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:

Come Down

I feel that I need to do this entry.  In part because I said I would in response to the post that Mike put up on the Here On This Island Blog, and because Come Down were a band that I was friends with and wrote some incredible music.  Unfortunately, I feel that my preparation for the task is lacking, and that Come Down's bassists/keyboardist will call me out on any and every  inconsistent detail, my grammar, my manhood and who knows what else.  Nevertheless, I will give it a shot.

Come Down grew out of the ashes of In Transit in 2000.  Mark Pernice and Scott Altmann were both guitarists for that band and wanted to distance themselves from that band's post-hardcore style.  They were introduced to drummer Nicole Kieper, who had recently left On the Might of Princes.  Nicole brought in Tom Mallon, a friend and co-worker from their CMJ jobs and they pursued a sound that was distinctly shoe-gaze and atmospheric with influences like Curve, My Bloody Valentine and Verve evident.  I believe that their first show was with The Cotton Weary at a place in Merrick that I can't remember for the life of me.  I think it was the Courthouse, but we always referred to it as "Dog on A Barstool" since there happened to be a fairly mangy looking mongrel sitting at the bar and looking none-to-pleased to be there every time we played the venue.  In any case, it is now is home to a Subway instead.

Needless to say, theirs was not the type of music that the scene was accustomed to and they were greeted by often cold responses on Long Island.  One listen though to the band's first effort, the EP "Sender" will have you scratching your head as there is certainly more than enough rock to go around and live they had a undeniable energy thanks to Nicole absolutely murdering the drums.

They followed up Sender shortly afterwards with another 4 Song Ep on a mini-disc called "Whose Side Are You on Anyway?", which featured the eponymous tune which became something of the band's signature song.  This EP so the songs get a bit more intricate songs and featured continually improving singing from Mark.  They followed this with the "Happy Hunting" EP which they did a limited release of.

They were offered a week-long tour of the UK, which they did and they released a live set on their website which showed the range and depth of the new stuff they were writing such as the partially acoustic "You Are Not A Song."

An influx of different factors made the band decide to call it quits in 2004.  Scott had a child on the way, Tom planned to move to Philadelphia to live with his fiancĂ©, and Nicole was in a relationship with Keith Childrey (who she would eventually marry) from a band from Tennessee called Imaginary Baseball League.  By this point they had sworn off playing on Long Island and played a final set at Pianos in NYC.  The final set had a few technical difficulties, one which saw the usually low-key Altmann fight back against a non-functioning wah pedal by tossing it off the stage.  Other than that, it was a great set that I was glad to be there to see.

The band would record a song via file transfer after this show that surfaced as "Strange Places" on their myspace.  There were more tracks intended that were not completed.  I have included several of the tracks from the unreleased album as there is some really fantastic stuff.  The playing on the tracks is top notch but  there is the unfortunate lack of vocals on it. I freely admit that I think I've ripped off Scott's riffs a few times, and I think I recently cribbed something from "How I Got There."

Tom Mallon went on to join Sleep Dept., Scott and Mark both concentrated on their art careers but have recently began a new project called No Yes No which feature both Tom and Nicole's playing.  Nicole moved to Tennessee and currently is better known as Nicole Childrey.  She has played in several different projects including Sleeptalker, Cassino, Destry, Brendon Benson, and more recently with The Mynabirds, Aaron Robinson and Field Days.

Many thanks to Scott Altmann and Tom Mallon for providing some of the missing pieces for this post.

Here are the tracks.

COME DOWN - Sender EP/Whose Side Are You On Anyway? EP/Happy Hunting EP/Strange Places:

COME DOWN - Live in London/More Live Tracks/Unfinished Album Tracks:

Here is the band's myspace:

Friday, January 28, 2011

It Certainly Was A Grand Piano Compilation

This next comp is kind of an oddball choice.  I also thought I had lost or given away my copy until realizing I had ripped it to MP3 - but instead of the artists coming up individually they all are filed under the album title.  Note to labels everywhere - don't do that.  That's really annoying.

This comp is made up of several Long Island bands, but also contains a bunch of Jersey bands and who knows what else.  It was kind of interesting that there were a couple a fairly big names at the time like Piebald, The Anniversary and A New Found Glory who contributed to the comp.  From the LI side of things you get indie rock from Knox Overstreet and OTMOP, good pop punk from 48 in the Basement, Whoopie Cushion and Fair Warning and the wacky wackiness of Space Robot Scientists.  I think Lark was an LI band as well. 

