Filed under: Interviews | Tags: Die Hipster, Elm Bar, Jeffrey Thunders, M13, New Haven Music, NHM, Sadplant, The Deacons, The Pist, Yes Please
(Originally posted on the Die Hipster Blog on April 25, 2011)
Interview by Jeffrey Thunders.
I recently sat down with Al Pist from The Deacons and asked him some questions. Here is part of that interview.
JT – Describe the Deacons.
Al Pist – I think that The Deacons is the most unique band that I’ve ever been in. The one thing that I can truly say is that the band has got heart. Rich’s songs all revolve around people that we know, and things going on in our lives and he puts his misfit perspective on it. The band is what it is. There’s no pretense, posturing or in-your-face political message. We’ve also got a revolving door with members strewn all across the country, who show up and play when they can. Sort of a home for wayward souls who don’t fit in anywhere else. Musically, it’s kinda punk mod rock-n-roll skinhead hardcore.
JT – You have been in what is arguably the best CT punk band of all time. Although its not the same it was while The Pist were in their hey day, but how do you feel about the state of the CT punk scene today?
Al Pist – Aw shucks…I can’t say that we were the best band, but I think we did a good job of getting the kids fired up and hopefully inspiring them the way that we were inspired by the bands that came before us…As far as the scene today, I see a pretty dedicated core of kids, especially from the Eastern part of the state that are making things happen. There’s also places like the Whitney House in Hartford that are providing some awesome DIY basement shows, and giving people a place to hang out. New Haven’s got a decent bar scene, and some spots to play, but it needs to fill that gap that Tune Inn left. There’s good bands and good people there, but no place for the kids to go crazy.
JT – What are your influences?
Al Pist – More than anything, I’m influenced by what is around me at the moment. The bands that we play with, the other solo people that I play with, my friends, etc. Almost all the music I’ve ever loved was introduced to me by my friends. Starting out, some of my main influences were the old CT bands. Although I loved Minor Threat , 7 Seconds, DKs etc. our local scene really inspired me to start playing and writing music. 76% Uncertain, Lost Gen, NMOT, Vatican Commandos, Violent Children, Seizure. These bands all seemed like they were just a bunch of people like me, who weren’t hung up on the fashion aspect of punk. They were more about the fun, the energy and the message.
JT – You are also in another band called M13. What is the difference between the two bands?
Al Pist – M13 is a bastardized Brutally Familiar reunion band that is starting to flesh out its own sound and identity. At the moment, the lineups in M13 and The Deacons are pretty similar, but the music and the vibe is different. M13 is way heavier, faster and more direct. The aim is to bring it with intensity and take no prisoners.
JT – If you could join another CT punk band for a day who would it be?
Al Pist – I always wanted to be in Brutally Familiar, and M13 is a close as I’ll ever get so that’ll have to do. As far as current bands…I don’t think any of them need an old guy like me hanging around.
JT – You have been all over the country playing shows. How would you say Connecticut rates in comparison to other punk scenes?
Al Pist – I think that we have as much going on here as anywhere else. Every scene has its good and bad points. We’ve got enough people involved to support touring bands when they come through, and we certainly have our share of decent bands that span a pretty wide range of punk and hardcore. As far as I can tell, everyone gets along with each other pretty well and there’s not a lot of rivalry between bands and scenes.
JT – What does the future hold for you and the Deacons?
Al Pist – For the Deacons? Who knows? Maybe some more new members…(we just got Mike from M13 on 2nd guitar.) Rich and drummer Mike LoPorto have been working on a set of the more quiet Deacons stuff that has more of an acoustic feel. We’d also like to get in the studio and record some songs that we never were able to do in the past. As for me…I just want to keep playing, writing and going to shows. It’s really not as easy as it used to be, but the day that you stop pushing yourself and doing things that you think you can’t do is the day your soul dies. I’m 41 now, and I see people in their 50s still doing it, and that keeps me inspired.
Filed under: 21+, Music, Record Releases, Shows | Tags: Celebrated Tigers, Delta Hotel, Jo Schornikow, New Haven Music, NHM, The Outer Space, The Shivers, The Stoned Ambassadors
Celebrated Tigers, a New Haven based experimental rock duo, will also be celebrating the release of their new record. Although they prefer not to name drop influences, Celebrated Tigers’ Britt and Brian apparently bonded over ‘being last picked in gym class and their unwavering love of the “Blue” album by Weezer.’ The inherent awkwardness of such sensibilities surfaces in their music through and through. Deceptively sloppy at times (okay, ‘lo-fi’), each song is conversely carried by an adept sense of melody that surpasses any notion of insincerity or uncertainty (which despite the rough edges, leads one to believe these guys know what they’re doing). Such ramshackle purity is a blast to listen to, so make sure you stop by if you can.
This solid billing is filled out by Jo Schornikow of the Shivers, Delta Hotel (‘honest pop’ from NYC) and the Stoned Ambassadors (another NYC band whose sound is more poppy than their name lets on).
