Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sorry to be away for so long.  Unfortunately this post does not have any new music to share.  Thanks to the fine litigious folks at Lionsgate films who apparently thought I was in copyright violation of something with one of the posts, Mediafire yanked ALL OF MY FILES.  Once they reinstated my account after I submitted several counterclaims they simply said "Oh sorry, the files were deleted from our system once the account was suspended, our bad!"  So it will take me a while to get things re-posted.  Sorry if anyone is looking for the downloads immediately.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

the cotton weary

Where to begin?

Welcome to what will likely be the longest post in the history of this blog.  I'm apologizing now.  If you just want the music, skip to the end.  Otherwise, read on. This one will be a bit difficult to muddle through as I do know the band quite well.  I was one of the founding members and was there for the whole saga from the beginning to the end.  The cotton weary was a band that existed from September 1997 to somewhere around 2002 and like many bands it started with one lineup and sound, and ended up with something completely different by the end. 

Being in a band is often correlated to a group marriage.  You spend all of this time around 3 or 4 other guys and you either love them or hate them. In 1997, the cotton weary began with bass player Mike Satzinger and myself “courting” the same “girl”.  Either Jon Florencio or Mike Mallamo of Inside had introduced us both to Charlie Seich (my memory is hazy on who made the introduction.)   I was looking to find a new drummer for Six of One, my band at the time.  I had exchanged information with Charlie – who, to give you a frame of reference on the guy, was half asleep in the backroom of Deja 1 while Dillinger Escape Plan was playing – and apparently Mike was wooing him at the same show.  Once I realized that Six of One’s future was the past, I pushed forward with getting Charlie to drum for a new project that my friend Ian Tauber was pushing me to form.  Mike and I were friends of friends and I got on the phone with him to try and get everyone together. 

Mike had recently played with Clockwise and was looking to do something … I suppose unique would be the best term – he wanted to be able to switch from guitar and bass with another guy in the band and even have two basses in some songs like Ned’s Atomic Dustbin.  I thought that this was an absolutely horrendous idea and I spared no expense in telling Mike so.  I love the guy, but he can be incredibly hardheaded.  I still have no idea to this day how I managed to convince him to drop that idea and just play bass.

Ian Tauber had previously played in proggy rock bands Post X and Carpe Diem and wanted to be in a band that was… well, sort of an emo band like Inside.  While Ian was a gifted guitar player, at that point he didn’t know much about the scene or indie music.  But he knew Inside and liked them.  We gave him a crash course diet of indie albums – SDRE, Mind Over Matter, Quicksand, Mineral.  Mike, Ian and I worked on a batch of songs, got together with Charlie and put it together quickly.

For a singer, Mike again had another unmanageable concept of using two vocalists much like Jejune and Standpoint had done with one male and one female.  Mike Mallamo again stepped in and introduced us to his co-worker Mary Ellen DeVaux.  Mary Ellen’s main musical influences were The Smashing Pumpkins and more Smashing Pumpkins with a side order of Tori Amos, and she somehow wound up in the band without ever actually trying out.  She was originally from Connecticut, so the whole LI Scene thing was completely foreign to her.  We tried to get her into other bands, but outside of ErrorType:11, I can't say if any of it left an impression  No offense to Mary Ellen is intended here, but hindsight being what it is, I’m not sure why we didn’t ask Charlie’s sister Lizzie to join the band considering she had a great voice and has since went on to do commercial voice work.  I can only presume it was because she was 16 at the time.  For the guy’s half of things, I initially pursued James Smith, who I went to high school with and who was previously a member of the punk band Slapjoint.  James seemed into it for a few weeks and then disappeared.  I then petitioned to have Prasan Singh, a friend of mine from college, join the band, but the rest of the guys weren’t into his voice.  I had put up an ad in Slipped Disc Records and enter Brian DeNicola. Brian was the singer for the band Rutherford and in this case, no tryout was warranted since I had Rutherford’s demo and loved Brian’s voice.  Brian was definitely more into the midwestern kind of emo sound that Rutherford was doing and anytime we had a breakdown part he would say that it sounded "weird" which was his code word for "I don't like it."  Brian would eventually stop using code words and be very pro-active in the band's direction.  The band's sound was a mixed bag of Long Island kind of emo - a mix of Jimmy Eat World, Sunny Day Real Estate and the Foo Fighters with occasional breakdowns.