I don't think that Abominable Records released much else besides this comp and the Knox Overstreet 7".  For some reason I thought that there may have been a Flight of the Navigator or HelicopterEjectionSeat release as well.  I clearly remember buying this comp, mainly for the Knox Overstreet song, from Nick who ran Abominable at a show I set up that had With Every Idle Hour, The Cotton Weary, Radio 4, The Waiting Process, Breaking Pangaea and Knox Overstreet.  I recall Nick wearing a Nintendo Power Glove the entire time for reasons unbeknownst to me.

You can still purchase copies of this from Rok Lok's distro here:

1 Mr. Miyamoto -Enemy Quaid
2 Piebald -If Marcus Garvey Dies, Then Marcus Garvey Lives
3. Fair Warning -Sometimes 
4. A New Found Glory -Third And Long 
5. Knox Overstreet -I Shot The Clerk 
6. Hometown Hero -Charlie 
7. On The Might Of Princes -As Long As She Doesn't Smoke 
8. Keepsake -Sweet White Lies
9. Mr. Miyamoto -Why Did You Paint My Ass Blue 
10. Cooter -Missing The Innocence 
11. Whoopie Cushion -Emilie
12. Lark -We're No Miracle 
13. Saturday Supercade -Long Gone 
14. Space Robot Scientists -My Control 
15. Verdicts -No One Cares 
16. River City High -Anybody, Anywhere 
17. Life Of Riley -Fuck Your Politics
18. The Anniversary -Low Tide And Hospital Bed 
19. Fletcher -My Least Favorite Mistake
20. Good Clean Fun -On The Streets
21. 48 In The Basement -Carol! "Carol" Carol?
22. Penfold -I'll Take You Everywhere

It Certainly Was Grand Piano Compilation

516 - A Long Island Hardcore Compilation

Going a bit comp crazy today.  This is due to these comps strangely not being available elsewhere online, and more importantly because I don't have much to say and therefore it makes posting them a bit less time-intensive.

The first one today is the fairly well-known "516" comp which harkens back to a time when we only had one area code for all of Nassau and Suffolk.  The 2 disc set was released on "None of the Above" records which was basically a cool record store in Centereach that sold a lot of hardcore and punk stuff.  I believe that the guys that ran None of the Above were Tom and Brett - and I'm pretty sure that the latter of the two also mastered the first Satellite Lost CD too.  I believe that Tom passed away around 2002 and the store and label shut down.  I know that as a label None of the Above also released one of Tension*'s CDs and the first Kill Your Idols 12".

I think everyone had this comp back in the day.  It's got early tracks from Glassjaw, Motive, Cleanser, Splinterface, Reach, and stuff we've covered in posts from Inside and Silent Majority.  I don't remember a good deal of these bands, so if anyone has other stuff from any of them - please let me know.

Track Listing:

Disc 1
Betrayed - Voices
Betrayed - Setup
Cleanser - Transfuse
Cleanser - Questions
EBD - Welcome to Suburbia
EBD - Desensitized
Glassjaw - Faust
Glassjaw - Pravado
Headkase - Slippin Away
Headkase - We Don't Care (Boner's Song)
Inside - Absence
Inside - Radio Flyer
Justice Unknown - Smash Depression
Justice Unknown - Rejected
Leech Implant - Leech Implant
Leech Implant
Man Down Alone - Separate and Waste
Man Down Alone - Emotions Past
Motive - First Quarter
Motive - Borders
Outrage - It All Ends
Outrage - Flashback

Disc 2
Putdown - Rapids of Addiction
Putdown - No Way Out 
Reach - Waiting
Reach - Plant A Seed
Retribution - Lower Class Citizen
Retribution - Kicked To The Curb
Silent Majority - Expectations
SOE - Day It Stood Still
SOE - Briefcase
Splinterface - Amends
Splinterface - Mindslave 
Sub DK - Hardcore Underground
Sub DK - Burnt Freedom 
Tension* - See You In Hell
Tension* - Waste of Time
Thirty08 - Dejected
Thirty08 - Never Used To Be 
Neglect - Mind Games 
Neglect - Good For Nothing 

516 - A Long Island Hardcore Compilation

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Three Years Older - You Can't Live Your Life on Maybes + Live Radio Show

This post comes to us thanks to Justin Schwier of Underground Communique Records.  Check out his site as he's done vinyl releases for J. Robbins's band Channels and will be doing the next Capital release as well.  Justin got in touch after the last post on Three Years Older that he had a copy of their full length from 2004 You Can't Live Your Life on Maybes as well as a live radio performance as well.  He was kind enough to send this over.

I still don't know much about this release though!  If General George drops me a line with some additional background I'll be sure to update this post.

You Can't Live Your Life On Maybes + Live on WLUW -


In celebration of Glassjaw of having new music released for the first time since 2002, this post is not about Glassjaw but a Glassjaw side-project called Geometry.

Geometry was one of Daryl Palumbo's many side-projects that were started but never seemed to come out with any official releases.  Geometry though was a fully-encompassed band that featured Kamen Goddard, Matt Mateus and JJ Onthesun on guitars, and from J. Majesty there was Jim Kimball on bass and Dale W. Miller on drums.  Supposedly Jeremy Chatelin of Handsome was originally the singer of the project before Jim Kimball moved to New York and recuited the rest of the band.  There were no offical releases besides a Live Demo.  There was an album called "Ear To The Ground" that was planned to be recorded at some point, and there are a few tracks from the sessions that were leaked a few years ago.  Their shows seemed to mainly be in the city, Miller recollects shows at Brownies, Arlene's Grocery, LES and CBGB's. 

I'm not entirely sure what happened with the band, outside of everyone seeing to be busy with other projects. Kamen and Matt both went on to do scores for movies, Dale joined Palomar, Jim joined Retisonic, and JJ joined Walking Concert.

The music has a kind of interesting reggae vibe on the tracks.  This download is for the 4 "Live in the LES" demo tracks and the two studio tracks that were recorded for the proposed "Ear to the Ground" album.

Demos and studio recordings:

More Information:

The 52X

I had posted these tracks on mediafire for a friend and I figured that seeing as they are up there I should do a post on THE 52X.  The thing is, outside knowing that The 52X were the band that was often responsible for shows being shutdown or often being kicked off of them (in fact, I believe that they were banned from playing ABC No Rio) and singer Ruben Cano going on to the band Dynasty, I can't offer much.  I remember hearing their 7" with Milhouse and just thinking "WOW - what in the hell is this?"  Hearing the music now, I think I still have the same reaction!  It's wild and chaotic, noisy and heavy.

I yanked the following from Chris Tzompanakis from One Day Savior/Sky Came Falling's blog here.  I'm not sure if he is back to posting on his blog at, but all of the links for the music there are dead.  Links for the split with Milhouse and the Liver Damage EP are at the bottom of this post.  Here was Chris's write-up on the 52X:

I don’t think Long Island had a more infamous band than the 52X. In the late 1990′s they were a band that everyone loved to hate and yet everyone somehow hated to admit that they loved, but looking back there will never be another band quite like the 52X. Drummer Joe Gorelick even described his former band as “a crazy, noise core quintet with insane time changes and very odd song titles. That band was very much fun to play in, but comprised of the most insane personalities a band could muster.”

To put it bluntly, the 52X became the band that promoters didn’t want on the show yet all the kids did. Basically, it was assumed that if they played the show would inevitably get shut down. From blowing snot rockets on the audience, breaking equipment, smashing the lights out, members getting naked, the 52x were as intense as their music made them sound. However it was not their live show that would make the 52x a hardcore household name, it be a song title that would earn them their reputation. Vocalist Ruben simply stated that he hoped a certain female’s genitalia would explode and it prompted a boycott from just about every female rights group associated with the hardcore scene. It brought the 52x to the frontline of confrontation, a spot that they would fill proudly until their demise.

Similar to bands like Angel Hair, Heroin and CR, the 52x were controlled chaos to some degree. Hints of rock n roll could be noted throughout their songs, while discordant guitars loosely played over frantic percussion. Vocalist Ruben’s high pitched screams and melodic yell seemed to tie it all together, a sound that didn’t seem like it made sense at all, yet somehow it did. Songs that built up such aggression, madness, paranoia that by the time you realized just what was happening, it was all over.

Though the band existed for several years, their discography is just about as short as their sets were. They would release a split 7″ on Reservoir Records with Milhouse (a band was almost as notorious as the 52x were) and go on to record an ep titled “Liver Damage” that while scheduled to be released on Reservoir, never actually did make it to press. There are countless stories surrounding the reasons why it was never made available, but none which I could ever quote as being credible. While I have also heard that other labels and individuals would attempt to buy the rights to the album over the years, the possible release of the album would circulate around the Long Island rumor mill for years on end. the “Liver Damage” ep (or lack there of) was the perfect ending for a band who throughout their existence was shrouded by mystery and drama.

