Blog | Music/Arts: Long Island Sound & Beyond
Eternal Summers Bring the Drop Beneath to Baby’s All Right
Hold in every whisper
Only I can know
Don’t be my dismisser
Lonely the days do grow
From “Never Enough” by Eternal Summers
Imagine you’re in warmer climes with the glistening dream pop of Eternal Summers. The Virgina-based duo turned trio—singer/guitarist Nicole Yun, drummer Daniel Cundiff and bassist Jonathan Woods—recorded their latest full-length The Drop Beneath at Resonate Studios in Austin, TX. Songs like “Gouge” and “Deep End” are reminiscent of The Cure, and others recall the ethereal sounds of Blonde Redhead. Produced and engineered by members of Guided by Voices and Nada Surf, The Drop Beneath is set for release on Tuesday, March 4th, when Eternal Summers has its record release party at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn. The indie band also plays the SXSW Festival later in the month.
Pulse: How do you describe the sound on your latest LP, The Drop Beneath? How has it evolved from your last two recordings?
Daniel Cundiff: I would describe the sound on the new album as being more realized. We’re always about moving forward in our playing and our song writing. We want to surprise people not repeat ourselves… As we have changed and evolved as people, so have the sounds we create. It’s the first time we worked with a producer, Doug Gillard, and the first time we left our hometown to record. By that process we were able to focus more and fine tune the songs. We wanted to expand on what we had done on prior recordings and to create interesting, pretty, heavy, sonic songs. We also wanted to push ourselves outside of our comfort zone and see what that process would yield. It yielded more diverse songs and arrangements than what we had done in the past. The Drop Beneath is a journey in the form of an album in the classic sense.
P: What can we expect to hear at your cd release party at Baby’s All Right? Mostly songs from The Drop Beneath?
DC: Yeah, we’ll be playing lots from our newest release and a few old ‘hits’. We may even play a few brand new jammers. A few guests may appear on stage as well but I can’t comment on that officially as of now. You can expect us to rock out!
P: Do you play any covers live? If so, which ones?
DC: We have covered Guided By Voices, Foo Fighters, Neil Young, The Beatles, Big Star, Galaxie 500, The Lemonheads and David Bowie. We haven’t done many covers recently, though. We need to get on that. I like a good cover.
P: Have you played on Long Island before? What do you like about playing in NYC?
DC: Yeah, we played in Montauk at the Surf Lodge. It was a weird and fun time. We played a super long set… We like to play NYC because it’s always different. The crowds are good. Sorry, I’m getting kicked out of this coffee house so I have to go. Cheers! See you at Baby’s!!!
Gianni Paci to preview music from upcoming release at Piano’s
Born and bred in Oyster Bay, Gianni Paci grew up listening to Green Day and Gorillaz, but it was The Beatles, and Paul McCartney in particular, who most influenced his sense of melody. The twenty-one-year-old singer/songwriter/guitarist just graduated from NYU with a BA in Musicology and has already shared the stage with the likes of Mike Starr (Alice in Chains), Ace Frehley (KISS) and Steven Adler (Guns N’ Roses). He’s also opened for Owl City and Long Island’s own Richie Cannata.
Paci released Something My Heart Understands with his retro-rock collective, The Pine Hollows, in 2013 before deciding to go solo.
He is now at work on his solo debut with producer Eren Cannata at Cove City Sound Studios in Glen Cove. And on February 1st, Paci released the single “Goodbye” off the album set for release next year: giannipaci.bandcamp.com Keep an eye out for the video at giannipaci.com
You can see Gianni live at a free show at Piano’s in NYC on Tuesday, March 4th at 7pm, and he will also be performing a free all ages show at Dolphin Bookshop in Port Washington on Friday, March 21st at 7pm. As Paci says, “Bring the family!”
Pulse: How do you describe the sound of your single, “Goodbye?”
