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A Brief Inactivists History
This is a love story.
Years ago, Matt Sumner answered an on-line ad, and couple of days later met up with a strange man at My Brother’s Bar. This was the beginning of a strange yet beautiful long-term relationship. You see, the ad was placed on musicmates.com (this was in the pre-CraigsList days) and the man he met was guitarist and ukulele-player Scot Livingston. As a bassist, Matt had looked at Scot’s rather long ad searching for musicians for quite some time before actually getting drunk enough to respond. Not that Matt disagreed with anything in Scot’s diatribe, he just figured that anyone that verbose would be a controlling pain in the ass to work with. He was only half-right. Matt and Scot met at My Brother’s Bar (now the traditional Inactivists’ meeting spot) and exchanged CDs of half-finished song ideas and other demos. A week later Matt and Scot met up again where the were now about half-dozen newly written songs. Which is a good thing, since Scot had gotten frustrated with the solo singer-songwriter doing acoustic numbers at the coffee shop open mics and decide to start to booking shows as a band under the name The Inactivists in the delusional hope that someday a band would form around him. Luckily, Matt already knew a saxophonist and drummer who he thought would be interested in this project. Unfortunately the only day they had to practice (October 19, 2003) was the day before the next show that Scot had booked at Pink-E’s. So a dozen original tunes were practiced quickly, and the next day, played pretty well given how talented and game the musicians were. Without time for another rehearsal, there was another show booked two nights later. Matt mentioned that he had been corresponding with a theremin player who also might be interested. Her name was Victoria Lundy and she walked onto the stage of the Blue Mule having no idea what the band sounded like or even what they looked like. But it worked. Sure there have been the usual band personnel shifts while looking for the right combination of talent and interest. The drummer wasn’t too hard to find, since he ended up marrying Scot’s cousin.
In the last ten years the Inactivists have drunk countless pitchers of hard cider at My Brother’s Bar, recorded six albums (seven if you count the Xmas EP); they have played hundreds of show; opened for acts as diverse as the Red Elvises, Golden Arm Trio, Cecil “P-Nut” Daniels, and Captured! By Robots; they have yelled at the Hobby Lobby in Arvada and have serenaded protestors at the Democratic National Convention on the 16th Street Mall; they have staged the only performance of the rock opera “Jahoprah & The Golden Guitar” with a cast of dozens; they have helped promote the Art Rock community in Denver by joining and helping organize the D.A.R.C.; they have had their theremin enshrined in the Aurora History Museum, and smashed an acoustic bass guitar at the D-Note,; they have been rained on while performing at the Capitol Hill People's Fair; they have been joined on-stage by such luminaries as Little Fyodor & Babushka, Babblin' Brooks Young, and Tim Kaminski from Yerkish; they have received dozens of glowing articles, even once being compared to “watching the Muppet Show in prison”; endured thousands of questions from people unfamiliar with their instrumentation; but most importantly the Inactivists have had a good time while making good, strange music.