The name was an unfortunate case of seeing the movie Scream and a by-product of not getting anyone to agree on anything else.  I don’t remember too many of the other band name possibilities, but I do remember Mike lobbying for the names “Goldenrod” and “A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama”.  So while “the cotton weary” may not have been the best name, I submit that you should review the alternatives.
Charlie left around this time.  He was stressed out and didn’t want to be in a band if I remember correctly.  After trying out a few drummers, we tapped Mike Rawluk of the metal band Apocalypse to join.  Mike was certainly an eccentric and intense guy.  I still have no idea if he liked the music, but he wanted to be in the band and at that point we needed a solid drummer who could pick up the songs quickly.  Mike did and a month or so later we played our first show along with Kerosene Hye, The Megalomaniacs, Scarab and Last Days of August in the Multi-purpose room at Hofstra on March 27th, 1998. 

A show at Polytech followed and we recorded a “demo” basically with a microphone into a tape deck.  We used two songs (“silverdollar” and “Stopped Counting Days”) and made homemade tapes to hand out. Shortly after this, between the live shows and the recording of a real demo looming in front of us, collectively we felt that Mary Ellen needed to improve her voice and take vocal lessons.  Again, in hindsight I feel that we acted ill advisedly. She did not take this suggestion well and left the band instead.  While I’m not looking to make any mea culpa’s here, I found the tape recently of said demo and her voice is fine for what we were doing.  We definitely blew this out of proportion, but Mary Ellen was quick to leave instead of work on it.

We continued on with Brian as the sole voice and the 4-song demo “The First to Come in Last” was recorded with Mike Sapone 3 weeks later.  We had the finished tapes out by the end of July 1998.

The cotton weary kept playing throughout the year and planned to record a full length in March of the following year.  We recorded a song at Hofstra for a proposed 6-band split on Motherbox records.  The full-length plans wound up getting aborted.  We had studio time booked with Mike Sapone again so we decided we’d do an EP there.  I had been instant messaging (remember those days?) with Tomas Costanza from Flu Thirteen and he was pushing the idea of us recording with J. Robbins instead.  I don’t know why Tomas was pushing this, and I barely remember how or why I wound up in contact with him. Tomas had the cotton weary open up for Flu at The Downtown when they were doing a label showcase that would lead to them getting signed and rechristened Diffuser.  Of course, opening for them meant that we wound up playing after them once we brought people down. Anyway, as a huge Jawbox fan I didn’t think that he’d record us – but I didn’t fully realize that J. Robbins was an engineer with his own studio.  He needed to pay the bills, I’m sure he’d record your dog farting out a tennis ball if it was going to keep the lights on.  Tomas gave me J.’s e-mail, and I arranged to pass the recordings we just did with Sapone to Robbins at a Burning Airlines show at Tramps.  It was one of the few times I felt genuinely starstruck.  I still have no idea if J. Robbins ever listened to the stuff or not. 

The new Sapone recordings were released in June 1999 on Break Even records as the EP “Viva Maestro!”  I was sending out demos of “The First to Come in Last” everywhere and through those efforts I connected with Peter Buckley who helmed the label Break Even.  Pete added “silverdollar” to the “Break Even: Thanks” compilation and from there we struck up a friendship.  I had spoken with a few labels about putting out “Viva Maestro!”  I remember some discussion with Paul Motherbox, but in the end we went with Break Even.

Although it wasn’t obvious to me at the time, there was a clear division in the band at this point.  Musically it wasn’t gelling, and personally Ian and Mike Rawluk had a different vision for what they wanted from the band. It came to a head at some party for a friend of Rawluk’s where we were supposed to play.  I can’t recall the circumstances exactly.  I know Brian was hungover and his voice was in no shape to sing, and we certainly weren’t party music.  It all made for a lovely cocktail.   I think we played a few songs, Brian walked off, everyone got mad.  The CD hadn’t even been released yet so I tried to salvage things by getting everyone to settle down.  In my attempt to quell the uprising I suggested that Ian and Rawluk would go off and form a side-project and Brian, Satzinger and I would do the same – but we’d all come back to the cotton weary.  That got torpedoed quickly though as Ian and Rawluk would decide to focus their attention on the more alternative based Special Guest Star with guitarist Jon Zajac. 

