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November 30, 2008
Sacramento Single: Two Sheds' "WTF"

twosheds1_small.jpgCaitlin Gutenberger had never been in a band, hadn't really sang - certainly never in front of anyone - had never written a song.

She didn't have the experience but she did, however, find she had a musical connection with husband, bassist Johnny Gutenberger and his Jackpot bandmate Rusty Miller.

"Johnny and Rusty had some downtime and I wanted to learn to play drums so we'd just goof off and we had this real chemistry," she says of the collaboration that eventually became Two Sheds.

"So I wrote a few songs and then switched over to guitar and Rusty started playing drums."

Yes, it really was that simple.

"I was freaked out at first - I never thought I could write songs - I was an English major, used to writing things that were longer," says the 27-year-old singer.

"But then I got over the hump and wrote a handful of songs really fast.

That was 2004 and in the years since, Two Sheds, also featuring James Finch Jr. on guitar, has released a album (2006's "Strange Ammunition") and this year's digital-only, self-titled EP.

The music, grounded by Gutenberger's soft yet decidedly assured voice, is a mix of ghostly folk-pop and bouncier indie rock.

With Two Sheds geographically divided - the Gutenbergers live in Sacramento, Miller and Finch live in San Francisco - it's sometimes difficult to get the band in the same room for anything other than a show.

Still, the members of Two Shed are planning on spending some quality time together in 2009 with plans for a tour, a South By Southwest appearance and a new album on the calendar.

The new record, Gutenberger says, is still little more than a hazy notion.

"Second records are weird because the first one is just a big solo barf," she says with laugh.

"I have a lot of ideas that are all over the place but I really don't have a clue what it will sound like - we'll see what happens in the studio. I just want it to be (recorded) in a cozy environment with no pressure."

Two Sheds

Song: "WTF"

Style: Upbeat yet moody, wistful pop

Behind the song: The track's sunny sound belies its dark take on a particularly bad spell and a chorus which, yes, is acronym for "What the #$• !."

"Have you ever had one of those days or weeks or months where a bunch of bad things happen?" Gutenberger asks.

It's just, perhaps, a rhetorical question but the her viewpoint is disarmingly straightforward.

"Honestly, it's just one of those stupid choruses because I couldn't think of anything else to sing," Gutenberger says.

"I wanted to think of a more lyrical, nuanced way to say that but this is what came out instead."

Initially, "WTF" was a slow, meditative song but, over time, evolved into something faster and brighter.

"We just started playing it fast at practice because we wanted it to have this Tommy James & the Shondells sound - very 'la la la' with a quiet little heartbeat," she says.

"It just ended up being very fun."

See them: Tuesday, December 9th at Luigi's Fun Garden,

1050 20th Street, Sacramento. The 8 p.m. show is all-ages and $5 at the door. Chelsea Wolf and the Parson Redheads are also on the bill.

On the Web

Listen to "WTF" here

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