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August 9th, 2009
Madam and The Teapot Atheists paint aural pictures

Left to right: Furly Travis, Alucard Montana, and Michael Wayne Carpenter Jr.

By SARAH STEVENS
Scene Reporter

Blurring the line between traditional live music shows and performance art, Madam And The Teapot Atheists have appeared around San Marcos for almost a year. Candice Thrownesbery normally paints on stage to the sounds of the masked band, made up of Alucard Montana, Furly Travis, and Michael Wayne Carpenter, Jr.

“We got the name through a scientist, Richard Dawkins, his book The God Delusion,” said Montana. “He was talking about how everyone that believes in something is pretty much a teapot Atheist. He goes into more detail, obviously. It’s pretty strange. Madam started off as just Mad, it stood for the Mark Al Duo. Then we added Mike and it became the Mike Al Duo And Adam, Madam.”

Madam And The Teapot Atheists is a unique style of entertainment, blending visual elements with the aural ones, creating something altogether different and somewhat odd. The music varies from song to song, going from an inconspicuous ambient background to a bass-heavy jazzy style, and back to an almost carnival air.

“They caught me on the fly one night, saying they wanted me to paint for them,” Thrownesbery said. “I had no idea what I was going to paint, but the very first performance, I painted a big 30-foot-by-40-foot canvas and probably five people asked me how much I wanted to charge them for it. I knew I had something, that we had that kind of magic together.”

Thrownesbery’s paintings, created live onstage, can be purchased from her after the shows.

“The performance before last, I sold a painting of Catwoman scaling a wall,” she said.

The songs performed as backdrop to the art don’t always have a discernible structure. Some are an amalgamation of odd chords and sampled sound effects.

“Sometimes live, Carpenter, or Al, or I will start a beat or something and we’ll just fall in and jam basically, and create a song from that,” Travis said. “We like to do on-the-spot stuff, but we do have some more structured songs, too, that we practice. We mainly want to be instrumental.”

Said Carpenter, “It seems like, a lot of times, the best stuff that we play just comes out spontaneously. We start out with a little bit of a backbone and it evolves into something different. If you come and listen to our music, you won’t hear the same song sound exactly the same way twice.”

Said Montana, “A lot of times we’ll have other players jumping in. We had a show at Wake the Dead and we had a saxophone player. Sometimes we have samples of CDs, weird stuff like The Super Friends but in Spanish and all tweaked out.”

Though there are no records available for purchase from Madam And The Teapot Atheists as of yet, there will be.

“We are planning to record in the near future, thanks to Furly, who has a recording company called Low Rent Productions,” Montana said. “We’ve just got to get these songs down tight. I think after another couple practices we’ll be recording.”

Madam And The Teapot Atheists most recently played at Triple Crown on August 5. For more upcoming shows, or to listen to some of the music, go to www.myspace.com/mtpa78666.

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