Session 193: Campdogzz // Monica LaPlante

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Campdogzz SB PaulJBartlett Square Poster Design: Paul J. Bartlett

July 18, 2018

Campdogzz capture the bleak yet spirited heart of the industrial midwest in a five-piece band propelled by driving rhythms, insistent dual guitars set in intriguing arrangements, and the haunting, evocative songs and voice of Tulsa native Jess Price. In a moment, Jess turns a beguiling melody to a darkening storm, rich in portent and meaning.

Campdogzz have earned a devoted following in Chicago and the midwest, with a line-up that has solidified into a potent live band featuring Jess Price (lead vocals, guitar and keyboard); Mike Russell (guitar and backup vocals); Nick Enderle (guitar); Mahmoud Haygood (bass); and Matt Evert (drums). In addition to their own headlining shows and tours (until recently conveyed by a school bus rigged for self-sufficient touring and camping; if you dont know where to get the best falafel in every American city, you are definitely not a Campdog), the band has opened for Big Thief, Sam Evian, Ohmme, Tim Kasher and others. They were recently seen in the first season of the Netflix series, Easy, recorded a popular Audiotree live video session, and self-released Riders in the Hills of Dying Heaven in 2015. That early recording has been streamed nearly 2 million times. Now, Campdogzz are poised to come aggravate your blues, bang your head, and remind you where you are on the long road away from home.


Monica LaPlante’s transition from leaf on the wind to vamp on the prowl began pretty much instantaneously. Writing and recording the demo for darkside party banger “Hope You’re Alone” in a single night gave the artist enough momentum that nothing could stand in her way--for long.

As with her command of melody, the aptitude for depicting emotional nuance LaPlante showcases on “Can’t Stop” is gaining massive depth and resonance remarkably fast--especially when it comes to ambiguity. Even when she plays the budding libertine, as she does with flick-of-the-wrist ease on “Do That To Me,” she’s careful to let a little longing for something more seep through the cracks in her wall of benign indifference. Noir’s overarching affective backbone resides solely in LaPlante’s will to rock.

“For the first time my songs sound like me to me,” she says. “I’ve always wanted to make a heavy, hard-hitting record. I listen to Noir now and know exactly how I felt.”