To pass the time this morning whilst the rain & snow once again descends on Manhattan, I put on an old Luka Bloom album and let the mournful wailings of a homesick Irishman wash over me, when outta nowhere I get an email from Francesco Ferorelli. He’s played drums for a bunch of punk and metal bands over the past decade and regularly sends me what he’s doing…most of it totally unsuitable for human consumption, or at least the delicate flowers that frequent The List…but now he tells me that during his head-bangin’ period he was actually a closet Kris Kristofferson fan and was writing his own songs…FOLK SONGS…and recorded them on an LP under the name The Heaven’s Jail Band. Making up the band are Ethan Schmid (Glory Girls) on drums, James Preston (The Americans, Alana Amrama and the Rough Gems) on Bass, John Hunter (Lower Dens, Glory Girls) on lead guitar, and guest Scott Stapleton (Phosphorescent, Virgin Forest) on keys. Now maybe it’s simply because I still had residual Luka swirling around in my earholes, but listen to ‘Mary Watches Everything’ off of 1992’s ‘The Acoustic Motorbike’ and then tell me if there isn’t an eerie similarity.
It’s been a week since I dropped anything on The List, simply ‘cuz I’ve been busy as Hell with new work…truth be told, I’m elbow-deep in processing about 100 gigs of RAW files…but with the Snowpocalypse swirling outside my window I needed a little break and Francesco Ferorelli just axed if I could give a listen to his friend Peter LaBier’s new band, Psychobuildings. After playing ‘Paradise’ a couple of times, I’d be willing to bet the ranch that they got the name Psychobuildings after tossing The Talking Heads “Psycho Killer” and “More Songs About Buildings and Food” into a blender, because it can’t be a coincidence that more than a little Heads influence pokes through in their music. And while I’m thinking about old New Wave bands, what do you call New Wave music made 30 years after the first New Wave…..“Neaux Wave”?!! Anyway…joining Mr. LaBier are Peter Schuette and Juan Pieczanski and from what I can glean from the interweb, they’re working on getting an EP out soon. In the meantime, you can follow them over on MySpace
I’m breaking one of my own rules today by taking a request. Francesco Ferorelli (whom I’m pretty sure I met when he was two years old!) has been holding my feet to the fire for years wondering why I never feature any of his bands on The List, but the simple fact is that most of the stuff he’s sent to me over the years has made my ears bleed before I even get to the chorus, so when he gave me the latest EP he put out featuring Jana Hunter, I was pleasantly surprised at what I heard. The spare, meandering guitar intro takes almost two minutes to get to her vocal, but when it does, the haunting Siouxsie Sioux-like quality of this song becomes evident…but then, I always liked the Banshees better when they wandered off on an arty tangent. And let’s not kid ourselves, with a title like ‘Two Cocks Waving Wildly at Each Other Across a Vast, Open Space, a Dark, Icy Tundra’, I think Ms. Hunter is firmly in the art-rock camp. She has toured with Tara Jane O’Neil, Rasputina, Deer Tick, Marissa Nadler and perhaps most notably, Devendra Banhart, who she also has also recorded with. Check out her MySpace page and then why not head over to Heart Break Beat Records and give a listen to some of Francesco’s other bands.