Members would go on to form the much more rock influenced Dynasty, who were just as controversial, and release (though I have never actually seen a copy) their debut ep on the label The Omega. Members would resurface in other projects over the years such as the Hope Collapse, but none would leave their mark like the 52x had.

Split with Milhouse and Liver Damage EP:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Edgar - Lost Tracks

And also taking up from that same post on Tetsuo, Elliot checks in with more on Edgar:

I'm right there with Jason's anal-ness when it comes to documenting music, so to follow up on his Tetsuo update, I have a little Edgar nugget for all of you.

According to John English, sometime in mid 1995, Edgar recorded 2 songs at LOHO Studio in New York City, The original dat tapes were stolen from the guy who recorded them at LOHO, but the band kept a tape for themselves and thanks to John who recently converted and slightly touched them up, here they are. These songs were supposed to be on a compilation that never came up, but allegedly a friend of the band saw one at a show at some point, but the facts on that story are slim.

"Voices" and "Her Romance" -

PS - This is unreleased Edgar material

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tetsuo - WUSB Riptide Tape

Some people have accused me of being a bit anal, a tad obsessive compulsive.  They'd be right.  I simply need to make sure we close up all the loops, and when I've done a post on a band and there's music out there that hasn't been included, I'm bothered by it.  It's just the collector's habit that I have.  Everything must be complete.

With that being said, here is the second half to the TETSUO post from a few weeks ago.  This download is for the WUSB Riptide split that they did with Bor.  Some of the track names are definitely seem incorrect to me as the songs don't match up with the ones on the split 7".  As I don't know the proper names of the other songs, we're just going to go by what was on the tape.

Thanks to Nick for getting me this recording!

Here is the download:
WUSB Riptide Live Recording -

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cathode Ray

Cathode Ray was a band that briefly existed post Science Diet in 1995 to 1997.  They played what would probably be considered emo at the time, similar to The Farckus Affair and Jawbreaker.

The band included Chris Donohue of Science Diet on Vocals and Guitar, Brian Maryansky on Guitar (who also played in Jets To Brazil and The Van Pelt), Sean Greene on Bass (also played in The Van Pelt), and Glenn Maryansky on Drums.

This demo was recorded in one take live in NYU studio in 97.  I don't think it was ever released.  Chris Donohue had told me that there were 5 tracks, but there only seem to be 4.  There is virtually no information on the band and I swiped the photo from some guy's personal flickr site.  I know that they did a tour with Texas Is the Reason prior to this recording. 
Brian and Sean went on the Van Pelt.  Chris went on to form Dawn in Bathos, Antarctica and Ovan Looven after this,  Glenn also played in Antarctica, Blacklist, and live shows for Ova Looven.

Thanks to Chris Donohue for the info and the music

NYU Demo -

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Six of One


I never thought that I would be posting this, much less ever hear the music again since it was sitting collecting dust somewhere in Colin's house and then it moved to my attic for a few years.  I also don't want this blog to come off as too self-serving, but the fact is I have been in a number of bands throughout the years.  Whatever - it's my blog.  This post is about a band I was in called Six of One. 

Six of One was formed in 1996.  I had left this grunge metal band I was in called No Regrets the previous year after I realized "Hey, who put this metal into my grunge band?"  I had been driving home after a show with No Regrets and I was asking my friends Homer and Dan if they thought that No Regrets was a metal band.  Homer is my best friend and possibly the nicest guy in the world, so he was attempting to sugar coat it for me saying "Well, there are some metal aspects" whereas Dan just said "Dude - yes, you're in a metal band."  I realized that wasn't what I wanted to be doing and the guys I was in a band with weren't very interested in the music I liked.  I briefly joined another band called Sativa but it lead nowhere, mostly because of the "singer."  I decided that whatever I did next I wasn't going to be dealing with any lead singers with cases of lead singer syndrome (LSS) anymore.  I would sing.

Six of One started with myself and drummer Bruno Tagliaferri after I found an ad he posted at Hofstra looking to start a band with influences of Sonic Youth, Jesus Lizard, Fugazi and Pavement.  I really liked Sonic Youth  and Fugazi at the time so I tracked him down.  We jammed a couple of times on and off before things clicked.  Jamming with Bruno was always cool because after we'd play he'd put on CDs from his monstrous collection and he wound up introducing me to a lot of stuff like Guided By Voices, Slint, Hovercraft and Jesus Lizard.  I put out an ad for more members a few months later, and my friend Colin fresh off of his band EM-50 (formerly Effigy) breaking up saw it, called me and pretty much joined the band later that week.

Finding a bass player was a hardship.  We tried out a few people, but the music was so noisy that bass players seemed to have trouble finding the right key.  We tried out this guy Dan Martinez who we really liked but he was very into his job in Hotel Management at the time - I believe he would join that band Reach 454 eventually. I met Lee Greenman who was in Scarab at that point and asked him to come down.  He was concerned with how Scarab would deal with that.  After jamming with us he decided to quit Scarab.  In retrospect, I don't know why Lee wouldn't just continue on with both bands since plenty of people are in more than one band - but we were young, so who knows? I'm currently in a band with Dan Lopez who was the drummer for Scarab and I've come to find that Lee's resignation may not have been as one-sided as I originally believed.  Let's just say it was mutual.  For years I thought Dan hated me because I stole his bass player, which was not the case.  With that being said, Lee was a great bass player who provided the foundation that was needed for Colin and I to layer lots of noise above.

As I mentioned in a few previous posts, we referred to ourselves as noise-rock or melodic dischord.  Indie wasn't really a term at that point, I thought stuff like Folk Implosion or Low as what was indie at that time - which we really weren't.  We definitely were taking the a cue from both the abrasive and catchy elements of Fugazi, Jawbox, Chavez, Jawbreaker and Sonic Youth.  There was also an undeniable spirit of hardcore we were tying into as well.

The band was not around long.  We played our first show in January at Dr. Shay's opening for Soulsick and Hostile Intent.  It was definitely one of the most adverse crowds I can remember playing in front of.  In June, Bruno left the band and probably the only time I've encountered this, he found us a replacement as well in his friend Robin.  She had previously been in the band Special Agent Gumby and at that time was also in this Dave Matthews-like band called Hatch. Robin joined the band for 3 or 4 shows.  Hatch would actually get paid at their well-populated gigs, so what we were doing wasn't exactly competitive.  Robin decided to leave and in one of my more ill-advised moments, I noted this turn of events on-stage at our last show.  "How to Alienate Bandmates and Generally Displease People" by Jason Schneider.  I can say that moment was a learning experience. Our last show was again at Dr. Shay's in July 1997 with Inside, Last Days of August and Broth. 

During this period we recorded 3 songs at SUNY Purchase with Lee's friend Evan.  For some bizarre reason we didn't record our best song which was called "Hero."  A little tip to bands: Always record your best song.  Don't save it for a 7" with some label that you spoke to once, don't worry if it'll be a pain to record it - chances are you will break up before another opportunity arises.  That's what happened here.  I don't remember much about the recording other than we played live and then I went back to overdub the vocals the following week while sick as a dog.  I was no singer to begin with, and that is no excuse for the vocal performance; I'm just providing a little background.  At the time we weren't happy with much besides the last song (Last Year's Model) and we didn't release this.

In addition to the 3 tracks with vocals, there are versions of the 3 songs sans vocals,  2 takes of another song called "Toronto" that Lee sang but we didn't get an opportunity to record vocals to, as well as an instrumental version of the song "Afterthought" that I found on a practice tape.  I recommend listening to the 2 takes of "Toronto" as Colin managed to cull the most amazing noises out of a guitar possible. 

After the band's collapse, Colin and I tried to pull something together with Steve DeJoseph from Pretty Polly which didn't take while Lee had found a new drummer but wanted us to start a new band with my 'poppier' songs.  None of that would happen as I chose to form The Cotton Weary instead... which is yet another story.

Lee Greenman went on to play in Radiate with Steve from Sleepasaurus and Long Distance Runner, and later  Endgames, The Fire and Reason, Human Parachute and currently is a member of The Goodbye Radio.  Colin went on to play bass and later guitar in the now-legendary Saetia, then Precision Auto which changed its name to The Fiction and is currently a member of Gunners.  Jason Schneider (that'd be me) thankfully stopped singing, but kept playing guitar in The Cotton Weary, Satellite Lost, Circle the Sun and others and is currently the guitar player of Steady as She Goes.  Robin returned to playing drums in Hatch and I've lost track of her since then. Bruno Tagliaferri stopped playing drums.    

