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: