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The Please Please Me 'Shake a Little Harder' on New Record


Take a last-minute line-up change, a Craigslist ad and three talented musicians, and you have the origin story of the band The Please Please Me.

Two weeks before musician Jessie Torrisi was headed out for a nationwide tour, she posted an ad on Craiglist looking for a drummer. Agustin Frederic took a chance and answered the ad, shortly thereafter joining Torrisi and bandmate Alissa McClure on the road.

For as unique as its backstory is, the group is also notable for its instrumentation, breaking away from the traditional garage band orchestration. Torrisi, originally a percussionist, is the lead vocalist and plays the electric guitar. McClure is a cellist, expanding the sound possibilities through using a soundboard. Frederic has a drum kit that Torrisi describes as looking “like an octopus.”

The trio engages each other as humans, as well as musicians, trying to build their relationships. They feel that will make their individual sound gel together better, Torrisi says.

But they are also focused on the audience. With their new EP release, titled Shake a Little Harder, they are encouraging audience participation.

“I feel in this whole process of making music we are trying to get people to unleash with us,” Torrisi says, "to experience the words we are saying, the emotions we are trying to express.”

Torrisi directs the sound of group away from the popular music of today to create a more substantial vibe. She wants the group’s music to be one that listeners can connect to, to be put on the mix for somebody’s wedding, somebody’s break up, the good times and the hard times. Both on the recordings and on stage, the group is inclusive.

“You really try to create that on stage by making this just really expressive, really sexual, really alive environment where everybody is invited,” Torrisi says.

The Please Please Me is touring the Midwest in late July and will be heading East in August. They will appear in Milwaukee at Circle-A Café and at Linneman's on Wednesday, July 31st.

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Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.