[NHM] New Haven Music


June 2011 NHM Artists of the Month – Snake Oil, Old Man Lady Luck

So, eleven days into June and we’ve finally selected our Artists of the Month (yeah, we know, about time!). Without further delay, the NHM Artists of the Month are….(drum roll, please)…Snake Oil and Old Man Lady Luck!

‘Snake’ who? ‘Old Man’ what?

Snake Oil is a new instrumental collective spearheaded by drummer extraordinaire Jason Labbe. Comprised of current and former members of Weigh Down, Titles, The Mountain Movers, Atrina, Charles Burst, Latitude/Longitude and Meridians (among others), Snake Oil was initially conceived as a recording-only side project to Labbe’s former main band, Weigh Down. After Weigh Down ran its course, Labbe began dedicating more and more time to working on Snake Oil, in the process bringing in a dozen or so musicians to assist on the project. After a few months of production, the collective had finished a cache of recordings which ultimately formed the running order of Snake Oil’s fantastic self-titled debut album.

Self-released by the band this past Tuesday (June 7th) in vinyl and digital formats, Snake Oil is nothing short of a revelation for those unfamiliar with Labbe’s never-ending well of creativity. Beats (both acoustic and electronic) collide off bass grooves, guitars, keys, synths and percussion with utmost ease as if the instrumentation itself were always meant to be combined in this way. Equal parts funky and spacey, Snake Oil is the rare instrumental album that keeps your attention throughout and doesn’t let go until the final drum hit. Its as if your mind and ears have no other choice but to submit to the aural sermon that is Snake Oil, blindly following each snare roll and bass lick ad nauseam. No other God or stimulation required. Of course, this is not to suggest that Snake Oil overstays its welcome at all. At 9 tracks and just over 30 minutes, Snake Oil avoids the common instrumental album mis-step of overwhelming length, instead focusing on quality not quantity. And with a production this adept at sonic placement and attention to detail, each subsequent listen yields more rewards. Be sure to pick up a copy via the band’s website snakeoilsounds.com or at Redscroll Records. In addition, you can catch Snake Oil live next Friday, June 17th at Cafe Nine as they celebrate the album’s release with fellow locals Atrina and DJ Shaki.


Photo by Miss Angie Chambers

Old Man Lady Luck fit the definition of ‘power trio’ to the T. Featuring members of gonzo-riffsters like the Vultures, Bloarzeyd, Humanoid, Murdervan, The Black Noise Scam and Atrina, Old Man Lady Luck knows how to bring the rock (and also the roll). With this said, don’t expect to hear some kind of boogie-woogie old-time music or an endless barrage of guitar pyro-technics, these guys are HEAVY (with all caps). Inter-changing between funeral pace doom and mid-tempo evilness, Old Man Lady Luck succeeds well at keeping things interesting. Their willingness to experiment with and evolve their riffs especially helps to break up any monotony created by tempo and tone. Although all three members are locked in throughout, bassist Warren Brelsford and guitarist Phil Law seem particularly well paired, playing off each other with ease. In addition drummer Andre Roman’s propulsive percussive work never lets the band’s songs become too sedentary.

This past May, Old Man Lady Luck celebrated the release of their debut self-titled album with a now rare Sunday performance at New Haven’s BAR. Recorded in Chicago with legendary producer (sorry, ‘engineer’) Steve Albini (and mastered by Bob Weston), the album is comprised of six tracks, all untitled. The production and performance is warm, full and crisp, showcasing the band’s unique interplay and dirgy sound in a way that only Mr. Albini could capture well. Be sure to pick up a copy on vinyl via the band’s Bandcamp page or, if you need your fix quicker, download a digital copy free. Old Man Lady Luck will be performing tonight as part of a four band riff-fest at New Haven’s Cafe 9 along with Skeletons In The Piano, VRSA and Treebeard. Bring earplugs and a neck-brace.



