Elm City PopFest

Yale Daily News reviews
September 16, 2011, 5:32 pm
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Yale Daily News reviewed every show of this year’s Elm City PopFest. I’m glad that Yale made the effort to get involved in this year’s events. This is a step in the right direction for ECPF as we try to embrace all parts of the New Haven music community. Thanks to Chantel Simpson.

From Elm City PopFest kicks off at BAR with a bang:
“… The night ended with Eternal Summers. The leading lady’s seductively dreamy vocals fought over the fast-paced chaos that was the rest of the band. At times, they sounded dark and surreal, and at others they gave off a more summery, surf-rock feel. Whatever direction they took, though, my feet would spontaneously start tapping. It was a good night.”

From Elm City PopFest Day 2: Rocking Popeye’s:
“… Next up is EULA, and lead singer Alyse is howling. She’s … growling. She turns away from the crowd to face the drummer, banging her head to the beat. He smiles as her hair flies, and they feed off of each other. Eula is a loud mélange of punk, metal, and the spunk of the riot grrrl era. Still, somehow it’s a little too reserved.”

From Elm City PopFest continues, makes reporter dance:
“… The Reducers knew how to put on a show. The simplicity of the lyrics mixed with an upbeat tempo in their opener — “Yeah, Yeah, Alright, Come’on” — invoked feelings of nostalgia for the past: any one of any generation could have enjoyed their music. Everyone, of all ages raced to fill the open space in front of the stage to dance and sing-along. Even the quiet couple sitting at a table against the wall — him in his suit with the tie still tightened around his collar, her in business attire — were overcome by a feeling that had them up on their feet, racing to the dance floor to join the mix of those clad in leather jackets with crazy buttons and denim. That moment really summed up the experience.”

From PopFest saved the best for last:
“… Yale’s own Jamestown, The First Town in America opened the final night of Elm City PopFest at Café Nine. The seven members were crammed on stage, forming a cluster of melodic energy that projected beautifully crafted songs and perfectly synchronized melodies. When the lead singer twisted his face to belt out each word, he seemed to be reaching deep inside himself to deliver the poetic lyrics that soulfully rolled off his tongue. Every solo was moving; every harmony, heartfelt. Jamestown was definitely the best band I’ve seen at the PopFest in all four nights.”

Two weeks until ECPF
September 3, 2011, 3:47 pm
Filed under: elm city popfest, new haven

There’s less than two weeks until ECPF officially kicks off. Are you planning on joining us? You probably should … 4 days, 4 shows, 3 venues, 14 bands.

The Reducers

Reading Rainbow


Dream Diary

… and lots more.

Thanks for coming
August 15, 2011, 8:51 pm
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Thanks to everyone that came out the two ECPF warm-up shows in New Haven and Hartford. Below are a couple shots of The Guru rocking out at The Charter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford. Expect more photos and video as they become available.

Photos courtesy of Colin Sullivan

See you in New Haven on Sept. 14-17.

ECPF 3 Poster
July 26, 2011, 1:18 pm
Filed under: elm city popfest, new haven

Final two bands added to lineups
July 25, 2011, 2:00 pm
Filed under: cafe nine, elm city popfest, new haven | Tags: ,

The final two bands have been added to fill out the remaining slots on the Friday and Saturday shows at Cafe Nine. We’re excited to have added these two band, which we’ve never booked before. Both bands will add some great music to the already stellar lineups.

Formed in the banner year of 1978, New London, Connecticut’s Reducers can honestly lay claim to being one of America’s original D.I.Y. bands. Guitarists Peter Detmold and Hugh Birdsall formed the nucleus of the group in 1977 when they embarked on a beer-soaked journey through the pubs and clubs of London. The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Jam and a hundred other punk bands were seen that summer, but from the very start, Peter and Hugh brought another very English influence to their music — Pub Rock bands like the Ducks Deluxe, Rockpile and especially Dr. Feelgood inspired the boys to form their own rockin’ outfit.