This download is for the recordings mentioned above.  As I've just figured out how to add images to posts and since Colin recently scanned a bunch pictures of us playing at CBGB's and Hofstra, I've included a few shots well.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011


This post comes again from Elliot Fox.  Inside is another band I had full intentions of doing a post on, but I'm very glad Elliot came through with this as the Silent Majority took a lot out of me.  Read more below...

The Legend of Ray Brower...

Growing up in Long Island in the 90's, although punk and hardcore had a big impact on me and helped shape a lot of my early musical tastes, I think it's safe to say that nothing rumbled the island more than the birth of emo and I'm talking real emo, not this recycled garbage you're hearing today. I'm talking about grown ass dudes leaving the stage crying, instruments broken, amps turned over, crowds in a sweat, some with tears in their eyes, some with huge smiles and all stomping around and loving every second of it.

Although we'd like to believe Long Island birthed the emo-scene, the style originated in the mid-1980s hardcore punk movement in Washington, D.C., where it was first known as "emotional hardcore" or "emocore." A story goes that emo emerged both as a reaction to increased violence in the scene as well as an extension of personal politics and beliefs of the legendary Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi), who had turned the focus of the music from the community back to the individual. In 1984 bands like Rites of Spring and the MacKaye led Embrace began breaking free of hardcore's self-imposed boundaries in favor of melodic guitars, varied rhythms, and deeply personal, impassioned lyrics. Nostalgia, romantic bitterness, and poetic desperation became the cornerstone of the music.

By the early 1990's, the sound had began to shift and change, blending more with punk and indie rock, but still hanging on to that hardcore mentality. Bands such as Jawbreaker and Sunny Day Real Estate were early leaders of the sound.

Although there were so many emo bands that played a big role in the Long Island scene, for me Inside, the 5 piece from Lindenhurst, was one of the best. They were true champions of the sound and culture and really helped define the Long Island sound. Inside grew out of the band Word of Mouth that featured vocalist Mike Mallamo who later joined Dearly Departed, Tom Cornerford on Bass and Craig Wilis on drums.  These 3 would form Inside in August 1995 with Vinny Corrigan on guitar, who later formed Blood Red with his brother Tommy (from Silent Majority) and Eddie Reyes also on guitar, previously of Mind Over Matter and at that point of Clockwise as well. Inside only recorded a handful of tracks before Eddie was replaced by Jon Florencio. Their sound was a perfect blend of the passion of hardcore, intelligence of indie rock, the anthemic power of punk rock and the DIY mentality that fueled the East Coast and Long Island emo/hardcore scenes at this time. Sometimes slow and emotional, sometimes fast and rockish, Inside was one of the best. For fans of Sunny Day Real Estate, Hot Water Music, Movielife, Silent Majority and Texas is the Reason. Check out some flyers, photos, videos and more on their myspace

Their first and only release with Eddie Reyes was an 8 song self-titled cd which is often called "The Gray CD" now due to its cover art that came out in 1996 on Sunnyside Records.  The track listing on the CD was completely incorrect.  For posterity, the download does mirror the incorrect track listing featured on the CD.  (I think that the correct track listing may be Liquify, then Unsound, Inside, Corners, Destination 2000, Never You, Landscaping and Q&A.  But I'm not sure.  - Jason)

In September 1996, they had the tracks "Absence" and "Radio Flyer" featured on the "516 - A Long Island Hardcore Compilation."

Inside released two 7"s in 1997. One on Motherbox records, containing the anthems "Ray Brower", "Stumbled on a Penny," "Postcard Memories" and "Broken Promise." The second came out on Redwood Records and had the songs " Wait Until Tomorrow" and "Regarding Time Lost." All of these tracks made it onto Seven Inches to Wall Drug album, but you may be able to still score the 7" here

In 1998, they released the CD, Seven Inches to Wall Drug, a collection of all their 7"s, unreleased songs such as "Sandra" and a few live recordings for good measure. That same year, they had their song "Landscaping" featured on the Blood, Sweat & Tears Compilation

I believe it was around 1999 when they released their second and final release, My Funeral on Redwood Records.  They broke up shortly afterwards in the summer of 1999 and had their final show at Deja 1.  They would reunite for a show in 2004 prior to Vinny Corrigan moving to Ireland, and again for two shows on January 8 and 9, 2010.

