Even before Jack and Meg White rose up and forevermore etched it into the popular consciousness as the White Stripes, the two-piece band was a specialty combination worshipped by lo-fi aficionados. Locally, probably none have honored the format like Danilo Krkljus and Brian Stabile, bandmates in grunge duo Yogurt Smoothness. In January 2011, they debuted the Two Piece Mini Fest at Will's Pub. Since then, the showcase has become a serial event celebrating the number two – two-piece bands, two stages, twice a year. The upcoming fourth edition will complete the second year of their run.
The creators disagree over who originated the idea. "It was my idea, though Brian will disagree," Krkljus says. "But I dreamed it up from my dealings with the Soundvine Collective, which disbanded a few years ago. We used to put on festival-type shows which flowed like marmalade and Two Piece Mini Fest ironed out all the stupid annoyances."
"I'm going to go ahead and take credit for the idea, regardless of what Dan says," Stabile declares. "I like trying to launch ideas beyond just dudes on stage playing music, and this was one of them."
Undisputed, however, is their shared passion of the duo dynamic. "Two-piece bands are in my opinion the best way to hear the musical intent of the artists," Krkljus asserts. "It's nothing against the third guy in your band 'holdin' it down' or whatever that means. I just like how stripped and raw the songs are."
"Flexibility and vulnerability" are what Stabile says make the format exciting. "You can change up the dynamic at any time, and in a band like ours – one drummer, one guitarist – things can be changed up a lot without stepping on each other's toes, or without an audience noticing.
However, with the shortage of instruments on stage, the audience can hear every note you play, so you better be tight. Things can fall apart fast."
Two Piece Mini Fest featuring Bob on Blonde, Hot Hands, Disasteroids, Bellows and more
7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19
1042 N. Mills Ave.
Listen to a track from Hot Hands playing the Two Piece Mini Fest.