"Science" isn't just about systematic knowledge of swirling atoms or Einstein's Theory of Relativity. It's also the name of a Seattle music duo performing Feb. 8 at the Roxy Wine Bar in Kennewick.
They say they borrowed the name -- adding an exclamation point at the end -- as a way to pursue music using poetry and soundscapes to express the truth of daily life.
If that sounds a bit confusing, then perhaps a reference to a 30-year-old song will help.
"Our name 'Science!' is, in part, a nod to Thomas Dolby's 1982 song She Blinded Me With Science," said Justin Stang, one half of the duo. "The song features interjections from the British scientist and TV presenter Magnus Pyke, who repeatedly shouts 'Science!' and delivers other lines in a deliberately over-the-top mad scientist voice."
But mostly it refers to the other half of the duo, guitarist Jim Elenteny, and his expertise on the guitar.
"Jim's precision and technical execution in performing solos on the guitar led one of his students to (say) that his approach was akin to a musical scientist," Stang said. "An odd comparison, but it sort of stuck as a nickname."
Both Stang and Elenteny are transplants from New York. Stang moved to the Northwest seven years ago looking for a change of pace from the hustle and bustle of East Coast life. He's made his living as a musician ever since.
Elenteny came later, accepting a job a couple of years ago teaching guitar, recording and sound engineering at a Seattle-area community college.
"We play as often as our schedule can allow," Stang said. "I've been playing for about 15 years, but only as a performer the last six. Jim's been playing guitar for about 20 years, and his expertise and precision, and a master's degree (in music) is what led people to start calling him a scientist."
The duo play Americana music, which Stang said is a mix of folk and country, as well as bluegrass, rock and blues -- sort of a blend of Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash and a whole bunch of other sounds in between, he added.
"We like it due to the vague nature of its description," Stang said. "It's hard to put us in a confined and specific box, although the focus of the genre almost always involves storytelling and folklore as an American tradition."
Stang handles most of the vocals for the duo and plays guitar. Elenteny plays keyboards, piano and organ as well as guitar.
Their Tri-City gig at The Roxy starts at 9 p.m. and is open to the 21 and older crowd. There is no cover.