If When You Go:
Celebrated Tigers (Record Release)
Jo Schornikow (of The Shivers)
Delta Hotel (NY)
Stoned Ambassadors (NY)
@ The Outer Space
295 Treadwell Street, Building G, Hamden
7pm SHARP / 21+ / $8
Filed under: Grand Opening, Music, News | Tags: Elm Bar, Enclave, New Haven Music, NHM, Rudy's, Skate The Planet
‘We will be open in a few weeks.’ These words were posted to the new Rudy’s Twitter feed (@RudysNewHaven) yesterday, finally settling months upon months of speculation as to when the famed downtown bar and venue would be re-opening.
Since being forced from its original location at 372 Elm Street (now home to Elm Bar) last August, rumors initially suggested that Rudy’s would be reopened at its new location (1227 Chapel Street at Howe Street) in only a few months. As Autumn set in however, it quickly became apparent that Rudys’ relocation would take much longer than anticipated. After subsequent rumors suggested New Haven’s St. Patrick’s Parade Day as the new re-opening (a date which came and went), many began questioning whether the bar would ever re-open, that is until yesterday’s announcement.
According to an interview with Rudy’s Jeff Petrin posted today by Tony DaSilva on the Skate The Planet blog, a specific re-opening date has yet to be singled out, with a last minute announcement most likely coming via the Rudy’s Twitter feed. Petrin also goes on to confirm that the new Rudy’s will have an expanded menu (including Rudy’s beloved frites), a larger beer/liquor selection, larger restrooms and a larger area for bands and audience (to read the full interview, please visit the Skate The Planet blog).
With the now imminent re-opening of Rudy’s, as well as the emergence of Elm Bar in Rudy’s old digs, what last year seemed to be a tragedy of epic proportions has evolved into a win-win situation not only for local music but for downtown New Haven as a whole. We can almost taste the frites now….
Filed under: 21+, Music, News, Record Releases, Shows | Tags: BAR, Grandchildren, M.T. Bearington, Manic Productions, New Haven Music, NHM, Safety Meeting Records
Many may remember Grandchildren’s previous New Haven performance at Cafe Nine last November (also a Manic show) for the group’s cacophonous arrangements, significant usage of percussion and complex yet tight vocal melodies. Since then Grandchildren have gained some pretty good momentum on the east-coast club circuit, most recently opening a series of shows for Brookyln’s O’Death. In addition their live show itself has gained a ‘spectacle-to-behold’ like stature amongst indie-rock audiences. This group seems poised for bigger and better things so be sure to catch them right in your own backyard this Wednesday for FREE.
Opening the night will be New Haven indie-popsters M.T. Bearington. For this show Matt Thomas and company will be celebrating the vinyl release of their highly anticipated new LP Love Buttons on Safety Meeting Records. After the release of the first M.T. Bearington album, 2008’s Cloak of Nouns and Loss (which was mainly a Matt Thomas solo effort), M.T. Bearington became a full-on band (and a pretty good one at that) and as such have dedicated a lot of energy into making Love Buttons a ‘band’ album. And from most early accounts, they have been wildly successful in doing so. A limited edition of 300 vinyl LPs will be available (which you can pre-order through Safety Meeting) so make sure you get your copy early!
What better way to celebrate 4/20 than with some great live music??
If When You Go
Manic Productions presents
Wednesday, April 20th
@ BAR / 254 Crown Street / New Haven
21+ / Free / 9pm
We’re excited to announce the re-launch of our popular ‘Artist of the Month’ series this May on NHMusic.org. Originally active on the NHM Myspace page from 2007-2009, the Artists of the Month series will highlight a pair of original local musicians/bands every month as a means to help promote and recognize the talented local music community on a more individual basis. For the new installment of the series, one established local musician/band and one up & coming local musician/band will be selected each month by NHM based on their originality, creativity and impact on the local music community. Only musicians/bands that perform (mostly) original material will be considered (sorry, no cover or tribute bands). The selected musicians/bands will then be featured on the NHM blog for a duration of one month before being replaced with the following months selected artists. Ultimately, we hope to introduce audiences to the quality and diversity of the local music community while at the same time expanding the fan base of local musicians/bands. Please check back later in the month to find out who May 2011’s Artists of the Month will be!
Filed under: All-Ages, Music, Shows | Tags: Flower/Corsano Duo, MV+EE and the Golden Road, New Haven Music, NHM, Popeye's Garage, Shaki Presents
Hailing from Vermont, MV+EE (aka Matt Valentine and Erika Elder) create a unique blend of Appalachian folk, Indian raga-style compositions and psychedelic experimentalism which they self-describe as ‘lunar-ragas.’ Often performing in more subdued acoustic tones, the group periodically adds more electric instrumentation to their set, which they will apparently be doing for this show.
Like MV+EE, the UK based Flower/Corsano Duo defy easily genre categorization, coming across as an eastern-influenced mix of jazz, psych and, at times, cranked to ten noise. Corsano’s dynamic and inventive drumming, in particular, keeps the duo from ever sounding stale, alternating between endless rolls and rhythm at will.
This is a must-see show for fans of psych and eastern-influenced experimentalism. Be sure to get there early!
If When You Go:
Friday, April 15th
MV+EE and the Golden Road
50 Goffe Street / New Haven
All Ages / 7pm* / $7*