[NHM] New Haven Music


July 2011 NHM Artists of the Month – Farewood, Ovlov

I know, I bet you thought we forgot about our Artists of the Month series. What’s that? There’s only 10 days left in July you say? Well at least we remembered before August. Ohh? You think we’re nothing but lazy sacks of s***..Hey now! Lay off the expletives will ya? There’s kids here! So we we’re a little late…sorry!

Anyway, this month’s Artists feature a band formed in the 90’s and another band which sound like they could have been formed in the 90’s. Yup, we’re talking about none other than Farewood and Ovlov, the July 2011 NHM Artists of the Month.

Farewood is husband and wife songwriters Lou Lorenzo and Leah Booker. Formed in the mid-90’s, Lorenzo and Booker’s brand of indie rock retains a timeless quality that comes across as both heartfelt and genuine, never contrived or schticky or old. Featuring influences like the Afghan Whigs and the Cocteau Twins, Farewood’s songs are driving yet weather-worn, almost as if they are absorbing the world wholesale into their compositions. The band’s biography attributes much of this old-soul influence to their hometown of Meriden, CT (aka ‘The Silver City’). There the real-life scenes of post-industrial urban blight would work well as a music video to any one of their songs. Rather than sounding grimey or abrasive though, Lorenzo and Booker seem to find beauty in such surroundings and, as such, write beautiful songs filled with warm vocals, yearning guitars and burning melodies. For anyone looking for great indie-rock with a soul, Farewood is what you want.

Although never truly going away, Farewood has found more time lately amongst family obligations to play some higher profile shows. Most recently they landed an opening slot at one of Manic Productions’ Wednesday night BAR shows opening for ExitMusic. In addition they have begun work on a new album that they hope to have out sometime in 2012 (despite their longevity, this will only be their fourth long player).

Better yet, Farewood will be performing tonight at Cafe Nine opening for German singer/songwriter Maren Parusel. You can also catch them Friday, July 29th in their natural environment of Meriden, CT. at Chas’ Place along with Treebeard and Old Man Lady Luck. These both look like killer shows so make it a point to check them out if you can!

Ovlov (yup, that’s Volvo backwards) are an indie rock quartet based out of Newtown and New Haven, CT. Pretty much any description of the band’s sound (including their own) mentions influences like The Lemonheads and Dinosaur Jr. In addition, I would like to throw in a little Blue album era Weezer as well as a whole lot of World of Noise era Everclear. Heck, even hints of Built To Spill and Ash pop up from time to time. Notice a trend here? Ovlov’s brand of super-catchy indie-rock (dare I say grunge?) could have easily fit into 1993 without anyone thinking different. As with Farewood, Ovlov do not sound dated in anyway though. If anything its exciting to hear classic indie rock being reinvigorated so well, and with such authenticity. Overall the band’s attack is relentless and their songs, heavily melodic.

The band’s latest EP (released July 11th) What’s So Great About the City? sees Ovlov turning up the guitar fuzz a bit but also aiming for the pop fences a bit more, especially in the songwriting department. Having just completed a series of shows leading up to their dual record release shows this past weekend, Ovlov’s next scheduled live show as of press time is not until August 20th at Brooklyn’s Legion along with fellow locals Eula. You can listen to the What’s So Great About the City? in its entirety on the band’s Bandcamp page and, if you wish, download it for a price left for you to decide.

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All The Trimmings Benefit @ Heirloom Arts Theatre, November 27th

(Originally published on November 17, 2010 on CTIndie.com)


‘Tis the season for good times and giving, and there will be a whole lot of both going on Saturday, November 27th at Danbury’s Heirloom Arts Theatre with the ‘All The Trimmings’ Benefit concert featuring The Stepkids (CT), Mother Brother (CT), Black Churches (MA), Diztrict Allstarz (CT), Ovlov (CT) and Vinyette (NY).

Organized by Matthew Vitti (of Mother Brother) and Amanda Bloom (of The Mercurial), the event had its beginnings this past July when Vitti and Bloom met following a house show and promptly merged minds in setting up “a monumental rock show.” According to Vitti, “Amanda and I had similar ideas about the concept and nature of the event, so we worked fairly quickly and cooperatively finding the bands, finding the venue and forming the skeletal structure that would hold this party high and mighty above all else.” The main ‘nature’ of the event that Vitti alludes to is the food and clothing drive that will be taking place along with the show. Benefiting will be the Dorothy Day Hospitality House which, since 1982, has fed and sheltered Danbury’s homeless. In addition there will be a booth set up by the China Care Foundation, a Westport, CT. based non-profit dedicated to saving the lives of medically fragile orphaned children in China.

http://www.youtube.com/v/VLtt5Fi4Gbs?fs=1&hl=en_US

To spice up the good will, Vitti and Bloom have also put together a whole assortment of other activities and treats including a giant Twister competition, $1 plates of pizza and salad provided by Nico’s Pizza, an old-fashioned photo booth courtesy of Tin Sparrows (y’know, for documenting all those big smiles created by giving), and between-band sets by DJ Symetrex who will apparently be spinning faces off at the upstairs bar.

http://www.youtube.com/v/nkHFjmIYNqY&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3

And how about those bands?? In addition to Vitti’s own Mother Brother (often engaging, always shape-shifting synth/noise/jam quartet from Bridgeport), a whole stable of great bands will be performing including Black Churches (odd-timed guitar rock from MA. (with keyboards!)), Diztrict Allstarz (hip-hop with guitars from Danbury), Ovlov (solid alt-rock from Newtown) and Vinyette (alternately dream-rock/hard rock with elements of electronica and post-punk from NY.). Headlining will be CT’s the Stepkids whose brand of synth-psych-soul (and recent signing to Stones Throw Records) has created a significant buzz around the band. If the potential acts of good will don’t draw you to Heirloom Arts Theatre on Nov. 27th, the music should.

Truly living up to its name, All The Trimmings’ equal parts of good cause, good fun and good music look to fit the spirit of the season quite well.

If When You Go:

Saturday, November 27th

The Mercurial and Mother Brother present
‘All the Trimmings’ Benefit
THE STEPKIDS (CT)
MOTHER BROTHER (CT)
BLACK CHURCHES (MA)
DIZTRICT ALLSTARZ (CT)
OVLOV (CT)
VINYETTE (NY)

@ Heirloom Arts Theatre
8pm / All-Ages
$10 ($1 off w/food donation!)