Friday, November 27, 2009

New Idea Society - Alibi on the Menu, Weakness on the Menu

Mike Law formed New Idea society with Steve Brodsky in Boston around 2001. By the next year they recorded a self-titled EP with four songs, all of which were written in one day. According to Law, "We borrowed an 8 track that we didn't really know how to use and recorded the songs at my Dad's house, all in a day as well. I remember trying to sing really softly because we didn't know how to stop the microphone from making that popping noise. We didn't know what windscreens or compressors were. Somehow it ended up on CD and New Idea Society became my full time band."

After releasing the EP, Law moved to New York and brought the band name with him. He recruited new bandmembers and the group recorded a full length in 2005 called You Are Awake or Asleep. They followed this with The World is Bright and Lonely in 2007 and have a new album on the way.

"Alibi on the Menu," which comes from the debut EP, is a great slice of lo-fi power pop in the Elephant 6/Guided by Voices mold that I find myself singing any time someone says "Can I get a witness?"

Monday, November 23, 2009

Grit - Where the Red Fern Grows

Anyone looking to peg Grit’s sound need only scan the song titles of their first cassette, Teach Me To Rock, Baby. One song is called "Haley Mills" and another is a cover of a song from Degrassi High. Tony Perkins and Marc Mazique, who met while attending Rutgers university, formed Grit in 1992 after the demise of Mazique’s other band Sponge. The band never played outside of New Jersey, opting instead to play informal shows in dorm halls on campus.

After recording this cassette, Perkins and Mazique went into a studio to cut a few tracks for an upcoming compilation that their schoolmate Mark Gutkowski was putting together for his Jiffy Boy Label. Tony was still tweaking the lyrics to "Where the Red Fern Grows" the night before the session, but the song made the cut and appeared on the comp, Ten Cent Fix.

By 1994 the band broke up, and both went onto to other projects. Marc Mazique lives in Seattle and Tony Perkins lives in Olympia, Washington with his wife Carrie and daughter Imogen.