GP: “Goodbye” is really a culmination of all the things I had been itching to do with my old band, The Pine Hollows, but could not. It’s very danceable in a contemporary radio sort of way, but at the same time, very quirky and representative of my roots as a songwriter. It was not an easy process in that we spent more time on “Goodbye” at the studio than on any of the other nine songs on this record, but I am very happy with the result. It’s definitely different from anything else I’ve done before. And the palette with which we worked is very new to me, being that I come from an old-school, rock-and-roll mindset. Straying from my traditional guitar-bass-drum-keyboard setup and diving into something more electronic and of-the-moment was very fun and exciting.
P: How has your sound evolved from The Pine Hollows?
GP: The Pine Hollows, in a sense, was my reaction to hearing The Beatles for the first time. As strange as it sounds, I had not heard a complete Beatles album until about three years ago, right before I started college. I listened to Abbey Road and it blew my mind. I had been writing songs for a little while before that, but it was their discography that really inspired me to hone my craft. In a way, that was my college education… We had to play at least some of The Pine Hollow’s songs live, so I would have to write for what we were capable of recreating at any of the dingiest bars in Manhattan. Going solo has allowed me to move beyond those limitations and to let my imagination run wild.
P: What’s it like recording at Cove City Sound Studios owned by Richie Cannata?
GP: Recording at Cove City was really a dream come true. I have never felt so at home in a studio. I called Richie on a whim one day last year after hearing about the studio from a friend and I felt like we hit it off right away. It’s not so easy to find someone who speaks the same language as you, but Richie really knows what he’s doing and obviously has the experience to back it up. Eren Cannata is an amazing producer. He brings such energy and enthusiasm into the studio, I don’t know what I would’ve done without him. My songs tend to come from a very personal place and sometimes performing them brings up those old, heavy emotions. Being in a studio can feel like swimming in a fish bowl at times, but he helped to make it a really fun process. Steve Wall is such a good engineer that I was able to just focus on the music. He got really amazing sounds, along with James Meslin, who did some engineering as well. John Arbuckle and Zachary Rippy were a great help in the studio. The rhythm section was fantastic, of course: Neville L’Greene on bass and Kevin Bregande on drums were unbelievably tight and creative. We’ve completed a full-length album as a team and I am really looking forward to sharing it.
P: Who are your biggest musical influences aside from The Beatles?
GP: The Rolling Stones were a big influence on my guitar playing—with all of those open-tunings Keith Richards would employ as a less-is-more approach. But I have to say, most of the stuff I have been listening to lately is either really old to me or relatively new: bands like Green Day and Gorillaz were some of the first cds I bought when I was ten or eleven years old, inspiring me to pick up a guitar in the first place. Then there’s artists like Katy Perry, Beyonce or Miley Cyrus who I have been listening to quite often these days. Some of my friends don’t understand the mixture, but I just love the production and the songs on those albums like I love King Crimson, Nirvana, Bob Marley and Joni Mitchell. It’s a bit of here, there and everywhere. But I don’t see any problem with bridging the new with the old. A good song is a good song.
Bronze Radio Return bring Up, On & Over to The Bowery Ballroom
Smoke in the sky and fire in the air
Desire burns between them
One big push is gonna get you there
It takes a stronger eye to see them…
Lead your way, keep on strong
Moving everyday, going further on
From “Further On” by Bronze Radio Return
You may have heard the music of Bronze Radio Return on American Idol, 90210, a PGA Tour commercial or an MSNBC promo. That’s because the Connecticut-based sextet’s songs can be heard in over 50 commercial and TV spots. Their song “Shake, Shake, Shake” even went global in an international Nissan Leaf campaign.
Named after an old radio owned by the frontman’s father, Bronze Radio Return—vocalist/guitarist Chris Henderson, guitarist Patrick Fetkowitz, keyboardist Matt Warner, drummer Rob Griffith, bassist Bob Tanen and multi-instrumentalist Craig Struble—met at The Hartt School of Music in Hartford and solidified their lineup in 2008. The indie folk rockers realized they all grew up listening to roots music and their latest full-length, Up, On & Over, was recorded on a farm in Virginia in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
“I think there are strands of Americana in what we do,” says Henderson. “I hear a lot of elements of folk music in our songs. It’s always hard to point at one genre because we like to infuse a lot of different genres into what we do. The trick is to be able to have a collection of diverse songs, textures and messages and still have a cohesive sound that defines the band. That is something we work towards and will continue to evolve as we go on.”