As mentioned above, Tom, Vinny and Craig would form Blood Red.  Mike Mallamo would join Dearly Departed and later Novena and Mt. Morning.  Jon would join Babyteeth which would change its name to Free Republic of Soul, but mainly concentrate on production work.

Here are all of their recordings:
The Self Titled "Gray" CD & 516 tracks -
Seven Inches to Wall Drug -
My Funeral - Download here -

Other Links:
LI Music Scene Wiki:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Silent Majority

"Let's see, let me think back, because it's been about 5 years now..."

I have been sitting on doing this post for awhile.  Part of me feels like I won't be able to provide the back story of the band in its entirety, and the other part of me feels like anyone reading this blog should already know who the hell Silent Majority are.  You're from Long Island and were in a band?  Then you gotta know Silent Majority, right?  It's like Billy Joel for everyone else.  Ah, I hate Billy Joel, bad reference. But maybe there are a few people that weren't there, didn't know or just want to get nostalgic, so I'll do my best... based on a true story. It's Silent Majority, it needs to be up on this blog.

Silent Majority started 1990, as something of a joke band called Splastic Action.  The band was started by Tommy Corrigan on vocals, Rich Jacovina on guitar, Jim Mallin on bass and I believe Tommy's brother Steve on drums.  I'm pretty sure Ryan Heyner joined a bit later.  Rumor has it that the band started right after the band got their instruments for Christmas - so there was probably a good deal of interesting practices in those formative days. While Silent Majority came to be known as a band that had a strong lyrical focus, Splastic Action was a bit more amusing in their approach with songs about the classy Long Island motel "The Pines" that boasted choice lyrics like "screwing it, doing it at the Pines!"  More to come on that later.

Eventually the band did take a far more serious approach and changed their name to Silent Majority and really became the embodiment in many ways of a Long Island Hardcore Sound: melodic yet abrasive with vocals that provided melodies that would stick in your head.  The band would play regularly at all of the cornerstones of LI hardcore in the early 90's like the Angle, the Pipeline and Right Track Inn.  Jim Mallin left early on and was replaced by Paul Brinkman.  This lineup would release a live split recorded from a WUSB show with Time Alone and a 4 song demo in 1993, along with their first 7" on Reservoir records called "This Island Earth."  I'm not sure if Paul left to join Clockwise, or if he was in the band concurrently.  Steve Corrigan left after "This Island Earth" was released and they replaced him with Ben VanDyke who remained their drummer through the rest of the band's existence.  The bass slot is not quite as easy to recollect as it seemed like there was a revolving door there.  I believe Paul was with the band until 1996 for the next release, the "Distant Second" 7" that was also released on Reservoir, but I know that Daryl Palumbo of Glassjaw was filling in often after that.

The first time I heard Silent Majority was when "Distant Second" was released.   My friend Colin, who was the other guitarist in our band Six of One asked me if I had heard Silent Majority.  I had seen the name quite a bit on flyers, but hadn't actually seen the band.  He was like "You. Need. To." and gave me the 7".  I was blown away.  While I loved the song "Recognize" for the obvious hardcore, finger pointing, pile-on gusto, there was a real complex post hardcore sound with songs like "wellness" and "km".  At this point I started going to see Silent Majority pretty regularly at shows at PWAC, Deja 1 and Dr. Shay's.

The following year would bring the album that most people would say defined the band.  1997's "Life of a Spectator" was the band's first full length and was released on Wreck-Age/Exit Records.  Musically and lyrically it showed the band at the peak of their powers.  "To Tame the L Word" and "Cross Crowded Rooms" make excellent bookends for the album, and many of the songs challenge the listener with dynamic rhythms and powerful sing-alongs.  I always felt that lyrics can go one of two ways - either be really subtle and let the listener do the interpreting, or get right in their face.  Tommy Corrigan does the latter, and it works well in this context.  I remember seeing them perform "Spoken Words" and "Tip Your Bartender" before the album coming out just thinking that there was something really compelling to Tom's delivery and the message from the songs.  With that being said, the diatribe in "Popular Opinion" is a bit of a blemish on an otherwise perfect album and in my opinion, is an instance when subtlety may have been called for. The only criticism that I've found to be repeatedly levied against the band would be towards Tommy's character.  It can't be easy to deal with people misrepresenting you - but I do remember seeing Tom wearing a Tommy Hilfiger shirt which had the logo changed to read "Tommy Corrigan" instead.  Depending on your relationship with the guy, it was either kind of funny or kind of funny that he would wear that.  I don't know, my name isn't synchronous with any designer brands where I could imagine mocking up something like that - although if I could score a shirt from those "Schneider National" moving trucks I would be wearing that every day, no lie.  Let's get back to the focus: the music. The band was hugely influential (see local bands All Grown Up, or bands like Polar Bear Club), integral to the long island hardcore scene, and largely responsible for shows at the PWAC and I don't think that contribution can or should be minimized.

