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Italian band brings new sounds to Paducah

BY LAUREL BLACK lblack@paducahsun.com

The Italian band JoyCut fits into western Kentucky's musical landscape about as well as a 20-story building would fit into downtown Paducah's skyline.

In a place where bluegrass, country and classic rock dominate local venues, JoyCut's experimental, primarily instrumental music may catch concertgoers off guard. But in some ways, JoyCut's Wednesday concert feels appropriate for a venue like Maiden Alley Cinema, band member Pasco Pezzillo said.

"We think it's going to be the perfect venue ... in order to express our feelings and our attitudes," he said. "(It) could be one of the best moments on this tour."

The band - which interweaves electronic, keyboard-driven melodies with percussion - synchronizes its performances with images, Pezzillo said, making a small cinema an ideal setting for a JoyCut concert.

The band, which is embarking on its first full tour in the United States, is coming to Paducah through the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization's Creative Cities Network. Paducah was designated a City of Crafts and Folk Art in November 2013, while Bologna received the City of Music designation in May 2006. These designations opened the door to the partnership between Bologna and Paducah, according to Laura Schaumburg, marketing director of the Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau.

When Pezzillo talks of the band's attitudes, he's speaking in part about its commitment to an eco-friendly lifestyle. The band's latest album, "PiecesOfUsWereLeftOnTheGround," was recorded partly in solar-powered studios. The band's T-shirts are made of organic cotton, and the only thing about its latest CD that isn't recycled is the music itself.

Critics have described JoyCut's sound as "dark-wave." In explaining the genre, Pezzillo said he and bandmates Nicola Maccarinelli and Gael Califano grew up listening to British new-wave bands such as Joy Division, The Cure, and Bow Wow Wow, and the era's sounds continue to influence their music. Their name comes from a conjunction from the Nick Drake song "Joey" and the Pink Floyd album "The Final Cut."

"We are intimate in our performing, in our researching (of) sounds. It's something real: we're not playing it in order to get free beers," he said.

JoyCut has opened for bands such as Modest Mouse, Arcade Fire and Sebadoh, and was selected as one of two Italian bands to perform this year in the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.

Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641, or follow @LaurelFBlack on Twitter.

Want to go?

n What: JoyCut.

n When: 7 p.m. Wednesday.

n Where: Maiden Alley Cinema, 112 Maiden Alley.

n Info: Tickets are available at maidenalleycinema.com.

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