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You hold in your hand issue four of The Cut-Up. This marks the closing of our first year of publication for our little arts-and-culture-journal-that-could. Our first full volume under our belts, we look with bright eyes and clear vision to the future of what might be yet to come and we hope that you will be part of that future. Help us answer the following: How do you think we’re doing? What would you like to see us covering? Who are the movers and shakers, artists and artisans, music makers and promoters, entrepreneurs, poets and playrights (and politicians?) that deserve our attention? It is becoming clearer by the day that it is essential for us to join together in support of the arts in all its myriad forms in the face of the increasingly antagonistic, disinterested and dangerous leadership in our current governement. The arts are not just an important part of our economy - creating jobs and opportunities in our communities - but a lens through which we can look at the nature of our society and share, learn and grow our individual understanding into one that is communal, aware and supportive of all. By building a dialogue and exchange with one another in forums like The Cut-Up, we can build a stronger union and thereby society in order to support all of our disparate desires, hopes, and dreams as well as our more base and simpe needs. We encourage you to take part in this experiment in any way you see fit. How do you ask? Here’s a few ideas: contribute your opinions, write a review, point us toward something of note, share a copy with a friend, share a copy with a stranger, buy an advertisement, listen to the music you read about here, go see a local play, visit a gallery, or even better start your own forum or publciation to celebrate the beauty you’ve discovered!

the cut-up a zerowork reactor

Issue Four :: Hope Springs Eternal Richard L. Martin Kim Abraham Brian Anderson Ashley Bell Jason Bischoff-Wurstle Daniel Boroughs Paul Boudreau Dave Brushback Thomas Campbell Danielle Capalbo Dennis Carroll Kerryanne Celona Ben Colen Sebastian Coppotelli Frank Critelli Steve Dalachinsky Charles Dahlke Chris Daltry Peter Detmold Austin English Diego Espillat Kenneth Fish David Freeburg Brian Gore Jack Grace Elizabeth Jancewicz

A Little Q&A with... Brian Anderson by Kenneth Fish

4 Record Store Tour... Mystery Train Records by Dave Brushback 5

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown by Steve Dalachinsky

Flipping Through 45s with Sir RoundSound


The First Week of Spring Brought Three New Local Productions to Life by Kato McNickle


Ray’s Tavern a short story by Brian Gore

On Tour a short story by Chip McCabe


What Cheer, Netop? featuring Miracle Legion and The Feelies by Chris Daltry


On The Road with... Pocket Vinyl


Water is Life: Reality at Standing Rock by Ashley Bell

11 Reviews: Ryan Adams, Desiket Dogs, Brazen Youth, El Michels Affair, Kindred Queer, Panic Grave, Ethan James and Easy Street, Oddisee, Arbor Labor Union, Lys Guillorn & Her Band, The Frightnrs, The Ratz, Yaeji, Karen (the band), The Planes, All Riot, Little Scream, Rogue Wave, Matt Falkowski, Jungle Fire, and Jonwayne by Paul Boudreau, Chip McCabe, Danielle Capalbo, Dave Freeburg, Daniel Boroughs, Marko Fontaine, Sebastian Coppotelli, Dave Brushback, and Rich Martin 14 The Cut-Up Gallery .::. Curated by Greg Wharmby featuring Dennis Carroll, Diego Espillat, Kerryanne Celona, and Greg Wharmby 16

Steadfast Unpredictability: The Legacy and Future of WPKN by Jason Bischoff-Wurstle


A Poet Laureate for New London: Rhonda Ward

18 There’s Something About It: Austin English interview by Jason Silva




Chip McCabe Kato McNickle Kid Millions William Orchard Michael Panico Karen Ponzio Bradley Sheridan Jason Silva Jake St. John Eric Stevenson Jeffrey Thunders Rhonda Ward Greg Wharmby

Cover Art

20 Reviews: The Curtis Mayflower, Broads by Michael Panico and Chip McCabe 21 Rock Snaps: Jeff Beck at The Aquarius Theater, 1977 by Peter Detmold 22 A Poetry Page: Jake St. John, Charles Dahlke, and William Orchard 23

Minding the Underscore: An Interview with Jesse Novak by Kid Millions


Live Review: Horns of Ormus, The Deacons, and Fatal Film at 33 by Jeffrey Thunders

Stream of Consciousness Reviews: The Sawtelles Lys Guillorn and Her Band by Frank Critelli


Still Drinking After All These Years by Jack Grace

Why Do I Rock? by Bradley Sheridan

26 CT Punk Man: A Chat with... Jeffrey Thunders by Karen Ponzio 27

Dear Auntie advice column

‘Cinnamon Warhead’ by Johnaker Propaganda (Graham Honaker & Brian Johnson) A Publication of

New London Music Festivals, Inc.

No. 19 Golden Street | New London, Connecticut 06320


“It is in this loneliness that the deepest activities begin. It is here that you discover act without motion, labor that is profound repose, vision in obscurity, and, beyond all desire, a fulfillment whose limits extend to infinity.” - Thomas Merton

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Diego to Boston. I did good demos because I was a new face in amateur skateboarding and all the kids were watching my peers at the demos. Donny Barley, Ed Templeton, Jamie Thomas were major pro’s at that time. When tour ended. Ed, and Jamie told me I did a great tour and they wanted to keep me on the team. I kept getting photos in the magazines and within a year they said they wanted to turn me pro. I was hesitant but all my teammates convinced me I was worthy and so I said yes, and jumped into the fire!

A little Q&A with...

Brian Anderson For some reason, my writing life and my skateboarding life have never crossed paths. For all the years that both of these activities have been a part of my existence, it never once occurred to me to write about skateboarding. Well, obviously, that all changes today. My love of skateboarding was recently rekindled by the coming out of my friend, professional skateboarder, Brian Anderson. He and I have known each other for a super long time, and though his secret wasn’t exactly that well kept, his coming out of the closet was a very big deal. When he did it, this act sparked something in me and it has taken a few months to wrap my head around it. Though way out of the closet since I was 20 years old, and though there was never any egregious acts perpetrated against me due to being queer, I always felt like an outsider. It always seemed like there really was no place for me in skateboarding. That, however, didn’t matter to me; I was a skateboarder and that was that. Now, 28 years (yes, I’m that old) later, thanks to a skateboarder who is considered a god by many in the community, it suddenly feels like there is a place in skateboarding for me, that there’s a little room eked out now for out queers in skateboarding. With that gap in mind, it was off to the local skate shop I went. Twenty minutes later, there was a P2 Lance Mountain deck from Flip all gripped up and tucked under my arm, and in my head was a plan rule the local skatepark. Thanks, Brian. - Kenneth Fish __________________________________

KF: Any highlights? Lowlights? BA: I would say a major lowlight was when I entered one of my first pro contests in Vancouver and I saw all these guys I grew up watching on VHS videos (while skipping school after my 1st and 2nd period art classes at Fitch Senior). Suddenly I have a badge and bracelet and I’m on the contest floor with my childhood idols!I thought to myself “I’m not making up a “Run” or “Routine” I thought, “That’s what ice skaters do. I’m going to improvise.” Well, I dropped into my run and I fell on my first trick. And I couldn’t hear anything. I went numb, felt so embarrassed and fell on almost every other trick in that one minute run. I thought why did I agree to be pro?!. I’m not at this level. I got really down on myself. Ed Templeton totally helped me figure out runs at contests going forward. We would skate in practice then go eat dinner and Ed would draw the street course on a napkin and help me figure out a run. I started doing better in contests slowly but surely. And the highlight was going to a European contest tour and I think within a year I won the World Championship in Germany the first time I entered it. And then I got first place again the following year. That had never been done! I thought wow! I really f*cking made it!

I made a sponsor-me tape. (That’s when you go film your best tricks and send it to a company to try and get sponsored.) Toy Machine loved it and flew me to San Diego to finish filming for “Welcome To Hell.” I did good, they put me in the video and took me on my first U.S. Tour. San

KF: What’s the state of it today? BA: It’s very mainstream now, and there are so many parks and it’s more accepted. But the rad thing is, it still feels sacred to me in that not anyone can just pick up a skateboard and learn how to ride it in a day/month/or even a year. So when someone does attempt to try and go for it they realize how difficult it really is. And I think a lot of people then have a huge respect for how difficult it really is to fly around and flip your board and control it with your feet, and often, no hands. KF: Who are the new generation B.A.’s? BA: I like this guy John Fitzgerald, he rides for Hockey Skateboards. He’s taller than most skaters and I always like to see powerful tall skaters. I am about 6ft.4” so I like to see a tall guy or girl on a board that has rad style. Cause it ain’t easy jumping down stairs and falling the taller you are. I also like Vincent Alvarez he rides for Chocolate Skateboards and he just has this non stop fire and energy that’s so raw and pure street style. He reminds me of myself. Just skating everything! Every ramp, curb, bump, rail, ledge, banks, stairs. Vincent is a natural. And respects the past while paving the path of the future! KF: Before writing the introduction for this piece, I hadn’t given much thought to how long we’ve known each other. If we’ve known each other for 28 years, how long have you been skateboarding? BA: I’ve been skateboarding for 30 years. I started at age 10 by borrowing my neighbor’s 1970’s banana board. KF: Other than for injuries, have you ever taken any significant time off? BA: I stopped skating for a year between 1718 years old. I worked a lot as a line cook and I drove to California and back over a 3 month period. I worked delivering pizza and as a roofer. After having experienced Northern California with my 2 friends and my dog, we all drove back to Connecticut to rejoin our families. KF: In that time, an awful lot has changed in your life, skateboarding, and the world - tell me about your coming out process. What/who pushed you out?

Kenneth Fish: When and how did you know you were going to make a career out of skateboarding? Brian Anderson: I think after I went to California in my Subaru with my dog and two “non” skate friends in Feb. of 1995. (We drove to Humboldt county and slept in my sister’s dorm parking lot then found a shoebox house in a weird meth neighborhood. We flipped coins and I got the couch. My friends got the bedrooms. We were broke. I got a job delivering pizza and then as a roofer. 2/3 months in we never made enough money to stay and put the key in a P.O. Box for landlord and left in the middle of the night bound for Connecticut. After we drove back to CT. I entered a contest in the Esker Point beach parking lot and I think I won or I got 2nd place. My friends encouraged me to go back out west to Sacramento and stay with Judd [Hertzler].

I think skaters style probably helped some people find themselves? If that makes sense.

KF: How do you see skateboard community affecting change in culture over the last 30 years? BA: I’d say us skaters often customized our shoes and clothing, kind of like punk rock and grunge and metal. And as we all know now. High end fashion houses mimic so many styles that originated in punk rock/skateboarding. So I think we DEFINITELY affected pop culture and fashion by being individualists and making some introverts find happiness in being unique to themselves and their feelings. When you grow up in a small town and high school is your only reality, what you wear everyday is a conscious message to the world. “This is who I am, I am not mainstream, I am not a jock, I am not going to work a sh*tty office job, I am not joining the army, I’m going to be an artist” an actor, a skateboarder, a musician.

BA: I came out to my room mates when I was 25. We lived in SF, therefore, my friends were more open minded due to the historically strong gay scene in that city. I then started telling my teammates and peers/magazine editors, etc., all the while asking them to keep it both to themselves and out of the media. KF: Why now? BA: Several reasons. I wanted younger people to know that even if your biological family is not accepting, your CHOSEN family can be there for you. Fortunately I found acceptance with both. Also, I wanted to be able to walk down the street with my boyfriend, hold his hand, and give him a kiss if felt like it. All without concern about gossip on social media, etc., because I’ll be out already. Finally, I can only imagine the number of closeted athletes in ALL major sports and their internal conflicts. I know from experience what that stress feels like, and I wanted to influence athletes and everyday people alike to live a happier and more


open life.


KF: How is being out, 40, married, and a professional skateboarder shaping your reality today?

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BA: Being out, 40, and married as a pro skater is an amazing thing in 2017! I feel free, happier and stronger. KF: From what I’ve seen on social media and heard directly from you, it seems like the whole thing has been positive - any obstacles, objections or blowback?

N e w L o n d o n

BA: The response has been overwhelmingly POSITIVE!!! I feel this is due partly to my 20 year career as well as the fact that we are fortunate to have more positive LGBT visibility in television, film and music. KF: Anything else you want to share with The Cut Up? Sponsors? Shout outs? High fives? BA: In closing, I’d like to thank my sponsors for supporting me. Thank you to my husband Andrew. Thank you Connecticut for making me the person I am. Shout out to Prince and the Revolution!!! In regards to hi fives, please watch Glenn Burke, The High Five on youtube. Thanks Fish, Rich Martin and everyone I grew up with in 06340.


Mystery Train Records The Amherst / Northampton Massachusetts area isn’t all that far from Connecticut (about 40 minutes from Hartford, potentially), and it’s home to at least three impeccable record stores: Electric Eye Records and Feeding Tube Records in Northampton, and Mystery Train Records in Amherst. I say ‘impeccable’ because they’re the type of stores that are loaded with underground indie and punk releases while also having a hefty selection of used vinyl, so (for instance) you can walk into Mystery Train to pick up the latest record by Writhing Squares or whatever it is that you’re into, and also walk out with a $3 used Kinks record (“Sleepwalker” isn’t bad, as far as that goes). All three of these stores also feature a good selection of cassettes, which is sometimes the best way to stay on top of and support the local scene, since a lot of newer and/or more ‘obscure’ artists find it more convenient to release their output on the cheaper, easier-to-produce cassette format. Finding Mystery Train in Amherst is a bit quirky, since the store is inside a house, and also set back a bit off the main drag (No. Pleasant Street in Amherst), so you’ll have to look down an alleyway between two buildings to find it. The store does have its own parking lot, though, which saves you from having to battle for a metered space in Amherst’s somewhat-busy street parking situation, although I didn’t know this the first time I visited the store (just think, I could’ve taken the 75 cents I spent on a meter and bought a copy of The Long Run by the Eagles instead). Once inside, you’ll find that the store is fairly well-packed with just about everything “rock” from the ‘50s/’60s through now on the first floor, with additional bins located upstairs on the second floor, which I think is mostly overstock and hip-hop and R&B/disco 12”-ers. The store is run by Josh Burkett, who’s been in bands like Vermonster and Bimbo Shrineheads, etc, so the selection at Mystery Train is outstanding, obtuse, and well-

curated; I’ve been to the store a few times, and I’ve bought everything from ‘90s garage rock like Man or Astro-Man and Mummies 7”-ers, to cassettes by local noise artists, and forgotten ‘80s releases such as a hand-made compilation LP that I found once with bands like Eugene Chadbourne and German Shepherds on it. One of the unusual things about Mystery Train is that, even though obscure vinyl and cassettes are definitely the main focus of the store, the center of the main room is taken up by CDs, which is something that I don’t see too often in indietype record stores anymore. I’ve never really bothered checking out the CDs myself, although I’m sure the selection is eclectic, and hey, if you want something to listen to in the car right away as you’re driving away from the store, a lot of times a freshly-acquired CD is the way to go. Mystery Train also supports local artists by hosting in-store performances – artists such as Anthony Pasquarosa, Frank Hurricane, Paul Flaherty, etc. have all played there – as well as releasing music on the Mystra Records label. There doesn’t seem to be much of an on-line presence for the store, other than a Facebook group which you may or may not be able to find, plus I guess you could also look them up on Yelp (ha ha). One note to keep in mind before you start any Google searches is that there’s also a Mystery Train Records in Gloucester MA, which is actually somewhat related to the Amherst store and also a very good store to check out as well, although the two stores are about 125 miles apart so check your directions first. Mystery Train Records 178 N. Pleasant St, Amherst MA (413) 253-4776 Hours: Saturday 12–6pm; Sunday 12–5pm; Monday-Friday 11am–6pm -

Dave Brushback

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown Live at Le Poisson Rouge | February 23, 2017 Despite the lack of actual pyrotechnics, Arthur Brown brought a strong flame to the stage with his almost two hour set at Le Poisson Rouge. Brown, after about an hour and a half, admitted to the crowd “I’m 75 now. I know I should be in bed.” What transpired up until that point and for another half an hour was sheer mystifying, magical and at times, scary fun. Brown’s face, as always was painted in various colors as was the top of his long-haired balding scalp. Between songs he would keep disappearing from the stage and come back each time wearing a different costume. What I found out later was missing, was the actual presence of fire. He was not, apparently, allowed to set his hat or his hair on fire as with previous concerts. He did however gyrate, fall down and dance a lot and at one point during the cult classic “Fire” he went out into the audience which he seems to do at many gigs and walked amongst them. Though we were all waiting for that song I was hoping that, unlike the 2016 Munich video, he would not do a 15 minute rendition of it so as to not capitalize on this one major identifying “trait.” And he didn’t. In fact when he finally got around to “Fire” he performed a short rather truncated version. Then, as if nothing had happened he just went into singing another half dozen or so songs. Early on he did another signature piece, Screaming Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You”, stating that though he felt he never did it very well, Screaming Jay had approved of his version. It was possibly the weakest performance of the set. He sang lots of old material including pieces he had done with the Alan Parsons Project for the LP, Tales of Mystery and Imagination and work form other later recordings. When I asked his guitarist about this later he told me he had suggested to Arthur that they do old material from more than just the Crazy World album and new material from a recording that came out about a year and a half ago that I don’t know about but that the guitarist said was equal to if not surpassed the Fire LP in Intensity and quality. I brought my copy of Crazy World for Arthur to sign which he did while signing albums and photos for lots of other people. I never realized he even had that many albums. Brown’s voice got stronger as the set continued and being a poet as well as a singer-songwriter and what at times, I would categorizes great soul singer, he “entertained us” with some great spoken lines like “Let us start the new universe touched by all and owned by none.” He also at one point stated in between songs “When you’re standing in front of an audience you always feel that you need to do something so now it feels really exciting to be doing nothing.” Brown

did two encores the final piece being “Jungle Fever.” This was his first performance in New York in 47 years. It was a sold out pretty much white crowd. The age range was from late 20s to early 70s. The band, hailing from Austin Texas, where Brown lived and performed for 10 years, was impeccable and played top notch rock ’n roll supplying him with just the right sound for every song he performed and every word he spoke. His manner throughut no matter how chaotic things got was always calm and relaxed. I stood near the stage, very close to the organ player. All of 31 years old he can play rings around the best of them. At times Brown’s lyrics and statements were very sexual. At one point he came back on stage wearing fairly loose black sweat pants. He took the microphone and put it in his pants holding it there for at least five minutes touting the biggest erection probably anyone in the audience had ever seen. To my left stood Genesis P-Orridge, who later came backstage, hung a bit with Brown and even asked him to sign an album. One of the most bizarre things that happened during the concert was when some guy who was very stoned came up to P-Orridge and asked him to pull his pants down. P-Orridge complied, sporting white underwear. The guy bent down and put his face right in there. I’m not sure what happened after that because I turn my head away. The two then disappeared and P-Orridge didn’t turn up again until the end of the gig. The concert was strong, uninterrupted and memorable. It was a total capper to, what for me, was a great week of live shows. My humble friend, drummer Rock Savage, who I ran into after the concert, and who once played with Miracle Room, told me, to my surprise, that he had played with Arthur years ago in Austin. He was also very tight with the guitarist. He took me backstage to meet Brown who was truly the warmest god of hellfire one could ever want to meet. This was a five star concert and since I rarely go to rock concerts anymore, though Brown’s music may transcend that term, I can honestly recommend you catch him and his band if you’re fortunate enough to find them in your vicinity which will indeed hopefully be less of rare occurrence. Or at least track down that quintessential cult classic The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. The one on Atlantic is easier to find than the one on Track Records. The associate producer on the session was Pete Townsend of the Who. For a minute the Who had their own label which produced another cult masterpiece Thunderclap Newman containing one of the best songs of that generation “Something in the Air” which like the Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” holds even more relevance today. As does “Fire.” But I digress. Anyhow, how crazy can the world get? Well according to Arthur Brown, pretty CRAZY.

- Steve Dalachinsky

Flipping through 45s with Sir RoundSound

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Alemiye / Gubiliye

Mulatu Astatke w/ Belaynesh Wubante & Assegedetch Asfaw Philips 1974

The late 60s and 70s are often referred to as the golden age of Ethiopian music. A system dominated by state-run orchestras was breaking down and young musicians, influenced by worldwide social change and the rhythms of soul, funk and jazz, began to forge new sounds. Record labels such as Amha Records, Kaifa Records and PhilipsEthiopia formed and challenged the previously forbidden practice of privately recording and releasing music, leading to a wealth of unforgettable records that continue to inspire. For the unfamiliar, this period was wonderfully captured by French label Buda Musique’s Éthiopiques CD series. Mulatu Astatke was one of the leading musical innovators of the time. Trained in the 50s and 60s at London’s Trinity College of Music and Berklee College in Boston, Mulatu developed a passion for Latin-jazz. Upon returning to Addis Ababa in the 1970s, he blended Latin-jazz (itself a fusion of Afro-Cuban, jazz and soul) with Ethiopian pop to create an infectious sound he called Ethio-jazz. Filled with wah guitars and slinky grooves, the music eventually won over a proud and skeptical population weary of colonialism. Decades later, his music has sent ripples around the world being sampled by countless hip hop artists, fueling contemporary groups such as Either/Orchestra, Budos Band and Debo Band (and dominating at least one film soundtrack … Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers). Mulatu’s recordings tend to be instrumental which makes this record a rare treat. The haunting, other-worldly vocals of female singers Belaynesh Wubante and Assegedetch Asfaw dance on top of Mulatu’s unconventional rhythms to create a pair of songs that are unlike anything I’ve ever heard. “Alemiye” features the heavy wah laden, slightly fuzzed out guitar that gives so many of his songs a psychedelic twist. “Gubiliye” lets the deep, slow bassline lead with Mulatu’s characteristically subtle piano countering at, to the Western ear, such odd yet perfect moments. For the curious, “Alemiye” is included on a compilation called Psych Funk 101 alongside other mind bending gems from around the globe. Seek and enjoy!

- David Freeburg

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The First Week of Spring Brought Three New Local Productions to Life Over the winter months many local artists got to work. Gathered in rooms together they began learning lines, figuring out where they would walk, how they might stand, how long to pause before speaking, all working out the details to make constructed worlds seem real. They were in rehearsal. While it was not planned, three of these shows that started rehearsing during the darkest part of the year opened on the same weekend which happened to coincide with the first week of spring. Close to the shore the Groton Regional Theatre presented A Few Good Men, while in Norwich two shows opened in theaters a block away from each other, the musical version of The Addams Family singing to soldout houses at Chestnut Street Playhouse, as the minimalist cabaret-style comedy Naked Mole Rats in the World of Darkness charmed audiences at the Donald Oat Theatre. I contacted one actor from each cast to get their experience working on the shows to share an inside look at the process of making these plays come to life. A Few Good Men by Aaron Sorkin, a writer better known for his work in television and film, is a play where two Marines stand accused of complicity in the death of a fellow company member, and features a small but iconic role at the center of the military trial. Colonel Nathan Robert Jessup, the commanding officer played to Academy Award winning stature by Jack Nicholson in the 1992 film adaptation of the stage play, requires an actor willing to engage the role head-on. Michael R. McGuire landed the part in this production. He is better known locally for his plays and novels, last performed in a play a decade earlier, and that was in one of his own works when an actor left the production on short notice. He first encountered the stage version of Jessup during a table read of possible plays for consideration by GRT. When the opportunity to play this compelling role was presented McGuire found he couldn’t resist, “The inevitable comparison was one of the things that almost made me not play the role, but it was too juicy to pass up. The original script contains several scenes that were not in the film, and acting for stage is such a different challenge than acting for film, so my choices were different of necessity.” One surprising reaction from the audience was the anticipation of the famous climactic moment from the film and the play when Jessup shouts, “You can’t handle the truth!” McGuire heard some laughter on opening night, “At first I wondered why that was funny, but it soon hit me that the line, after over twenty years, has become something of a punchline, with the audience waiting for me to say it.” Embodying the role has meant some physical changes for McGuire. He does not wear his glasses while performing, “The audience is dark, I’m barely aware of them. I’m totally focused on Cuba or the courtroom.” He was also required to cut his hair and shave his beard which had its own dramatic

consequence, “My wife burst into tears when she saw me!” He has assured her that it will come back after the show closes in April. In Norwich, another local actor was required to shave, this time to remove all the hair from the top of his head. Justin Carroll is a twenty-four-year-old actor from Gales Ferry who has been working with the Chestnut Street Playhouse when it was still The Spirit of Broadway Theater five years ago. Since then he has taken on many diverse roles in both musicals and plays. In The Addams Family, music by Andrew Lippa and book by Marshall Brickman and Rich Elice, he has taken on the physically demanding role of Fester, the whacky and famously bald uncle, “Fester controls the action of the play, directly addresses the audience, I have to stay in character. I knew the physical portion of the role alone was going to be exhausting,” said Carroll about this performance. Uncle Fester is another iconic role, having been played by vaudeville and former childstar Jackie Coogan on the 1960s classic television series, followed by Christopher Lloyd in the 1990s films. After investigating these earlier portrayals, Carroll determined that his version of Fester could be unique, “I did watch the first movie a few times, and I watched a few episodes of the TV show to see how they both played Fester, but the more I watched, the more I realized that they weren’t really playing the same character. He is written very differently for the musical, so I really had to try new things. There are definitely a few times where both come through in my performance, but they are few and far between.” One of the new things Carroll had to try, in addition to his cue-ball hairstyle, was playing the ukulele for the number The Moon and Me, “It took a few days to memorize the song, but once I knew it, I knew it by heart.” Carroll summed up the takeaway from the Addams Family story and his own experience working on the show, “To live life how you see fit. The Addams Family look at life through a very odd lens. They have an unspoken mantra of, ‘this is my life, and I’m going to live it however I want,’ and sure, they’re obsessed with death, the occult, and all things that go bump in the night, but that’s just how they choose to live.” A five-minute walk up the hill from Chestnut Street takes you to the Donald Oat Theater, nestled between Broadway and Church Street in downtown Norwich. The show opening there over the first weekend in spring did not offer the same name recognition as the other two famous titles, but did offer something unusual. Naked Mole Rats in the World of Darkness by Mike Folie, a composition of vignettes, gave audiences a comic and sometimes heartrending exploration of male/female relationships. The finale piece featured a couple at the zoo sitting beside an exhibit of what else…? Naked Mole Rats, of course. Frequent local director and cupcake master baker Lura Hepler agreed to play the role of Barbara in this portion of the production, even though the

last time she had performed on stage was in 2010, specializing more in area film projects. But after investigating Mole Rats she wanted to be involved, “I loved the script from the moment I first read it. I especially appreciated how the playwright was able to pinpoint the miscommunications between men and women in such a comedic, yet truthful way.” Having a two week production run proved beneficial, both because word of mouth brought full houses to the theater in the second weekend, and for the large ensemble to find the rhythm of this fast-paced show. A second weekend allowed for enhancement of the performances as the actors were able to deepen their understanding of how to better handle a role. Said Hepler after the second week, “I am definitively more confident. It has been a long time since I performed on stage, and I always feel nervous about forgetting my lines. Going into the second week, I know that I know my scene. This has allowed me to take more risks and explore the role even more.” She described the process of developing the character as an evolution, “When I first read the scene, I cried. I felt so badly for the character and her situation. However, as we progressed through the rehearsal process, I found she had a lot of depth and soul and was not going to give up on her marriage so easily.” As a bonus, opening weekend featured a tray full of her homemade cupcakes with naked mole rat faces that were much cuter than any actual mole rat ever could be. All three of these performers helped make these productions memorable and appealing. While Carroll auditions often and will continue developing his skills as an actor, both Hepler and McGuire remarked that acting for them has become rare. When asked about preferring directing or acting Hepler said, “I find that directing is much more pleasurable. Though I love to act, I hate to memorize lines!” McGuire ended by stating, “If you don’t catch me on-stage now, you probably won’t get another chance for another decade, when I’m sixty. One performance every ten years seems just right to me!”

- Kato McNickle

Top right: Justin Carroll performing The Moon and Me strumming ukulele as Uncle Fester in The Addams Family at Chestnut Street Playhouse, photo by Robert MacPherson Left and Center: Lura Hepler as Barbara and Andreas Halidis as Jack in Naked Mole Rats in the World of Darkness at The Donald Oat Theater, photos by Kato McNickle. Right: Michael McGuire as Colonel Jessup in A Few Good Men at Groton Regional Theater, photo by Corey Gonzales

Ray’s Tavern

On Tour

He was an old man who frequented Ray’s Tavern now that his knees could not carry him, nor his eyes show him - even if they could, but for his exhaustion - farther than from his house to the tavern, liquor store, grocery, or a handful of restaurants. Yet, he met strangers who often went elsewhere or only visited passing through his town.

“It was one of those moments you always seem to remember. All so trivial in the grand scheme but one that you look back on with such fondness.”

a short story by Brian Gore

On rare occasions more than six or seven patrons sat in Ray’s. These times most took place on summer nights when vacationers resided in the old man’s town. Today, remnants of snow piles sweated into the grass and from packed dunes snow plows had built up through winter. A talkative stranger preoccupied Anaise on the opposite end of the bar from the old man who spaced sips on his beer. The door opened behind him. A young girl stepped in with a brisk gust past her that swept over the back of the old man. He sat up and turned to see who. He knew her face, but not her, so turned back and continued to watch the conversation across the way. Anaise listened to the stranger talking. When he failed to pause, she looked at the girl. Maintaining interest, she stepped away from the back counter. The stranger understood the gesture and leaned away from his nearly-empty pint and found a break point in his story. He watched Anaise walk to the girl so she knew to come back. “Ya know?” he asked. The girl sat diagonal from the old man on the long side of the L-shaped bar. “Hi ya,” he said. Anaise forced a laugh. “I know. It’s wild.” “Hello,” the girl replied, then to Anaise, “Hi,” with a smile. “How are you?” Anaise asked. “Pretty cold,” the girl said. “Can I have a beer though?” “Sure. Got your ID?” The girl handed over her passport, to which Anaise scrunched her eyes, saw the D.O.B. and said, “What’ll it be?” “Smitticks,” the girl said. “Hey,” the old man proclaimed. “Not many outta-towners say it right.” The girl laughed and admitted, “Well, I’ve said it wrong before and was promptly corrected.”

a short story by Chip McCabe

He slowly sat down in the chair across the table from her. Smiled that wry old smile he had given her a million times over. He leaned back and the plastic chair let out a brief moan. They’re eyes locked for a moment in understanding the only way a parent and child could. “Tell me more,” he said through a smile that had withered to a smirk. “Tell me about the bird.” She didn’t understand at first. How did he know about the bird? I’ve never told anyone about the bird. She blinked. She knew at that moment she must look more like a child to him than she had possibly ever had before. A child who was hiding something, yet really wasn’t. His smirk had withered further to a concerned look, his teeth no longer showing from beneath his grayed beard. She noticed his brow begin to furrow ever so slightly, his long, gray hair resting gently on his shoulders. He shifted in his seat, adjusting the denim jacket he was wearing. “I know, because I know,” he said with a certain type of meticulousness that their brief conversation hadn’t carried before. Their eyes continued to lock. He nodded slowly and even more slowly waved a hand, palm up, in her direction, before placing it, palm down, on the small lacquered table that separated them. She paused for a moment before starting. It no longer mattered to her how he knew, or even why he wanted to know. She was consumed with an overriding feeling to tell him about the bird, about everything, about the whole godforsaken tour.

The old man looked at his beer. “Gimme five.” Anaise tapped the ledge of the counter. The girl set four dollars, two quarters, three nickles, and a dime on the counter. Anaise took three dollars and the change, and put it in the register. The stranger called to her for another Cottrell.

“It was so beautiful,” she began, one tear welling up and running slowly down her right cheek. “There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Not one. Nothing but blue, the deepest, most glorious shade of blue I had ever seen. The trees were so green too. It was still spring and yet everything seemed to already be in full bloom. I was driving down Old Mountain Road. Do you remember Old Mountain Road?”

“Cot-trail?” he asked. “How do you say it?”

“I do.”

Anaise turned from the register, pulled a glass, “Caw-trul.” She filled his beer and replaced his empty glass.

“The windows were down and I can remember how great the air smelled, how fresh it felt running through my hair, over my face. And just like that, there she was.”

Anaise laid a coaster ahead of the girl and set the beer on top. “Three seventy-five.” The girl reached into her coat pocket that hung on her bar stool and pulled out a canvas pouch. “Jake, you need anything?”

“Is that a local beer from…” the stranger continued. The old man took a sip of his beer and placed it gently on the coaster. He noticed the girl curl her gaze on the dollar wondering why Anaise didn’t take it. She left it in its place, zipped her canvas pouch, and returned it to her coat pocket without twisting around. She took a drink of beer and set it back on the coaster, cluck. The old man stood up and reached in his jeans pocket. He opened his hand and counted quarters on his way to the jukebox. “You know Marion?” the stranger asked Anaise. The old man slid a quarter through the slot. The girl looked at pictures around the walls from her stool, then saw the bathrooms and headed to them. “… South Bend and Indianapolis…” The old man scanned for his choice on the jukebox. The song began and he took his seat again as the singer started in. The girl heard the music from the bathroom. Her eyes widened for the voice - deep, slow, somber. She returned to her place and took another drink. She brought her left foot onto the seat of the stool, but knew not to speak to the old man who, now, leaned against the wall on his right, facing across the width of Ray’s Tavern, looking through the photographs, past the wall, to something outside he remembered. The song faded. “Well anyway, it’s a good brewery from my town,” the stranger explained. The old man drank his beer. Anaise poured a pint and carried it to the old man. “Thank ya, Anaise.” “Are you good?” “Yes, thank you,” the girl replied. She turned to the old man. “That was a good song.” “It was a good song,” Anaise said returning to the talkative stranger. “You like that kind of music?” the old man asked the girl. “I love it,” she answered. “It’s good music,” the old man responded. “This radio junk you hear,” he flipped his hand and scrunched his face, “Bah.” The girl laughed and nodded, then took a drink. The old man nodded quickly. “Yes, yes,” went through his head. “Could I,” the stranger paused and tilted his beer back. “Oh, nevermind.” Anaise gazed up at the TV to have some space. She hugged her right arm across her chest with her left and reached her right hand between her spine and left shoulder blade and massaged with her ring, pointer, and middle fingertips. The bar sat quiet except for the TV, which, now, everyone watched.

“The bird?” She paused again, this time moving her gaze upward and over his head. Behind him was a bar and behind the bar a long, horizontal mirror hanging on the wall. She began again, this time telling the story to herself. “The bird. The sweetest little thing. A female Cardinal I think. So non-descript yet so gorgeous all at the same time. And she was just flying right alongside me. She came out of nowhere and was flying right alongside me as I drove down this road. She didn’t even move her wings. She just soared. Soared free on the wind like God intended her to. It all made perfect sense, you know?” “I do. And what happened to the bird?” She looked back down at him and he was once again giving her the slightest of smiles. She began to cry again, this time harder. She looked down at her hands and noticed dirt under fingernails. When did I get this dirt under my nails? She looked back up at him and took a determined breath to compose herself. “I came back the same way a few hours later and the bird was dead,” she said in as matter-of-fact a tone as she could muster, the type of answer given by someone in a clinical setting. “She was lying in the middle of the road in this little crumpled heap. She must have been hit by a car.” “Are you sure it was the same bird?” “Yes. I don’t know how I knew. I just did.” “And do you see now?” She looked down again. She noticed she was barefoot. “I’m so sorry,” she whispered. “Don’t be.”

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What Cheer, Netop? - Chris Daltry

I’ve encountered lots of great music through playing in bands and running a record shop, but it’s the music that I first heard when growing up that means the most to me. Our ears are fresher and hungrier when we’re younger, more impressionable and less jaded. For me 1986 was a very important year in music. It’s when I went beyond liking bigger bands like R.E.M. and started to discover underground bands like The Feelies and Miracle Legion, who have both been favorites of mine ever since. They both disbanded in the 1990s because of problems with their record companies, but they’ve both reunited in recent years, doing things on their own terms and enjoying themselves. And all these years later, who’d of thunk that in the same weekend I’d be both interviewing some Feelies and also opening for Miracle Legion with my band the ‘Mericans? Well, that all happened, and I thought I’d share it here for all you Cut-Up readers.