To take up a thread from above though, I have to mention that I hadn't heard about "Splastic Action" at that point and I only had discovered the band from their 'serious' point and onward.  There was an evening that I remember hanging out with my one of my best friends: Brian, and a bunch of other people.  We were over at the house of his girlfriend at the time, and talk turned to bands as it often did.  We had been drinking quite a bit and I was waxing pretty enthusiastically how for hardcore you could not beat Tommy Corrigan's lyrics.  My friend Brian's girlfriend Amy, would always love to play devil's advocate and was prodding me by asking me if I was so sure about that.  Well, Amy's brother is Jim Mallin, and she happened to have a copy of some Splastic Action and played me the infamous "Pines" song to prove me wrong.  I was flabbergasted.  But even goofy lyrics aside, it was catchy as hell.  Despite being pretty inebriated I do have some recollection of the song.  Unfortunately, this was my only encounter with the classic "Splastic Action" tape.  I never thought I'd be doing a blog on old LI bands and I didn't get a copy of it.  Amy has since moved several times and doesn't have it either.  A lost classic, to be sure.  I had brought "The Pines" up to Ryan a few times while he was in Slowlands and I was in Satellite Lost - he always laughed and claimed he had no idea what I was talking about. 

In 1998 they followed "Life of a Spectator" with "Based on a True Story" a compilation of their 7"s which had went out of print, as well as the song "Expectations" from the "516 - A Long Island Hardcore Compilation" and "Soft Six" from the Welcome to New York, Now Go Home" comp.  

Nick Ghambarian would eventually join on bass for the band's final album, the EP "You Would Love to Know" that came out on Initial Records in 1999.  The band broke up in 2000 and a last show was planned for months.  It seemed like it was planned for July, but eventually came to pass January 5, 2001.  I remember it quite vividly since it took place at a church in Manhasset that used to have show semi-regularly... and there was a snowstorm.  I was about to flake out the show since the weather was terrible, but wound up going (my friend Phil actually convinced me and then didn't wind up going himself).  I remember at least a foot of snow in the parking lot when the show was over and I still wonder how people made it home since the church was up a steep hill and the driving was pretty precarious that night. At the show, Glassjaw reunited its "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" lineup to play only those songs, and Kill Your Idols played as well.  Silent Majority did reunite twice in 2006 for two benefit shows - one in May and another one in November (I believe the same one that Mind Over Matter reunited for in memory of James McCauliffe).

Tommy Corrigan would also briefly be a member of Advent during his time in Silent Majority, and afterwards join his brother Vinnie and form Blood Red with other members of Inside.  Later he would join the band Capital with members of The Reformation.  Ryan Heyner would really show his impressive diversity as a musician forming the moody rock band Slowlands and later the electronic band Small Black (who recently completed a nationwide tour.).  Rich Jacovina formed Heads Vs. Breakers and later Bastard Cut.  Ben VanDyke joined Babyteeth which later changed its name to Free Republic of Soul with with Mike Treff (of Closure) on guitar, Matt Messina (of Helen of Troy) on vocals, and Tim O'shaughnessy on bass (who was later replaced with Jon Florencio of Inside). Nick Ghambarian would join The Movielife and then form Bayside.

This download is for pretty much everything that is out there.  This is their discography as far as I know - the music from the split with Time Alone (I can't find Time Alone's stuff - it's just Silent Majority's side), the first demo as Silent Majority, the version of "Expectations" from the 516 comp, "Life of a Spectator", "Based on a True Story", "You Would Love to Know" and a version of them doing The Cranberries' "Salvation" from a comp called "The Dynamite Rose" comp which also included Milhouse, Good Clean Fun, Eulcid and Atom and His Package.  I haven't been able to find the full comp - I was about to give up trying to track it down after MONTHS of searching for the SM version of Salvation and just post the rest of the material, but I found it last week tucked away in some post on a message board from years ago and it was still active, amazingly enough.  So I'm including that little gem as well.  Sorry - no Splastic Action unless someone, somewhere can get me something.

Here's the whole damn thing:

Some other links on the band: