Bud Collins Trio, Low Ceilings
250 State Street
New Haven, CT, 06510
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Bernice, the project of Toronto-based vocalist/songwriter Robin Dann, blends “melodies reminiscent of artists like Sade with the playful sounds of artists like Deerhoof and Dirty Projectors” (Pigeons & Planes). Dann is a trained vocalist with a Masters in Music from Goldsmiths, University of London, and her band – Thom Gill (keyboards/samples), Felicity Williams (vocals), Phil Melanson (percussion), and Dan Fortin (bass) – features active members of Bahamas, Owen Pallett, Leif Vollebekk, and DIANA.
Following the release of two singles – “St Lucia” and “Don’t Wanna Be European” – Bernice hit the road supporting Martha Wainwright and released Puff, a 5-song EP in June ‘17 to resounding critical acclaim from Pitchfork, NPR, Zane Lowe, and The Fader. Stereogum and Exclaim Magazine named the release as one of the ‘Best EPs of 2017. Puff was produced by Grammy Award-winner Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Lucius) and Matt Smith (Owen Pallett).
Bernice followed the maximalist EP with minimalist sophomore album Puff: In The Air Without A Shape released in May ’18 on Arts & Crafts. Continuing their enigmatic exploration of pop, jazz, and R&B, Bernice’s new album attempts to mimic the playful intimacy of the band’s live show. The album was called “a monument to ephemerality” by the New York Times and received a long-list nomination for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.
Bud Collins Trio
No one is entirely sure when the Bud Collins Trio was formed, some believe it was the 70s, other say 80s. The band don’t seem to agree either. They have never sounded much like any other band, but yet mysteriously like five, three of which are a secret.
One could not be faulted for thinking that the Bud Collins Trio might play primarily a kind of pop, but with a mixture of textures from various eras of pop and rock, and many other influences apparent, such as jazz, progressive rock, electronic music, lounge, and fusion, and that comparisons, hypothetically, might range from XTC, Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, to Robyn Hitchcock, echoes of Brian Wilson, Camper Van Beethoven, the Beatles, Elvis Costello, Elliott Smith, and Todd Rundgren. But the band warn that this is merely speculation and could just be hearsay. People hear things, they say things, what can be done?
It is suggested by some that they began their journey playing on and off campus around the University of Connecticut, then elsewhere in their home state, the land of forlorn woods and insurance sales, at various clubs in the Hartford and New Haven areas, and that soon after they expanded their territory to most of New England, including Portland ME, various NH and VT college towns, Providence and some of the Rhode Island beach clubs, and Boston, as well as a good number of steady and weekly shows in NYC. Some people even believe that they played the legendary CBGB in New York several times, and were the only freakish progressive whatever band on a Christmas compilation of NY punk bands from the CBGB era of the late 80’s.
Unnamed sources indicate that the BC3 were actually a steadfast part of the US indie scene through the late eighties and mid-nineties, and that during that time their video “Fisticuffs” aired a number of times on MTV Basement Tapes, and they played with well-known acts\musicians such as Bob Mould, Blues Traveler, Maceo Parker, and The Monks of Doom (half of Camper Van Beethoven). Stores seem to imply that they lived in vans, played hundreds of shows and split the money on gas station burritos.
It was widely reported in 1994 that Bud Collins played for the Real Bud Collins (Wimbledon doubles champ \ Boston Globe columnist\NBC Tennis commentator) when he was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame, and Sports Illustrated ran a human interest story on the event with a full two page spread. Bud Collins the man was then afterwards seen at BC3 gigs in Boston on more than one occasion, having a cocktail and listening to the quizzical magic of his namesake band.
Microfiche survives which recounts a certain point in the mid-nineties the band split up for a time, but this evidence was all transferred to a USB drive sometime around 2008 when the band reassembled – and the incongruous pieces of the musical puzzle once again fell back into their unlikely shape.
Even more surprising, it is known from traffic cam footage that they started again entirely from scratch, with all new music, with most of the original members from all of the incarnations.
In the following years up to the present the band have prolifically written. They’ve cataloged more than 100 new tunes, many of which are figuring into different current projects, including an upcoming full length release, State Vector Collapse, scheduled for some time in 2019. They released the Quasarmoto EP in the winter of 2016. This critically well received EP featured more lush and strange pop, psychedelic, progressive, dreamy, chill and thought provoking music, and charted well on US college radio (109 nationally).
Most recently they released a 3 song EP “No Such Thing”, in cooperation with Tinderbox Music, which charted at #92 on the US national college charts (Muzooka, May 2018) and played 3 shows during SXSW 2018 on the Red Gorilla Stages in Austin, Texas.
Low Ceilings is an indie-folk project currently based in Windsor, CT. While the group has taken many forms over the years, its core has always been Ben Mueller, who writes the songs; produces, records, and mixes the albums; and handles acoustic guitar and vocals live.
Low Ceilings’ recordings tactfully straddle the line between lush production value and intimate, basementy lo-fi in a way that only a college career in the Boston DIY scene could make possible. While attending Emerson College, Mueller, a Connecticut native, started the group with some friends and released an EP and two full-lengths as a full band. Boston, a veritable cornucopia of music venues formal and informal, gave them plenty of room to play. They belted their folky rock with a progressive tilt everywhere they could: basements, bars, living rooms, and venues like Club Passim, Club Bohemia, and The Middle East. The band has also performed across New England, notably in an empty swimming pool in Nashua, New Hampshire; The Met in Pawtucket, Rhode Island; and AS220 in Providence, Rhode Island. Digital Wheat Paste’s TJ Foster called their self-titled EP a “tremendously impressive record…songs that somehow sound intimately lo-fi and carefully polished all at the same time.”
After finishing school and moving back to Windsor, Low Ceilings became a Mueller solo project. The 5-song EP Least Favored Painting, out May 1st 2018, is the first release since the change. And change is good: CT Scramble wrote of the EP that “throughout its almost beachside strummings, there is a weary urban beat mysticism that permeates its mood, weighing down what could be easily sunny pop songs with something more literary, wistful, and vibey.” Mueller is currently performing solo and working up to the next Low Ceilings full-length.