What I find interesting about Miracle Legion is that their legacy has been kept alive for more than one reason. They have a cult following of fans like me who bought their records and went to their shows back in the 1980s-’90s until they disbanded in 1997, and then there are those who discovered them through Polaris, a side project with 3/4 of Miracle Legion, who made music for a television show called The Adventures of Pete & Pete. So when the Legion reunited for some shows last year, there was no shortage of interest. And judging by the two shows I caught, the band enjoyed playing again just as much as the crowds enjoyed the shows. Same goes for their Spring 2017 tour, which kicked off at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, MA on April 7 where I was lucky enough to be both in the audience and share the stage with the band as their opening act with my band the ‘Mericans. Part of what makes the Narrows special is that it has something of a built-in crowd who come check out shows there just because they like the venue - it’s their scene. But Miracle Legion also drew lots of their own legions from nearby Providence and Boston. The show coincided with the release of a new Miracle Legion live album called Annulment which was recorded at shows they played late last year. Those recordings are powerful and excellent, and so was their performance at the Narrows, where the audience hung onto every word, every bit of it. And it all came back to me, like in the lyrics to their 1984 song ‘Say Hello’ where “...the words bounce back, the words bounce back...” and I love how deep they went into their catalog. No lyric sheets, no messing around - not your typical random reunion. Hopefully this will lead to more from Miracle Legion. If you’re unfamiliar, check out the new record, all 25 songs of it! Their whole catalog, including Annulment, is on their bandcamp page.

out for its simplicity and dryness. Check it out - it’s wonderful. Also see the band live this Spring and Summer: 4/28 The Woodland - Maplewood NJ 4/29 World Cafe Live - Philadelphia PA 5/12 + 5/13 + 5/14 Rough Trade Brooklyn NY 7/15 Pitchfork Festival - Chicago IL 7/16 El Club - Detroit MI And here’s what Stanley Demesky and Dave Weckerman of the Feelies have been spinning at home. What I like about their choices and thoughts are that they’re those of unpretentious music lovers who find one thing through another, just how I found the Feelies over 25 years ago (although Dave told me that while there are many things they both agree on, there are things that Dave likes that Stan can’t stand - that’s why we all have our own record collections!).

STANLEY’S SPINS . . . While I’m sure Stanley plays records all week long, he has a tradition of having vinyl cocktail hours every Sunday evening. It’s always been fun to watch from afar through his social media posts, with him telling stories of where he might’ve aquired a record, and what it means to him. He’s an avid collector of old promotional singles, but delves deep into albums as well. I also got the impression that when The Feelies get together as a whole or with one another, it usually involves listening to records. 1: Bob Dylan and The Band The Complete Basement Tapes “I won this when we donated to WFMU during last yearís marathon. Itís some of my favorite Dylan and Iím really enjoying the covers ( “Mr. Blue,” “Four Strong Winds”, etc.) lately. And Iíve been listening to Levon And The Hawks live recordings the last week as well.” 2: Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band Safe As Milk mono UK pressing “Seems to be an original or early pressing. My friend was going to England on vacation in the mid-’80s and I asked him to see if he could find any CB records for me and he came back with this. Sounds great in hard mono.

3: New York Dolls 1st LP / Self-Titled “I got this when it first came out and it took me a awhile to ìget itî but when I did it had a huge impact on me. A few years later I picked up a ìsafety copy.” Several years later, as I did each time a band ended, I purged my record collection of doubles etc. and sold that safety copy. When I went to play my 1st copy I noticed the vinyl had deteriorated in weird way, making it unplayable. I’ve only had this happen twice, to that LP and a Hendrix boot and it’s the darndest thing. Anyway, I recently treated myself to a new used copy.” 4: Various Merry Go Round/Emmit Rhodes 45s “The Merry Go Round 45s cost a bit more than I like to pay but they sound great. And I have 3 solo 45s, all WLP (white label promotional copies). I remember picking them up at the local record show and thinking ìwhy hasnít anyone bought these?î Fun fact: “Youíre A Very Lovely Woman” is credited to the Merry Go Round on my stock copy and to Emmit Rhodes and the MGR on my WLP copy. And that copy has a different B side.”

5. Clarinette - The Now Of Then “Yes, pretty obscure and itís a friend of mineís ongoing project. This is the newest release. Droney, vibratos, a bit of noise and just some weird sounds make up this LP. So in other words, right up my alley. Iím still threatening to collaborate with him at some point.” This project is done by former Rain Parade tour manager, and was also inolved in the recent Game Theory reissues.


I first discovered the New Jersey band The Feelies by reading the credits of their 1986 LP The Good Earth at a used record shop and discovered a link to R.E.M., a band I was a big fan of. That’s how I discovered music back then, pre-internet. I’d buy an album because of its cover art, producer, stuff like that. So since I first heard the Feelies through vinyl records, I thought I’d have them share their thoughts on the ones they’ve been listening to lately. Knowing that they’re both big fans of vinyl, I spoke with their two drummers Stanley Demesky and Dave Weckerman for this piece. The Feelies have just released their sixth album In Between which I’ve really been enjoying - it’s a casual mellow organic strummy and textured LP that brings me right back to the album that first reeled me in - The Good Earth. In this day and age of the excesses of digital recording, In Between stands


Our conversation began with Dave Weckerman telling me about a show he was preparing for with Glenn Mercer - an acoustic duo performance celebrating the 35th anniversary of the zine Jersey Beat, appropriately at Maxwells in Hoboken, a club that was sold, closed and thought to be lost forever, but here it is again. Dave also talked about how his role in the band is evolving, with him covering extra sounds on the new album, playing things like the recorder and keyboards, in addition to his normal percussion role. But here’s what he’s been spinning at home:

“I just got an album in the mail from a friend, I didn’t know it even existed. It’s Siouxsie And The Banshees Peepshow. I’ve also been listening to the short-lived German band Harmonia’s album Deluxe. This was a krautrock “super-group” that included Michael Rother of Neu! and HansJoachim Roedelius and Dieter Mˆbius of Cluster, and later included Brian Eno. “1975’s Harmonia Deluxe was way ahead of its time, a huge influence on bands like Human League, Depeche Mode, Joy Division and New Order. This is the quintessential krautrock album. I’ve also been enamored by David Bowie’s Station To Station and the live album Stage - whose drummer Dennis Davis’ drumming is absolutely amazing, something Stanley agrees on. Stanley saw Bowie on that tour. And Adrian Belew of King Crimson also played on that.” We also talked about bands that Weckerman had seen back in the 1970s-’80s, often with opening acts that he liked, but the rest of the Jersey crowds didn’t really take to. It’s some of those bands that Weckerman has been listening to lately, like the English band Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, who he “saw open for Lou Reed at the Capital Theatre in Passaic, NJ. They didn’t go over well, but nobody that opened for Lou went over well.” But he thought they were great, and recently listened to their greatest hits album after reading Peter Hook of New Order talk about how the first record he bought as a teenager was by Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel. Weckerman describes them as sounding “very British, kind of a cross between pub and glam rock.” He also talked about seeing The Kinks a halfdozen times during the era of albums like Soap Opera and Schoolboys In Disgrace, once with the relatively unknown Philadelphia duo Hall & Oates opening, “who the crowd heckled by yelling ‘go back to Philly! The Kinks’ opening acts usually bombed too, including Lindisfarne.” Seems like Jerseyites were picky back then when it came to English bands. He says that even Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes bombed when opening for the Kinks - and they’re a New Jersey band. Speaking of Jersey music, we talked a bit about Bruce Springsteen, who Weckerman likes alright, or in his words, Springsteen is “hard not to like, especially albums like Darkness..., Nebraska, Born To Run and Born In The USA,” and he also told me about a time when he went to see Springsteen when he had his own gig later that night. It was with a garage band he was playing with in NYC called the Creeping Pumkins who played obscure ‘60s garage rock covers and some originals. So while at the Springsteen show, Weckerman realized the 4 hour extravaganza was going to make him late for his own show, and for some “a four hour concert is just too much.” So he left early to play his own show. Also spinning at Dave’s this week is Hawkwind. He’d read about them not long before Motˆrhead’s Lemmy Kilmister’s death and had dug out their records with Lemmy playing bass and sometimes singing. He describes this early ‘70s space rock stuff as “Pretty wild, especially “Space Ritual” from the live album Roadhawks (live early ‘70s hits) with Lemmy singing lead on “Silver Machine.” Getting reaquanted with Hawkwind reminded Dave of many late night loaded listens to them back in the ‘70s. Weckerman has been spinning stuff by Caravan, who are “very stoned sounding British band who were a littly jazzy, a little folky.” He likes their album If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d Do It All Over You from 1971, and says “they actually had a hit with its follow up, In The Land Of Grey And Pink - great post psych English stoner rock.” So Dave Weckerman is a bit of an Anglophile. He talks about liking bands like Happy Mondays, who he likes for more than the dancey beats - the deeper tribal elements and underlying darkness from producer Martin Hannett, the Smiths-style guitars.” Apparently this is where his bandmate Stanley and he don’t see eye to eye. And this extends to a recent fascination of Weckerman’s the band Asia, whose albums “are worth the price for the Roger Dean cover art alone. It’s a “supergroup” with lead singer/bassist John Wetton of Family, King Crimson and Roxy Music” with guitarist Steve Howe of Yes, keyboardist Geoff Downes of Yes and The Buggles, and drummer Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. We discussed their 1982 debut self-titled album, which Weckerman described as “glossy, well produced pop music with a hard edge, dressed up to sell a million records, the ‘80s heirs to Boston, like you wish you could do - takes talent.” Dave also talked about liking early Public Image Limited, “I love the guitar playing of Keith Levene, who was also an original member of The Clash, which he is said to have thought to have been beneath him, so he walked away from it.”



This is something like our 11th or 12th national tour. There are times during the long drives where you wonder why you’re still doing this. Even though being on tour rarely feels like a routine, it still becomes one in a grand sense. But then you get to the shows, and more often than not, someone is there who came so specifically see you perform, and then I remember “Oh yeah! This is awesome!” It certainly doesn’t happen like that every night, but so far on this tour, it’s been pretty consistent. Wherever we go, someone always seems to show up. I always dreamed of playing in front of hundreds every night, but when just a few people actually show up specifically for the show, I always get a little confused and think “why would they come just for us?” Clearly, I have a lot of mental baggage around this. But despite that, this tour has been amazing. Possibly our best, all things considered. These pictures are just a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny flavor of what it’s like, but they’re very accurate. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into our small corner of humanity. - Eric Stevenson

I never new that a thing called an “atlatl” existed, but it’s apparently one of mankind’s first ranged weapons. A friend had one, and we got to try it out.  I can’t describe how awesome it was.

We put this magnet on our car in the hopes that random people we drive by would check us out. To our knowledge, it’s worked a few times, including a radio station that picked us up once.

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We’ve played with metal bands, folk twee, burlesque, theater pieces, but never magicians.... until one night in Cleveland. He blew my mind. Clearly the most badass anyone has ever looked in a PV shirt.

A post-show Chinese feast with some friends Champaign, IL At 7th Circle in Denver, CO. Setting up before the show gets going.  The vibe and look of this place is one of my favorites in the entire country.

Ramen noodles. A staple of any starving artist.

In Siloam Springs, AR, a fan at the show sketched this out while we played. I think she nailed it.


Elizabeth with Sarah Andersen from ‘Sarah Scribbles’. We just happened to have the night off while she was doing a book-signing in Denver.

A strangely confusing quote above a gas station mini-mart in Nebraska.

Having lived in South Korea a few years back, Elizabeth and I were thrilled to find some favorite drinks at an oriental market in Kansas City.

Here’s another satisfied couple of PV painting owners. They bid and won this amazing piece that Elizabeth made on stage, as she does at every show.

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Water is Life: Reality at Standing Rock After three and a half months out at the encampment at Standing Rock my perspectives on many fronts have changed. People who were never there have formed opinions on what we were doing out there. Their opinions formed from info gathered from social media, brief newspaper reports and scattered ‘mainstream’ media. If you’re lucky someone who was there can offer some insight. Even then, the truth is unclear to many of us. The effects left on those who were there will be long lasting- and after only a few months of possible hindsight- my own perspective is still forming. The harshest element I dealt with while out there was not actually the negative temperatures or the constant blizzards it was the police brutality. The majority of the police force we encountered- whether you agree with the protest of DAPL’s actions or not- the police had absolutely no regard for civilian safety. They treated water protectors as criminals. Terrorists even; while to us terrorism was exactly what each of us were there to stand against. While the ammunition they used on us was “less than lethal”- we often feared, no exaggeration, for our lives. Not a single person possessed any kind of weapon whatsoever but all were treated violently by police force. In the course of actions many people were maimed, loss of sight, hearing- nerve damage from the makeshift zip tie hand cuffs the police used for an arrest. The literal thicket of razor wire used to barricade the perimeter of DAPL’s ongoings over months or hard packed snow became embedded in the grounds around us, tearing at clothing, arms, and legs. Many who were tackled by law enforcement in these areas were sliced horribly by the wire- and waited hours while in custody to recieve medical attention. True offerings of self were made while protecting the Mni Sousa. (This is the name in Lakota for this part of the Missouri river we camped on.) I stress this point so much because some have discounted this movement as some kind of diluted gathering of lost cause anarchists who just wanted to cause trouble where they could. Sure, those people came out too. And they were asked to leave. Anyone who was there for the ‘wrong reasons’ were eventually asked to leave. Or they left in their own accord because North Dakota in the winter months is no joke. Those who came to protect the water- we truly believed in our cause. We lived side by side among families of the Standing Rock community- grandma’s, grandpa’s, mothers with young children. There were other non-natives who came from the surrounding community to support the causethey also many times came with their family in tow. This movement was for the children, for all future generations. Perhaps this concept has become contrived- such as the phrase “water is life”. Over the months this saying has been stressed- and is sometimes mocked by people who don’t really understand it’s literal sentiment. To the people living in these communities who drawn well water from that river- which surrounds the reservation and is almost always visible, to people to gather fish and sustenance from that living river- to them the pollution of that water is a death sentence. The contamination of this river, will lead to a contamination of the Oglala water aquifer. This is the source of water for 2.5 million people in the United States. Countless farmers across Midwest use this pure source of water to sustain staple crops that feed our nation. So please, don’t discount the words “water is life” as just a slogan. It is a mantra; and it is literal. I returned home in mid February. It took a while to readjust. Once I emerged people had

so many questions- it was overwhelming but its very necessary I think to tell what i know. Some of its still too personal, a lot of it I don’t even know if people would believe. I try to recreate the scene but it never comes as fluidly in conversation as it does when I’m playing it back in my mind. Sometimes as I’m closing my eyes to sleep, I feel very far away from my body. This never really used to happen to me. It starts with a distance that I can feel from where i lay, and extends further and further out.  I’m on one knee in a phalanx with a clear shield, surrounded by countless other clear shields.We are waiting for the police to rush us again.I look for my friends, I’ve lost track of them. I look over behind us, through a small group I see Candi Brings Plenty a strong woman, a role model to many. Her eyes were filled with tears with no words as she looks to our cracked broken tipi poles on the ground, and to the scene before us. We try to count how many people are left- not many. We try to count how many were taken. We can’t. The ground is cold my knee is stiff from kneelingbut no one moves until the police back away. People rush forward with dry kindling for our stomped out fire. A few if of us fan it briefly with our shields. I pray it can resist the repeated beat downs. Someone yells “10 steps in 5!”. We count to five and advance quickly. As we pass the ruins of a fire protectors had set the huddle near for warmth I look down and I see melted goggles, next to them half of a drum stick burnt and broken with the leather pad still in tact. If I would have known it was it was a young boy’s I knew well- that the police had grabbed his drum away from him as he was running, and threw it into the fire where it burned- I would have grabbed it out and kept it for him. Maybe he wouldn’t have wanted it. I don’t know. He walked with his father and a few others from the Cree Nation in Canada, all the way down to Cannonball, North Dakota. Somebody yells “10 steps in 5!” We wait for the count and run forward 10 steps. Up, over snow packed on top of concrete barriers. A boy falls- we help him get to the top. They [the police] tell us to get off the bridge. We laugh. What more could they take from us? They took many of our brothers and sisters into custody. Many of them roughed up and cut by the razor wire as they were thrown to the ground. As we watched them suffer we had already felt the worst of it then. They had taken our heat source, they had taken the tipi that that we had erected  as a symbol of indigenous resistance. We were within our boundaries, on our side of the line that was drawn by authorities and the Standing Rock tribe. Within 3 minutes of the poles going up-the police rushed us. First deploying chemical spray and canisters- then firing concussion sound grenades. Immune to the gas because of respirators and protective eye gear- they rushed through the fumes directly towards us. As they came, they fired many shots blindly in our direction. Anyone who fell as we ran back from them, was immediately  pounced on by multiple officers and taken under arrest. They pushed us back by a few hundred yards, and then they went after the tipi. They broke her down- snapped the beautiful poles in disjointed violent movements each of them wrenching in a different direction. A structure that can left on its own- withstand any harsh element the plains have to offer. Wind, blizzard, rain, snow, tornado. They broke her to pieces in seconds. I saw a lot of blood and tears and loved ones in pain out there. People wretching while crawling out of chemical clouds. Arms and legs caught on heinous razor wire sliced into effortlessly. Blood running down a friends face into his eyes

from a shot to the head with a bean bag. Down feathers exploding into the air from a girl’s ski jacket as she was struck by a concussion grenade. Left behind was a massive hole, her arm broken by the force of the explosion-bone visible beneath the wrecked jacket. In all of that and more- some how the way the cops destroyed that tipi; that was the most violent thing I saw. It was the symbolism behind it that broke my heart. If that is the element that so enraged them- why every time they saw a such a structure go up it needed to be destroyed- at the time it seemed deliberate but I question now if that irony was completely lost and/or irrelevant to them. For the indigenous people there it represented continued genocide. A blatant attack on not just their physical selves but spirits as well. In that moment we believed we were not alone. It was spoken of later in the quiet hours just before the sunrise that the spirits of those who had lived and died and fought for that same water, they were there too. They were crying with us. They were kneeling with us. We as new englanders often do not realize that the west wasn’t won easily and it wasn’t won hundreds and hundreds of years ago. Within the western plains tribes-  their oldest living members it was their grand parents and great aunts and uncles who were massacred, and forced into the reservation system. They have those memories through stories and trauma passed on to them by their parents,and so on. In an area of the united States where it is most rare to find a native person, and especially a full blood traditional native-standing in active resistance with the great grand children and great-great-grandchildren of first nation’s people essentially fighting that same battlewas leveling. It took me out of myself and it shook my understanding of so many aspects of what we believe America to be. We wait a moment more and advance back to the barricade- the police surround it. They tell us to get back off the bridge. We kneel in our phalanx without moving in the cold, and wait for them to make a move. This was not a dream. How the night ended, isn’t important. There were many others just like it before and over the next month the camp existed. We knew we were not there to fight the police. By November, earlier even, there was no question in that- there was no way at all we would have won. They outnumbered us and they were heavily militarized. All we had was prayer. Many of these conflicts between protectors and police began with a peaceful action- a prayer or song walk to the river- our perimeter. Police guarding DAPL’s assets would become aggressive towards the protectorsand the focus of our presence would shift from one of passivity and symbolic protection to one of literal protection and pure physical resistance.  There was no one type of person out at Oceti. There were people of all back rounds, all ages, all religions. There were kids just out of highschool who hadn’t even started college yet- there were men and women with families and careers- lawyers, medical professionals, chefs, building contractors- you name it they were there. It was a pretty amazing aspect of life out there- people coming for whatever time they could- some quitting jobs and dedicating  them selves entirely to the struggle. We all sacrificed something to be there- whoever you were before or went back to being when you left camp- if you prayed and stood on the front lines- you became a protector. - Ashley Bell