Brian and I started writing songs at this point and decided that the cotton weary would become whatever our side project was supposed to be.  I had been listening to Kent, Radiohead and Antarctica a lot, we wanted to move in that direction.  The song “Keepsakes” on “Viva Maestro” had been taking some baby steps in going there.  We then made a mistake by hastily replacing Ian with TJ Penzone who would later go on to Jayson’s Drowning, Descendre, Men Women & Children and These People.  That lasted all of about a week.  We were trying to get away from breakdowns and after specifically telling TJ that, he proceeded to try and shoehorn a breakdown into one of the songs.  I had a full-on diva moment, shutting my amp off and packing my stuff up before the end of a rehearsal and then telling Mike to get rid of TJ.  It seems to have worked out all right for the guy though.

Fast-forward a few months to December of 1999 and I had went to the club Luxe, a place that played a lot of new wave stuff and hardcore kids would frequent it.  I remember having gone to see Fugazi earlier that night and going to Luxe afterwards.  There I struck up a conversation with Eddie Reyes.  I was briefly a part of the band Runner Up with Ed, a band that wound up going through constant member changes and was rather short lived. Eddie was in the process of getting Taking Back Sunday up and running (who Satzinger played bass with for about a minute.)  I asked him about a drummer and he suggested Jay Gerstner who had been in Runner Up. 

I knew Jay through Phil Rutkowski, who went to Hofstra and both were members of the overtly Hum-influenced band The Glow.  I believe that The Glow only played two shows.  I gave Jay a call, things seemed to click and I made plans to give him a tape of the stuff that Brian and I had been writing.  I also asked if we could get Phil on board as guitarist.  Jay said he’d see to making it happen.

In the early days of this new cotton weary we’d all convene at this beach club where Brian was working security.  It was in the dead of winter, so no one was coming around. The sound in this place was great. We’d sit and play acoustically while Gerstner wrote out drum parts in his head.  Then we’d get together in Gerstner’s living room on the weekend and he’d play all of his drum parts as if he had been practicing them with us earlier in the week.  We played a show at Polytech April 1st, 2000 and began what I consider the vital version of the band.  The music had changed considerably - we now included Brian playing acoustic while Phil and I played electric.  Breakdowns were gone.  We allowed things to breathe more, our songs were written during jams and yeah, I think it bears mentioning that the songs got A LOT longer. 

We considered changing the name, and in retrospect we probably should have.  But Mike and I both felt we’d put a significant amount of time into trying to get us known and still had plenty of “Viva Maestro!” CDs.  Besides, I don’t know if we could think of a name that could quite top the original.

At Pete Buckley’s behest, in August of that year we went out to Vince Ratti’s Skylight Studio in Pennsylvania and recorded the 4 tracks that would make up the “Cinematic Overtones” CD.  Vince recorded and mixed us in a marathon 3 Day session that saw many cans of Mountain Dew consumed. We self-released it and did a lot of weekend tours in the Northeast. 
While we did play a lot of shows on Long Island, we always wound up doing much better out of state, which was why we would try to book shows anywhere we could.  We played some great shows in New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut and a good deal in Pennsylvania.  One of my favorite moments was driving nearly 5 hours to a show at some barn in Northern PA, which was put together by Tony of the Commercials.  We were stuck in horrible traffic and misjudged how long it would take us to get out of NY.  By the time we got there the show was nearly over, but the last band let us use their drum set and we went up played two songs (which for the cotton weary was over 10 minutes anyway) and went batshit crazy.  We sold everything we had afterwards.  It was great… until we realized we had 2 more shows to play that weekend and nothing left to sell.

The band was on a few multi-band split releases on both Kickstart Audio/Chowda Records and Break Even.  We filmed a video for "My Own Private Island" and a played live on Hofstra University TV.  We kept up that pace of weekend tours for a majority of 2001.  That eventually started to lead to tension as we were touring in 2 cars usually, which didn’t make for the easiest traveling pre-GPS.  After Brian backed out on scheduled show in North Carolina, the writing was on the wall.

Not wanting to throw away all of the songs we had written, Sean Hanney of With Every Idle Hour volunteered to record us.  We cut down the amount of shows we were playing and started recording all of our songs. This re-focused the band, but it wouldn’t last.  While recording, Phil informed us he was planning to move to Japan to teach English as a second language to the Japanese, and Brian planned to backpack through Europe for the summer.  Phil made sure to record all of his parts prior to his departure.  Brian didn’t want to rush it and wanted to wait until he returned to finish the recording.

If you’ve been in a band, you can see where this is going.

With Phil’s impending departure, the cotton weary played our last show in preparation for what was expected to be our last one on May 3rd, 2002.  It was again at Polytechnic University.  It was a make-a-wish benefit that also featured Regarding I, Knox Overstreet, Bookstore, Donna and Carly, Exit Ocean, Dearly Departed, The Jiant, with every idle hour and My World. Phil would move back to the US in December of 2002 and we’d re-group for one single practice but Satzinger had moved to Pennsylvania at that point to join Breaking Pangaea.

Sean was having some issues at this point where he could house a recording studio, so it became something of a moving operation.  When Brian returned from Europe, having spent a greater portion of the time imbibing many fine spirits – his voice was in no shape to be recorded.  He needed some time to get his voice back.  But it seemed like when Brian was ready, Sean was not and vice-versa.  Brian did get in and started recording only to have Sean's computer crash and erase all of the work.  By the time these issues were fixed and Brian could return to finish his tracks, he blew his voice out quickly.  This coupled with the rest of the band’s harassment as to when he was going to finish made him quickly lose interest in finishing the record and generally being in the band.

The full length, to be named Your Three Minute Pop was never finished.

That’s the end of the cotton weary.  Jay Gerstner would found the band Encrypt Manuscript.  Mike Satzinger would briefly tour with Breaking Pangaea before going on to the PA-based bands Pilot Round the Sun and Safari So Good.  Phil and I would start Satellite Lost in 2003, which would last briefly until Phil moved to get his doctorate at UCLA.  Jason (me) would start Circle the Sun and later Steady As She Goes.  Mary Ellen Devaux would perform under her own name, and also was briefly a part of both Playing Dead and God’s Gift to Women.  Ian Tauber and Mike Rawluk would play in Special Guest Star.  Charlie Seich would eventually become the drummer for The Narrative.

I can safely say that there will be no reunion.

Even though Brian never did finish the Your Three Minute Pop recordings, I was able to unearth some of what was done during the sessions.  With the advent of home digital recording I was able to piece together versions of “Flickering Lights” and “Second Chapter” which, while far from perfect at least provide some vocals. 

Sorry for the longest post ever.  These are the downloads for everything.  I divided things up into Vol. 1 (pre-Phil and Jay) which includes the mostly unreleased demos with Mary Ellen, The First to Come in Last demo, the Viva Maestro EP, the track for the unreleased Motherbox split "The Last Place You'd Look" (which Ian would reuse and be a better fit for a Special Guest Star as "Dead Letter Day") and a few tracks from a live WCRN broadcast.  Vol. 2  is with Phil and Jay and includes the Cinematic Overtones EP, the two tracks from the House Divided 5-Way Split, and pretty much for the first time - all of the instrumental tracks for Your Three Minute Pop as well as two tracks that I mixed whatever vocals Brian had recorded for them.  Also for those interested, I've included a third download that includes three live tracks that were on various comps and splits, an out-take from Your Three Minute Pop, and a bunch of other acoustic demos and live practice stuff.

Vol. 1: Demos, The First To Come in Last Demo, Viva Maestro! EP and more:

Vol 2: Cinematic Overtones EP, House Divided Split Tracks, Your Three Minute Pop:

Here is the video for "My Own Private Island":

Other links:
CDs are still available from Break Even here:

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dearly Departed

Dearly Departed wound up being something of a Long Island supergroup from its outset in 2001.  It wasn't intended that way, but the early presentation of the band couldn't help but lean in that direction with ex members of Inside, Scarab, Tension* and Helen of Troy all being advertised.  The band would outgrow this, and forge ahead with a style that was outside of what most of their contemporary bands were doing.

