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Artist of the day: Andy Matchett and the Minks


After playing in bands like The Monorail, XOXO and People Chasing People, Orlando singer-songwriter Andy Matchett is now doing the solo thing with his new band, the Minks -- Megan Matchett (piano, Roger Docking (guitar), Abraham Couch (bass), Matt Mendel (drums) and sometimes Daniel Berry and Justin Beckler.

With a warm, relaxed vibe that calls to mind Duncan Sheik, Glen Phillips and the Shins, Matchett tries to turn his live shows into a spectacle. The above photo was taken during a show at New World Brewery, during which Matchett brought out a big parachute, purchased for $50 at an Army surplus store in Tallahassee, and performed beneath it with fans.

"The parachute idea was something I'd been kicking around for years, but that night at NWB was the first time we were able to pull it off with the full band," Matchett said. "As it turns out, now that we've done it a few times, it's relatively easy to pull off almost anywhere. We usually bring the 'chute out for the last few songs, scrounge up a couple people to help hold it up at the edges, and everyone dances around the middle."

Matchett said the parachute idea was inspired by his elementary school PE classes, when his class used to play beneath a colorful parachute. "I remember that feeling very clearly -- like the whole group was immediately transported into our own little private universe, shaded by color and insulated from the rest of the world -- one last adventure before we returned to class."

It's quite a spectacle, with bright colors, confetti, leaf blowers, streamers and such. Matchett describes it as a "grand finale ... something memorable to get the crowd involved in a more intimate way." If you missed the last parachute show at New World, click here for a photo gallery.

Matchett is likely to do it again when he performs with Alexander and the Grapes and Bananafish at 9 p.m. Saturday at New World Brewery. Click here for details.

And click here to listen to Matchett's excellent alt-pop song All This Time.

Photo: Nicole Kibert /

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:19pm]


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