Happy Birthday to Me!

That’s right, guys. I just turned 12! or 16, or 22, or 99…who knows.

On December 13th, the Pape Space became like a Chuck E. Cheese’s, playing host to a little girl’s birthday party. But boy, were there some sophisticated jams!

Sea Fox played for her second time, and, just like at the very first show, all were silently attentive. Her voice is unrefined and genuinely unique, which are rare qualities to find in a voice so captivating. The heart-wrenching beauty in the room was palpable. Hopefully she’ll have recordings for us soon. For her last song, Leah Pape (certainly not the author of this blog?) and Shannon Lee joined her on “stage”, thus forming the hippest new folk trio, Kittens! It was their debut performance of a song that Keri wrote, entitled “Dig Four/Cabin Fever Song”. They were well received, judging by the gratuitous applause and compliments. Look out for them at CCC Christmas, Part 2. ;]

Then, Trestin Eeling of Practice Room Records (Kenny Korb) played his second CCC show, another much loved and longed for follow-up to our first show. He played an as of yet unreleased song that was at least ten minutes long. The passion in Kenny’s musical persona is unmatched by any other I’ve heard, and completely unexpected based upon his social interactions. He never ceases to amaze. New material to come in the spring!

The big spectacle of the night, what we all really came to see: Incorporated Village of Ghost. An incredibly close second to Family Lumber for my official rating of best LI band. We had been wanting these guys for a house show since the beginning, and they came out of hibernation just for us! They played three new songs, one of which they were performing for the first time. A six-piece ghost rock band beloved by many from Babylon to Brooklyn, now diving into the world of sea shanties. The lyrics have a whimsical storytelling quality similar to the Decemberists; the instrumentation contains post-rock complexities and another key ingredient that I just can’t put my finger on…thus is the non-corporeal nature of IVOG.

Unfortunately, our little ghosty pals were stopped three songs in by none other than THE MAN. It was 11:09pm, just past the wimpy town’s noise curfew (to be fair, IVOG is very, very loud). It was just enough to get the audience hot and bothered and wanting more, those sexy bastards. I bet they planned it all along…

Regardless of the prior catastrophe, Beach Moon/Peach Moon took the stage! The rock stops for no man. Unlike his debut performance at our first show (pattern here?), Dr. Robbie da Bobby was accompanied by the ever-so talented Peter DeMaio (Golden Wave, The Phantom and The Fox) on lead guitar, and Travis Giorgione (Golden Wave, Soft Talk) on drums. And lo, what a difference it made. His parallelism to Sparklehorse fell by the wayside, making room for an experimental freak-folk trippy-dippy sound. It was even danceable at times. It was they’re full-band debut, and they could not have had a warmer reception. People surprised themselves by loving it, despite its blatant peculiarities. 

There was no drum circle this time around, and no baked-goods. But what it lacked in warm fuzziness it made up for in hard rockery and sex appeal. We don’t play around. (Except that’s really all we do.)

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(Photographs by Andrew Sliwoski. Final BM/PM photo edited by Shannon Lee.)

<3

Remember, remember…

The fifth of November. When CCC had a show for the hipstory books. Three (and a half) new acts!

This was the Monday directly following Hurricane Sandy, so, understandably, many people missed it. Nevertheless, we rocked on. Christine Sweeney opened to a somewhat pitiful crowd. The crowd grew with her performance, but she maintained a high intensity all throughout her set. It has been a month, but I remember specifically her cover of “Somebody That I Used to Know” as delightful and refreshing (I always felt guilty for liking that song; her version made it acceptable for my hipster cred). With indie charm like Jenny Lewis and a power like KT Tunstall, she drew us all away from the disaster around us.

Be still, my heart, for next was Jesse Asch. Soft and sweet, yet strong and sad, his acoustic folk tunes broke our hearts and mended them simultaneously. Wow. Enough said.

Jesse stayed on stage, joined by his buddies Vinny and Sal, to produce Salvatore Rex and the Dead King Choir. You can always trust Sal to bring one the sadness, singing of failures in the self and in love. Things also got a little political. This was fitting, as it was the day before the presidential election. Regardless of content, they played for us some fun, romping sounds alongside slow folk ballads. The memory is shaky, but I recall Jesse ditching the percussion and joining Sal in vocal harmony, and it was beautiful. Job well done, boys. You’ll be back.

