kiley vocalist Jenny Lewis.

Tonight, Deer Tick will take the stage at Miller Plaza as this week's Nightfall headliner.

Last year, the members of the band decided to address years of being mislabeled by critics and the increasing gap between the intensity of their live shows and the more laid-back sound of their recordings.

The result of that effort was the group's fourth studio album, "Divine Providence," which featured a rambunctiously intense lo-fi sound that was in stark contrast to previous releases.

"Divine Providence" and "Tim," its 2012 follow-up, will be featured alongside back-catalog material during the set tonight.

O'Neil said the group began working earlier this year on a follow-up that yet again will shift the sound in new directions, but the most-recent releases were a statement he's glad they made.

"That's the record we set out to make, and I'm really happy we made it," he said. "I think it needed to happen just to bring something right up in our audience's face and clear the slate, you know? We felt like we were fighting for something."

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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