Ideat Village Fundraiser and Rock Lottery Drawing @ Cafe 9, June 4th

So what is a ‘Rock Lottery’ anyway? A lottery with the winning prizes awarded in precious gems? A geologists idea of a crazy time? Or one of the most novel and popular events at last year’s Ideat Village festival which allowed New Haven musicians to form a new band, learn new songs, meet new people, play a show and break up all in two weeks time? If you answered the latter, you’re absolutely right.

Ideat Village’s Annual Fundraiser and Rock Lottery drawing takes over Cafe Nine this Saturday, June 4th. Featuring performances by Mayhem Circus Electric, The Wee Bees, The Suicide Dolls, Death Prayers, Doctor Dark and Fake Babies (most, if not all, of whom performed at last year’s festival), the annual event serves as a warning shot of sorts to the full-on festival which begins on Saturday, June 11th and ends on Sunday, June 26th. Now in its tenth year(!), Ideat Village was originally developed by co-organizers Bill Saunders and Nancy Shea as a local-centric alternative festival to the big money International Festival of Arts and Ideas, a mission which remains intact to this day. In contrast to the Arts and Ideas fest, Ideat Village focuses exclusively on local artists, musicians and filmmakers through a vast array of events, openings, exhibitions and concerts across New Haven, all funded through grassroots support and donations. As in year’s past, the duration of this year’s Ideat Village directly corresponds to the Arts & Ideas Fest, further underscoring its mission and focus.


Last year’s Rock Lottery winners, Lunch Ladies

This Saturday’s fundraiser also serves as drawing for the now annual Rock Lottery event. As previously stated, last year’s debut of the Rock Lottery proved wildly popular, drawing a large crowd to Yale’s GPSCY ballroom. Aside from its popularity, Rock Lottery also allowed local musicians, some of whom probably would have never performed together otherwise, to meet, create music and ultimately perform together on stage. Although this year’s Rock Lottery concert will instead be occurring at the newly renovated Rudy’s Bar (on Saturday, June 18th), you can bet the same spirit of musical spontaneity and community will be present. To those musicians too nervous participate in last year’s installment….don’t worry! Ultimately this event is all in the name of fun and building a sense of community in New Haven (a.k.a., no pressure!), two things we here at NHM agree with wholeheartedly (and you should too). Want to try it out? You can still sign up by e-mailing ideatvillage@snet.net. Please make sure to include what instrument you’d like to perform in your new Rock Lottery band. Further details can be found at the official Ideat Village website.

If When you go:

Ideat Village Fundraiser and Rock Lottery Drawing
w/Mayhem Circus Electric
The Wee Bees
The Suicide Dolls
Death Prayers
Doctor Dark
Fake Babies

Saturday, June 4th
@ Cafe Nine
250 State Street (at Crown Street), New Haven

8pm / 21+ / $6
All proceeds go to Ideat Village!



Despite some drama, B.O.M.B. Fest 2011 finally arrives

When the lineup for the third installment of B.O.M.B. Fest was announced earlier this year, several people in the local and regional music community collectively shit a brick. Man Man? Best Coast? Snoop Dogg?? Wiz Khalifa?? Weezer??? Two days at West Conn? Really??…Could a festival with a lineup this chock full of awesome actually be happening in Connecticut? Then, after it was announced that over 25 local bands would be included in the two day festival, a veritable riot ensued amongst local artists, clamoring tooth and nail to land a slot at the festival. When the dust settled, over 500(!) bands had applied. Rumors then began to swirl in April that, due to overwhelming response, the festival was not happening at West Conn after all but at Meadows (okay, Comcast Theatre) in Hartford. When these rumors were confirmed shortly thereafter, initial reaction was mixed with some ticket holders even demanding refunds. After everyone came to their senses though, it became obvious that there was no way in hell that the WCSU campus (or Danbury) could possibly accommodate a two-day festival of this size. The end result? B.O.M.B. Fest became the first non-profit event ever to occur at the Comcast Theatre. And despite some drama, Connecticut finally got the music festival it always wanted (and deserved).

If When You Go:
B.O.M.B. Fest 2011
Saturday, May 28 – Sunday, May 29th
Comcast Theatre, Hartford

(For a complete festival schedule broken down by day, stage and time, please visit the B.O.M.B. Fest website. There are a ton of great bands including New Haven locals Eula, Wry, NHM Co-Artists of the Month The Guru, Fake Babies, The Manchurians, The Backyard Committee, Cosmic Dust Bunnies, Forget Paris and The Frank Critelli Band)

(To purchase tickets, please see the B.O.M.B. Fest Ticketmaster page. Tickets are available for each individual day as well as for the whole festival (including VIP packages)).

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B.O.M.B. Fest is the brainchild of one Frank Bombaci, Jr. A Connecticut native, Bombaci first started B.O.M.B. Fest in 2009 as his high school senior project. The basic idea was to bring together as many people as possible in Connecticut to hear the best in local and national bands, all in the name of charity. In addition to being a play on Bombaci’s surname, ‘B.O.M.B.’ is also an acronym for Bring Our Music Back, a non-profit organization founded by Bombaci’s father, Frank Sr., as a means to distribute proceeds from the festival to local charities. In just three short years, B.O.M.B. Fest has grown from a single day event of mostly local artists held at Harkness State Park in Waterford to a two-day festival featuring local and national acts at one of the biggest venues in the state.



May 2011 Artists of the Month: The Guru, The Proud Flesh

We are pleased to announce the the NHM Artists of the Month for May 2011 are….The Guru and The Proud Flesh!! Although our original intention with this series was to highlight one up and coming band and one established band, these two groups show so much promise at the moment that we had to break our own rules and highlight them both (that is, the ‘up and coming’ category). Who knows? Maybe next month we’ll highlight two established bands instead… Without further ado…The Guru and The Proud Flesh…

The Guru are a four-piece indie-rock band based in the suburbs of Waterbury, CT. who, over the past couple of years, have garnished a dedicated following throughout the state, both for their high energy shows and for their original sound. Upon first listen, the band’s music most closely resembles that of 80’s underground heroes The Minutemen as well as fellow locals, Kimono Draggin.’ Their sound differs slightly however with the often intricate sonic textures created by the band’s dual guitarists combined with a definite funk influence. What surprises most people when they first hear this band though is their age (all of them, as of this article, are still in high school). Not only is the quartet well rehearsed, they are solid players through and through, easily surpassing the proficiency of most bands in their age group (and probably many beyond).

Currently the Guru is prepping their new album ‘Native Sun’ to be released June 11th. In lieu of this album, the Guru will be releasing new single ‘Arizona’ for free this Friday, May 6th via the group’s Bandcamp page. Also, the Guru will be playing two relatively high profile shows this month: May 9th at the Space with California’s The Growlers and as part of the coveted locals lineup at this year’s BombFest. But enough talking, check this band out now!


New Haven, CT.’s The Proud Flesh are a four-piece indie/folk/bluegrass band whose updated take on authentic Americana has gained them praise both by local audiences and by the musical community as a whole. Led by songwriters Alexander Burnet and Patrick Dalton, the Proud Flesh first gained attention on the local scene in 2010 with the release of their debut album Tiny Picture Frames. With their mix of traditional folk styles, lush arrangements and instantly hummable melodies, its hard not to be carried away by this band. Most often compared to groups like Dr. Dog, The Mountain Goats and Wilco, the Proud Flesh’s music is so organic its almost tangible, just waiting to be plucked from the night air and placed in your hand (or, in this case, your ear). Although referencing all manner of folk and blues styles, their songs never sound contrived and instead bleed sincerity in the best ways possible. For anyone remotely interested in folk, bluegrass, blues and/or country, with a bit of a modern context, the Proud Flesh are your band.

