Cotton candy, a potato toss and a beer garden will fill the Moscow Food Co-op parking lot Sunday as Runaway Symphony, an indie, alternative and folk rock group, plays to the masses.Headlining the Co-op’s 40th anniversary outdoor celebration, the Moscow band will play an hour of music, which drummer Jason Oliveira describes as both folky and cinematic.
“Each song is a really epic story with narrative qualities in the lyrics,” Oliveira said.
Lead singer Daniel Botkin, who is the main writer, said Runaway Symphony can go from quiet to exploding in a matter of seconds. Dynamics are key.
“With our music, we don’t want to fall into the popular genre, but we don’t want to be so specific that we leave everyone out,” Oliveira said.
The band met about five years ago and has been playing since the summer of 2010. While the band formed almost by accident, Oliveira said, there was no reason to part.
Members include Botkin, Oliveira, guitarist and Oliveira’s brother Chris Lowe, mustache-sporting bassist AJ Stevens and sometimes-member and keyboardist Jarin Bressler. The band ranges in age from 22 to 28.
And for the past two years, the crew has been working to record an album, which is due out in October.
“We have different songs come together in different ways,” Botkin said. “I bring it to the band, we put it together and write. What we enjoy the most is the writing process.”
Oliveira said the music starts one way, and then evolves into something completely different.
“We’re taking something raw and making it refined,” said Lowe, guitar.
From recording the album in Oliveira’s basement, to T-shirt, poster and pallet-light design, Lowe said the band is a DIY kind of group. The pallets were a cheap way to light the stage and sync with the music, but now it’s become part of the aesthetic.
Lowe said the band has been offered gigs overseas, and the members just need to agree on their destination. Iceland and U.K. are on the list.
“We’ve been offered a lot of things, “ Lowe said. “We try to take it one step at a time.”
For now, the band plans to play in Moscow at events such as Rendezvous in the Park, the Co-op Carnival and an upcoming show at the Nuart Theater with Learning Team on Sept. 26. They will play on the University of Washington campus this month and at Gonzaga the next.
Opening bands for Runaway Symphony’s Co-op Carnival performance include Tom Drake & Undiscovered Country and the Moscow Peace Band.
Beer and cider, provided by Moscow Brewing Company, Paradise Creek Brewery and Whisky Barrel Cider Company, will be served near the stage. Children can access a root beer garden with ice cream from Sticky Fingers Farm. Other food includes vegetable kabobs, bratwurst, giant pretzels, cotton candy, popcorn and caramel apples. The organic offerings are all less than $3, except for Oh Beehave Wheat ale — a 22 oz. bottle of Paradise Creek’s creation for the Co-op’s anniversary.
“The carnival is old-timey,” said Tiffany Harms, Co-op advancement manager and carnival coordinator. “Hokey almost, so adults can enjoy it, too.”
Games include potato toss, ring toss, a “Hay There” dig pile for young children and other Co-op Kids activities, while a photo booth, memory wall and face painter will be on site.
“This is probably the biggest event our Co-op has had,” Harms said. “It’s a celebration of the past, but also a way to look on and welcome new people.”
Beyond new members, the Co-op has also welcomed a new general manager, who Harms said will introduce the evening and begin the Co-op annual meeting, a 15-minute talk about finances, before the music begins.
“Our Co-op has this weaving past — a lot goes into what makes it what it is. So many people who have given their time, and (the carnival) is a way to focus on saying ‘Thank you.’”
Treffry can be contacted at (208) 883-4640 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at: @LindseyTreffry.
-> if you go:
WHAT: Co-op Carnival, featuring Runaway Symphony
WHEN: 5-8 p.m.; Runaway Symphony will play around 7 p.m.
WHERE: Moscow Food Co-op parking lot, 121 E Fifth St., Moscow