Golden Wave came on for the second time in CCC hipstory, a much needed wake-up call after the warm, folky glow. There’s something about chords strummed on an electric guitar, accompanied by nothing but pop vocals, that makes the whole room smile and dance and forget. Peter DeMaio does it so well, instilling genuine happiness on all the faces (the same style done poorly still causes the smiling and dancing and forgetting, but instead of forgetting your cares, you’re forgetting that your ears are bleeding). Any musical project that man touches instantly attains magic and mastery. On this night, for his last song, Robbie (BM/PM) and Travis (Soft Talk) joined him on bass and drums, respectively, bringing the magic to a new level! These boys are so much fun. It’s like The Strokes meets surf.

Alexa Dexa came back for round two to a loving, welcoming audience. She never ceases to amaze. Her new toy is a Typatune, “an educational toy from the 1940’s with 32 musical notes indicated by letters of the alphabet arranged like a standard typewriter keyboard”, and, though peculiar, had a dramatic effect that enraptured the room. It was more art than music. She did not use any electronic beats this time, making for a pleasant, intimate atmosphere: a perfect close to a surprisingly successful night.

I’d like to thank all of the performers and audience members once again for making it out despite the disastrous effects of Hurricane Sandy. Whatever happens, we’ll always be making music. Even if it’s just a circle of us singing WHY? songs to an IVOG guitar.

What?! This show was over a month ago!

Yeah, I know. I have really been off my game, but here it goes.

A show that was put together in JUST ONE WEEK deserves some mention! Greg was kind enough to let us use his basement ‘cause the ‘rents were gone. I was under the impression this was a costume party, so I went with a couple friends and made them dress up with me…and ended up a sexy pilot in a room full of hipsters (or should I say a “sauna of faggots”, courtesy of Greg’s brother).

Nick Lee, man of a thousand bands (Rice Cultivation Society, Helicopter Goes KABOOM!, and Moon Tooth to name a few) opened up the night all by his lonesome, a new sight for many of us. He took us to an unexpected yet thoroughly enjoyable place reminiscent of Tom Waits, if he got a little dirty with his guitar riffs. He was followed up by Tallman Trask, making his third appearance at a CCC show (wowza). I’ve talked him up plenty for you guys. 

Seriously now. AllOne was greeted to the stage with a drum circle, and not a shabby one at that. The crowd’s energy was great, and he made a bunch of new fans that night. If you haven’t checked him out yet, DO IT. We may book him this winter, he’s one show away from maxing out his slots!

A first to our CCC community, but an old favorite to many, The Phantom and The Fox closed the night. This was honestly the best time I have seen them, and I’ve seen some great performances by them. Pete DeMaio and Dan Hodgkinson have been working hard at their sound for at least two years now, with many changing members surrounding them. They have really been coming into their own as of late, and I’m very excited for what is yet to be heard. I believe they are currently working on their EP!

I may have forgotten some of the finer details of this night, but I do recall having a grand ol’ time. We need more spontaneous shows.

ARTIST HIGHLIGHT: Family Lumber

WHY WE LOVE THEM: Michael Tietjen is an indie acoustic master of apathy. He has a voice that makes you fall in love instantly. When he plays solo, he steals you from your surroundings and brings you to a place of tender, fragile intimacy. With his band behind him, he fills the room with an atmosphere of real rock. Every time I’m at one of their shows it feels like one of those awesome underground basement shows everyone wishes they were at once the band gets big. They’re going places.

WHEN WE HAD THEM: Our second show, at Shane’s house. Mike wound the night down with a solo set. We hope to have the full band back in action and at one of our upcoming shows!

WHERE TO FIND THEM: 

https://www.facebook.com/familylumber

http://familylumber.bandcamp.com

Thanks.

I’m forever thankful for my family and all they’ve done for me, and for my body, mind and spirit, and all they’ve brought me. This year, there’s something extra, a special something for which I am also truly thankful.

That thing is you! This group is bringing me hope that life in love is possible and ideal. Those two rarely go hand in hand (what is possible and what is ideal). Seeing you all come together as musicians has been a magical and important experience for me, but what really strikes me is the sense of community. What we do has restored in me a faith that I hadn’t been able to find since I quit religion. I believe that all we need is to see and feel that our voice and message is being heard by others. That’s what we’re doing. It’s real, and it’s getting realer.

So thank you, CCC. I haven’t been writing here as often as I ought, so I’ll be bringing in a couple more contributors. I want to keep this alive and kickin’!

I’ve just finished cleaning my house for Tofurkey day and I’m coming off a mild drunk and I’m listening to I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One, and life is beautiful and full of love, and I needed to share it.

With love, Leah.

ARTIST HIGHLIGHT: Beach Moon/Peach Moon

WHY WE LOVE HIM: His sound is so subtle, quiet, and lo-fi that it only works at house shows. If a genre had to be given it would be some kind of experimental folk, though that doesn’t quite cover it. It’s comparable to Sparklehorse in vocal stylings and indefinable nature, but BM/PM is softer with much shorter songs (some songs under one minute in length). He zones you out of your surroundings and into a peaceful, pensive place inside yourself, touching upon insecurities and washing them away, letting you know it’s okay to feel out of touch. He plays solo, with an acoustic guitar and heavy vocal effects, though he has just started playing with a drummer (Soft Talk) and lead guitarist (Golden Wave), and that shit is tight. He has shifted my understanding of what music is, and what it means.

Oh, and did I mention that he started the whole Collective? Yeah, he r00lz.

WHEN WE HAD HIM: Our first show, at the Super Ballin’ House Castle, aka Pape Space. Next time we have him it will be FULL BAND, and we’re as excited as a Stank Booty Macho Man Randy Savage!

WHERE TO FIND HIM: 

http://www.practiceroomrecords.com/projects/beachmoonpeachmoon/

https://www.facebook.com/BeachMoonPeachMoon

ARTIST HIGHLIGHT: And the Day is Mine

WHY WE LOVE THEM: These boys are a jolly band of misfits. Guitarist/singer Christian Seda draws his inspiration from modern math rock bands, whereas his counterpart Austin Gallagher has deep roots in the classic side of rock, producing a very interesting, experimental sound. We look forward to what they will do next!

WHEN WE HAD THEM: Our second CCC show, at Shane’s house on September 29th. Those boys brought the noise.

WHERE TO FIND THEM:

http://andthedayismine.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AndTheDayIsMine

A Shot in the Dark (or, Saved by Centerville!)

It’s a cruel world we live in. Cruel when your mom doesn’t tell you she hasn’t paid the electric bill. Crueler when the electric company shuts off your power. Even crueler when they make you pay one thousand dollars to turn it back on. Crueler still when you pay the bill in the morning and they say the power will come back on within the next 24 hours…

It’s cruel when you’re waiting for that call.

I fucking hate waiting.

Especially when the night you are waiting for the light to return to your life is the night you were planning to host your second awesome house show. You rush to Starbucks to charge your phone that’s been overloaded with texts and calls from friends asking questions and offering assistance. We tried to borrow generators to power a few amps, but we didn’t have the money for the gas. Some venue change ideas were thrown around, and just when I was about to cancel, John Carbone, of Rice Cultivation Society and Centerville Studios, offered up his house!

This happened literally one hour before people were supposed to show up at the Pape House. Phew. Crisis averted! And boy, it was a true blessing from the universe, because this show was AWESOME. The crowd was surprisingly substantial, considering the change in location. Regardless of size, the energy was right on. Tigers and You Fraidycats made their second appearance in the CCC universe, starting off the night in a blaze of nervous energy. Soon after we had Alexa Dexa (read our artist highlight on her!), and all ears were attentive to her toy tunes. She’ll be joining us again very soon! Next was AllOne, another much loved new member of our CCC family (read his artist highlight, too!). The Phantom and The Fox brought their experimental, psychedelic rock sounds into our minds, hearts, and undergarments. They craft intricate melodies that encourage the mind to explore its own depths, then snap you back out with catchy hooks. To top off the madness, we pulled Helicopter Goes KABOOM! out of the rafters. Pure delirious delicious pandemonium. Harnessing elements from electro-pop to funk, they are a hip-hop rock band at their core. It’s a peculiar sound, to be sure, but they put on a helluvah fun show. The audience was dancing right along, and when the movement would die down the singer, Michael McManus, would have us jog in place. Weird stuff. (I recommend their track “Diners and Beds”, a super fun pop song about unrequited love and wanting to die.) BDee, the rapper of the group invited AllOne to take up the freestyling mantle on a couple songs, and he killed it.

This show would not have been possible if it weren’t for the beautiful, loving souls of the group’s facilitators. I couldn’t believe how well it all came together in the end. A thousand thanks to the Centerville crew and all the amazing artists who performed, for adapting to the sudden change in locale. 

ARTIST HIGHLIGHT: AllOne

WHY WE LOVE HIM: Upon meeting Bruce you would not suspect that such a sweet, clean guy, with such an excellent mustache, would double as a talented rap artist. His words are thoughtful and brilliant, sending messages that open the mind and the heart. He sheds his inner darkness and makes it outwardly beautiful. Whether a capella or accompanied by a backing track, he always has command of the entire room.

WHEN WE HAD HIM: Our third and fourth CCC shows. He met many of our crew for the first time at show three, and we all loved him so much that he came back a week later!

WHERE TO FIND HIM:

 https://www.facebook.com/AllOneVoice

http://allonevoice.bandcamp.com/

Art by Megan McShane.

Art by Megan McShane.