The Proud Flesh will be making a series of live appearances this month including shows at the People’s Center (as part of the ‘Great Day in May‘) on May 7th, Cafe 9 with Holly Golightly on May 8th and a near residency (May 3rd, 17th and 31st) at the Outer Space as part of the venue’s ongoing ‘Tuesday Night Honky Tonk’ series. Best get your ears and stomping feet ready.



EULA (Record Release), M.T. BEARINGTON @ Cafe 9, April 29th

This Friday, April 29th Eula will be celebrating the release of their new record Maurice Narcisse with a show at New Haven’s “musician’s living room,” Cafe Nine.

Eula have been a mainstay in the New Haven music scene for several years now and, by sheer effort, have earned themselves the reputation as one of the hardest working bands in the state. Despite the fact that two-thirds of the band now reside in Brooklyn (guitarist/singer Alyse Lamb and drummer Nate Rose (aka DJ Booty Beats) moved there late last year), the trio (along with bassist Jeff Maleri) have long sworn their allegiance to the Elm City and continue to do so with regular area shows. Although releasing several demos and EPs throughout their 6+ years as a band (including 2009’s memorable Language of Threat EP), Maurice Narcisse is, surprisingly, Eula’s first full-length album. Clocking in a 10 tracks, Maurice Narcisse was first previewed by a 3 song demo (including the title track as well as songs ‘Dirty Hands’ and ‘Texas Stampede’) in October of last year. As the demos (and now record) indicate, Eula continues to grow musically, carving out a unique blend of jagged arrangements, spiky rhythms and hyperactive melodies that, although firmly rooted in post-punk defies easy classification. There is an almost child-like playfulness at work within their songs that distinguishes them from many of their contemporaries. What makes this playful abandon work though is the way in which it is tempered by the band’s super-tight rhythm section and by the brevity of the compositions (seldom do their songs last beyond three minutes). On top of their work ethic and drum-tight sound, Eula is also known for their kick-ass live show. Having just returned from a Midwest tour in support of the new record, the band should be in good form for Friday night.

Opening for Eula will be fellow Elm City stalwarts M.T. Bearington whose creative take on indie-pop and rock has gained them a significant reputation in their own right. Matt Thomas & co. recently released their acclaimed sophomore album Love Buttons on Safety Meeting Records (including limited edition vinyl!) so make sure to pick up a copy of that as well.

If When You Go:
EULA (Record Release)
M.T. BEARINGTON
@ Cafe 9

Friday, April 29th
9pm / 21+ / $5
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Interview with Al Pist

(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.

Al and The Deacons are playing Elm Bar (372 Elm Street) in New Haven on Wednesday, April 27th with Sadplant and Yes Please.



Tonight: Celebrated Tigers (Record Release), Jo Schornikow, Delta Hotel, The Stoned Ambassadors @ The Outer Space

If you’re looking for a show to attend tonight, check out Celebrated Tigers, Jo Schornikow (of The Shivers), Delta Hotel and the Stoned Ambassadors at the Outer Space.

Terror Spells by Celebrated Tigers

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.

Cry Your Little Eyes Out by The Stoned Ambassadors

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)

Tonight
@ The Outer Space
295 Treadwell Street, Building G, Hamden
7pm SHARP / 21+ / $8



Rudy’s Bar: ‘ We will be open in a few weeks’
April 19, 2011, 6:15 pm
Filed under: Grand Opening, Music, News | Tags: , , , , ,

‘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….



Manic Productions presents Grandchildren, M.T. Bearington @ BAR, April 20th

The latest installment of Manic Productions‘ free weekly show series at BAR arrives this Wednesday, April 20th with Philly’s Grandchildren and New Haven’s M.T. Bearington.

Grandchildren

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.

M.T. Bearington

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
Grandchildren
M.T. Bearington

Wednesday, April 20th
@ BAR / 254 Crown Street / New Haven
21+ / Free / 9pm



NHM ‘Artists of the Month’ series to be relaunched this Spring
April 15, 2011, 9:00 am
Filed under: Music, News, NHM | Tags: ,

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!