Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Charles Demar

This is a band that I saw one singular time and they completely blew me away, and then I never saw them play again.

I have nearly no information on the band.  I know that drummer Dave Patrikios was in Milhouse and Greensleep.  I think that the singer may have been in Greensleep, but that's not a fact I'm sure of.  I saw them play with Inside, Promise Ring, and Code Red at the Lindenhurst VFW in September 1997.  I kept trying to track them down afterwards but next I had heard Dave Patrikios went on to World/Inferno Friendship Society.

I didn't even know that they had recorded this 7" call "La Corrida Del Toro" until doing some digging recently.  It's awesome.  It's still blow-your-face off, hard rock stuff that I can hear bits of Chavez, Hot Water Music, Kerosene 454 or Supertouch, although the band described itself as a mix of "Garden Variety, Drive Like Jehu and Van Halen."  There is some incredible playing on these tracks.

John Stendrini went on to Federale and Rope, Dave Patrikios played in World/Inferno Friendship Society, The Realistics and a host of other bands and is currently a member of The Checkout Girls, Marlon Sporer played in The Occasion, and Nick Chacona has went on to DJing.

The download is for the "La Corrida Del Toro" 7" plus two more songs that were recorded during that session and were not released.  All of these songs were ripped from the band's myspace.  There is evidently an earlier demo as well... but good luck finding that.

Charles Demar - La Corrida Del Toro + More

Go to the myspace here: http://www.myspace.com/charlesdemartheband

1.6 Band

Here's another band I've been planning on posting for quite some time.  The 1.6 Band was a noisy hardcore band that had incredibly bizarre song lyrics and titles accompanied by intricate noisy guitar parts.

The band was formed in 1989 by Kevin Egan and Lance Yeager (both of Beyond), Vin Novara and Mike Yanicelli in Holbrook.  They recorded the EP "Tongue Family Style" with Wharton Tiers (infamous for recording early Helmet), then released another EP called "Pimpin' Aint Easy" in 1993.  They recorded a self-titled full length in 1993 before dissolving when Vin Novara moved to DC for college.

All of these tracks were later compiled on the album "Broke-Up" in 1996.

In 2009 the band reunited and later put out the free EP "The Checkered Past of All Kings Present" on Metastasis records.   The new EP rocks just as hard as the old stuff, just with a bit more finesse to the vocals and today's production value applied.

In between the break-up and reunion Egan was in Last Crime and $24,000, Yanicelli was in Die 116 and Moses and Novara joined The Crownhate Ruin, Gena Rowlands Band and Canyon.

Below are links for the original discography Broke-Up and the new EP.  As stated above, the new EP can also be downloaded (with the cover art and liner notes) at Metastasis records.

The 1.6 Band - Broke-Up

The 1.6 Band - The Checkered Past of All Kings Present

Here are some additional links to find out more about the band:

Dawn in Bathos

Through doing this blog, I've been able to urge some of my friends to unearth music from their old bands which they may not have otherwise been as likely to dig up.  Dawn in Bathos is a case in point.

Dawn in Bathos was active during 1996-2000, and made up of Chris Donohue (ex Science Diet/Cathode Ray) on guitar, Steve DePalo on keyboard and guitar (Ex Farckus Affair/The Last Crime), Jerry Carbone (Ex Farckus Affair/Ethnic) on drums, Ed Schneider (no relation here) on keyboards, as well as Eric Svrida on Guitar and Ezra Martin and Davis Marcholi at different times on bass.

Dawn in Bathos was something of the "sister-band" to Antarctica.  I say sister-band since they were both fronted by Chris Donohue, existed concurrently and both had a sound that definitely would count The Cure and The Church as huge influences.  I've never asked Chris, but at the time I could never quite understand why someone would want to front two bands that sounded so similar.  I'm still not sure either.  At this point, I don't care since I love the music and if you've never heard Dawn in Bathos but loved the Antarctica stuff then this will be a treat.  Think of this as Antarctica without the dancey-synths and Eric Richter's voice occasionally popping up.  Since I hadn't heard this stuff since seeing the band play at Under Acme in 1998, I'm pretty thrilled to be able to share it.  That Under Acme show also included Inside, Miracle of '86 and Rutherford if memory serves me correctly.  I think that they played 2 or 3 songs.  Most of the songs were about 10 minutes long, it wasn't for those with short attention spans.  It was so reminiscent of The Cure that it boggled my mind that this band (as well as Antarctica) were lumped in with the emo-thing.

We've covered the whereabouts of most of the members in previous posts, (EDIT) Ezra Martin played guitar in Sadie and The Alps as well as a Smiths cover band known as The Salford Lads, I'm not sure what else  Ed Schneider was involved in.

For reasons beyond me, Chris did not really want to let this out. I've been asking him about these tracks for six years. He mainly cited the poor sound quality as the majority of it was recorded on a 4-track but I think that most people could look past that since the tunes are so cool.  I've pulled this "demo" together from two tracks that were dug up as well as ripping the song "The Ocean" from the Dawn In Bathos myspace for something of an ad-hoc 3-Song sampler.  Enjoy.