The band’s upbeat music and foot-stomping, hand-clapping performances have been compared to that of The Lumineers, and Bronze Radio Return has opened for acts like Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Buddy Guy and John Mayer. They even had the pleasure of playing at a 2010 rally for President Obama emceed by Russell Simmons in Bridgeport, CT.
“We have a wide range of musical influences ranging from John Coltrane and Ryan Adams to David Byrne and Ben Harper,” notes Henderson. “I think it would be fun to tour with a really high energy band that brought out loud, fun and rowdy crowds. The Avett Brothers and The Black Keys come to mind. I would also love to tour with someone through Europe because that’s a place I’ve always wanted to explore.”
Until then, BRR will continue touring venues across the US, including festivals like SXSW. No strangers to Long Island, the band’s first show ever was in Amityville (Fetkowitz is a LI native ) but the group will return to NYC on Wednesday, January 29th to play the Bowery Ballroom.
“We’re excited to play the Bowery,” says Henderson. “New York is one of our favorite cities to play and we are fortunate to have a growing number of people that support us there. They also have the best street meat in all of the country.”
For more info: bronzeradioreturn.com
These People bring Aqua Sounds to Revolution Bar & Music Hall
Wantagh’s own jungle-infused psychedelic alt-rockers These People play Revolution in Amityville on Wednesday, January 15th. Lead singer/guitarist TJ Penzone originally intended to have a revolving lineup of band members, hence the name These People, but he ended up connecting with everyone and the band includes drummer Mike Shoureas, bassist/fx Mark Thomas, guitarist Steve Connolly and percussionist/fx Ryan Griffin.
Penzone recently opened a recording studio/production company with Daryl Palumbo of Glassjaw fame and These People are recording a new record tentatively titled Aqua Sounds set for release in May. Look out for a new single and video along with some tour dates.
Pulse: Who writes the lyrics and the music?
TJ Penzone: I do. But I co-write a song or two musically with my brother, Rick [also in Color Film, a new shoegaze project with Palumbo]. My drummer, Mike, contributes creative rhythms and the other guys in the band also add to the recordings with back up vocals and sound effects.
P: How do you describe your sound?
TJ: It’s always been pretty primal sounding. The first record had a bit of a jungle, off-center folk and, at times, noisy sound to it. The next record’s drum beats and bass were all pretty circular, droning guitars and it either got very soft or very loud. The newest record I would say is a pretty healthy mix of the first two records but absolutely goes to another place. I do tend to add landscape sound fx to most of my songs but sometimes that’s more of a fun, subtle thing for headphones.
P: Where would someone find your music in a record store?
TJ: I find it too hard for me to put it into a specific genre because of all the different influences. But if I was forced to classify it I guess it could be considered psychedelic alternative. [70s stylings are apparent throughout his discography]
P: Who are your biggest musical influences—past and present?
TJ: When I was a kid I connected very heavily to Syd Barrett, which influenced me when I started These People. Also Hendrix, John Lennon, Blur, The Zombies, The Talking Heads, Curtis Mayfield, The Kinks, Jesus Lizard, Frank Zappa, Sonic Youth, Roky Erickson, Wire and Gang of Four. And German bands like Can and Neu! really influence me a lot, especially with the rhythm sections.
P: Who would you most like to tour with?
TJ: Robyn Hitchcock. At 60 years old, he still puts out great, original music and he seems like he’d be fun to hang out with.
P: What’s your favorite venue to play on Long Island?
