Tentacles Everywhere gives freak folk clever voice

By Emily Sipiora

Tentacles Everywhere is a Rockford freak folk band saturated with twee, Wes Anderson like gimmicks and clever songwriting. The band consists of Elizabeth “Kris” McQueeny, Nabeel Shaikh and Kyle Theiss.

Recently spotted at The Rockford Art Deli for ArtScene, Culture Shock for Record Store Day and multiple other venues, the band has carved out a unique, carnival like sound similar to no other Rockford band.

“I have been playing music with my boyfriend Kyle Theiss for the duration of our relationship. People always liked hearing us play so we decided to start a band. We knew Nabeel from shows that he booked for us at the Rockford Art Deli– I later officially met Nabeel in response to a Facebook post that I put out looking for a multi-instrumentalist. He was interested in joining, and so he did,” McQueeny explained about recruiting the band’s members.

McQueeny also revealed the origin of the band name, “Tentacles Everywhere was originally a name I gave my solo music project. I came up with the name because I would record my music on garage band and do all the instruments and vocals for each track. I felt like if I were an octopus I would be able to play my stuff live because I would have eight arms but as one person I could only record stuff.”

Tentacles Everywhere has played with multiple other notable Rockford acts. In particular, McQueeny stated “I love playing with Taboo Blah Blah. I really enjoyed playing in Micky Rosenquist’s singer-songwriter circle recently, too.”

In regards to the local music scene, McQueeny believes that more women musicians are necessary. “I always have the urge to teach my female friends instruments because there are not enough girl musicians in this town,” she said. “I get irritated that it’s unusual to have a girl in a band or that some guys use it for a draw, like ‘we have a girl in our band,’ that makes us unique.”

“We don’t have too much of a method. We just play around with our instruments until we find something we really like,” the vocalist said. “We come up with lyrics while sitting down at the Irish Rose or Oasis over a few brews.” In regards to lyrics, McQueeny simply said “We just let our minds wander and pass around our green journal.”

This weekend in the Rockford music scene

On Friday Emmanuel Lutheran Church will hold the first spring show at their venue, the Emmanuel Lutheran Basement. Doors will open at 6 p.m., with music beginning at 7 p.m. Local artist Luke Seamus McGowan-Arnold and Brendon Crave will be opening for touring bands Sloth Hands, Hear This! and Awe Howler. The cover is $5, but as always, is $4 with a canned good upon entrance. The ELB is located at 920 3rd Avenue.

“I think that we don’t have a lot of opportunities for musicians who are not in bands who want to play folk music and I think folk is important, so venues like ELB are important. I hope to bring plenty of Dylan and Guthrie to Rockford,” opening act Luke Seamus McGowan-Arnold said.

Sex Vortex, Griffin Rainbird and Earth to Clark will be playing Friday night at 714 Locust St. starting at 7 p.m. A minimum $3 donation is required upon entry.

On Saturday, the “Best Damn Music Show” series begins at Kate’s Pie Shop & Record Store, 6685 E. State St.,  at 7 p.m. Local veteran Jordan Smith of folk punk project Jordan and His Stupid Silly Songs will be opening, followed by Joel Collinsworth of Original Mechanical Mouse.

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