Mike Mallamo was the former singer of Inside and he had been jamming on and off with Ryan Albrecht.  Jeff Bodzer, guitarist of the recently split Helen of Troy was looking to join something very different from Troy's structured chaos and Mallamo had asked him to play.  Concurrently, Joe Rubino of Tension* was looking to put something together with Danny Lopez whose band Redshift had just broken up.  Joe asked Mike to play and as he was already planning on something with Ryan and Jeff it all came together.

The band went through several different names, playing their first show as Io with RC Driver at Someplace Else in Farmingdale.  I do recall drinking heavily that evening, but I remember enjoying the band's set, remembering the song "The Masquerade" since it sort of recalled Inside, and I liked the name Io. I can't say I remember much else and I don't remember RC Driver's set at all, even though I do remember watching them play.  I was surprised to see the band with all of these guys in it together at the time.

The band would briefly be known as "The Messenger" before settling on Dearly Departed.  They would quickly produce an EP called "The Remains of Marianne Mayweather" that was released on One Day Savior records in 2002.  The band gained a large following certainly drawing from the interest of their previous bands, but they delivered with powerful songs and interesting arrangements that recalled Radiohead, Codeseven, and Cave In's Jupiter.  It was heavy at times, but very atmospheric.

2003 saw the band continue to build their following locally and with tours.  The also began production on a full length album which would become "Believing in Ghosts" with former Inside guitarist-turned producer Jon Florencio.  Around this time, Labels became interested in the band and without getting into too many tangents on the business side of what was happening, things began to get complicated.  The band was having a difficult time being able to finish the album for many reasons and there was a substantial amount of strain being exerted on the entire project.

Finally in January of 2004, the band played a CD release show for "Believing in Ghosts" that was being released by One Day Savior.  The thing was... the CDs actually weren't ready.  A special edition CDr with different packaging was given to everyone that purchased a disc and they were mailed the actual finished CD once it became available.  I have to give ODS credit here, as while that sounds like a crapshoot, they made good and sent CDs out to everyone that provided an address and bought a CD.  The band played a great set highlighted by new songs like "Shadowcasting", "I reserve the right to Scream Bloody Murder" and "Dragging the Lake."

Jeff Bodzer left the band in June of 2004 to move to Florida, and your author was tapped at one point to take his place.  I can't remember if I jammed with the guys 3 or 4 times.  I loved the music the band was doing, but I couldn't tour so that removed me from being a possible replacement.  The band failed to find a replacement at that point for Bodzer, but did play a final show with him in Decemember 29, 2004 at Backstreet Blues in Rockville Centre, NY with Seer and Magnetic North.

In the interim, Mike Mallamo joined the band Novena and Joe Rubino played with Tension*.

The following December with Jeff  Bodzer back in the fold the band played a reunion show on December 30th, 2005 with a reunited Satellite Lost playing their last show, as well as With Every Idle Hour, Nakatomi Plaza, Slingshot Dakaota and Con Amore.  The band decided to continue on as a band, originally planning to record songs such as "And the Horse You Rode In On" and "Juggling Chainsaws (Look Ma No Hands)" that they hadn't had the opportunity to do prior to the breakup.

Ryan Albrecht was soon replaced by Jon Cox, former guitarist for Tension*, From Autumn to Ashes and Earth.ling Massive.  Cox brought a heavier dimension to their music and this lineup recorded the album "What Awaits Us" which was released on their own Black Tide Records in 2007.  This album featured a re-recorded version of "The Masquerade" as well as new songs and recorded versions of some of the older material as well.  It was released in At the album's completion, Cox left the band and again they were left without a second guitar player.  Ryan Luken joined, before being replaced with Derek Sessions.

Mike Mallamo briefly quit the band at some point prior to the release of "What Awaits Us" and the band  continued on as an instrumental band named Dead Birds Don't Sing.  Tensions eventually settled and Mallamo rejoined the band and saw it through to its conclusion.  This time there was not a show that stated the finality of the band.  The members just began to go in different directions and the last show they played was May 25th, 2008 at The Nutty Irishman in Bayshore for a Lukemia benefit with God Fires Man and Revenge of the Dragon.

Joe Rubino went on to form the Jett Black Heart Attack and 1776.  Danny Lopez would form Steady As She Goes.  Both Danny and Joe would back up hip-hop acts with live instrumentation on occasion as well. Mike Mallamo would go on to sing for the short-lived band Mt. Morning.  Jeff Bodzer would briefly play with Steady As She Goes.  I believe that Derek Sessions joined Revenge of the Dragon and is currently in Wiretap Crash as well as doing some solo hip-hop stuff and DJing.

