By Jason McDowell Creative Director Published Apr 18, 2008 at 10:07 AM

When you spin The 1900s' new album, "Cold and Kind," released last year, you might be tempted to double check whether you just loaded a vinyl record onto your old turntable. The band more than just touches on disco, psychedelia and folk, as though it we're unwittingly transported through time, directly from the care-free, summery '60s.

Yet, while the music sounds out of time, it remains surprisingly relevant today. The harmonies dribble like syrup over saccharine violin and piano. It effortlessly glides from disco to folk, only to crunch things up with a bit of garage rock and drop back into unfathomably infectious pop.

I defy you to not enjoy the third track, "When I Say Go." The band's seen positive reviews in the Chicago Sun-Times, Pitchfork and Stereogum, which called The 1900s a "band to watch" and several singles have made quite positive rounds through the mp3 blogosphere.

The band has played in Milwaukee a couple times before, and tonight it returns again, to open for Stars, whom we interviewed earlier this week, at The Pabst Theater. If you find yourself depressed by the cloud cover and cold winds today, this show is sure to start the weekend off right.

We caught up with singer / guitarist, Edward Anderson, to see what's new. Hey, what's going on?

Edward Anderson: Oh, nothing. Just walking the streets downtown. It's a nice day.

OMC: You're in Chicago?

EA: Yeah.

OMC: Your band is called The 1900s. There is another band called The 1990s and another one called 1997, and, of course, the now defunct Death From Above 1979. How did that come about and how do you deal with that?

EA: It's kind of an annoyance, really. We've gotten to cities and we'll pull up and on the marquee it'll say "Tonight, the 1990s." It happens all the time. I don't think we knew of The 1990s or 1997 when we came up with the name. It was just one of those things that happens at once without really knowing. Like when they discovered DNA, it was discovered by three different people separately in the world at the same time.

OMC: How has the mp3 blogosphere changed the way you promote a record?

EA: That's tough. It's hard to say because I don't do much of the actual promotion myself, and also I haven't put out that many records before, so I don't really have much to weigh it against. Before, in my older bands, I would just release a record and no one would know about it. I think in a way the blogs have replaced some of the radio promotion that we would have done before. It's a way a lot of people hear about music, so it's nice to get those people on your side. On the other hand, I'll read some of the blogs and they'll say good or bad things, and I'm not even sure who the people are or if anybody even reads it. Anyone could post anything, so it's nice to have the blogs, but it's also nice to have some more established sources as well.

OMC: Do have other media support, like radio support?

EA: I don't know. We didn't really do too much radio promotion. I think we put our money towards other stuff. We probably just sent the CDs out to some of the colleges and I don't think we did much of a follow-up, or got any reports. But people have told me they heard the stuff, so I'm guessing it's getting played somewhere.

OMC: Your band is how old?

EA: Two and a half, three years, maybe.

OMC: You've managed to open for a few significant bands, such as Iron and Wine and British Sea Power and...

EA: Stevie Jackson, from Belle and Sebastian is another one we just played with.

OMC: So, who has been the best act to open for?

EA: Oh, I can't say that! To be a little cheesy -- it's true, though -- but playing with Iron and Wine at The Pabst Theatre was, by far, one of our best concert experiences. At the time it was our biggest indoor show and it was very exciting, and went off really well and (lead singer) Sam (Beam) was really great, so that was amazing. But we have met and gotten to play with tons of really cool bands. In January we went out to the East Coast and played a couple shows with Stevie Jackson and we got to play as his backing band. He came on stage with us a little, so that was obviously exciting since we're huge fans.

OMC: How was playing such a huge festival like Lollapalooza?

EA: (Laughs). Fun and exciting and drunken. It was great. It's insane how much work goes into something like that. It's like a city within a city. It's completely mad.

OMC: And finally, since you've been to Milwaukee a few times before, have you had any exciting adventures?

EA: The time after we played with Sam at The Pabst, we played at this small theater, I forget what it's called, and we opened for this guy named Samwell.

OMC: Oh yeah, at the Miramar Theatre?

EA: He had a song called "What What, in the Butt." We were definitely thinking we were moving up in the world, going from Iron and Wine to Samwell. That was still kind of exciting, though. We got to meet him and he was very nice.

OMC: Yeah, I was at that show. It was an unusual experience.

EA: Yeah, you could say that.

Jason McDowell Creative Director

Jason McDowell grew up in central Iowa and moved to Milwaukee in 2000 to attend the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.

In 2006 he began working with OnMilwaukee as an advertising designer, but has since taken on a variety of rolls as the Creative Director, tackling all kinds of design problems, from digital to print, advertising to branding, icons to programming.

In 2016 he picked up the 414 Digital Star of the Year award.

Most other times he can be found racing bicycles, playing board games, or petting dogs.