The family plot

Local quartet the Ether Family Presents ... explains their unusual name as a combination of the expression "out of the ether" — as in out of nowhere, since "we aren't part of any scene," says vocalist and guitarist Jimmy Ether — and a tribute to "Alfred Hitchcock Presents ... ." The band first planned to have a theme and a new band name every show, says lead guitarist Earl Ether, "That's where the 'Presents ...' comes from."

Like Hitchcock's tales, the Ether story is an intertwined thriller. A decade ago, Earl and Jimmy met as music engineering students at GSU. They began writing songs together and played in a number of local bands, including Spiral and Monkey Boy. Earl introduced Jimmy to the future Gayle Ether (bassist, vocalist), and Jimmy and Gayle got married four years ago. As for drummer Freddie Ether, Earl explains, "We adopted Freddie."

The self-described geek artists created a website, The Anti-Elitist Audio 'Zine (www.a-eaz.com), to feature other D.I.Y. bands and reviews. As they're spotlighting other acts, the Family's own recent album Original Motion Picture Soundtrack also is worthy of note. An impressive collection of scrappy and melodic songs, the Ether Family retain their individuality while echoing moments of Beach Boys and Brit-pop.

Soon the band begins working on a four-album set, How to Get Lost in a Time-Consuming Egotrip, to be released in serial form along with a streaming video documentary, "Live from the Ether Lounge." "We undertake pretty ambitious projects, not because we are these precious artists," says Earl. "We just do it because it's fun."

The Ether Family Presents ... play The Earl Wed., June 6.??