These downloads are for the band's 3 releases:

The Remains of Marianne Mayweather:

Believing in Ghosts:

What Awaits Us:

Go to the band's myspace here:
Wikpedia entry:

The Eternity Code

The Eternity Code was started in 2003.  Bill Zanis was a fixture of the NY and LI scenes and was looking to join a band.  Through craigslist and myspace ads, the band assembled members Keith Siskind on vocals, Sean Naughton on Guitar and vocals, Lou Caravana on Guitar, Scott Bendjy on drums and Zanis on Bass.  Even though the majority of the band had more mainstream influences, Zanis steered them in an emo-core direction, and the band often wrote around the basslines.  They began playing on Long Island shortly after this lineup was put together, but Bendjy left soon after this as his job was a interfering with his schedule of being in the band.

Danny Lopez who was in Dearly Departed at the time joined the band and stayed with them through 2004 to the self-titled EP, which is also known as the "Don Fury EP" because... it was recorded by Don Fury.  Danny left the band after the completion of the EP to concentrate on Dearly Departed.

The band would then have a rotating number of drummers, Keith's brother Scott (later of Baltimore, Maryland band Vinny Vegas) filled in on occasion and the position remained in flux until the band recruited Jim Abdale into the fold to take over full time duties. Chad Hudzak (of Shotgun Rally and The Dresden) would play on the 2005  "Destined to Fail" EP,  but Jim Abdale would return to the lineup to see the band through the remainder of their time together in 2007.

"Destined to Fail" showed a heavier development to their newer songs, as well as a rocked out take on Journey's "Separate Ways."  Lou Caravana left the band after the release of the 2nd EP, and the band continued on as a 4 piece until splitting after a last show March 16, 2007.

 The band played a reunion on June 26, 2010 and played a new song called "3rd Prize is You're Fired" and an ongoing reunion seemed to be in the works, but Bill Zanis decided to concentrate on his new band with Danny Lopez called Steady As She Goes.

As mentioned above, Danny Lopez remained with Dearly Departed and later started Steady As She Goes with Bill Zanis.  Jim Abdale plays with The Anywheres.  I'm not sure of what the other members are up to.

This download is for both the self-titled EP and "Destined to Fail".

THE ETERNITY CODE - S/T and "Destined to Fail":

Other Links on the band:
Video of "3rd Prize is you're fired" here:

Friday, June 17, 2011


Redshift is a band I unfortunately don't have much information on.  They were comprised of Danos Ettrick on guitar and Ivan Gonzalez on bass (both formerly of post-hardcore band 3 Feet Deep), Danny Lopez on drums (formerly of Scarab) and Kerry Merkle on vocals.   The band was formed in the wake of 3 Feet Deep dissolving and Danny leaving Scarab. The band produced a single 5 song EP in 2000 of complex hardcore with some obvious nods to Quicksand in their music.  It is some really excellent stuff with great playing throughout from everyone involved.

The band didn't last long.  I remember going into a used CD store in Westbury (where that shopping center where Century 21 is now) and Danos and Danny giving me a flyer to a show which I think was at Ground Zero.  I don't recall hearing much after that and I'm not sure what led to the band's end.

After this Danny would go on to play in Dearly Departed and later Steady As She Goes.  Danos would play with Blackbeard, Pillow Theory and Muthawit as well as a host of other bands.  Ivan would join Fiftyfour with Kerry after this, and has played with Lockdown, Crime Lab and 25 ta Life.  Kerry would join Fiftyfour, Big Baby Satan and is now the singer of John Wilkes Booth.


Scarab / One True Thing

This week will be Danny Lopez appreciation week.  Danny was the drummer for several LI bands, most recently my band Steady As She Goes.  He's moved to Wisconsin for work and I'm celebrating his contributions to the scene and music with a few posts on his former bands.

Scarab was formed by Danny and Milan Milevoy in 1994.  They brought in a then 16 year old, untested singer named Melanie Wills.  The band had a post-punk, indie meets melodic rock sound at the time.  They played with punk and hardcore bands of the time, notably Greensleep and Sleepasaurus, the former of which they would go on to release a split 7" called "A Fine Proposal" on Motherbox Records which contained the songs "The New One" and "Mother".