Tom Trombley and Steve Kaika were next to join. Both were employed as the rhythm section in the Bob Bridgeman Band, a country rock outfit ahead of its time by at least 15 years. “Boy, did we get paid,” claims drummer Tommy of his country punk days, but somehow he, along with Steve were wrested from their steady cowpoke gigs, and thrust into the somewhat rougher and uncharted territory of the burgeoning indie/punk/new wave scene.

The Reducers have kept rocking — and doing it their way — right up to the present day, and we’re proud to have them as part of Elm City PopFest.

The Novels are a four-piece rock band from Northampton, Mass., that sings rock’n’roll oozing with Velvet Underground influence. The Novels feature members of other notable Northampton bands including The Salvation Alley String Band and Paper Piano.

New Haven warm-up show
July 15, 2011, 5:22 pm
Filed under: elm city popfest, new haven

Poster by Bob Rock

Pre-festival warm-up show: Elm Bar, New Haven

This year, Elm City PopFest will be hosting two warm-up shows during the month of August to promote ECPF and hopefully drum up some excitement. The first warm-up show will be August 6 at Elm Bar in New Haven. The second warm-up show will be at the Charter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford.

The Tyler Trudea Attempt are no strangers to rock and roll stages all over the northeast. Originally a solo home recording project began during Trudeau’s high school years, The Tyler Trudeau Attempt has been a gigging live band for over half a decade. The band includes current and former members of Connecticut bands Apse/ERAAS, The Cavemen Go and Shark. The Attempt has a catchy power-pop sound and lyrics you’ll find yourself singing for days. The band makes musical nods to Elvis Costello, Richard Hell, The Modern Lovers, The Ramones and more.

I was reminded of all manner of awesome late punk and new wave bands. The Tyler Trudeau Attempt specialize not only in evoking the sounds of that time, but also the stubborn awkwardness, the diffculty of interpretation. … Trudeau’s musical vision may seem to call upon cultural moments too disparate to make sense — but the thing is, his music makes it gel.The Hartford Advocate

DEAD WIVES (New Haven, Conn.)
Dead Wives are a 3-piece self-described “skate rock” band. The band has five demos and one proper EP under their belt. The “Scuz Bucket” EP received local praise earlier this year.

“Scuz Bucket” came to life between November and December 2010 at Enox Productions in Newtown, CT. The message from the band said this was “3-piece skate-rock” which I think is great. I’ve relied on the skate-rock descriptor a bunch of times, mainly because there was that great period between the late eighties and early nineties where this stuff was going on. … all this stuff was a mix of lo-fi rock, punk and hardcore that I’d say guys like Lou Barlow and bands like Guided By Voices ended up turning into more than just something to crank from the blown speakers of a boombox while skating your miniramp. Conjures up thoughts of sunny summer days and the clank of trucks landing on coping. Can’t be beat.CT Indie

New Haven’s Celebrated Tigers play “enjoyable indie rock.” According to their Facebook page, “In addition to nature and human experience, we also like Neil Young and The Pixies.” Their latest release, the full length, “Year of The Tiger,” resulted in a packed house at The Outer Space and landed them a coveted spot on a Wednesday night show at BAR opening for The Shivers.

Although they prefer not to name drop influences, Celebrated Tigers’ Britt and Brian apparently bonded over ‘being last picked in gym class and their unwavering love of the “Blue” album by Weezer.’ The inherent awkwardness of such sensibilities surfaces in their music through and through. Deceptively sloppy at times (okay, ‘lo-fi’), each song is conversely carried by an adept sense of melody that surpasses any notion of insincerity or uncertainty (which despite the rough edges, leads one to believe these guys know what they’re doing). Such ramshackle purity is a blast to listen to, so make sure you stop by if you can.
New Haven Music

Band announcement No. 4
June 29, 2011, 6:35 pm
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This year, we’ve teamed up with Manic Productions and will be kicking off the festival at BAR in New Haven with three great bands.

