The I's are Portland glam-garage by way of Austin punk, and when they land in Olympia they'll be playing bluesy folk-rock, informed though it may be by a good chunk of musical history.
Fronted by S.I.D. Need, AKA Jona Napier, the I's is a collection of musicians who met while perpetually swimming in the sea of "outsider" music. Bassist Shannon Wade joined up with S.I.D. Need after the two met in Austin's post-‘90s music scene. Wade saw Need's band, Litter Meet, and immediately knew she had to be a part of it.
"They didn't have a bass player," Wade recalls. "I wanted to be in the band so badly that I went out and bought a bass the next day, even though I was regularly a guitar player."
The I's recently released their debut album, Herbivore Blues. Recorded utilizing Breeders drummer Jose Medeles, Wade says the album doesn't really sound like the kind of music they play now.
"It's a little different," explains Wade. "The songs were kind of just developing at that point, so it's almost a solo record for S.I.D. A lot of the songs we're doing now are different ... We should be recording, this summer, a new record with the songs that you would see in a typical I's show, these days."
While Wade says the I's are mellower these days, I think it's safe to say they're mellow by the standards of punk and garage rockers. Need still possesses a distinctively smoky voice, capable of tearing at a punk song or crooning like a toned-down Janis Joplin. The new layers of harmonica and blues sensibilities only add more depth and nuance to the music.
The punk rock soul still lives inside Need and Wade, it's just been sweetened slightly by the passing of time.
Friday, May 14, 10 p.m., no cover
Le Voyeur, 404 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia