Manic Productions Presents:
DTCV (ex-Guided by Voices)
Spectral Fangs, Happy Ending
254 Crown Street
New Haven, CT, 06511
This event is 21 and over
DTCV (ex-Guided by Voices)
French-American post-punk outfit DTCV was formed in Los Angeles in 2012 by Guylaine Vivarat (ex-Useless Keys, Tennis System), James Greer (ex-Guided By Voices), and Chris Dunn, a recent transplant from Chicago. A music writer wrote recently (paraphrasing here) that the band sounds like Debbie Harry fronting post-Nico Velvet Underground, and while that’s wildly inaccurate, it’s less wildly inaccurate than a lot of things that people have written.
DTCV has thus far released two EPs, Very Fallen World and Basket of Masks. A full length album, However Strange, was released in late August 2012 on cassette by Burger Records to coincide with a national tour opening for Guided By Voices in September of that year. All three of these earlier releases will be reissued in January 2014 by Mock Records under the title The Early Year. The groop recently released Hilarious Heaven, an ambitious (read: contains free jazz saxophone skronk and flute solo(s), a piano ballad in French, synth-pop, a Monks cover, and two songs that surpass the eleven minute mark) double album recorded by Steve Kille of Dead Meadow, on Xemu Records. The brilliant artwork was supplied by Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices. DTCV will be touring extensively throughout 2014 in support of both Hilarious Heaven and The Early Year. (The title for the former was taken from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. FYI.)
Originally a three-piece garage band with dreamy drifts, Spectral Fangs expanded in November 2012 to fit waves of reverb and power pop sensibilities. Now the band floats tight melodies high above a coalescence of ’60s soul, ’70s punk, irreverent ’90s rock and indie pop.
Spectral Fangs’ influences range from T.Rex and Belle and Sebastian to The Soft Boys, Dinosaur Jr., The dBs and The Left Banke. This reflects only a sliver of the vast music catalogue galvanizing the band—and the many projects that each Fang has embarked upon since they were teenagers growing up in the Tri-State Area.
For more than a decade prior to becoming Spectral Fangs, Joe, Tony and Jared participated in Connecticut’s indie music scene, driving jangly, guitar-focused garage bands like The Saltwater Swells, JFK and The Field Recordings. This sound represented a logical progression from the frenetic punk rock urgency of their earliest band years, when they played New York City dives, famous Connecticut clubs and teen centers.
Happy Ending was formed by songwriters Hank Hoffman and Jay Mundy. After getting together occasionally for a couple of years to play each others' lyrically dark but earthy rock 'n' roll--as well as classic 1960's covers and extended free-form abstract psychedelic jams--they recruited several friends to record an album.
"Have A Nice Day!" was recorded in the spring of 1983 in two day-long Sunday sessions. Jay and Hank both sang and played guitar, backed up by drummer John Columbus and alto saxophonist Richard "Doc Equis" Brown, with Radio Reptiles guitarist Jeff Fisher on bass. Wedding dark lyrics reflecting Reagan-era fears over nuclear war, environmental degradation
and unemployment with what reviewer John Morthland called "charging hard rock or folk rock with dueling guitars, psychedelic overtones and nods toward Chuck Berry and Bob Dylan," "Have A Nice Day!" was released as a vinyl LP with an accompanying 7-inch 45 and lyric/collage booklet. In Op magazine, editor John Foster termed it "a future cult item for the collectors...if there is a future."
Alas, there wasn't much of a future for the original lineup. After two shows at the legendary New Haven club The Grotto, bassist Jeff Fisher moved out of state and songwriter Jay chose the contemplative life of the hermit.
When not recording as his psychedelic pop alter ego The Alex Butterfield, Hank Hoffman has continued the Happy Ending brand with an evolving cast of musicians ever since, releasing the CD "Smile For The Camera" in 1996 and playing New Haven clubs like the Grotto, the Moon, Cape Codder, cafe nine, Tune Inn and the Best Video Performance Space. On May 27, 2006 the
original lineup--with special guests--played a reunion show in Wallingford CT.
The current lineup features original members Hank Hoffman and Richard Brown--the latter now playing guitar and flute as well as sax--along with drummer Tom Smith and bass player Randy Stone. While political songs are still part of the group's repertoire, the set also features many songs with more "pop-oriented" lyrics. Musically, the band's range spans melodic
pop to fuzzed-out psychedelic freak-outs. The group also throws cover songs into the mix, running the gamut from the Left Banke's "Walk Away Renee" to Iggy & the Stooges' "Search and Destroy." An occasional highlight is an incendiary version of The Beatles' "Helter Skelter."