ETERNAL SUMMERS (Kanine Records)
Eternal Summers will detonate your chill vibe. While you’ve no doubt spent the hot months absorbing ultraviolets and soaking up beachy sounds, Nicole Yun and Daniel Cundiff have been cutting loose in the back woods, creating their fuzziest, jangliest statement yet: Silver. … The inland duo’s music comes out of the forests of Roanoke, Va., where the mountain vistas are inspiring but the scene is mostly cover bands. Both members are a part of the Magic Twig Community, a collective of nine like-minded musicians that cherish boundless creativity and weirdo indie pop.

Nothing short of beautiful bashing beats, mesmerizing melodies, and an overall crushing display of songwriting simplicity done right, when it seems so easy to do wrong. Just a two-piece boy and girl couple, utilizing a captivating and metronomic drum beat underneath a scaly and spidery, yet irresistible guitar crunch, it was impossible to resist then, and we still haven’t been able to shake off the shivers they induced to this day. One of a handful of new bands with an instantly unique and penetrating sound all their own, Reading Rainbow drive a deep groove down the center of each well-beaten track on the Prism Eyes LP, creating the addicting and awe-inspiring hum of fuzz-laden pop noise that will have your heart palpitating in seconds.VictimofTime.com

Ghost of Chance are an experimental rock band based in New Haven, Connecticut. The group’s distinctive style is characterized by subtle time signature changes and sonically open experimentation set to surrealist lyrics. Ghost of Chance’s sound takes its influence from 1960s psychedelica, math rock and post punk while maintaining the shimmer of classic pop sensibilities.

… this record, with drum and bass low in the mix, quirky time changes, big, wide reverb-wash and Mellotron patches aplenty sounds more like late-era, John Lennon Beatles. “Dreams” and “The Breath” are sonic reminders of “Julia” and “Across the Universe.” … In short, it sounds sort of like The White Album, and that’s not a bad thing.New Haven Advocate

Band announcement No. 3
June 27, 2011, 4:07 pm
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We’re proud to welcome back a couple of bands that played last year’s fest — Eula and The Field Recordings — and a band that’s new to the fest, but known to the area — 28 Degrees Taurus.

28 DEGREES TAURUS (Allston, Mass.)
28 Degrees Taurus are an shoegaze/psychedelic rock band from the Boston area. Their musical ideals are somewhere between the late ’60s, early ’90s. The band has been together since about 2005 with various drummers. Live shows are crazy, electric, loud and ecstatic. The records are catchy, hypnotic and fluctuate a lot between the various time periods and styles they’re influenced by. The band has released two full-length records and two EPs.

There are a handful of bands, however, who can bring that feeling back, like I’m fifteen and putting on some mix CD from my bandmate for the first time. Back then, everything sounded fresh and original but now, it’s a rare band that doesn’t automatically lock into a neat little slot of context – influences, artistic movements, harmonic analysis and all the rest. But sometimes, with originality and passion, a band can shut down my nerdy neurons and just make me happy. And 28 Degrees Taurus is one of these few.Radio Flyer

EULA (New Haven/NYC)
Alyse, Nate and Jeff — Eula — play a unique brand of post rock that’s been impressing listeners and critics alike. They’re getting buzz all over the blogosphere and continually packing venues and playing with some of rock and pop’s hottest indie acts. Eula recently played CT’s B.O.M.B. Fest with the likes of Weezer, Titus Andronicus and The New Pornographers, to name only a few. Their latest release, “Maurice Narcisse,” is getting great reviews.

Eula’s music is angular, which means it’s sharp and spiny and spunky and it kind of hurts and feels good at the same time. Possible genre classifications include, but are not limited to, art rock, post-punk, and no-wave. Which again highlights a particular quirk about the New Haven trio: the language that music critics have evolved to talk about bands like Eula is esoteric and exclusionary, when the music itself is incredibly straightforward and bodily. … Their new album, Maurice Narcisse, is definitely stabby. Songs hover around the 2-minute mark. Lamb’s staccato guitar hacks and slashes at drummer Nate Rose’s relentless four-to-the-floor dance beats. Her voice goes from little-girl crooning to domestic-abuser caterwauling.The Hartford Advocate

The Field Recordings are a garage rock/pop band from Danbury, CT. They’ve been playing shows and releasing music pretty much nonstop since they burst on the CT scene. Taken from their MySpace, their lineup is as follows: DAN GALLO on all Electro-Domestic Strings, Throat-Warble Words, as well as all Translations of Languages near and far. JARED THOMPSON on all Tempered-Wooden Percussives, Hammered Metal Cymbals & the Background-Angled Accentuating Words. NOEL THOMAS on all Dense Strings and Synthetic Approximations. The band cites Modest Mouse, Q and Not U, The Clash and Sebadoh as influences, among others.

Usually it’s the other way around, but The Field Recordings are a lot poppier in person than on record, or at least they were the other night. Angles took precedence over power chords, plus you could see the band was playing off of each another instead of just running through their patterns, which (if not unusual) was pretty cool considering the environment. They debuted one new song, “The Apologists”– way more Minutemen than Moving Targets, for reference– and threw in a couple of really bad jokes, if maybe to distance themselves from the band that went on before them, who told much better jokes but were otherwise a whole lot crummier. I’m guessing you could see The Field Recordings play two or three sets and they’d sound different each time, which may or may not be true but I’ll probably find out.One Base on an Overthrow

Band announcement No. 2
June 20, 2011, 1:36 pm
Filed under: elm city popfest, new haven | Tags: , ,

This year’s festival will be an eclectic mix of pop, rock and folk. Here are three more bands that embody that mix.

Brooklyn’s Dream Diary were originally asked to play the first Elm City PopFest in 2009, but were unable to make the date. Now, with a new album on Kanine Records and fresh from playing NYC PopFest, we’re glad to finally get this quartet up to New Haven. Dream Diary mines ’80s and ’90s British pop, but their sound owes just as much to fellow popsters The Pains of Being Pure at Heart as it does to The Smiths and The Fieldmice.

Listening to the ten songs on Dream Diary’s debut album, You Are the Beat, isn’t quite like taking a trip back in time, even though their ultra-sweet, C-86-loving indie pop sounds like it could have been released somewhere between Sarah 25 and 30. The guitars have the kind of rich, jangling sound Sarah bands strove for, the bass and drums have some bounce but never get loud, the production is wonderfully full and gauzy, and most of all, vocalist Jacob Sloan has the kind of intimate and soft voice that you pretty much had to have in 1990 if you were fronting a proper indie pop band.

THE CAVEMEN GO (New Haven/Boston)
New England pop stalwarts, The Cavemen Go, have been making jangly, Elvis Costello-sounding pop music for the better part of a decade. Despite lineup and location changes, The Cavemen Go’s sound has remained remarkably consistent thanks to the stellar songwriting of Jeremy Sage. These songs get you up and dancing as Sage’s songwriting channels the no-frills, hook-heavy sounds of early rock’n’roll without coming off as self-consciously retro. Their latest release was an EP on February Records.

The Cavemen Go are no strangers to the fertile music scene here in New Haven. Emerging as a two-man band in 2003, the group has grown up and established themselves as one of the most memorable rock groups in New England thanks to their glowing perfection of pop hooks and indie soul.New Haven Register

Since 2007, New Haven’s Sidewalk Dave has been tirelessly touring the Northeast with a rare blend of artistic Alt-rock. They have played with such similarly inspiring acts as Deer Tick, The Low Anthem, O’Death and more. A relentless pursuit to challenge and entertain the listener has earned them generous national press. Sidewalk Dave’s latest EP, “Can’t Be Your Friend,” was just released.
Over the past few years, approximately one zillion young musicians have put their own spin on a fusion of contemporary indie rock and American roots music. It’s quite a trick to stand out from that pack. Sidewalk Dave does.Fairfield County Weekly


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