AS OF 2016: HITS no longer exists as a group, but much of their music is now performed by Secret Drum Band. 

photo by jason leonard

from crash symbols::: 
 is a percussion-based trio hailing from Portland, OR, comprising multi-instrumentalist Allan Wilson, a founding member of !!! (chk chk chk), and drummers Lisa Schonberg and Heather Treadway, two thirds of the brilliant (and sadly defunct) Explode Into Colors. Leaping at the chance to explore their disciplines together, the three collaborators created HITS for a month-long residency in the fall of 2012 at artist Andrea Zittel’s A-Z West compound in the rocky hills of Joshua Tree. To realize the sound pieces in a performance context, the band employed a multi-channel speaker array designed by Wilson, and donned gowns designed and crafted by Treadway with dyes inspired by desert soils and plants.

Sunshine Baby, their first recorded offering, features six songs that highlight the group’s careful balance between field recordings and a kaleidoscopic range of live drums and percussion. The intensity and variety of sounds reflect the character of the desert in which it was made: stark, strong rhythms and kosmische tone washes echo the dry, windy landscape of the California desert. Ephemeral voices and samples appear from nooks and shady turns, while others seem to emerge from great depths, like the roots of the joshua tree itself. The range of affected audio, ear-catching vocal turns, and trance-like focus adds dimension throughout, standing out all the more for having been recorded entirely in Wilson’s attic and mixed in his closet.

HITS (of sunshine) has featured many guest artists: filmmakers julie perini & jodi darby, musicians lauren vidal & tara jane o'neil, and dancers james kidd & lindsay schief. The Hits of Sunshine residency in Joshua Tree was supported by a grant from the Oregon Arts Commission & a many gracious kickstarter contributors. Thank you again. HITS has performed in Portland, Los Angeles, Seattle, Olympia, and Joshua Tree, including shows at High Desert Test Sites, The Henry Gallery, Disjecta, and Holocene. 

The documentary on Hits of Sunshine, below, was filmed by Portland artist Jodi Darby (jodi also took the photo). It premiered at Disjecta in Portland in January 2013.