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Band of the Week: Self Taught No Lessons


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MEET THE BAND: Anna Fullmer (vocals, harmonica), Johnny Fullmer (bass), Joel Lefkowitz (guitar), Ashley Reddick (drums)

A HAPPY ACCIDENT: Singer Anna Fullmer says the band formed a couple of years ago by happenstance. "We were all hanging out drinking tequila and watching a Cavs game one night," she says. "They were losing, so we went to the basement and started jamming together. That was when we realized Ashley [Reddick] could keep a beat and play the drums. We went from there and started playing covers." Initially, the group played songs by acts like the White Stripes and Tom Petty. "We have a little bit of country and some punk rock influence too," says Fullmer. "Joel [Lefkowitz] used to play in punk rock bands."

FIGURING THINGS OUT: Last year, the group issued a three-song EP that served more as a demo than a proper release. It helped pave the way for its latest EP, Packin' Up. "We were just trying to figure out what we were doing with that first EP," says Fullmer. The band then spent a solid year working on Packin' Up.

ALL ANALOG: After Lefkowitz bought a Tascam tape recorder at a gear swap, the band hooked it up for fun "just to see if it would work." It did, and the band wound up using it to record Packin' Up. The goal was to make a record that would "sound like the records we grew up listening to," as Fullmer puts it. It was cut to lacquer at locally based Well Made Music in Cleveland.

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: "Time Waste" features a gritty guitar riff and primitive drums as Fullmer adopts a menacing sneer. The cowpunk-y album opener "Slow Song" finds Fullmer adopting a drawl. "We like to party and that's half of our reason for having a band, and I wanted to have a song where I'm just yelling at the band," says Fullmer. "That song is a reenactment of real life. It's a fun party song." The band has almost met its Kickstarter goal to cover the costs of printing the vinyl version it'll have for sale at the upcoming Happy Dog release show. It'll also issue the album on cassette. Fullmer says the group has plans to record a full-length next. "We don't know if we want to go through the pain and suffering we went through this time around by recording onto tape," she says. "Rolling out this record was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun."


WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Self Taught No Lessons performs with the Venus Flytraps, the Torments and DJ Alejandroid at 9 p.m. on Friday, June 28, at the Happy Dog.

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