Last week turned into a disaster for Knoxville electro-acoustic/chamber-pop group Shortwave Society when their tour van, loaded with an estimated $25,000 worth of gear, was stolen. The robbery happened late on Thursday, Nov. 11, or early on Friday, Nov. 12, in front of percussionist Curt Geren's house in South Knoxville. (Geren's dog was also in the van at the time, but was returned on Friday.)
Instrument and gear theft is devastating in any circumstance, but it's particularly debilitating for Shortwave Society, whose eccentric orchestral pop depends on samples, programmed percussion, and several homemade synthesizers, all of which were lost in the robbery. Curt Geren still has his laptop with most of the band's percussion samples, and his brother, singer/guitarist Grant Geren, had unloaded his guitars.
Grant Geren says the band has canceled its next two out-of-town shows, scheduled for Columbia and Charleston, S.C., this weekend. They'll still perform their scheduled show at Pilot Light on Thursday, Nov. 18, with Asheville's Stephaniesid, but gigs for the rest of the year are still up in the air.
"We're waiting for some kind of resolution," Geren says. "But we'll play; we'll find some way. We'll borrow some instruments if we have to."
The van is a large white Dodge with no grill on the front and the word "caution" printed across the back. The band is taking donations through its website to replace the gear. Visit the band's website for more information.