The band eventually recruited Lee Greenman on bass to replace their original bass player, who would play on a demo featuring songs such as Dearest, Bloom and Yeast.  The last song would also be featured on the Motherbox comp "Diversified Chaos".  Lee would be replaced with Antonio Garcia (aka Antonio Longo). 

They would crossover from the hardcore scene to gather more mainstream interest in 1997 and 1998 by winning Best Local Band in the LI Voice paper and wound up bouncing around with deals from E.S.P management and Gotham entertainment.  Their sound had evolved from their noisier beginnings and was becoming more commercial.  They recorded an album with Gotham, but it never got released due to the label wanting them to sign with them to release a 2nd album with them as well.  

Danny would leave the band in late 1999 and go on to form the band Redshift, and then later join Dearly Departed, play with The Eternity Code and join Steady As She Goes.

Scarab would change their name to One True Thing and eventually released a full length entitled "Finally" in 2002 which included some of the songs from when Danny was in the band.  Singer Melanie Wills is best remembered for her singing contribution on "Short Stories with Tragic Endings" and "Autumn's Monologue" from From Autumn to Ashes. The band went through several lineup changes and included Ray Greene of Farenheit 451 on drums for their full length. Antonio would leave Scarab before the name change to sing for Taking Back Sunday, then join The Prizefighter before coming back to play bass again and then leave again when Mike Pilato from FATA joined them.  I'm not sure when the band finally decided to fold it in.

I don't have much to download here to be honest.  I had the tape of the demo which contained "Dearest", "Bloom" and "Yeast" (and possibly "Struggle" as well) given to me by Lee many years ago.  I probably threw the tape out.  I'll be perfectly candid and say that Melanie was never particularly nice to me and certainly colored my judgment on this band and still does to this day.  I'd say more, but Mom always said if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.  My wife had the CD demo of One True Thing that preceeded "Finally" and I can say with certainty I chucked that out and didn't bother converting it to MP3.  So you guys are on your own here.  If anyone has it, let me know and I'll post it up.

What I can offer is 3 tracks of Scarab - one culled from a live at the Pickle Patch comp which is untitled, a cover of "25 Green" from a Descendants tribute and "Bookmark" from Compilation Shmompliation.  I've also included the One True Thing album "Finally" as a download as well.  The versions of Dearest and Bloom are different than the originals done with Dan, but for completeness I'm including this if you were into the band at either stage of their existence.

The Motherbox split with Greensleep looks to still be available though from Merch direct here:

SCARAB - Comp Tracks:
(Link Fixed with additional song)

Here is Scarab's website from what looks to be 1997:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Thought & Memory

I had intended to post this up... maybe 4 or 5 months ago, but I've been slacking.  Sorry.

Thought & Memory are a currently active (as of 2011) instrumental band, that does have a bit of an influence of both the heavier and more introspective aspects of Mogwai, as well as the sludginess of Sleep.  The band is made up of Conor Hickey on Guitar, Scott Brown on Guitar, Dave Friedreich on Bass and Mike Hegarty on Drums.  The band has two releases out so far; a CD EP called "Time" and a two-song Tape called "Tape"

I'm not sure what the recent attraction to tapes is.  I don't get it.  Does anyone still have a tape deck in their car?

Anyway, the band is awesome.  Conor has also served as guitarist briefly for Wiretap Crash, and still is the guitarist for Deep Pockets while Dave plays guitar in the ska punk band TheNix86 and plays bass for Censors.

I'm adding a post-script here.  The band just broke up during the first week of June 2011.

Check out the band's stuff here:



3 Ton Bridge

I know virtually nothing about 3 Ton Bridge, other than John Stendrini later of Charles Demar, Federale and Rope was in the band.  They did a Jawbreaker type of punk that according to John "went over like a lead balloon during the height of the LIHC days." 

This is for the only release of the band that I was able to dig up.  It's a split 7" from 1994 with a band called Birthrite, who I don't think were from LI.

3 Ton Bridge/Birthrite 7" Split -

Thursday, April 28, 2011


WCF was a band from Babylon formed around 1997 by Mike Longo and Brian Funk.  They were an interesting and very melodic band, and they had this crossover thing happening inasmuch as they played with any bands, on any shows... and never really seemed to out of place.  Their music was kind of pop, kind of indie, so they could fit in on Punk shows, Ska shows, emo shows and shows with the poppy sort of thing that would be going on at Mulcahey's or The Downtown.  The band always seemed kind of aloof to it and always just seemed pretty happy just to be playing.

They formed while the members were all in high school and quickly started churning out melodic tunes.  To this day, I don't know what the name WCF means.  I've been told it was an inside joke which really isn't worth repeating, so it shall remain a mystery to the universe. The band included Longo and Funk as well as Tom Gambino on guitar, Dave Ferraro on bass and Dan Lazerek on drums.  I'm pretty sure that Tim Ruggeri from ASOB and Channel 59 and Paulie Wozniak from Mad Circle also both were drumming at some point.  They were usually compared to Weezer, which the music only beared a very mild association with due to both bands being poppy and melodic.  They definitely could have fit in and played more shows with the emo bands of the time, but as I mentioned they just seemed kind of detached.  Or high.  It certainly could have been the latter!

I only saw the band a handful of times.  I think at some church in Babylon and The Rock Lobster in Glen Head.  I remember playing a show with them at Ground Zero and really being blown away by how well they used 3 guitar players and how good they sounded. 

Years later, I was playing a show at Mr. Beery's and the sound guy there gave me the 'What's Up?' nod as if we knew one another.  He did look familiar but I couldn't place him immediately.  A few months go by and while I'm doing this blog, my bassist Bill suggests the band My Summer to play with us at a show and mentions that I may know the singer who also is the sound guy at Beery's.  I checked the stuff out on their bandcamp site (and it is great, by the way) and I realize I know the guy. The singer is Mike Longo. 

WCF broke up in 2000 and I'm not sure what happened to all of the members.  Brian Funk and Dave Ferraro formed Ace Green and and are currently in Project Nairb.  Mike Longo did a lot of solo recordings, and as mentioned formed My Summer in 2005 with Joe Lambiaso from Bookstore.

I had mentioned to Mike that I was doing this blog and I had none of WCF's music and remembered it pretty fondly.  He was glad to help out so, thanks go to Mike for getting me WCF's Who's Listening and their 2000 demos as well.  Enjoy it.

WCF - "Who's Listening" and "WCF 2000"

Here is the band's myspace:

Saturday, April 23, 2011

48 in the Basement

48 in the basement was a punk band from Huntington that formed in 1996 by childhood friends Paul Laino and Mike Koscik. They added members Jeremy D'Amico and Matty Lupinacci which completed the original lineup.  They played a fun style of punk clearly influences by Fat Wreck and Asian Man records bands.  The band though had undeniable hooks and fun lyrics which made them incredibly memortable.

Over the years the band did go through a number of lineup changes. Through the 7 years that the band was in existence they apparently were often  banned by the venues in which they played, due mostly to the antics of lead singer Mike Koscik. They often played with bands such as WCF, Sprout, and Channel 59. A few months after their second US tour the band called it quits. They played a reunion show with the original members in 2004 at Cedar Beach in Rocky Point, NY and later in 2010 at the Broadway Bar in Amityville..

To be honest, 48 in the Basement is a band I only have rudimentary knowledge of.  My first exposure to them wasn't even live or a recording - they had done the theme song for a local cable access show called Slacker TV which I randomly stumbled one day on Cable.  I don't know if the song was kept as the theme song for the entirety of the show's run (from 1997 to 2004), but it was there for all of the episodes I had caught.  I saw the band perform 3 times I think, once at Hofstra, once at the Rock Lobster in Glen Head and once at a bowling alley... which one I couldn't tell you.

Many thanks to Paul Laino, guitarist for the band who has went on to become a composer and provided these tracks.  This includes their tracks from their demo "She's Not Feeling Well", their tracks from the "Young N Abrasive"  split with the Microwave Orphans, the tracks from the "Hurry Up and Wait" split with the Backup Plan, the self titled final EP and unreleased tracks as well.

48 IN THE BASEMENT - Discography:

Go here for the band's myspace:
Links to video footage from their last reunion in 2010 is here:
Link to the Slack Pack/Slacker TV site here: