So we went on a Corporate Retreat this fall up to Salem, where we spent a few days at God City Studios under the watch of Converge’s Kurt Ballou. Using his studio and some innovative techniques to their best, he recorded a bunch of our new songs which we begin unveiling today with this wonderfully short teaser of a song that has been animated by Zak Kirwin
I thought the strangest part about running a band website is the moment when you switch a band members designation from the ‘active’ to ’emeritus’ position, but the truth is having to add ‘memoriam’ to that list is like devastation. Richie Madallo wasn’t an original member of the band and he hadn’t played with us since our first trip to the Burlington VT Book Fest, but his nimble fingers were a treat to add to our mix from the first moment that I met him when he came and subbed in for a show when our numbers were low and Jay implored him just enough. He was a percussion wizard with roots in the Boston punk scene having played drums for the Bones. He grew up in East Boston’s Orient Heights neighborhood, and it was on the public school bus there that he and Jay met and forged a lifelong friendship that was founded on music.
BTO recently lost one of it’s own, Richie Maddalo, the guy with the huge grin on his face, Richie was a dear friend and percussionist like no other. He brought creativity and style to anything he performed on, for us he was a maestro on the Remette typewriter. BTO will be performing along with Joe Harvard in Richie’s honor on Saturday, April 28 at the East Boston YMCA on 45 Ashley St., East Boston, a short walk from Orient Heights station on the Blue Line, starting at 7:30PM. Light refreshments will be served. Expect some Bowie throughout the evening Admission is free,
So we’re expanding the scope of things… Usually December is a winding down of the year, but this year has been crazy and 2018 is already shaping up to be even busier. So instead of merely playing a couple of songs as a lark at the Christmas Cavalcade, we’re also helping the JP branch of the BPL celebrate the holidays, and we’re doing a show with some good pals from Chicago, Bitchin’ Bajas, that will serve as a quasi official record release party for us.
12/7: First up of the three is the trip to Jamaica Plain where we’ll serve the local community with a proper dessert of sound after a potluck at their branch of the Boston Public Library. The room fits only about 100, and I’m not sure if you need to bring food to share to be let in, but this will be the most casual of the shows, with a limited PA, so if it’s not your natural neighborhood, maybe you shouldn’t try to fight your way down to that end of town.
12/13: Last of the three chronologically is the 13th Annual Christmas Cavalcade. It’s always a crazy time and with Johnny D’s razed last week, it’s gonna be at Once again this year. Proceeds go to benefit the Somerville Homeless Coalition, so that’s a great cause, but if you’re coming just to see us play, well, know that we’ve got a very short set in the early part of the night and that we’ll dust off a popular Christmas ditty that we’ve played out the past few years, let Alex do his twisted interpretation of a Night Before Xmas, and we’ll have a new holiday tune to show off celebrating those that died on the holiday.
12/10: The other show, well, this is our big record release show at a dance studio in Cambridge’s Central Square, and it’s the one that everyone should come to see us play. We’ve been trying to find a good chance to bring our record out to the locals beyond those that supported us on Kickstarter or Bandcamp. When my pal Cooper told me his electronic band Bitchin’ Bajas was coming to town to play Studio @ 550, it seemed a perfectly bizarre fit for our all-analog manual typewriter attack to join forces with their droning melodic swells. This one will have us playing first and we’re planning to play a set designed for the heads who are there for the tunes, so we’ve got a few ideas up our sleeves on just how to shock and awe. Bring some extra cash as we’ll have records and t-shirts for sale and we’ll be around to hang out after you figure out how to reattach your jaw.
Wednesday December 13 doors at 6pm, music at 7pm
13th Annual Boston Christmas Cavalcade for the Homeless
with Livingston Taylor, The Chandler Travis Philharmonic, Merrie Amsterburg, The Boogaloo Swamis and more!
160 Highland Ave, Somerville MA 02143
$20.00 in advance, $25.00 at the door, all proceeds go to Somerville Homeless Coalition
Maybe you’re a long time fan who bought a CD from us at a concert back in the digital age. While those songs have circulated around the internet since, even we haven’t had them at shows for more than 5 years. In the meantime we’ve been coming to terms with this streaming era, releasing individual tracks to the world as soon as we hone them to a point where we are no longer wholly embarrassed by them.
We’ve finally figured out that as much as people like hearing our music, there is something about being able to hold our music in their hands which gives them the power as well, so we have released a 10″ vinyl recording with 4 of our most recent tracks on it. It’s up to you what you want to do with it, but we think that even if you don’t have a record player, Brian Dewan‘s cover makes for some great artwork for your wall.
If you want to purchase these tracks follow the links to Bandcamp and for a mere $15 we can get records in the mail to you within days, and digitally Bandcamp will let you download them in moments. If there’s enough furor, we may get more posters and t-shirts printed as well, and Brendan really wants to get this put on a cassette as well…
We have certainly done things in our past that have earned us varying degrees of infamy, but this effort might just be the most ignominious of all. Somehow we have been tapped with the opening slot for the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony Awards. While Folks are filing in to one of the most acoustically sound spaces in Cambridge, we’ll be on stage typing and tapping away in an effort to divert them from being able to decipher seat and row numbers. If you’ve never heard of this before, well, it’s like the scientific equivalent of the Razzies. Certainly not Nobel prize worthy, this awards people for genuine scientific achievement of preposterous premises.
While ticket prices are a bit prohibitive to a casual science dilettante who wants to see us play for 20 minutes, the whole thing will be broadcast on the Improbable Research web site and should be up on their You Tube page after the ceremony for us to share.
Thursday, September 14 5:40pm sharp
The 27th First Annual Ig® Nobel Prize Ceremony & Lectures
Sanders Theater, Harvard University
Tonight is the official premiere of California Typewriter. Sure it’s shown at film festivals over the past year and a half, but tonight it begins a weeklong run at the Metrograph in NYC. Next week it’s opening in LA, and after that it should be popping up at screens across the country and we’ll try to keep you in the loop…
Here’s a clip featuring us that they are using to try to get folks to come out to the film… not using the charisma of Tom Hanks or John Mayer, or the recently deceased Sam Shepard, but it’s our mugs… go figure!
So we headed back to Greenville NY to visit our favorite place to watch movies. Outside.
Last year we were around for the first version of this, now it’s a second annual and a two day affair. We missed our pal Brian Dewan on Friday night, but made it for the whole of Saturday’s festivities.
That photo with all of us was taken by Doug Nichol, who directed the film that showed after our set, California Typewriter. Here, we’re checking sound and getting ourselves ready to type.
Our good pal Dwight Grimm thanked the crowd that gathered for the type-in and was ready to watch us play. I think he’s pointing to the screen here and getting ready to have us start.
As the evening approached we took to the stage with two sets prepared, just enough to take things to dusk. And we debuted our new metal tune to kick off the second set…
Clouds gathered to the south across the Catskills, but held off until the movie started, and then passed just as quickly, but the good omens were there from the start.
The sun set and the film rolled, and right in the middle of it all there we were. In a different quintet form, and younger…
Now we just need to find some more typewriter based films so that we can head back next year to help celebrate the joy of the typewriter and World Typewriter Day… 3rd Annual, here we come….
Last year, we were invited to the inaugural take at a Typewriter Arts Festival, with a type-in, typing poets, typewriter displays, and both a film and a documentary about typewriters being shown on a Drive-In screen at the north edge of the Catskills. We had a blast, and this year they are expanding to two days across this beautiful expanse at Drive-In 32 in Greenville NY for QWERTY: The Second Annual Festival of Type and the Letter Arts.
While we won’t be playing until Saturday, the festival begins Friday on World Typewriter Day Friday with a 10th anniversary screening of Gary Hustwit’s documentary Helvetica and a live performance from Brian Dewan, who did the cover art for our new record. On Saturday evening, we’ll be followed by screenings of Ink & Paper and Doug Nichol’s new documentary California Typewriter. Both evenings will host a gathering of typewriter poets, typewriter and letter art and a type-in hosted by Eric Molbach. People are invited to bring their typewriters or use one of the free typewriters provided. The USPS is even setting up a remote mailing station so you can type a letter and send it from the Greenville Drive-In.
Saturday, June 24, 2017
QWERTY: The Second Annual Festival of Type and the Letter Arts
Drive-In 32 Gates and Snack Bar open at 6:30 Friday, 3:30 Saturday
10700 NY-32, Greenville, New York
$10 for Friday Night / $15 for Saturday / $20 for Festival Pass
So when a camera crew from CNN showed up at our show at Once Lounge last week to record our performance to grab a few clips for a segment in their feature for their site Great Big Story, it felt pretty great. It was weird though, I mean, we were opening for bands with deep legacies (Trinary System featuring Roger Miller from Mission of Burma, and Black Helicopter featuring guys from 90s heroes Green Magnet School and Kudgel), and they packed up the cameras as soon as we were done. They’d actually been to our practice a week before and the results, well, are certainly great…
We’re off to Maine next Friday to play at the Portland Museum of Art, and have our June trek to the Greenville Drive In for their typewriter arts festival set as well. The artwork for the vinyl version of our EP is finished and it’s heading out to finally get pressed. And a story like this has been snowballing into other coverage and offers, so keep an eye on this space as we announce other shows. And if you’re on Instagram, make sure to follow us as we’ve nearly equalled followers and posts as we put up our 400th image.
So thanks to the miracle of the internet, we’ve secured the financing to manufacture vinyl for Termination Without Prejudice, Volume 1, a 10″ EP set to feature some of our songs (we’d originally figured on 4, but we’ve been thinking of expanding it to add another track to each side for a total of 6). There’s still time left to pledge until 8pm EST on Cyber Monday (11/28). If you miss that deadline, we’ll be putting a pre-order option on our bandcamp page once everything is mastered and ready to roll.
We also announced that our cover art is being done by Brian Dewan, artist/sculptor/renaissance man extraordinaire who’s know best in the music world for the art on the cover of They Might Be Giants’ Lincoln album and on the inside of Neutral Milk Hotel’s On the Aeroplane Over the Sea.
While our last show of the year will be Chandler Travis’ Christmas bash at Once Somerville on Wednesday 12/21, the band is also in the midst of working on scheduling events for 2017, so if you’d like to see the band play near you, let us know the name of art galleries, museums, or other venues across the Northeast that might serve us well so we can present our sounds. Already in the works is a return to the Catskills for the 2nd Annual Typewriter Arts Festival in June and we’re looking to perform around the area when the documentary that we’re featured in, California Typewriter, premieres at a few locations around New England.
We’re open to further treks, but getting us there is a bit prohibitive, so let us know…