Thanks to Chris and drummer Jerry Carbone for sending over the tracks. 

Dawn in Bathos - 3 Lost Songs

Go to the myspace page here: http://www.myspace.com/dawninbathos

Watership Down

Watership Down is really a story of band that was a starting point.  I do not mean that to be slighting, but it's true.  Mike and Nick went on to form Knox Overstreet, the other guitar player and drummer I believe went on to Knives and Greenwater, both bands which were very different and complex than Watership Down.

Watership Down started life as Second Effort.  They were a very emo sounding band that were getting some attention in the scene around 1997 through their bass player Ed.  I had the demo which I think I bought either at a show or at Merrick Ave Music, which was a store that was open for what would probably be termed a "hot minute" now.  At some point they changed their name to Watership Down and added a bit more screaming to their mix.  They recorded this 7" that was released on Immigrant Sun records, as well as the song Time Bandit which was released on the Blood, Sweat and Tears comp.

I can't remember much more than that.  I dig the songs on this 7".  It definitely sounds like a long island emo band from the 1990's.  That's really the best way I can put it.  I will admit that as a live band, I remember seeing them a bunch of times... and always thinking they were a bit of a mess.  But they were all pretty young at the time, so let's cut them a bit of slack now. 

What's certainly an interesting portion to this recording is how Mike Catanese went on to Knox Overstreet and his vocal style changed completely.  If you liked Knox Overstreet, this may interest you just to hear such a difference. 

Watership Down - 7"


I have been waiting to do this entry for awhile since this band wrote some great songs, and there's a lot of unreleased material to check out.

Labels are a funny thing.  We always feel the need to compartmentalize things into neat boxes, most of which don't even exist.  It's definitely that way with music.  Allegedly, the band Mineral didn't even know that they were an emo band until someone told them that they were and that they should check out Sunny Day Real Estate.  I'm not sure how true that is, but that's the so-called story.  Over on the Long Island Music Scene wiki my old band The Cotton Weary is listed as a post-emo indie band.  Post-Emo Indie?  I didn't even know that there was a post-emo genre.  I appreciate what the people over there are doing, but you guys made that up, right?  In any case, I'd be as guilty of categorizing bands as well, because when I listen to Godot now all I hear is an emo band, but at the time they were active I don't know if they fit that categorization, knew or even cared what emo was.

Godot was started around 1997 by Chris Klein on guitar and vocals, Michael Conklin on bass and Don Eschenauer (Edit - Thanks to Chris Klein) on drums.  They put out a demo, a 4 song CD and that was it.  Chris's voice is definitely comparable to emo bands of the time like Mineral, and there are shades of Texas is the Reason, Lazycain and Left at Yale that I hear in their stuff.  But the songwriting is really strong and it's a shame that they just didn't gel with what was happening in 1998 since they preferred melody over mosh parts, beats instead of breakdowns.  The guitars alternate from strummed to chiming, the basslines are simple yet effective.  When you listen to them now, you'll probably wonder why you never heard of them and question if they really were from LI.  They were.

I'm not even sure how I met Mike Conklin.  One of us responded to the phone (or BEEPER) number on one of our respective flyers to try and set up some shows.  I went to check them out at a place by Hofstra (my old alma matter) called Screwy Louie's.  Yes, Screwy Louie's.  Only drunk college kids, or people who want to make money off of drunk college kids would name their establishment Screwy Louie's.  They were playing with another little-known and also equally awesome band called Varistor.  The guys played a great set, I grabbed their CD and we were on the way to becoming friends.  I know that with the exception of Mike Satzinger, the rest of my band at the time (The Cotton Weary) did not get what Godot were doing.  They definitely didn't see it as 'emo', which comes back around to trying to squeeze everyone into the same box.

Godot played a show with The Cotton Weary, Knox Overstreet and a metal band called Elevation at the Roadhouse in Ronkonkoma.  After that, Conklin and I had a falling out and I lost track of them.  Looking back, I'm not entirely sure what the argument was about but having a few years of seasoning since that time I can honestly say whatever it was probably shouldn't have ended our friendship or our bands playing together.  They broke up a year or so later and Conklin went on to work for several different magazines, while Chris Klein joined the much noisier The Quick Fix (later The Quick Fix Kills) and later The Special Moves.

In these links you'll find Godot's 4 Song CD and several demos that were to comprise a full length that never materialized.  I'd like to thank Chris Klein for sending me this stuff because as he said himself of the demos, no one outside of themselves and their girlfriends has heard this music.  And this is really great stuff.   "Sketchy History" and "E-mail Song" are some of the strongest tunes that they put together. The first demo is not included in the links because no one in the band even has a copy of it - but if there is anyone out there that does have a copy, be sure to let me know.  I urge you guys to check this out.

Godot - Self-Titled CD:

Godot - Unreleased Demos:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More of The Farckus Affair

Thanks to Jerry Carbone (drummer for Science Diet, Farckus Affair, Dawn in Bathos and currently Vise Massacre) for these tracks.  He posted them in a comment section on the original Farckus Affair post as individual tracks, but I've put them all together for a quick easy download.

The Farckus Affair - Live on WFMU

Garden Variety

So, in between bites of my vegetarian chili I am wondering exactly how to do write-up on a band that casts a pretty large shadow on Long Island. There are plenty of write-ups elsewhere, a wikipedia entry and I'm sure plenty of other blogs have posted the classic and unfortunately out of print Knocking the Skill Level throughout the web. What else can I add to that?Garden Variety was THE band in the 90's from our sandbar. They had a very unique sound which for the most part was not reflected by many of their contemporaries (save for Science Diet and The Farckus Affair), especially when looked at from the perspective of the hardcore scene. They were an excellent band and I have continually regretted not knowing enough about them while they were active.

I'm being lazy and I grabbed this fairy concise write-up from http://lims.tumblr.com/ which went inactive after a few posts:

Garden Variety began in Valley Stream, New York in 1991 when Anthony Roman and Anthony Rizzo posted an ad in a Long Island punk zine asking for a drummer who was interested in playing music with them. Joe Gorelick, the drummer of the Atlantic Records signed band King Missile saw the ad, and the trio began writing together. The same year, the band recorded their first demo at Boulevard Studios on Northern Blvd in Queens, NY. The band played their first show together at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Queens Village, and from there played countless basement and bar shows.

In 1992, the band signed a small contract with Queens based, “MintTone Records”. The “Hedge 7”” single was released to critical acclaim, and many punk zines compared them to the likes of Jawbreaker and 1.6 Band. Garden Variety toured in support of the seven inch, and began generating buzz both across the country and even abroad.

A year later, the band joined the Gern Blandsten Records family along with Native Nod, 1.6 Band, and many others. Through this label they released the Self Titled album, which was well received by critics, punk zines, and fans due to Garden Variety’s constant touring and through the help of their label. In the same year, they were a part of the “Hathead 7”” which also featured the bands Wheel and Glue. The record was released by the UK label, Mayking.

In 1994, with Garden Variety still touring in support of their self titled album, they recorded a split 7” (entitled “Parker”) with the band, Dahlia Seed. MintTone put it out.

Garden Variety released Knocking the Skill Level on Cargo/Headhunter in 1995, to fantastic reviews and features in Spin, CMJ, Alternative Press, and many other periodicals. They released a music video for the song, Harbored. The band’s tracks off of this record were used in SoundViews magazine compilation. They were also featured on a Descendants tribute CD. Shortly after this, they released the “Tennille 7”” with Hell No through Reservoir Records, as well as the “Stickler 7”” with Chune through Cargo Records.

In May of 1995, Gern Blandsten and CMJ New Music Monthly teamed up to put out Garden Variety’s “Binder”. An interview by actress Janeane Garofalo on the “7-Up Listen Up” series soon followed, as well as appearances on VHS video compilations, as well as features on the Lookout Records “Punk Rock USA” compilation (w/ Jawbreaker) and the Anti Matter Compilation (w/ Texas is the Reason, Jawbreaker).

In 1996, Garden Variety released the “New Guitar Parts 7”” with Jejune through Montalban Hotel Records/BWR Records. The band split up soon after. The members went on to form bands like Radio 4, Bluetip, Hell No, Vic Thrill, Retisonic, and Marah.

Ok, so thanks to some dude for that. Really, I'm not sure that it is possible to not have some knowledge of the band if you live on LI. As I had mentioned in previous blogs, when GV started I was into grunge, alternative and more grunge. The bassist of my band in high school actually lived down the block from Anthony Roman, and two of the other guys worked with Anthony Rizzo for the town of Valley Stream. I had asked them if they knew Garden Variety and that maybe we should play some shows with them to which everyone said "nah, they're just some punk band." I took them at face value at the time...well, because I was young and stupid. AGH. They couldn't have been more wrong and I couldn't have more remorse for not finding out about the band until a few years later. They were dissonant, they were angular and they were damn catchy. They were anything besides what their name suggested.

Anyway, these links are for nearly everything Garden Variety did. The first link has their self-titled first album on Gern Blandsten Records and Knocking the Skill Level that was released on Headhunter/Cargo. The second link collects... well, almost everything else. It has the 3 songs from the Hedge EP, Stickler from the Split with Chune, and then a batch of stuff that I downloaded from somewhere that includes "Clean Sheets" from the Descendents Tribute, their performance live with Janeane Garafalo, the 7" versions of Pretty Mouth and New Guitar Parts, the version of New Guitar Parts from the Ant-Matter Comp and a ton of live and unreleased stuff. The only things that are missing are the first demo, Parker from the Dahlia Seed split and Tennille from the Hell No split.

GARDEN VARIETY - Self-titled and Knocking the Skill Level:

GARDEN VARIETY - Comps, 7" material, Unreleased, Live and more:

Other Links:
The band's myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/gardenvarietypunk
Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_Variety_(band)