For most bands, an album-release show follows a simple protocol: Book a show at a local rock club. Play the new songs. Stand at a table in the back after the show and hope people buy your CD. Pretty standard stuff.
But Beauty Pill is not your standard band, and on Saturday it will be hosting a very different album-release show. The event won't be at a nightclub but at Arlington's progressive art hub, Artisphere. The band will be there but won't be performing. And you won't be able to buy the album, just listen to it as part of an interactive multimedia display.
The event is the culmination of Beauty Pill's "Immersive Ideal" project, in which the D.C. rock quintet transformed Artisphere's Black Box Theatre into a recording studio over 2 1/ 2 weeks last summer.
It was an interesting choice for a recording location, but what made the undertaking so different was that the whole thing was open to the public. Most bands cut themselves off from the world entirely when it's time to make an album, but Beauty Pill literally put itself on display, with onlookers peering into the studio from a perch above. Depending on when you arrived, you might have seen guitar overdubs, drum takes or the band simply sitting around and mixing. Visitors could hear everything happening inside the enclosed space through speakers. It wasn't always enthralling, but that was part of the point.
"Can we cast a spell if everyone watches us make a spell, and argue about the spell and see all the mechanics behind the spell?" band frontman Chad Clark said about one of the motives behind the idea.