Ryan Adams

Brazen Youth

Pax-Am Records

Ashland Recording Company


Ryan Adams has for some time been a huge pinball addict. With several vintage machines decorating his Hollywood Pax-Am Studio, they have become virtual battery chargers as he frenetically writes and records his days away as of one of the music industry’s most prolific songwriters. So to say the direction of his last three albums have closely resembled a smooth, steely ball careening off bumpers, diverters and flippers would be no stretch of the truth. From 2011’s hushed, thoughtful Ashes and Fire to his rocking self-titled release in 2014 and the total cover/makeover of Taylor Swift’s 1989 in 2015, Adams has cemented the fact that his music is never monochromatic or predictable. Even T-Swizzle herself questioned whose version of her Grammy winning album was better. His remarkable ability to turn out quality songs at such an energetic pace is legendary and makes one wonder how he keeps his career from going full-tilt. But with his latest release, Adams seems to have reached back to the sound and style reminiscent of his days with The Cardinals, his exceptional backing band from a decade ago. Prisoner is a compilation of songs drenched in loss; a tightly-woven tapestry of 12 songs that, collectively, are his best effort since the outstanding “Easy Tiger” album in 2007. On the whole, it is simple to assume Adams’ inspiration for the content on this album; his six-year marriage to actress Mandy Moore came to an end last June. While he was acutely protective of the privacy of his marriage, Prisoner openly touches on many of the seven phases of loss, unlocking and exposing heartache and anguish of a damaged love along the way. The album’s questioning, lead track “Do You Still Love Me?” is the only rocker of the lot. Lyrically, it is worthy of the records’s overall theme, yet sonically may have been a better fit on Adams’ self-titled release three years ago. But Prisoner quickly finds its stride and rolls through the next several songs, deftly contemplating the pain and anguish of a lost love and the varying emotions that go with it. The title track and its follow-up “Doomsday” are softer, mid-tempo tunes steeped in the Cardinals style – complete with Adams’ familiar, rootsy harmonica. His songwriting prowess is on full display on “Prisoner” as well; “Free my heart, somebody locked it up/Still waiting on parole, I can taste the freedom just outside that door.” The absolute gem of the record, however, is “To Be Without You.” Adams is able to not only capture instrumentally the defeated emotion and loneliness of love gone wrong, but he adeptly paints the imagery with his crushing, poignant lyrics as well; “We are like a book and every page is so torn/ Nothing really matters anymore.” “Breakdown” is another well-sculpted track as it opens with a quiet, haunting acoustic guitar and slowly builds with an anxiousness becoming of the song title, seizing yet another of the many emotions in coping with a love damaged beyond repair. “Broken Anyway” straddles the denial/acceptance phase of a collapsed relationship as if it was never meant to be; ““It was broken anyway/it was broken it was fake/and I don’t know what it meant.” One thing is for sure about David Ryan Adams – he isn’t going to be painted into any musical corners and certainly won’t allow fans or critics to dictate what he does next. Like many other artists, he went out and created his own label and studio so he had no one but himself to answer to. But many feel Adams best solo work came in the early to mid-2000’s, on the heels of the breakup of Whiskeytown, his cornerstone band of the alt-country movement. Perhaps with Prisoner, DRA reaches back to what is most familiar and comfortable at a time when it is needed most. With this album, his pinball machine is far from tilt and instead has earned him a replay. - Paul Boudreau

Desiket Dogs

The 7108z Ceremony self-released

New Haven three-piece, desiket dogs, is as mysterious as they come. Hidden behind a wall of obscurity, their brand of acidic sonic ramblings makes the average avant-garde act sound like rehashed pop rock. Their newest release will be an exercise in patience for the average music fan, but the assumption here is that the average music fan isn’t their target audience. The 7108z Ceremony is meant to be just that – some sort of secret ritual diligently captured by three musical mad scientists. The roughly 40-minute ‘ceremony’ is meant to be listened to as one continuous track (Bandcamp be damned) so buckle up for the long haul. - Chip McCabe

THE TELEGRAPH New & Used Vinyl, Books, CDs & DVDs 19 Golden Street | Downtown New London, Connecticut

The Ever Dying Bristlecone Man As through a faulty projector, melody and texture flicker in the early moments of Brazen Youth’s dynamic and nostalgic full-length, The Ever Dying Bristlecone Man. This could be the soundtrack to a generations-old home movie played against an off-white wall: lovely, familiar and bittersweet. Across the next 10 tracks Brazen Youth projects one flickering image after another, arranged to perfection. Listen if you love the crescendos of The Notwist, the harmonies of Sufjan Stevens, or the bittersweet pop turns of Jon Brion. Even better: all these rich, ambient arrangements emerge from a two-piece, Nicholas Lussier and Charles Dahlke. This record is nothing if not thoughtful. The aching falsetto chorus of “Cry for the Aliens” could bring you to your knees, while “Reassess Me”—a song that made an appearance on The Telegraph’s Semaphore compilation—builds you up. Marching drums underpin the hopeful anthem, which asks and asks the pleading question: “Won’t you reassess me again?” 10/10. - Danielle Capalbo

El Michels Affair

Return to the 37th Chamber Big Crown

El Michels Affair is an all-instrumental super group of the New York soul/funk scene. Led by multi-instrumentalist Leon Michels, they’ve released numerous singles and one LP of original material, Sounding Out the City (2005), all of which could be described as funky, often cinematic mood pieces. In 2009, they directed their formidable talents towards the music of another deadly crew of NYC based masters of mood, the Wu Tang Clan. With Enter the 37th Chamber, El Michels dropped a monstrous collection of faithful and creative covers of classic Wu Tang instrumentals. The result was a record that captured the grit and griminess of RZA’s work (enough so that Raekwon and other Wu members chose to tour with the band). Well it’s 8 years later and they’ve done it again. With Return to the 37th Chamber, they veer away from the big hits and dig deeper into the catalog. They visit the solo records of GZA (“4th Chamber”, “Shadow Boxing”), Ghostface (“Iron Man”), Ol’ Dirty Bastard (“Snakes”), Raekwon (“Verbal Intercourse”) and Method Man (“All I Need”). They even do “Shaolin Brew”, a song Wu produced for a St. Ides commercial. And this time they enlist the talents of vocalists such as Lee Fields and Lady Wray (her “All I Need” is stunning). As a package, this is much more than simply a collection of accurate covers. Like their 2009 release, they manage to capture the darkness and energy of the RZA productions but aren’t afraid to expand and reinterpret to make their record stand on its own. - Dave Freeburg

Kindred Queer Arrow


You could get lost in Arrow, and you should. The lush new single from Kindred Queer is a forest to wander “when you’re bored,” the song’s yearning, simple and stunning refrain. The chamber-folk quartet hails from New Haven, and “Arrow” is the lead single from their upcoming fulllength record Child. This is a gorgeous introduction. The arrow here is a symbol of days passing by, shot and spiraling to somewhere unknown, while we bide time buttoning ourselves up to accommodate the world around us. “Servants serving selflessness once again / Keep yourselves in check for the expected guest. / Set up all your novelties when you’re bored.” Kindred Queer delivers its poetic lyrics in the palm of intricate instrumentals from Serrano, Olive and their rhythm section, Quinn Pirie on percussion and Derrik Bosse on bass. The song unfurls in movements, with Pirie as the dramatic punctuation. On the promise of this four-and-a-half-minute orchestral gem, see Kindred Queer the night of their release at Café 9 with Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps. - Danielle Capalbo

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Panic Grave

Lys Guillorn & Her Band


Little Cowgirl Records

Panic Grave

Cue “Until Tomorrow,” push the volume, crack a Pabst and get weird. Panic Grave are exhilarating in a bar: gain turned up, expertly driving pop rhythm from drummer Jay Margolin and the frenetic energy of lead singer Scott Elliott singing full-force on the teeter of an inevitable scream. On this EP, the alternative two-piece from Danbury has captured the essence of their delightfully off-kilter style, cut sometimes with the edge of an early Nirvana song (“Honey”), or the infectious momentum of Teenage Fanclub. Chunks of fuzzy guitar propel “My Seasons” forward, which bops its way straight onto repeat, while “It’s a Shame” buzzes like a garage-blues nod to The White Stripes. On the aptly-named “Big Riff,” Margolin and Elliott shake the 90s with the 70s for a gritty, mean cocktail that shows the band’s strength as rock-and-rollers at heart. - Danielle Capalbo

Ethan James and Easy Street Mind the Band self-released

Singer-songwriter Ethan James has the band back together, and Easy Street puts an unpolished, impressive foot forward on Mind the Bend, the Danbury trio’s live EP. This brand of jam-folk harkens to a certain Hartford meadow, simple memories, spinning like a blur while the summer sun sets. Crowd noise hasn’t been edited from these tracks; neither have James’ interludes and introductions. This just augments the intimacy; what you hear is what you get, and what you get is an organic tribute to James’ struggles dancing in tones of The Grateful Dead, The Beatles or the Dave Matthews Band. “Night Owl” and “Wine” are standout tracks ripe for live singalongs. Taken overall, Mind the Bend is a record of up-tempo and bittersweet longing, executed with seasoned precision by James, whose rich, hoarse timbre brings each strong hook to emotional life. - Danielle Capalbo

Oddisee The Iceberg

Mello Music Group

A hip-hop artist who doesn’t use expletives or derogatory slurs toward men and women is very rare and almost impossible to come by. Actually, in the hip-hop world today, take a quick survey of the rappers in the game and you will find that this ability to not curse is extinct, period. Enter: rapper, producer, and self-made fiercely independent entrepreneur, Amir Mohamed who goes under the pseudonym Oddisee. Not only are his rap skills on point, proficient, and succinct, the first quality that absolutely gripped my attention to listen close at the content of his verses was the absence of explicit language. A small detail, but riveting nonetheless. Instead, Oddisee delves deep into the current sociopolitical issues at hand and sure, there is boasting and bravado, but there is clarity of vision and purpose. He is the quintessential NPR hip-hop artist. Envision Morning Edition passionately rapped at a steady clip, covering pertinent topics of the day such as the growing racial divide (You Grew Up), gender inequality (Hold It Back), and clinical depression (Waiting Outside). This time around, he has a whip-tight band to back him with arrangements that make each song stand on their own. Do we always like to listen to the news in our music? Or do we have music to escape the noise of reality and hyper-focus on emotional drama? Oddisee takes to rap with the rare viewpoint of getting ahead by putting hard work in the music he creates, while also keeping the drama to a minimum and instead, tackle issues that are more imperative and essential to our human condition. - Daniel Boroughs

Arbor Labor Union I Hear You SubPop

Arbor Labor Union are a four piece rock band out of Georgia who like repetitive riffs. A lot. In fact, it’s the only thing they like. The first song on I Hear You is one riff with a turnaround for seven minutes. The second song is one chord with a turnaround for five minutes. It continues on like this for the rest of the album. It’s not that these are necessarily bad riffs, but more an example of what happens if no one in the band bothers to listen to their own music objectively and wonders, “Do you guys think we really need this fifth chorus?”. All the songs on I Hear You start interesting, they just never go anywhere. If you’ve heard the first minute of a song you’ve essentially heard the next six minutes of it. The fact that the lead singer sounds like he’s choking on a Kurt Cobain impression certainly doesn’t help. There’s a place for this sort of stoneresque rock, and it probably plays live far better than it does on an album, but there are at least a few dozen bands that do it better. - Sebastian Coppotelli

I’m a Boy

There’s not a dull moment on I’m a Boy, the latest release from Lys Guillorn & Her Band—recorded at Bonehead Studios in Cheshire, Conn., and dedicated “to gender rebels everywhere.” The record borrows its name from a 1966 number by The Who, and Guillorn’s take on that song breaks this EP open with swirling “oohs” that set the stage for layers of psychedelia, power pop and melody to come. Guillorn’s cover reveals another of her talents: to tangle in catchy pop music with complex matters of what it’s like to be human. Today, these lyrics bear a deeper and more resonant meaning. This is an anthem. For enthralling melancholy, spin “Something,” a song of looking back. Guillorn doesn’t spare an ounce of tough reflection despite the song’s upbeat tempo: “Today I found out something that I wish I didn’t know / but I can’t go back.” When she extends the simple question “Why?” into a warbling roar at the end of the chorus, her voice demands the attention it so deserves. On “Nothing to It,” Guillorn’s lyrics are visual and literary—showing her hand as a deft writer of smarter-than-average pop, on a tune driven by jangling guitars, organ and galloping drums. On “Boylesque,” a hypnotizing keyboard riff tricks the mind into believing there are strings there. On “MK,” the EP’s closer-with-attitude, Guillorn taps into a thoughtful angst: “I might let go—come on and get me.” - Danielle Capalbo

The Frightnrs

Nothing More to Say Daptone

The Frightnrs’ Nothing More to Say is a love letter to fans of rocksteady music, sitting comfortably next to some of the best work of Studio One veterans such as The Heptones, Alton Ellis, the Wailing Souls and the Gaylads. Recorded by Antibalas alumnus and reggae studio wizard Victor Axelrod (the man responsible the stellar Dub Side of the Moon LP), this record delivers with deep, warm bass, scratchy rhythmic shuffles, swirling organ and sweet, falsetto vocal harmonies. Though, as with other releases on Daptone, the excellent songwriting takes center stage and pushes the record beyond being yet another retro project. Just like a timeless Motown 45, songs like “Till Then”, “Dispute” and the title track transcend their genre through memorable melodies and the tribulations of love. The story of the record does have a sad side. Singer Dan Klein succumbed to Lou Gehrig’s disease shortly before its release. Symptoms began to take hold during the recording, creating a sense of urgency. This wonderful record was his final gift to the world. - Dave Freeburg

The Ratz

Broken Bottles, Broken Bones Die Hipster!

The Ratz rip through 10 songs in 15 minutes on their second release, Broken Bottles, Broken Bones, a signature melee of throwback punk from songwriter, lead singer and guitarist Jeff Thunders. Two-thirds of The Ratz (Thunders and bassist Matt Mullarkey) also play with The Lost Riots, joined here by drummer Elvis Belushi. Trust: Riots fans will relish this LP—an extension of that band’s classic garage punk with catchy gang vocals. Standout track “These Streets” is a bruiser of an earworm at 200 BPM, and pays homage to one of the influences that Thunders wears so well on his sleeve, The Ramones: “Put me on a plane or put me on a bus / I just wanna go home.” In 59 seconds, “Whores” delivers a shouty and straightforward equalizer: “We’re all whores.” And on the record’s closing track, “Lisa,” The Ratz are at peak nostalgia—punk rock packed with proper nouns, of people and places remembered. Beneath the hard façade, pop heartache stirs: “Heard you were moving outta state / I used to take the subway to your place / That’s when you were living uptown, and that train was Harlem-bound / But I will never be the same.” - Danielle Capalbo



This short EP is a breath of fresh air and a splendid addition to the world of electronic music. Kathy Yaeji Lee’s voice sits comfortably, calmly, and unintimidated in the mix, flexing with complete cool amongst her hushed-atmospheric club beats. Her vocals casually engage and interweave with the rhythms of each track and with her dual language delivery in English and Korean, Yaeji’s voice intrigues us to listen close as we attempt to feel movement. Upon first listen, one can clearly hear a cyclical repetition to her vocal delivery, which can turn off listeners who might not be familiar with dance’s ability to layer and texture a groove as this repetition promotes a sort of heartbeat to the spirit of the dance track. Standouts include: “Feel It Out”, where Yaeji concocts a bit of a lyrical anthem (“Shit is crazy / Shit is Yaeji”) under a robust and spacey house rhythm, and “Guop,” a cover of a track by Mall Grab. On this house jammer, Yaeji and a male counterpart deliver tongue ‘n’ cheek lyrics in a dead pan cool monotone describing themselves “dressed in all black / you can’t see me in the club” and “in the German whip, counting all my guop.” Take it with a grain of salt or as pure goofiness, Yaeji quips smart funny lines that hypnotize and have you calling back for more. I am eager to see how she will progress and fill her deep house sound once a full length comes to fruition.