TJ: I don’t have a specific one but if I have to, I’ll make it a tie between the Paramount in Huntington and The Amityville Music Hall. Although they are drastically different, they both have great sound on stage and cool lights. And Revolution, of course.
P: Do you play any covers live?
TJ: It’s not something I usually enjoy doing with a full band because I always find them to be sacred and could never play them better than the original. But, weirdly enough, I will be performing “Pigs on the Wing 1” and “Dogs” from Pink Floyd’s Animals at our show Wednesday at Revolution. That was a childhood goal for me, something I never thought I’d be able to do. The only other songs I’ve ever covered with this band were “You’re Gonna Miss Me” from The 13th Floor Elevators and “Children of the Revolution” by T-Rex.
P: What’s your favorite song to play live?
TJ: Hard to say because we always find ways to change stuff up and bring new life to older tunes but I’d say a song from our last record IN called “It Could Work”—mostly because it’s usually last and we always change the middle section on the spot. It’s fun.
P: Happy Body Slow Brain, Heavy Duty Super Ego and Jason Briggs are opening for you on Wednesday night, with a special DJ set by Daryl Palumbo. Do you know these musicians?
TJ: I know Jason Briggs well, and Daryl is a close friend. I didn’t know the other two bands before we put this show together but they all seem like awesome people, so I’m really looking forward to this.
For more info: thesepeople.org and facebook.com/thesepeopleband
*** And don’t miss a benefit for 31-year-old RN and Long Island native Ursala Altomare on Friday, January 17th at 7pm at Brickhouse Brewery & Restaurant in Patchogue. She is battling leukemia holistically.
The Brickhouse Brewery fundraiser will feature local bands like Heavy Duty Super Ego, a 70’s folk rock band made up of former members of Edison Glass. Also slated to perform are: Pauline Salotti & Friends, I AM TIM, Jellyband, Soundswell and Noah’s Arc. The fundraiser will overtake both floors of the venue, with a Chinese auction, face painting, and live drawing. The $10 cover proceeds will be donated to Ursala’s efforts to heal naturally.
Celebrate the Seasons of Your Day by Mazzy Star
I took that train into the city
You know the one that goes under the bridge
I thought I was listening to a band play the song that changed me
Walked up the stairs, the sunlight hit my face
See all the people just standing around
If all is right in the kingdom tonight
You know we’ll play songs in this town
From “In the Kingdom” by Mazzy Star
There’s no better music to set the atmosphere for post-holiday relaxation than the languorous folk-psychedelia of Mazzy Star. Fans of the band were ecstatic to hear they were releasing another record after 17 years. And their fourth full-length, Seasons of Your Day, picks up where 1996’s Among My Swan left off. In fact, Hope Sandoval and David Roback said they never did stop writing and recording music. They just didn’t release anything new until the two-sided single “Common Burn” and “Lay Myself Down” appeared on their own record label, Rhymes of an Hour Records, in late 2011 (both songs are also on Seasons of Your Day).
Lead-off track, “In the Kingdom,” is vintage Mazzy with Roback’s signature bluesy guitar sound and Sandoval’s dreamy, feline vocals intact. “California,” a psychedelic ode to their home state, recalls Zeppelin’s “Going to California” and the guitar-driven “Spoon” features a guitar duet with the late folk-blues legend Bert Jansch (who is Neil Young’s favorite acoustic guitarist). As always, the songs reveal more upon each listen.
Recorded in California, London and Norway (Roback’s new home), Seasons of Your Day was co-written and produced by Sandoval and Roback and features original members like drummer Keith Mitchell and keyboardists Suki Ewers and Paul Mitchell. Sandoval’s Warm Inventions partner/My Bloody Valentine drummer Colm O’Ciosoig is also credited as a multi-instrumentalist on the album. In addition to the digital and disc formats, Seasons is available on vinyl as a 180 gram double LP.
It’s easy to see why current bands like Beach House and Widowspeak were influenced by Mazzy Star. And now they have more to draw from. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take another 17 years for the dream pop darlings’ next record.
For more info: hopesandoval.com
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