Music Spotlight: Glass Wands Takes On White Water Tonight

Glass Wands takes on The White Water Tavern tonight at 9 p.m. And before you ask, we mean Glass Wands as in the band, not the … er … sex toy.

Brooks Tipton, local musician and t-shirt craftsman as well as the force behind Glass Wands, is pumped for the show.

He laughingly says of the name, “I wanted it to be something mystical and dark – like something out of “The Labyrinth” or “Neverending Story” – turns out that it’s also a type of sex toy. Oh well, I don’t mind it being associated with something that brings people pleasure.”

The show aims to please, and Tipton says, “I picked an excellent band and feel so honored to have all these great local musicians to play – 8 of us total.”

The line-up includes: Phillip Huddleston on keys/clarinet/guitar; Isaac Alexander on keys; Ryan Hitt on Bass; Will Boyd on drums/sampling; Thom Asewicz on guitar; Geoffrey Robson on violin; Norman Williams on saxophone/keys; and Tipton, himself on the piano.

Tipton says, “It’s going to be a unique night. I’m working with a talented friend on some lighting and projection stuff. I think it’ll be a cinematic vibe.”

Glass Wands has been a long-running project for Tipton, although not as long-time as his love for music.

He remembers his introduction to the art –“My parents listened to a lot of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd – great classics like that – when I was growing up. It didn’t dawn on me how important all these bands were until I was around 12 or so. …  Later that year I went and saw Robert Plant and Jimmy Page with my parents and was hooked on the idea of being a musician.”

Surprisingly, though, Tipton didn’t pick up an instrument until later. He says, “I had a guitar but didn’t really start playing until a lot of my friends played in early high school. I was just trying to keep up with them. I was fortunate to be surrounded by an eclectic group of talented musicians at an early age.”

He’s been involved with bands for a while now – with an impressive resume including the Arkansas-based American Tourist which would later become Bear Colony, a Seattle-based band called Unwed Sailor, as well as Oxford’s Colour Revolt. He also played with The Secret Sisters, a time he remembers fondly.

He says, “We toured all over and ended up playing on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”

Even with that long resume, he’s incredibly excited for the Glass Wands debut. “I always had the ideas for Glass Wands,” he says, “I’ve spent a lot of years working on this album and am happy to finally play a show.”

The album has technically been released for a year, but hasn’t yet been played before a live audience. Tipton says, “I started writing the songs in 2005. My friend Chase Pagan – who I’ve also spent a lot of time touring with – and my pal Matthew Putnam helped me record the album in Northwest Arkansas in 2012.”

The show will be unlike most you’ve seen. Tipton has had some time to think about the production. He says, “I’ve always had an idea for the music to be accompanied by a big production – like a stage show in a theatre – with lights and giant props moving around.”

Tipton was also determined to play the show at White Water. “The people who own and run White Water are true to music and musicians. It feels like home there. When I was thinking of the venue to play the first show, I wanted it to feel comfortable. I think it’s a great room for music and friends.”

At this point, Tipton is excited for people’s reactions. “The album has a mix of real orchestral instrumentation and synthetic instruments – like old synthesizers – it’s sort of a cross between minimalist classical and electronic groove,” he explains.

Don’t miss your chance to catch this show tonight at 9. Special guests Greater Pyrenees from Oxford will perform, as well. The show is $7 at the door, and Glass Wands vinyl will be available for $15.

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