- Daniel Boroughs

Karen (the band)

Karen (the demo) cassette self-released If you remember the two Stone Titan records that came out on Safety Meeting a while back – and I’m sure at least four of you do – Karen (the band) is somewhat of a solo project from Scott of Stone Titan, who plays all of the instruments himself, along with a drummer. No doubt a general description of the material here would be ‘noise rock’, as this tape would fit well alongside the likes of sludgy New Haven bands such as Grizzlor, Sperm Donor, and Intercourse (none of whom bothered to pick a name as graceful as Karen, obviously), although a few of songs here are surprisingly nimble and even catchy at times, and three of the five songs manage to slide home at under the two-minute mark. Expertly recorded at Dead Air Studios in W. Mass -- always a sure sign of quality -- the tape also features sleeve artwork by Amos Pitsch of Tenement, and if you’re interested you can download the songs for free on Bandcamp (the physical cassette itself, which I believe is still available, is limited to 50 copies). - Dave Brushback

The Planes Wax Diamond


Robert Christgau once said in one of his infamous capsule reviews for the Village Voice that it took him 15 seconds to get into Television’s “Marquee Moon.” It way have taken a wee bit longer for me with this new eight track Planes record, “Wax Diamond,” but not much. This record bristles with shimmering pop songs reminiscent of the best in ‘90s indie pop. It begins with “Red Shift” and “Stick Around,” tracks that would’ve been at home on, say, the first Weezer album. Both feature sparkling guitar work from lead Plane Stephen Perry. They’ll be rolling around in your head before you know it. “Stick Around” also shows off some tasty bass licks from bassist Jacklyn Perrone. The next few tracks (especially “The Box,” “ATMs” and the splendid “River”) remind me more of the Ass Ponys best record, 1994’s “Electric Rock Music.” Perry’s wonderfully quirky voice is quite reminiscent of Ponys vocalist Chuck Cleaver’s, and his songs are just as clever. (If you’re not familiar with “Electric Rock Music,” do yourself a big favor and dig up a copy. You won’t regret it.) You won’t regret picking up the new Planes record either. I haven’t had so much immediate pleasure from a record in a while. Check it out on The Planes’ Bandcamp site. - Marko Fontaine

All Riot

Crossfire Traffic


On All Riot’s latest release, Crossfire Traffic, The Cure meets the sound where its arcing postpunk arrow landed in the 2000s: danceable pop songs with an earnest, grungy angst. The Meriden three-piece shines on the record’s lead single, “In Denial,” an endlessly catchy shout-along anthem complete with heartrending key shifts, haywire electronics and gang vocals. Lead singer and guitarist Dan Osto sings of disappointment with a confrontational edge on “Prank on Me,” originally written with former All Riot collaborator Nick Allen: “I can’t believe what I’ve done, and the world is a sham / This is not what I paid for.” The song is a lilting shade of Pinback that periodically explodes with a yell from Osto, and moves on the syncopated track laid by Cody Alteri (bass) and Mitch Guerin (drums). Crossfire Traffic is spacious when it needs to be, and urgently full when it peaks—travelling with Osto’s adventurous ear for melody and willingness to explore falsetto highs (see: the orbiting intro to “Cassius”). Ultimately, from the ripping intro “Explosive” to the Plantesque howls that carry out closing track “Babble,” this is a rock-and-roll record with heart. - Danielle Capalbo

Little Scream Cult Following


Even if the rest of this album was complete shit, I could listen to the second song on Cult Following, “Love as a Weapon”, on repeat for about a week. The tune is a delightful slice of funky neo-electrosoul that sounds like something Beck would have made back before he was sad all the time. It’s a bass heavy beast that makes you want to get up and shake your ass (or if your anything like me, tap your foot with reckless abandon in the corner). Luckily, the rest of the album is not complete shit, though opening with a song as catchy as “Love…” is somewhat misleading since the album slows down noticeably as it progresses. It’s a little like putting the climax right in the beginning. Regardless, Little Scream, a.k.a Montreal based artist/musician/writer Laurel Sprengelmeyer (I would have taken a stage name too), has produced a deeply interesting album full of layers and unexpected turns. Her voice is gorgeous and feels just at home floating over top of ambient folk tunes as it does smack in the middle of the aforementioned funk of “Love as a Weapon” (I can’t stress how great this song is, seriously go listen to it right now. I’ll wait…See? I told you.) This is one of those albums that just keeps giving. Each listen brings something that may have gone unnoticed and just adds to the whole, which may be the very best thing about this album: it actually feels like an album. The songs complement each other in a way that the album feels cohesive, a rare statement in the era of the playlist. For the most part the songs stand on their own, but become even better surrounded by each other. Oh, and the album features guest appearances by Mary Margaret O’Hara, Sufjan Stevens, Sharon Van Etten and Kyp Malone. This is an album worth coming back to again and again. - Sebastian Coppotelli

Rogue Wave

Cover Me Easy Sound Recording Co. This collection of insprired covers of classic 80s hits is a must grab slab for fans of the era and Rogue Wave alike. The group has always had a distinctive haze to their particular brand of guiter & keys pop that lends itself well to classic tracks from the likes of Echo and the Bunnymen, The Cure, The Church, The Romantics and more. That Rogue Wave branch beyond the indie stars of those times (their musical predeccessors for sure) and reach for some of the biggest pop hits of the times including Genesis’ late era “That’s All”, ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man”, and Kim Carnes “ Bette Davis Eyes” and still make an album that feels like a whole and all their own is impressive. Anyone who was infatuated by the 80s synth leaning soundtrack to cult hit binger Stranger Things would do well to grab this fine mix and spin it loud and often. - Rich Martin

Matt Falkowski Elegy


It’s amazing in this day and age what you can do with an acoustic guitar and some good acoustics in your bathroom. Truth be told, you still need the raw, unadulterated talent to make it sound as presentable as singer/songwriter Matt Falkowski does on his debut EP, Elegy. Falkowski is but a babe in the woods, at the ripe old age of 18, but carries an old musical soul about him that he deftly puts on display throughout these six songs. Falkowski’s music carries a weight and depth that could be played out by an entire band, yet the intimacy of these recordings paints a fairly beautiful picture on their own. Falkowski snagged himself a spot at Hartford’s Hooker Day Parade & Festival on May 13. Just a guess this will most likely not be the last time you hear from him. - Chip McCabe

Jungle Fire Jambun


To jam-pack all their signifiers into one phrase, Jungle Fire is an Afro-Latin Caribbean Tropical-Funk 10-piece based out of Los Angeles that is out on a mission to churn any dance floor into a frenzy of seismic proportions. They are one of a few bands that live up to the name they’ve coined themselves. The sound translates into pure, unfettered fiery hotness! They bring to the table a groove that is on the brink of being unhinged like a funhouse rollercoaster flying through the mouth of a clown and then jetting off the rails and into the stratosphere. The horn section punches through heavyweight fun bags as if they are out to KO every dancer in the room. The percussion lays down the thickest slab of backbeats, cumbia rhythms, and hard-hitting soul stompers, that you could swear by the end of this tour-de-force of heaters, they paved a ten-lane super-highway catapulting a tremendous high-velocity sound in motion. A standout ass-shaker includes, “Callejero,” a groove that just ups the tempo mid-song and erupts into a disgustingly pounding percussion break, then follows suit with a psych-soul guitar solo that could flip wigs and cause a mass-footwork freak-out throughout a crowd. Clocking in at no more than 34 minutes, this record is 9 lean cuts of energetic arrangements that restore your faith in the power of a big band sound. - Daniel Boroughs


Rap Album Two Authors/The Order Label

Alcoholism is no joke. In this record peppered with boasts and self-reflection, Jonwayne gets serious and downright autobiographical about his recent fight for his life against the bottle. As he discloses to the listener, while rising in popularity in the indie hip hop world, he also sank in health with a self-medicated drinking problem. He hit rock bottom when one morning he woke up in a pool of his own vomit. At one point, he was a moment away from prematurely retiring from the game. On Rap Album Two, he paints a silver lining on the canvas of his life by sticking to his guns, continuing his artistic career, and sharing his tribulations with finesse, sincerity, and calm against a backdrop of well-curated soulful productions. Highlights include, “Afraid of Us”, “Paper,” and “Blue Green.” These tracks are repeatable in their listening power because their openness and rawness are so full and well-rounded. The book metaphor on “Paper” is so tightly scripted that you can feel for Jonwayne’s strain and high aim for timelessness as an artist to be remembered long after he passes. It might be heard as a grandiose and egotistical statement, but he fashions this longing from such an honest perspective that one can only help but root for him to succeed. Ultimately, this record details the life of a humble champion wordsmith unwilling to let substance abuse do him in and he lets his gratefulness shine through as he is ready to forge his ahead again as an indie rap pioneer rhyming to the tune of his own standard. - Danielle Boroughs

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The Cut-Up Gallery .::. Curated by Greg Wharmby The latest cohort to earn their BFA Degree at Lyme Academy College of Fine Art at The University of New Haven display a diverse and inclusive culture of intellectual rigor and creativity as they openly flout our increasingly hegemonic culture with its indifference towards, if not outright derision of, the arts, an attitude that is exemplified by the move to defund the National Endowment. Here is a small sample of images that represent color as interaction, things as the shadows they draw, and figures in abstract space that also move to narrative. I see

Dennis Carroll

correlations between the non-objective and the figurative works here because one has an associative relation to the other regardless of individual expression, making apparent how multiple visual languages, speaking together, can hold steadfast in individual character without compromising the integrity of the whole. I feel lucky to have studied with these artists and hope that after considering the work I have selected, you will know, as I do, that the future of the arts is in good hands.

cargocollective.com/denniscarroll Instagram: dennisthelatinboy | dennis.carroll95@gmail.com

I Want to Take Control

watercolor monotype | 10” x 10” | 2017

Romper Room

watercolor monotype | 24” x 16.5” | 2017

I’m Glad You’re Not with Us Anymore watercolor monotype 8.5” x 4.75” | 2017

Watch Me While I Swipe

watercolor monotype | 19” x 19” | 2017

Coogi Till I Die

watercolor monotype | 12” x 12” | 2017

Diego Espillat Instagram: Le_Chien_ny despaillat94@gmail.com

This Way Up!

wood chair, paint, wood, moss 3’ x 1.5’’ | 2016

Hang In There Buddy charcoal, pencil, mirror 3.5’ x 3.5’ x 4’’ | 2017

Don’t Be Such A Dick

wooden panel, oil paint, forged steel Hangers, artificial fruit, synthetic plant, red oak, wheel, fluorescent bulb 4’ x 4’ x 6’’ | 2017


ultracal, wheels, moss, discarded cigarette packages | 13’’x 8’’ | 2016

Careful! A Pleasant Domicile

installation space, moss, artificial fruit, cotton, wood, stainless steel, iron, lightbulb, crayon | 10’ x 4’ x 9’ | 2016

Kerryanne Celona Instagram: kerryannecelona


Queen of Spades


oil on paper | 9.125”x4.625” | 2016


oil on paper | 12.5”x9.625” | 2016

acrylic on canvas | 64”x84” | 2017

Title IX

oil on paper | 6.75”x6.25” | 2016


oil on paper | 8.5”x7” | 2016

Greg Wharmby Instagram: hornsoformus gregorywharmby.com

Pot Rock

concrete, steel, epoxy, resin 16” x 16” x 4” | 2017

Plait Slab

nylon, glass, resin, steel, epoxy, cement 16” x 16” x 4” | 2017

Burnt Slab

cement, plexi, steel, glass, epoxy, resin 16” x 16” x 4” | 2017

Viscous Slab

resin, acrylic, steel, epoxy 16” x 16” x 4” | 2017

Daylight Slab

cement glass, cement, epoxy 16” x 16” x 4” | 2017

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Steadfast Unpredictability: The Legacy and Future of WPKN “The Real Alternative” WPKN 89.5 FM has been broadcasting from Bridgeport, Connecticut for over 50 years. Since 1962, WPKN has been devoted to the idea of free-form radio, turning generations of listeners on to all forms of music, along with political, social, and arts coverage as well. Steadfast in its unpredictability, WPKN operates as a noncommercial station with each programmer fully in charge of his or her own show. Creativity pours from the stacks and microphones, across the airwaves and the Internet 24 hours a day year round. The station’s terrestrial broadcast range reaches out to up to 1.5 million people in Connecticut, Long Island, and parts of New York and Massachusetts. In an increasingly homogeneous world where individuality is generally being stifled in the name of making profits or generating ratings, WPKN stands for what is genuine. It’s truly the real deal. Born of the heady ideals of the 1960s, the passage of time hasn’t seemed to affect or dampen the enthusiasm and individualism of the station. This is clearly palpable on the air and in the physical form of the station as well. When you walk inside of the studios located in the John J. Cox Student Center on the University of Bridgeport campus, you can lose all sense of time.That’s definitely part of the eclectic charm, it feels like home. The studios are a weird bunker filled to the rafters with stacks and stacks of music and endless possibilities. But time does pass. Here are some of the highlights of the station’s past: In 1963, WPKN began broadcasting as a 100 Watt station on 88.1 MHz licensed to the University of Bridgeport. WPKN’s first headquarters were in a large space on the top floor of Old Alumni Hall, a mansion-like wooden structure that had once belonged to J.P. Barnum. Being located in the eastern United States, the first letter assigned by the FCC for broadcast call signs would be W. The letters “PKN” stands for the Purple Knights Network as it was the voice of the booming post-war UB student population at the time. One of the first breakthroughs for WPKN came in 1964 when the station covered Malcolm X’s speaking engagement at UB. The story spread widely on the United Press International newswire. It became more significant as this appearance in Bridgeport turned out to be one of his last outside speeches before he was assassinated in February 1965. By 1969, the WPKN studios were the place to be on campus for both students and local people in the community. Bill Nolan became the first “non-student” programmer that year. This opened the doors to a wider and more diverse future for the station’s programming. Flash forward to the late 1980s when UB suffered from major financial setbacks. Enrollment was down and the university looked to tighten the purse strings. In July 1989 WPKN was notified that in order to continue it would have to be self-sufficient. The station rose to the challenge bringing non-students into its governance while adhering to its founding principles. The freedoms that programmers had over their shows was preserved and WPKN committed to not embrace fundraising sources (mostly government or private grants) that would tie the hands or corrupt the open

culture of the station. In 1992, the University of Bridgeport transferred the station’s FCC broadcast license and WPKN officially became a non-profit corporation, with a lease for their studios in the Cox Student Center set at $10 a year. In 2011, Steve di Costanzo became General Manager of the station, and WPKN began a process to modernize both its aging studios and the way it engages its loyal listeners. Fundraising has expanded from the traditional on-air drives as well as the staff with a parttime operations manager and underwriter brought on. WPKN has broadened its outreach presence at large music events like the Gathering of the Vibes, and has hosted the Music Mash record fair series that brings foot traffic to downtown Bridgeport and helps fund the station. Other outreach funding events include 2015’s “Sound + Vision,” a community art exhibition benefitting the Institute Library in New Haven, and the station along with the popular “Music on Film” series.

- Jason Bischoff-Wurstle

we are not beholden to any sort of commercial agenda that might impact what we play or how we play it. Our programming comes 100% from the programmers and is not mandated with playlists and rotations of certain records, etc. Of course with that freedom and independence still comes with the responsibility we feel to engage our listeners and our communities. Financially, WPKN is independent from larger commercial advertising. We do have underwriting but most of the messaging comes from local mom and pop type of operations and arts organizations. We are independent from federal government money via the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) as well. There are many public radio stations, especially those public stations affiliated with National Public Radio that do receive money from the CPB. A few years back WPKN applied for a grant from the CPB but were turned down. There are just not many stations like ours, which in some respects resembles a coop in structure. We don’t have many paid employees and have a tremendous level of volunteering from our 150 volunteers who take on all sorts of tasks for no pay whatsoever. JB-W: Radio, books, records, newspapers… these were supposed to go the way of the dinosaur by now. WPKN is flipping that notion on its head and thriving as newer stations fall to the wayside. SdC: I think right now there has been an interesting flight back to authenticity. We see it in many industries. In our case, we may have lost market share for a while to those who went 100% satellite radio and/or streaming services. Now, it appears that many are coming back to our form of media because, as we like to also say around here, WPKN is “Real People Real Radio.” The DJ’s come right out of our communities and play it old school 24/7 with no automation. And yes there is even resurgence in the use of our 75,000-vinyl LP collection which is one of our station treasures!

I was able to sit down and bounce a few questions off Steve (pictured above with Chris Frantz of The Tom Tom Club and Talking Heads and a longtime friend of the station) about where WPKN is now and where it’s going: Jason Bischoff-Wurstle: Hi Steve! Thanks for sitting down with the Cut-Up. First up…often people will hear the expression “left of the dial” mentioned to describe community and/or college radio. What does that actually mean? Steve di Costanzo: Ah yes.... left of the dial where all the great programming really starts! That’s a reference to an FCC act in 1945 that reserved broadcast frequencies at the lower end of the FM band for non-commercial educational FM stations. That is no longer always the case but it’s usually a good bet that if you are in any city and scroll low on the dial you’ll find public and community stations like WPKN. JB-W: Another expression that describes stations like WPKN is “independent radio.” How is that different from commercial radio and the large public stations like NPR? SdC: Often our programmers take to the airwaves to proclaim that WPKN is “fiercely” independent. And I have to say it feels good to say that because as a non-commercial station

JB-W: WPKN is on the University of Bridgeport campus but it’s not officially college radio. What is the difference? SdC: Usually college radios are staffed by a majority of students and derive the bulk of the funding from the college or university they are affiliated with. Although WPKN started as a college station in the early 1960s, we went independent from the UB in the late 1980s when they had financial issues and became a non-profit. JB-W: What are some of the difficulties in running a “free-form” organization? SdC: WPKN like other arts organizations has a remarkable collection of people and personality types. That’s what makes it difficult at times to be on the same page but also what give WPKN a certain cache that other media organizations could never have. One of the other difficulties of being free-form is that we are counting on people to have free-form listening habits, which might not always be the case. In many financial respects it might be easier to just focus on one genre like WGBO in jazz or others in country. Our free-form nature is always going to attract an eclectic niche of listeners and will never achieve mainstream listener numbers. The same can be said with funding sources. That said we have an amazing group of financial

A Poet Laureate for New London:

supporters who always seem to come through for us. JB-W: There is a lot of focus on “fake news” and the corporate media agendas these days. Where do see is the place for independent non-profit media today? SdC: Well, growing in importance, no doubt! Media is under siege. WPKN is the antithesis of fake news, fake music and fake community engagement! JB-W: WPKN has made a big push in the past decade to engage new listeners and spread the reach beyond its current 10,000 watts terrestrial signal by adapting and evolving to find a strong place in the modern online streaming market. What are some of the ways that that has been achieved? SdC: We built an app for Apple and Android called WPKN LIVE. It’s free and easy to download to your phones and tablets. We have more than 30 shows dedicated to public affairs that have been perfect to produce as podcasts to give us an additional way to deliver solid content. Our online streaming is an area that we will also continue to upgrade. Right now we only over simultaneous streaming of our FM signal but who knows how that may evolve? JB-W: WPKN is very involved on a grassroots level with local communities and organizations. What’s very commendable is the respect and support that the station continues to receive from across the spectrum of the arts. SdC: Our mantra here at WPKN is that we need to be engaged with our respective communities and visible as well. It’s not easy when our station broadcasts to such a large geographical footprint. Our signal reaches almost all of Fairfield, New Haven and Litchfield counties in Connecticut and Suffolk County in Long Island, NY. We do our very best to be active in the arts and cultural lives of as many of these areas as humanly possible. We are very proud that we have invited over 100 nonprofits to use our airwaves to help with their own respective missions. We also sublease for free a sub channel of our signal to a group called CRIS that help with the blind. JB-W: WPKN is currently engaged in a campaign to continue literally staying on the air by replacing its original transmitter. SdC: Yes it’s been our friend for 45 years. It’s an old analog tube transmitter that is now ailing. We need to replace it. We are going with a solid state analog version that will make us sound better than ever. The price tag is $75,000 with ancillary needed items. We’ve raised $50,000 to date through individual donations, a family foundation and an area grant. We just launched a crowd funding campaign to raise the balance of $25,000. We selected Indiegogo’s new nonprofit platform called GENEROSITY. They don’t take any fees just the credit card processing fees which save non profits 4-5% per donation. We hope to get the immediate area involved as well as other believers in noncommercial media. For special incentives to mark this occasion we have had new gifts designed by local Bridgeport artist Liz Squillace as well.


Rhonda Ward


New London, Connecticut (home to our base of operations here at The Cut-Up) has just named Rhonda Ward its first poet laureate in the city’s more than 350 year history. Ms. Ward has been a constant presence in the poetry and arts community for many years and we were happy to get a chance to welcome her to the new position and ask her about the work ahead of her.

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Congratulations, on your recent selection as the inaugural Poet Laureate for the City of New London, Connecticut. It’s a great honor and well-deserved. Since you are the first to hold the position, what are your immediate goals to establish the role and have an impact on the community? Well, it’s only been a week but social media and a web presence will be important in the near-term. I’m working on the web site and will bring that live as soon as it is done. I would like to establish a campaign for poetry that will include the many stakeholders in the city. I’m working out a plan for that and hope to enlist the community to help make it happen. One of the most compelling aspects at play in the city is its diversity. Do you think poetry can serve as a means of celebrating those differences and a conduit for better understanding one another? I think poetry does that already. I see consistent diversity in poetry, in New London and in general. Poetry is more about the things we have in common than the things that separate us. You’ve been responsible for or partnered in important regional poetry events like the Langston Hughes reading at Mystic Art Museum and the annual poetry slam at Hygienic. How do you view the impact of these events and do you plan on establishing any new events here in New London as part of your out reach as poet laureate? My goal has always been to bring people to poetry. Because of so many generous people in New London and the region like Greg Bowerman, Alva Greenberg, all the wonderful people at Hygienic Galleries, Mystic Museum of Art, and Julia Pavone when she was at the Alexey von Schlippe Gallery at UConn Avery Point, I have been able to do that. Every time I see new faces at an event I’ve organized, I feel I’m making an impact. Specifically, engaging people in our community to explore and enjoy poetry. I do plan to continue to organize readings and am hoping to start a series to get students’ voices into the community. I’m already seeing some of that, which is wonderful. I’m looking forward to working with past supporters, but also Public Library New London and New London schools. How did you find your way to writing and reading poetry? I grew up across the street from the home of Paul Lawrence Dunbar who was the first African-American poet of note in the United States. I literally played in Dunbar’s yard, picked grapes from an arbor in his back yard, and began reciting his poems from about the age of eight. I once wrote in a bio that growing up as the youngest of six children, I began writing to get a word in edgewise. That’s partially true, but it was the love of words and their impact that led me to poetry. Are there any poets or specific books that you consider essential reading for someone who wants to dive into the deep waters of the art form? I would suggest exploring poetry. There are so many free resources to get to know poets of all types. Your local library is a great place to start. The Poetry Foundation is also an excellent resource. They have a great website and many poets to explore. Find poets who speak to you then dive into their works and expand from there.

JB-W: Best of luck on this campaign Steve! Thank you! -Jason Bischoff-Wurstle is the host of The Relay, an all vinyl free-form radio show airing every 2nd Tuesday of the month from 11pm-2am EST on WPKN 89.5 FM (Streaming on wpkn.org).

10 Steamboat Wharf, Mystic, Connecicut 06320 | 860-536-1312 | mysticdisc.com

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There’s Something About It: Austin English

Austin English is an artist with a strong, unique voice that blends a personal approach to mark making, composition and color that folds a fine art sensibility into the world of comics. The combination of images and text in Austin’s drawings creates a push/pull, not in the foreground versus background, but rather in the psychology of narration versus imagery and texture. With a clear understanding of the development of comics, his drawings test the medium with the intention of moving it forward. A great example of Austin’s work can be found in the five stories compiled to form his book, Gulag Casual, published by 2dcloud in 2016. From growing up in the Bay Area of California to his current studio space in Brooklyn, New York - Austin English continues to produce challenging work. It was a pleasure to interview him for The Cut-Up. - Jason Silva Jason Silva: When did your interest in comics begin? Austin English: I was just talking about this with my mom in preparation for a talk about my book, Gulag Casual. She told me recently about how she would take me to the bookstore to get me children’s books. One day I was in the bookstore and they had a paper cutout of the character Tintin. It was a cardboard display next to the stacks of books out for sale. As a four year old kid, I kept staring at the cutout. I just liked it so much - I would come back into the store to see that character. She bought me one of those books and I loved it. I still remember that book being read to me when I was a little kid. I had all of the different Tintin books from then on read to me over and over again. I can’t remember a time when comics weren’t important to me, someway or another. It was natural. She told me she didn’t pick out Tintin for me, which is weirdly telling, because it’s like there was something about comics or these iconic characters that I couldn’t resist. JS: That was the entryway? AE: Yes, and maybe this would have been true even if I hadn’t encountered Tintin. Even if I don’t aesthetically like a comic, or I’m repelled by it in someway, I’m still interested in reading it. If a comic is put in front of me - there’s still something about it that I care about. Even if I don’t like it, I still feel like I get to know the person who made it. The art is pure interaction. It may not teach me anything or influence me to have any feelings, but at least I will understand what the person is trying to get at.

what made it so interesting. As time goes on, it is coming back around to exploring an un-cinematic approach. JS: In that regard, it seems like both comics and filmmaking are wide open art forms. A goal could be to push past the approach where the medium is forced to appeal to the largest audience? AE: The potential of film has been further explored. The difference between the two of them is that comics - the really expressive ones - are usually done by one person. Film is collaborative. There is more of an industry around it. Someone designing the costumes, lighting the set, an expert in cinematography to photograph it beautifully. The best form of cartooning is written by one person. Staged by one person. Drawn, inked and colored all by one person. The progress of people figuring out the medium is much slower, but you can also see these little beautiful moments or beautiful turns that come through and people trying to figure it out over the years. This is so exciting to follow. It’s mostly a medium where all of the elements are filtered through one person. The progress of it is slowed down, but the appeal of it is more intense when the appeal comes through. JS: You’re taking it a step further by introducing cartooning in a gallery setting...

AE: It’s not an intentional thought out thing. Around the time when I started making my own work there was this idea that was building up. You can read interviews with really incredible people making comics from the 1940s and 50s - they did some of the most beautiful work then JS: Does this also relate A portrait of the artist at 10 with comic book. - and they view themselves to how you respond when as making pulp and being reading a novel? good draftsman. Conscious of doing a good job. Over time, because of people like Will Elder and Bill AE: Every now and then, when I’m reading, I’ll think Everett, who did amazing work in the 50s and 60s, it the ideas expressed in literature are much more appealing to me than what comics have to offer. They influenced people to take their work more seriously. have more of an influence on my feelings or thoughts Around when I started making my own work in the late 90s and early 2000s, there was this underground about life than the vast array of comic literature void that held the potential to do anything. It could does, but there is something about the form itself. rival anything. The idea that it was a substandard Watching characters be pushed around the page medium or a medium that you could just be a good - moved around by the author. There’s something draftsman from a small community of people - that about the form of comics, in itself, that’s just as wasn’t the thinking anymore. The thinking was that exciting to me as anything else, but I can’t explain why. I think that for a lot of people involved in comics you could take this medium seriously and you could do anything in it. I happen to be coming of age when there is something about the potential of it that is so alluring, because it hasn’t been fully explored. Maybe this idea was really fermenting, so I kind of just thought that you could make your work in any way there’s something about that potential. That it is so you wanted. It was an art form to me. hard to harness. Everyone is sort of getting near it and falling away. There is something very comforting JS: From a young age you’ve been comfortable with about it, and also something very exciting about it. Even if the ideas expressed in it are often sometimes the comic book format. Do you feel the same way when placing your work in a gallery setting? lacking. JS: The history of comics and motion pictures run a similar timeline... AE: Yeah, the timeframe is very similar. I’m interested in early Sunday comics like The Kin-derKids by Lyonel Feininger, who is mostly known as a fine artist. At the beginning of the 20th century, comics were competing with film as being the most prominent, popular art form. That was a time when I think comics could beat film. They could be in color. You could have the characters appear in any way on a limited budget. Around that time, the turn of the century up to the 1940s, before comics started being more influenced by cinematic techniques - there’s just some stuff that I think is as beautiful as anything. Once film ultimately won out as the most popular art form, mainstream comics started to adopt a more cinematic approach, and I think, kind of lost part of

AE: With cartooning I know what I’d like to accomplish, although I don’t know how I’m going to get there. When I finish a comic, it’s different from what I aspired to make. From the start, I have an outline of the project and it means something to me. When I fail to realize that outline, or that ideal something new happens and I have the intelligence within that medium - and standards - to guide the changes or guide what it becomes. I’m able to mold it into something that means something to me. Where as when doing work for a gallery show, I just don’t have as much of a standard, which makes it more fun in some ways. The rules are more foreign to me. I hope to work toward a real standard for both. JS: It is interesting to navigate two distinct artistic approaches...

AE: I really feel lucky to be a part of two communities but not being totally immersed in one or the other - which gives you a lot of freedom. You don’t get as hung up on things that are irritating in either community. It’s like having two part time jobs. If all your passion, all your creative ambition, all your community is involved in one art form - I think you kind of think that one community is the end all be all. I feel really lucky to be a part of two things that have completely different standards and thoughts. Also, different prestige and economics associated with it. So I can kind of let both of those things matter - or not. They can kind of cancel each other out because they have such completely different ways of working. I think that is very healthy. When you are able to cancel those things out you can focus more on the work. JS: On the last page of your book, The Low Level Enjoyment, the protagonist is laying on the ground splayed out on his back and he says in a little bubble flat out, “It’s a pleasure.” I’m interested in the interaction between the drawing and the text. AE: Comics should have clear storytelling. The emotions that you draw in the characters should compliment the emotions of what they’re saying. It should synch up. It should emotionally make sense. I think my work, in contrast to traditional cartooning, struggles with that idea. To draw the characters in the same way consistently. To make their facial expressions match the emotion of what they’re saying. By the third or forth page, I really buckle under that. I try to ride that handicap. I try to ride it into something unique. That’s when I really start enjoying it. I feel like some other kind of expression comes forth. I try to justify it in the sense that 95% of comics are done the other way and something feels worthwhile doing them in another way. JS: Can you think of examples of other artists that take a similar approach? AE: Film people talk about Robert Bresson as being stilted. How he used people’s ticks and weirdness of expression, and

how it shows something more about how people actually are. One thing I think surrealism is about is improvising with imagery, and building imagery with ideas as they come into your head as you’re working. I think that is one of the true thoughts that surrealism pioneered. I like doing that. It feels fresh and meaningful improvising the character’s expression and bodies in contrast to their train of thought or the dialogue - that’s a phase I’m definitely in right now. Currently, I’m working on a follow up to Gulag Casual. It will be one long story. I’m trying to make it more cohesive, but also make it true to the other concerns in art that I care about. It’s definitely something that I struggle with and think about. JS: Is any of it autobiographical? AE: It is two characters talking to each other for a couple hundred pages, so it’s autobiographical in the sense that I like talking with people. It’s also aesthetically autobiographical. Movies, books and theatre that have this structure of just a few characters in a couple scenes are usually more interesting to me. Not all kinds of emotions or ideas have been expressed in that small play structure. I get a lot of pleasure hearing other people talk, and I like talking to people, so I thought that would be a good template to work with... JS: Have you ever seen the film, My Dinner with Andre? AE: I’ve seen that movie a couple times. That movie is the same structure as what I’m working on. I like the filmmaker, Louis Malle, and I love Wallace Shawn, but there is something a bit corny about that movie to me. I like it. When I watch it I see that it’s such a great idea. I endorse the concept of it. There are a lot of bits and pieces of it I really like. At the same time, there’s something about it that I believe a lot of artists feel when they see something so close to what they’re working towards. Something is lacking. In a way this will be my edit of that movie, but hopefully a bit more from me...

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The Curtis Mayflower Death Hoax self-released

Death Hoax is album number two for The Curtis Mayflower, a quintet based out of Worcester, MA. This is a band made up of five equal parts, all members are skillful, experienced professional musicians who have played with the likes of Booker T. Jones, Levon Helm, Heavy Metal Horns, Jim Carroll, Orchestra Morphine, and Twinemen just to name a few. In between their excellent debut album “Everything Beautiful Is Under Attack” and the new album they released two singles, “King Of The Fools” and “Fourth Wall” that really showed their diversity and gave a little precursor to what was to come on Death Hoax. When I think of The Curtis Mayflower the words that come to mind for me are Sonic Landscape. The instrumentation on Death Hoax is traditional with Pete Aleksi on guitar, Jeremy Moses Curtis on bass, Duncan Arsenault on drums, Brooks Milgate on piano and keyboards and vocals by Craig Rawding. What they do with these instruments and their talent is what sets this band apart from most of the souless, overproduced music around today. This isn’t a band that needs any tricks or help from computers to create the music they do. The album was produced by the band themselves and recorded and engineered by Dave Westner, who does an amazing job making them sound as good as

they do, over at Wolly Mammoth Sound Studio in Waltham, MA. They take you on an eclectic, sonic journey from the straight ahead power rock of “Ghost Town”, which should be on rock radio next to the likes of My Morning Jacket and Jack White (if that is still a thing these days), to the dark, building sound of “Killer Inside Me”. The lead track, “Shadow Mountain Worship Team”, sets the tone with Rawding’s strong vocals on display coming through the blistering licks of Aleksi”s guitar and the pulsing rhythm section. “Widescape” is a standout ballad which kicks off with some nice piano by Milgate and Rawding singing the lyrics “All the pages are turning now and my words are sharper than a sword, to cut the heart out of any man ever loved a woman who got bored”. The chorus features the rest of the band contributing some call and response backing vocals with Rawding that really makes the song soar. “Death Hoax”, the album’s title track, is the center piece of the album. The track starts off with a cool guitar riff from Aleksi and then goes into some thumping bass and drums from Curtis and Arsenault. This is The Curtis Mayflower at their best, creating a slow build around Rawding’s voice with the rest of the band providing some beautiful harmony vocals. On Death Hoax, The Curtis Mayflower are not creating a new genre of music. They are just carrying on the tradition of the great soul, blues and rock music that a lot of us love from the past. At the same time they are not copying anyone, they are bringing their own unique sound to the music that only those five musicians can make. Death Hoax is a record you need to hear in 2017. Trust me, your ears will thank you later.


just perilous enough , just sultry enough, to make sure innocence is checked at the door.


Oh how could I leave this body…


I believe many things are possible. It’s possible in a moment of introspection, of quiet reserve, to feel something with every fiber of your being. It’s possible to find that note, that word, that smile, that scent to send you reeling back to your happiest memories. Laying in a field, watching the clouds shift and bend to the will of the wind, feeling the Earth move around you in silent symphony, it is possible to feel as if life is not collapsing inward upon itself. It’s possible to hear an album that embodies all of these things. We were just kids, up to no good, a long way from home… Australia’s Broads are composed of songwriters/vocalists/multi-instrumentalists Kelly Day and Jane Hendry. In 2014, after a run together in the a cappella group The Nymphs, Day and Hendry struck out on their own and emerged with a self-titled EP filled with stripped-down, yet gorgeous folk noir. It was a masterful display of spacious writing where Day and Hendry’s voices were the centerpiece of a sparsely decorated table. Over two years later, Day and Hendry have returned with their debut full-length album, Vacancy, and it is an absolute triumph. There is a sneaky darkness to this album. It all sounds so alluring, and alluring it is. Yet Day and Hendry have not penned sugar-coated songs about sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows. No, there are raindrops and cigarettes present here instead, and those rainbows you’re seeing are reflected in the puddles collected in city potholes after the storm. From the album artwork to the lyrics to the music itself, this album seethes a moral ambiguity, a certain desperate fatalism wrapped in neo-folk balladry. On their EP it was Day, Hendry, and an acoustic guitar or two. However on this album, Day and Hendry are backed by a full band who play it with perfect subtlety. Day and Hendry allow their players to add layers below the surface and then peel them back when they’re ready to share them with you. Everything feels

Truth be told, I was privileged enough to have heard this album two long months ago, when in this very space we debuted the single, “Nod Off, Dream.” I’ve listened to this album at least twenty times if I’ve listened to it once and I’ve been trying for two months to write this review. This album has wrecked me. It has rendered me incapable of forming the right words, of stringing together the right sentences, to properly convey its mesmerizing beauty. In my head this review has been started and aborted at least once for every, singular minute that Day and Hendry weave their musical web. I am ensnared almost to the point of incapacity and the harder I fight, the further I fall. There are moments on this album when I’m literally stopped in my tracks. When Day and Hendry hit the chorus of “Kerosene Dream,” for example, I melt. The pen falls from my hand, my eyes close, and all I can do is listen. Listen like a sailor being lead to the rocks by two sirens and I’m absolutely at peace with my own demise in those lucid moments. Who is this sordid and jaded cast of characters that Day and Hendry paint such vivid pictures of? Who is this John they write such a gutpunch of a letter to? What vivid portraits do they really want to depict on this green screen we call life? And if I do finally nod off and dream, why are my dreams filled with the smokey whispers and each auspicious note of this album? There are stories here. There are characters and stories, and it doesn’t always end as sweetly as those two voices would have you believe. But those voices…those voices that can haunt every fiber of your being, that take you back to happier times, that keep the world from imploding upon itself even for a few fleeting moments. It is these moments in time, these notes and these songs forever wrapped in the amber of our subconscious that can fuel us until the end times. If we die tomorrow, we die better for having had Day and Hendry sing to us. Vacancy is out now and can be both purchased and experienced at the Broads Bandcamp page. - Chip McCabe originally published at TheMetalDad.com



CONNECT · COLLABORATE · COMMUNICATE Find, share, and coordinate upcoming events in your community!


- Michael Panico

DEAD AIR RADIO Hugh Birdsall, Peter Detmold, & Paul Sweeney Wednesdays 6-9pm

WCNI 90.9 New London, CT

April 29: Gallows Bound May 12: Tristan Omand, Zack Slik, Craig Edwards May 20: Robots & Monsters, Toranavox, VRSA, Kill The Straggler May 26: Hub City Stompers, So Long Liberty, Slip & Fall, Ricki Rocksteady June 10: The Carleans, Juliet & The Lonesome Romeos June 23: Hollow Leg, BRC, Oxen, Buzzard Canyon June 30: Hexxus July 8: Horns of Ormus, Fatal Film, The Natch July 21: The Nuclears, Marvelous Liars July 22: Cinema Cinema



Rock Snaps from Peter Detmold Jeff Beck at The Aquarius Theater Boston, MA – Tuesday, October 24, 1977 In the fall of 1972 I was just starting my first year at a small liberal arts college in southern Vermont. (Don’t ask – it’s long gone.) I was bored with my studies and the rural surroundings and I jumped at the idea of checking out Jeff Beck’s new band, who were going to be playing in Boston, a mere 2½ hours away. I secured tickets and arranged transportation via the local “ride board” which, in 1972, was not an online thing, but handwritten notes tacked on an actual bulletin board. I’d been aware of Jeff Beck since his early days with the Yardbirds, but I became a real fan in 1968 when he released the groundbreaking “Truth” LP with his very first version of the Jeff Beck Group, featuring a young guy named Rod Stewart on vocals. (I’d also managed to see that group when I convinced my dad to drive me to see them at the Newport Jazz fest in 1969.) The Aquarius Theater, centrally located near the Boston Common, is the theater now called The Orpheum. A beautiful venue built in the mid-1800’s, it’s one of the oldest theaters in the U.S. Originally called The Boston Music Hall, it became the Aquarius for a few years in the early 70’s, when it primarily showcased touring rock bands of the day. With a seating capacity of 2500 it was an ideal place to see a band, with great sound and lighting. The band that Beck had with him the

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evening I shot these photos was a short-lived collaboration with two U.S. musicians, Tim Bogert on bass guitar and Carmine Appice on drums. Both had been founding members of the 60’s band Vanilla Fudge, and their Long Island/NYC roots were far removed from Jeff’s south London background. The stage set emphasized the odd alliance, with two large American flags and one Union Jack hanging from the rafters. With little room for musical subtleties, this was a loud power trio that dealt in very heavy rock. There was plenty of room in the live show for each member to shine, and no bass, drum or guitar solo went unplayed. Unfortunately, what this band lacked was good songs, or a particularly strong singer. None of this was an issue on this night in Boston, however. In a town full of Beck fanatics, the guy could do no wrong. The crowd was on its feet from the opening cymbal crash and stayed there for the duration. Beck employed a solitary Fender Stratocaster for the entire show. I’ve been to see Jeff Beck many times since then and I have taken lots of other photos, but these are some of my favorites. Beck’s look hasn’t changed in the 45 years since this show and I’ve stopped bringing a camera when I go see him. His guitar playing is a never-ending joy and ever evolving.

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A Poetry Page Jake St. John Constantinople, Closed for Renovations It’s not a democracy because they tell you it’s a democracy though that’s up for debate the dumpster burning in the alley popped a rating but was beaten by an act of kindness I said gimmee an old fashioned not old fascism

Masquerade Meet you as a masquerade To find you’ve been behind No mask at all But radiant eyes That won’t succumb to mine So I think that if I die here In the puddle on the floor You’ll see someone’s reflection That you haven’t seen before And maybe if you sail Your hidden vessel on my sea An ice age will encase you And you’ll belong to me

Virgin Mind

Things I can Do Before Bed Before the night rolls back and the sun rises up with long fingers and reaches over the horizon I can still write these words that will make grey clouds slip out to sea like old iron sided ghost ships setting sail for unknown ports I can still recite poems to the trees that stand naked in moonlight I can still scratch words on to paper that will make our leaders collapse at their knees in fear I can still toss words like seeds out into the arid winds where they carry softly over walls and grow like flowers along the borders I can still write words that will draw tears from stone and before morning light crawls up our bedroom walls I can invite you into my dreams where the poems write themselves across night skies and fade like stardust at dawn

Charles Dahlke

From The Chair By The Window I look through the bare trees and over the white houses of my neighborhood grey roofs arched with thin shadows beyond there lies the sea granite spilling out in sunlight clouds lightly painted across the sky winds rush down the hill my heart dancing on the horizon

Tonight I Need To Disappear Into Poetry From here the burning remains of democracy cast light on the sky shrouding stars from view shadows of torn flags slither grotesquely over picket fences and across empty yards embers of revolt are caught in the wind and soon the vacant streets are engulfed by the raging flames of rebellion

Did you know a virgin mind Cannot be tainted And glistens in the morning light Right before The dusk of dawn Right before a sparrow speaks Ethereal squeaks Inticing my deflowered mind ________________________ I wish that I could lie Right here Yours and mine Our virgin minds

William Orchard Clear With one cup of a white river the walls have stopped shaking. Fair enough for a quick glance at the sky, and the truth, which I have not seen, rings hard like a diamond. Because once in an old western, a blue jay rested on the phone wire over the sun filled dale, a stray in the heat. The bird did not move so much as I did, and the scene stretched from the corner of my eye and into my heart. Farewell bird I loved you

On Canary Island Put your weight on me for a long time so that I sink gracefully into the earth, and sail that patch of earth to Elmer’s Canary Island. Plant it on the sandbar, in view of the trees, and we can be there a while, you and me In a storm, we will be drenched up to your thighs and tiny pinecones will float past us in the water. Those little voyagers, drifting off under turquoise light, made lighter by the touch of your toes to my beach.

Minding the Underscore

KM: How does the finished music get placed in the show? Are you working from a silent, edited cut or are you working in an editing suite, adding different cues to a scene until it works? Or how does it all actually come together? JN: When the editors finish the cut they send me a link to a version with all the “temp music” panned hard right so I can mute it. I watch it one time in a meeting with producers, editors, and the rest of the music and sound department and discuss any scorerelated issues. Then I write all the music at my studio, and when it’s ready I bounce it to a 22 minute AIF file and put it on Dropbox. That takes about four days.

An interview with Jesse Novak composer for The Mindy Project

- Kid Millions The Mindy Project, the sitcom staring Mindy Kaling as a self-centered OBGYN, has a surprisingly rich and complex soundtrack. Composer Jesse Novak crafts a new cue for every scene, based on a general tone he’s established throughout the run of over 100 episodes which ran first on Fox and now has a home on Hulu. Whether you’re a fan of the show or not, Novak’s work on the soundtrack is mind blowing and his insight into the process is fascinating. Anyone interested in working in the soundtrack world should study this closely! Kid Millions: As my girlfriend and I watched the Mindy Project I was incredibly impressed with the range of your contribution to the show. I may be wrong but it seems like every cue you added was different than the last. On other shows it seems like there’s a collection of 10 or 15 cues that are dropped every so often, but you keep creating unique cues for every scene. You’ve created a music aesthetic for the show that you constantly build on. Can you comment on this? Jesse Novak: Thanks for noticing! I repeat a lot of melodies and stay within a consistent style and framework, but I write the score for each episode note by note, scene by scene, around the context of the dialogue and the feeling. It’s such a heavily-scored show, basically wall-to-wall, and the music needs to be really cohesive so that it stays in the background and glues things together. Every episode is different so I like to treat them really individually. KM: How did the music dovetail into the show, what mandates for mood and aesthetics were you given and what kinds of challenges did you face trying to reach those marks? JN: Mindy wanted something a little magical and fantastical to drive home the longing, the fantasies, the romantic comedy element. That’s still what I see as the function of the music - to take what’s ostensibly a workplace show that has some cynicism and is very cerebral in its humor, and warm it up. The challenge in the execution was always about how the music interacted with dialogue, which is pretty dense, and whether or not a joke was “stepped on.” (This phrase came up a lot). I ended up coming up with something that had a lot of rests and pauses built into the style to clear room for the key parts of the lines. It took me some time to find the sound and for everything to gel. KM: I understand that you wrote the opening theme as well and that Mindy sings on it. Can you talk about creating that tune and how much collaboration goes into the creation of the music in general for the show? JN: I sent a lot of ideas out before that one started to click with people. The way that tune is constructed is a wild collage of Midi and samples. Mindy conveyed to me that she wanted a big attention grabber up front, like an old sample at the beginning of a hip hop track. So I tried to construct my own version of that. Then the hook kind of just came to me. I saw her character as being hyper-verbal and conversational so I wanted to depict that in an abstract way with a chopped female vocal, which comes from a Garageband sample pack. After that melody was in place I recorded some “nahs” and “bahs” and dahs” with Mindy to integrate her into the line and what you hear in the final version is a combination. With the underscore, there were some stylistic influences that were important to the creators during the beginning of the show. Classic rom-coms were a model. Hip hop music was a model. Ragtime music was something Mindy specifically mentioned to me it was on her mind, and that resonated with me and

Olive Tiger

Until My Body Breaks

Quiet Giant Loom

grew into the syncopation and rhythm that I do on the pizzicato strings a lot. Everything we talked about in that period has some place in the sound of the score today, I think. One additional thing about the theme song is that a few people online were really ripping on it after it came out. Calling it the worst theme song ever, stuff like that. I was excited to have written something that so many people would hear, and I was googling it to see if anyone had any thoughts about it, and I was totally shocked by some of what I saw. It took me a little while to get over that. KM: What? The theme song is great! It just goes to show that there are always haters. Say I’m a complete beginner (which I am) and I’m going into a meeting with a show runner about doing music for a television show or a feature film. What are some of the things you would tell this hypothetical person? JN: If you’ve made even one piece of music they heard and liked that’s a great place to start. The rest is basically like any job. You want to convey that you respect the job and that you are ready to work hard and be part of the team. You want to show your skill and your intelligence, and that you connect to the creativity that is leading the project. Your own creativity is important but you need to be aware of your role in a larger creative vision. The more you connect to that vision, the better everyone feels. It’s smart to bring some specific ideas in based on what you’ve read or seen - something to play or to talk about. “I thought music could help this scene move,” “I feel like acoustic guitars are a good place to start because of the setting,” “I think the music in [insert show] is a good example of scoring for this genre” - those are examples of places to connect. KM: How do you bridge the language gaps between the filmmakers/show runners and yourself? I’ve found that filmmakers often use language about music that doesn’t really correspond to my understanding of the terms. JN: I think there are two ways to interpret this question because the gap can go both ways. If you’re talking about non-musicians discussing music with you and having no idea how to explain or describe something, the answer is to be as patient as possible and focus on the scene and the feeling. If you’re talking about show-biz and production lingo, do your best to educate yourself, fake it if you need to, and quietly ask the nicest person you meet to help clarify something. KM: Do you work completely within the box [exclusively done on the computer] with Midi and samples or are you able to get into the studio to record live instruments occasionally? JN: Mindy Project is 99% in the box. Some other projects I’ve done have more need for recording stuff.

The Lost Riots

The Stories Are true

Violent Mae



Every week there’s a sound mix at Universal with the biggest Protools desk I’ve ever seen, where the sound department is dealing with all the SFX, dialogue, ambiences, and my score. They mix all day and in the evening they play it back for the producers, and make adjustments if there are notes. Sometimes I get a note to change a cue and if it’s possible, I’ll do it right there on my laptop. I go into the kitchen down the hall and put on a pair of headphones and edit something or write. When everyone’s happy the episode is done from my end and I move on to the next one. KM: What are some conflicts that you had with the show creators about the music and how did those conflicts get resolved? JN: There was some early disagreement about how much music should be in the show - Mindy always wanted a lot of music but there was also a movement to have it pretty dry. My role in this conflict was to feel caught in the middle of it and eventually to deliver music that helped make the case for itself. KM: What are some unique satisfactions that come from making music for a television show vs being in a band or making music for other purposes? JN: First the obvious - my music is on TV and I get paid for it. But I’ve always been a studio guy. Tweaking the mix, finding the sound, coming up with an idea, putting an MP3 on the internet, that’s what I’ve been doing since I was a teenager. It’s high pressure because of the deadlines but it’s low stakes from a personal point of view - it’s just music, it’s not my entire life. It’s not like I’m putting my soul out there for a reviewer to put a number on. It’s nice to work for a team and create something that helps all these actors and writers and editors and costume people etc showcase their talent and entertain an audience. I saw a video of someone’s baby dancing to the Mindy Project theme song and it made me so happy. Plus I don’t have to tour. KM: Did you had any formal composition training? Did you go to music school or take classes? JN: Well, it’s complicated. As a kid, I took piano lessons but quit because I didn’t want to practice. Years later I majored in music at a small liberal arts college [Bard College] while feeling totally misunderstood by the music department. I was able to pass some required classes in basic music literacy, which involved a lot of memorization, but in my free time I was doing what was interesting to me, which was making beats, dance music, and pop songs. I took exactly one formal composition class and when I presented my first original piece, the professor literally asked me if it was a joke. So I leaned on the history requirement and took as many classes about early electronic music techniques as I could. Fortunately there was a really nice and supportive band scene there where I was actually able to have fun and make the music I wanted. I still think it’s ironic that my job title is “Composer” when I associate this word with a kind of academic approach that I don’t relate to at all. KM: How much interaction or community is there among soundtrack composers in LA? JN: I’m not sure, but I’d rather hang out with my friends.

23 Green Street New London, Connecticut Serving New London since 1933

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The Sawtelles

N e w L o n d o n

8x3 (The Brown Album)

Horns of Ormus, The Deacons, and Fatal Film 33 Golden - New London | March 12, 2017 Sunday nights anywhere can be tough. It’s nice to catch up on television shows or to get ready for work in the morning. But lately down at the underground bar known as 33 Golden Street in New London, CT, the local music scene has been alive and well. Despite what people say, there is still a great local music scene out there. Sunday, March 12th was no different. Three bands played the tiny corner stage at the 33 and patrons filled the now ever so popular club.

were good, they were real good and they still wave that punk rock flag. Just coming off a split 7” with local hardcore gods M13, The Deacons were loud, with big, and I mean big drums, dueling guitars and very poppy bass lines with sneering vocals. This band would make anyone who is into the Murder City Devils very happy. The Deacons were having fun and it showed. They smiled and laughed throughout their set. One couldn’t help but catch the fever they were producing.

Horns of Ormus opened the show to an already full room. Horns have been playing in the New London music scene for a few years now and each show their crowds seem to get bigger and their set seems to get tighter. The three piece stood tall and filled up the stage. They blasted through a nearly half hour set. People were dancing, the room was shaking, and the PA was trembling. Horns of Ormus do not sound like they are from Connecticut nor do they sound like they are even from the East Coast or the current time period. They have a very West Coast pre-New Wave soundthink Zero Boys meets Kira era Black Flag. They’re fast, they’re jumpy, they will make you move and that’s exactly what happened that night.

One of the best bands New London has ever seen was up next. They are called Fatal Film and they were wild. They’re now a three piece but that doesn’t make a difference. They are better than ever. Now in their maybe 16th (?) year as a band they were tight, almost flawless, and had a rhythm section to make anyone jealous. Singer/guitarist, Matt Potter, is witty and charismatic on stage and compels the crowd. Fatal Film debuted a few new songs they have been working on and it is no surprise that everyone was pleased with what they we’re hearing. The are New London’s answer to Mission Of Burma mixed with a splash of Spoon and a dash of booze soaked indie rock. A cold Sunday night in March was a true testament that Fatal Film is still one of the best bands around.

Not to be outdone, a Brooklyn-based band who goes by the name of The Deacons, features some Connecticut punk rock royalty whose members were in bands such as The Pist, Brutally Familiar, and Broken, played next. With the recent addition of keyboards, it added a warm, garagey sound and nothing that you would expect from some local punk legends. However, don’t let that fool you. The Deacons

The crowd stuck around until the bitter end, danced (or whatever that was) and cheered on each song. It’s a night that stuck with you for a while. Three solid bands for only three dollars. Everyone had fun. That’s what it’s all about. Support local music and we will continue to have great nights.

NEW LONDON, CT June 8-9, 2017 Stimulating economic development through the arts

Learn more + Register: www.CCXNewEngland.org

-Jeffrey Thunders

Yep…it’s The Sawtelles, alright. I’d recognize them anywhere. Yet… wait. What’s happening here? Why do I like this more than usual? It’s more minimalist, and it’s minimalist w/ more. The sax just slugged me. I’m knocked out loaded. Peter’s lyrics are as good as Dylan’s. Or Lou Reed’s. Julie’s drums are an everevolving and deepening dance. Richard belongs in The Sawtelles. This band remains familiar but continues to improve and widen and stretch. With each record, The Sawtelles scurry off, and I follow them down a rabbit hole only to discover another beautiful rabbit hole. Keep ’em coming, You Bastards. I’m behind you all the way.

Lys Guillorn and Her Band I’m A Boy

Starts strong right our of the gate. This Townshend tune sounds particularly powerfully coming from Lys Guillorn. Definitiely a cool early-60s vibe happening here. Mystery. Darkness. Importance. Melodic. Imagine Patti Smith fronted the early Who, Zombies, Jellyshirts, or Miracle Legion, and the band was from Chicago. Lys asks, “Why did you falter?” Then answers: “I’m a headcase. I dreamed I was younger…I wasn’t happy as a child. That’s how I do it – there’s nothing to it.” And that’s Right. This disc is Right. Have you cried and danced in the rain until you couldn’t tell the difference between cool raindrops and melancholy tears? Have you cut yourself and marveled at the miraculous color and texture of your own life-force? Stamped in muddy puddles? Stood defiantly against a raging wind? Felt the dripping emotion of This Moment? The feeling is this disc. The final song poignantly fades to it’s final resolution, and I am reminded of Shakespeare.

Jack Grace, Still Drinking After All These Years Junior Brown and I had done a few shows together back around 2010. Backstage I handed Junior a copy of my latest album at the time, Drinking Songs For Lovers, on the cover is a picture of me downing a bottle of bleach in a supermarket with my then wife looking at me in bewilderment. All the songs are about drinking, not all of them glamorizing it, but certainly celebrating alcohol overall .“You gotta be careful Jack, cuz you’re gonna have to live it” Junior said as he stared at the cover smiling appearing slightly amused and concerned at the same time.    I didn’t take his comment all that seriously, but over the next year it would start making a lot more sense. The posters with the cover on them would go out to the clubs and they were often well received by the viewers. I would get to certain places and regulars would often say, “We saw your poster and we said we gotta meet this guy and drink with him”. Bar owners would occasionally have a bottle waiting for me. I arrived at one place a bit withered from the last few drinking nights on the road. I only wanted to drink seltzer. The bar owner felt let down as if he wasn’t getting his money’s worth. Shots were sent to the stage. drinks were bought and for the most part, I was happy to play the role to the hilt. One night I played before Dale Watson and my set read: Morning Margaritas If You’re Gonna Raise A Drunk When I Drink Whiskey What I Drink and Who I Meet At The Track Drink A Little Hooch Tequila I Drank Too Much Summer Wine Drank Yourself Into A Corner Drinking’ And Gamblin’ Dale started laughing and then read the set aloud on the microphone and joked, “Jack, I think you might be ready for rehab”. He was probably right. But I soldiered on. Eventually I evolved into a parody of myself. I took four months off from drinking and decided I had written enough songs about drinking and made a conscious move to other topics in my songs like heartbreak and my distaste for Kanye West.     Drinking can be a minefield for musicians even without releasing an album like, Drinking Songs For Lovers. When you play your first gig and all of your friends come, it’s a big party. Then you play the big gig once a month and it’s the big party. Then if you transform into a full time musician you have to shake this mentality as you get busier, or you become a drunk. But hey, this place only pays you fifty dollars a man


and even the bartender feels bad about your pay, so they hose you down with all the whiskey you can gargle.. It can be fun to party with the staff after a show and ya know sometimes it might even lead to a little romancin’… A wise musician once said, “Never stay and drink at the same place after your show, it’s unprofessional and it just makes trouble”. This is definitely solid advice and I have even (occasionally) taken it.      I have also been known to give in to temptation during my 25 years on the road. But the game changes as you get older. When a musician is in their twenties, hard drinking can appear glamorous and sometimes it is. But I am 49 and if I am loaded at a club, I think I just look like an idiot. I am supposed to know better now. I am the age my dad was when I was in college for chrissakes.  (Note - I have to stop acting like I am in my twenties.) Yes, a glutton like myself, wants everything all of the time. So if one still likes to paint the town black and blue and the years do not rain wisdom over your sprout of life; age has a way of biting back. The hangover.      Yes a hangover at 49 can last for three days. It can make you feel like you have been set on fire and continually run over by a clown car if one really takes themselves to task. The same behavior at 22 can often be cured by simply sleeping in. So, at the very least, there needs to be rules. For instance, if you venture out on the road, do not party hard the first night of a tour. The world of touring is often an ocean of booze, so you’d best set sail with some restraint or you may be chasing the hair of the dog the entire time; that technique will inevitably go awry (or at the very least annoy the hell out of your band mates). On one particular run around Western Canada, I resisted drinking until the final night of the tour at a cozy campfire on a small island off of Victoria BC. It felt like a true celebration to the end of a successful tour; when I got home I wasn’t as exhausted as I had been on some other musical journeys. It was hard to say no at some places in the Canadian Rockies, but it was a great time without the drinks. The band loved that there was a designated driver and I was happy to be at their service.      Drinking can be fun, it can be also be terrible, kill people and ruin lives. In the touring world there are a few ways to go without tangoing with that beast. I still dance with the devil. But I try to lead (besides, he’s a terrible dancer). I now recognize alcohol as sometimes pleasant but also powerful and dangerous. It’s not as funny as it used to seem to me. I am still here to tell the tale, I have lost a few friends along the way. We can raise a glass to them, better yet how about doing a set of push ups in their honor. I have a new album coming out April 28th called, Everything I Say Is A Lie, There is not a single song about drinking on it...I swear! -Jack Grace

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AN EVENING WITH KRIS KRISTOFFERSON Saturday, May 6, 2017 | 8:00 pm


The legendary three –time GRAMMY winning singer/songwriter – and Hollywood star - Kris Kristofferson – performs classics such as “Me & Bobby McGee”, “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down”, “Help Me Make it Through the Night” and more in an extraordinary solo acoustic setting – only at the Garde! Sponsored by: Olde Mistick Village & R.B. Kent & Son

Two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and co-founder of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, David Crosby appears at the Garde for the finale of his Spring Tour. Partial proceeds of the concert will benefit the Garde’s non-profit education and community outreach mission and the Southern Virginia University Institute for Writing and Mass Media.

THE ROBERT CRAY BAND Friday, May 26, 2017 | 8:00 pm


Blues Man for the Ages… Cray and his band have recorded 20 studio releases, 15 of which have been on the Billboard charts, and played bars, concert halls, festivals and arenas around the world. There are five Grammys with his name on them, and he has a suitcase full of W.C. Handy blues awards. And just four years ago Cray was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

Your regional non-profit center for the performing arts, film & education.

Donovan, ‘60s legend, icon, poet and one of the world’s most enduring singer songwriters, brings his 50th Anniversary North American Tour to the glorious and intimate splendor of the Garde Theater, featuring classic songs including ‘Sunshine Superman’, ‘Mellow Yellow’, ‘The Hurdy Gurdy Man’, ‘Jenifer Juniper’, and more. Sponsored by: A Touch of Grey

860.444.7373 Ext. 1 | 325 State St. New London, CT | www.gardearts.org

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CT Punk Man A Chat with...

Jeffrey Thunders - Karen Ponzio

I sat down with Jeffrey Thunders of The Lost Riots, The Ratz, and Die Hipster! Records (who is more frequently the interviewer rather than interviewee) on his 37th birthday to ask him where he’s been and where he is going, as well as a few questions he didn’t expect. Karen Ponzio: I’m here at Three Sheets with Jeffrey Thunders for the release of The Ratz first album. Jeff, tell me about this new album: Jeffrey Thunders: Tonight is the official release, March 18th. It’s sloppy, three chord punk rock, and we’re a three piece band. It’s ten songs and about 14 minutes long. I want to say a quarter of it was written and recorded immediately in the studio by Tom Bonehead. And really all it is is three dudes drinking beer, having fun, and playing really bad punk rock music. KP: In this band you have Matt Mullarkey (also from the Lost Riots) with you, and Elvis. JT: Yes, Elvis Bellucci on drums. But he’s not playing tonight Elvis had surgery. He’s on the mend. KP: In his place you have Freddie? JT: Yes, Freddie (Frederic Kaeser) is in a band called Rynxo. KP: The Ratz is obviously not your only project. You have The Lost Riots as well. How long have The Ratz been around, and what made the Ratz decide to do an album? JT: We were all having fun, just playing. We got together, wrote a bunch of songs and then I was like Hey why don’t we just put out a whole full album? And every week I was coming at the band with two new songs, and then eventually we had, I don’t know probably about 13 songs, and went in the studio and recorded ten because ten songs, for a local band, for a first release, I feel like ten songs is a perfect amount. So, yeah, it’s just us having fun. That’s all it is. KP: Do you find a difference between what you decide to write and play with The Ratz as opposed to what you decided to write and play with The Lost Riots? JT: I’ve actually been asked that question, yeah, but it’s totally in my mind what I want for The Ratz and what I want for The Lost Riots, and the fact that Matt is singing a bunch of songs in The Ratz, it changes up my mind. I could write a song for the Lost Riots and be like This is a Lost Riots song, then turn around the next day and write a song and be like ah, that’s a Ratz song…I don’t know, I can’t explain it, it’s just the way it is, I guess. KP: You’ve done solo work? JT: No. (laughter) KP:Not at all? Have you done any solo work? JT: Yeah, a little bit.

KP: Is that something that you’re interested in doing again or would you rather play with a band? JT: If I could actually play guitar I would do solo stuff. KP: But you play guitar in The Ratz… JT: Yeah, but its punk rock. It’s totally different, totally different. If I could play the pretty chords I would put out a solo record, and The Ratz would be a lot better if I could actually play guitar. (laughter) KP: I know you’re very committed to music and your band and promoting your projects, your bands and your tours and shows. Do you make plans or do you make goals? I tend to say I make plans rather than goals but what do you do? JT: I would say with band stuff, it is goals. Obviously in life you don’t meet those goals sometimes, but I do try and set goals, and I’ve done that with both The Lost Riots and The Ratz. It’s working out very well right now with The Ratz. KP: Are there any performers or bands currently performing or from the past that you draw inspiration from? JT: Shit, that’s a fucking good question. (laughter) There’s a bunch of things…Brian Fallon is a huge, huge inspiration…shit...a lot of friends and the stuff that friends are doing…you know I’ll listen to Kyle’s solo record for instance, and I’ll hear something on it and be like Fuck that’s an awesome line or that melody is great. (Kyle Trocolla is the guitarist for The Lost Riots and is also a member of Two Fisted Law as well as a solo artist) I’m not a political person, but lately my politics are starting to creep into my songs. But yeah, a lot of friend’s bands are influences, Brian Fallon, and The Replacements are a huge influence. KP: And that was actually going to be my next question for you. Just because you are in a punk band, punk is obviously not your only influence. JT: No. I’m a huge Ryan Adams fan, and Brain Fallon is not a punk rocker anymore. I do like some ambient stuff once in a while, like Godspeed You Black Emperor. Fucking Bruce Springsteen..Jesus Christ..yeah, definitely Bruce Springsteen, but I think being Italian and growing up in the tri-state area it’s kind of in your blood that you’re already gonna like Bruce Springsteen.

KP: And yet some people hate him… JT: Fuck those people. (laughter) KP: Everybody pretty much knows that you’re a New Haven guy who has been transplanted to the other side of the state. Have you found that this has changed the way you write your music? Has it affected your music at all and do you approach it differently? JT: No. Flat out no, and I think the fact that I am in New Haven once or twice a week for band practices…no, no it hasn’t. KP: So the city stays with you? I know it means a lot to you. JT: Of course, of course, I mean I’ve got it fucking tattooed into my skin. It’s gotta mean a little something. KP: Do you have access to different music there in the New London area? JT: The difference between the New London and the New Haven music scenes is that New London is very eclectic, and so is New Haven but at the same time you could have a show with three different style bands in New London that doesn’t work in New Haven. You can’t have a country band, a punk band and an indie rock band on the same show here. In New London it would be packed. In New Haven you just can’t, it doesn’t work. It’s maybe just opened my eyes to mixed bill shows, if that makes sense. KP: This interview isn’t too bad, is it? JT: Nah, I just feel like I have to be professional, that’s all. (laughter) KP: Die Hipster Records: Is that you? Is that your production company? JT: It started off as that. It started with me booking shows in 2007, just booking shows, and then I put out a CT punk compilation, and then it was really just bands that I’m a part of, but I just released Marko Bruiser’s solo record and this CT punk band Easy Killer, I’m going to be releasing their record. They’re here tonight. They’re fucking great. I love those guys. The thing about Die Hipster is it’s what is called a short run label, and basically all I do is release a limited run, like thirty copies or something, and then I’m like That’s it. Marko Bruiser is only twenty copies. Nerds like me, record collectors like me, geek out about that stuff, plus I’m poor so I can’t really afford much. (laughter) KP: So today is your birthday? JT: Yes. KP: Can we reveal your age? JT: I don’t give a shit. (laughter). I’m thirty seven right now. KP: Are you the kind of guy that looks upon his birthday and says “where am I and where do I need to go from here” or is this just another day for you? JT: A little bit of both maybe, as far as professionally goes. Do I wish I was making more money? Hell yeah. From a music perspective, I’m insanely happy with where The Lost Riots are right now. We’ve got huge things going on in front of us.


2018 is going to be enormous for The Lost Riots. End of 2017 into 2018 is going to be stuff I couldn’t even imagine ever happening to me in my life, but I wish I had all the same friends and the same contacts and the same bands when I was twenty one or twenty two, so it’s kind of a little bit of both. I’m also a lot more mature now, and back in the day there were a lot of drugs and a lot of alcohol flowing around so I don’t know if I could do that stuff again. I’m happy with where I am right now.


Having trouble navigating the choppy waters on the river of life? The Cut-Up’s Auntie is here to help. Send us your dilemmas and she’ll point you toward the path forward.

KP: You almost never hear people say that. JT: You see the thing about me, I don’t regret anything I’ve ever done in life, anything, because everything I’ve ever done, all the mistakes I’ve made, all the stupid things I did, have led me to where I am right now, and no matter how old you are or whatever you have going on, if you’re happy with where you are, because most people aren’t, if you’re happy with where you are that’s all that matters. Am I rich? No. Am I tall, dark, handsome, and rich? No, I’m short, pale…I don’t feel like I’m handsome. KP: You’re no Kyle Trocolla! JT: No, Kyle’s a fucking dreamboat. Put that in there. Kyle’s a fucking dreamboat. (laughter). I mean by society’s standards I’m poor, but everything I’ve done has led me to where I’m happy with who I am. KP: You mentioned earlier that you have never been political with your music. Punk at times has been very politically charged, at certain points in history it was the most politically charged music out there. Have you been thinking in those terms of “I want to do this” or do you notice it just creeping into your music? JT: No, it’s not been a conscious thing. It’s been creeping in definitely, and I want to thank Donald Trump for that. (laughter). I’ve never really paid attention and I didn’t care because pretty much I’ve always written about having a good time, partying, just having fun with my lyrics, and then Donald Trump became President and all of a sudden it’s like ooh, what’s going on, let me pay attention, and maybe also it’s because I’m getting older, but it’s not a conscious thing. I wrote a Ratz song which is going to be on the next record…I actually already wrote the next Ratz record… and it’s called Don’t Trust the Government. KP: Is that the first song you’ve written that’s directly addressed that?

Dear Auntie,

KP: So you do write poetry that doesn’t become lyrics? Correct. Do you do anything with them, or is it for your own benefit?

I just can’t seem to snap out of a feeling really heavy about life. I don’t know if I’m depressed, but I walk around with a heavy chest and I can’t feel motivated to start or finish anything. I think about the future and I just worry about money, the environment, and what I am going to do with my life. I feel like I should have accomplished more at this point. I don’t know how to get out of this hole.

JT: I sometimes send them to a friend; otherwise they stay on my phone. (laughter)

Signed, Why Bother?

JT: Yes, I’m Charles Bukowski Junior right here. (laughter) I do write poetry. I really do. Writing song lyrics and poetry kind of go hand in hand, so, yeah.

KP: So, how did you like being interviewed? JT: It’s different. It’s totally weird. You and I know each other personally, so I feel like I’ve got to be professional and be like “give the answer, Jeff. Talk into the phone.” (laughter) KP: Anything else you’ve ever wanted to be asked in an interview that they didn’t ask? JT: Yeah, of course, because I ask that question. It’s “what are your favorite records of all time?” KP: That’s the one you want people to ask you and they don’t. JT: Yes. KP: Do you get interviewed that often? JT: No. KP: And that’s the one you want people to ask you, and they don’t. JT: Yes, because I’m a fucking nerd. I’m a record collector. (laughter) KP: So, what are your favorite records of all time, Jeff?

JT: No, there’s a Lost Riots song that’s not titled right now that’s got a little bit of politics in there. It’s inevitable, it really is. When you’re in a punk band and your favorite band is the Clash. (laughter)

JT: There was a hardcore band from Boston in the late 1990s/early 2000s called the Suicide File. They put out a record called Some Mistakes You’ll Never Stop Paying For. It’s a fucking great title. That is probably my all-time favorite record. It’s as perfect a record as you’re going to get.

KP: Well, there you go!

There’s Black Flag “The First Four Years”…

JT: This is good. I’m having fun. I don’t know if I’m giving you the right answers.

Want me to give you five? I’ll give you five in no particular order besides that Suicide File record because that’s the best one ever fucking made.

KP: There are no right or wrong answers. That’s the best part of this! I only had one other question: how did you like being interviewed? You interview people. You’ve done some writing, besides writing music, you’ve done interviews, you’ve had a blog. JT: I have a blog on tumblr, Die Hipster. I also used to write for CTindie.com for a couple of years. KP: Do you do any other types of writing?

Rancid “And Out Came the Wolves”… The Damned “Damned, Damned, Damned”, the first Damned record…That record is flawless. It’s so poppy, it’s so punk, it’s so fucking raw. Ah, it’s such a good record…sorry…

KP: It’s ok! You get one more. JT: Ah shit, that’s only four? Fuck, I’m gonna go in a totally different direction here. I don’t know if this would be top five, that’s tough. Bruce Springsteen “Nebraska”? I can tell you my favorite song of all time too if you want to know that. KP: Sure! JT: This is gonna throw people off, way off the grid. “Dear Chicago” by Ryan Adams, and I’ll tell you why: you will laugh at this and everyone else that’s reading it will be like “What the fuck?” One line in it: “I’ve been thinking some of suicide, but there’s bars out here for miles”. That’s it. I’m not going to answer any more questions. You gotta end it with that. (laughter). What a friggin line. KP: Thanks, Jeff. JT: Thank you.

Dear Why, Most people with any kind of creative, idealistic or spiritual leaning suffer from this feeling. Before we were constrained by the concept of “depression”, humans had a different and more respectful view of dark mood or despair. Ancient peoples had a variety of words and concepts that describe this state as a transition, a healing crisis or a gestational process. They also had strategies for dealing with the pain associated with this process. Long ago spiritual people realized that to feel that something is wrong with you or the world is just a mind glitch or incorrect programming. In the past century it was called melancholy and was venerated as an artistic state. Unfortunately modern society encourages us to perpetuate this feeling rather than respect it and use it to evolve,because it makes people more vulnerable to short term thinking and higher consumption. To reverse this programming, one needs a plan. First of all you will need to remind yourself that this period of time is not permanent. Make space for it, and don’t tell yourself that you should be happier or more productive. No creature on this earth besides humans presupposes how their life should be. Secondly, get moving. Anything. Sit on a swing,dance,take a walk, ride in the car with the windows down, ask someone to take you for a motorcycle ride. Stagnation builds on itself and motion is the cure. Lastly, start meeting your own needs. You are hungry for something that no one else can provide for. The world is never going to line up and be perfect. It will be horrible and beautiful at all times. You have to decide how to be ok with the imperfections. It is a worthy goal just to have a pleasant day so figure out what that would look like and don’t worry too much about measuring up to any other standard. Love, Auntie

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The Cut-Up | Issue Four | Spring 2017  

the source for arts culture politic and more for southern New England

The Cut-Up | Issue Four | Spring 2017  

the source for arts culture politic and more for southern New England