Coke Weed, Andrew Cedermark

The Mt. Desert Island recording sessions that form the core of Coke Weed’s upcoming 3rd LP, 2013′s Back To Soft, saw the psych rock quintet definitively moving past the vestiges of the folk rock sound that marked their earlier recordings, and toward a leaner electrified sound. It was a case of form following content as the band found their stride in the hypnotic grooves that would carry the lyrical themes of Back To Soft: Ten songs dealing with the dangerous allure of American Bohemia viewed through a haze of nostalgia for 1990s New York City.

It was an inevitable progression for the Bar Harbor, Maine based band. Renowned for their dual girl and boy lead singers, twinning electric guitars and mesmerizing rhythm section, Coke Weed’s early fascination with hippies had more to do with the acid fall-out than the summer of love. Perhaps the casual listener couldn’t feel the menace lurking underneath the warmth of their amps and the breathless, enigmatic voice of Nina D. But Coke Weed has always aligned itself with the rebel streak that took root with the Stones, flowered on the West Coast with the Airplane, flirted with squares through the pop moves of Lee Hazlewood and Francoise Hardy, and eventually bottomed out in New York City with Royal Trux and the bummer spirit of ‘93.

Coke Weed is lead by songwriter Milan McAlevey, who in 1999 formed the Lil’ Fighters with Walter Martin, later of Walkmen fame. After recording several albums at the Walkmen’s original Marcata Recording Studio in Harlem, he left the Fighters and New York for the wilds of Maine. First impressions of the Pine Tree State lead to 2008’s Mac St. Michael LP, an album written by McAlevey and produced by Walter Martin. Recorded in New York, the album was released under the guise of folk-balladeer alter-ego, Mac St. Michael.

In the years spent bouncing between Maine and New York, Milan teamed up with chanteuse Nina D. and the pair arrived in Bar Harbor, a quintessential New England island tourist town and an unlikely place to start a band. First Nina and Milan found a kindred spirit in guitarist Caleb Davis and asked him to join. Drummer Peter Cuffari and bassist Zach Soares quickly followed suit to complete the quintet.

The group established a studio in a barn at Chickadee Hill, a flower farm in the heart of Mt. Desert Island. Coke Weed’s first album, Volume One, was recorded on two Tascam 484 cassette recorders. The band gave it away for free on their web site in 2011 and early adapters took notice. A second album, Nice Dreams, quickly took form when the band enlisted producer Nick Stumpf (Caveman, French Kicks) to record completely live in ten days. Nice Dreams was released in April 2012 and Coke Weed completed two national tours that year where they shared stages with the likes of the Walkmen, Woods and Vetiver.

The process of making Back To Soft was a direct reaction to the off-the-cuff feel of the previous album. Nine months in the making and every overdub lovingly labored over, Coke Weed’s new album Back To Soft is rock music that holds a mirror to 2013 and refracts its moment through a stoned remembrance of American undergrounds past.

Andrew Cedermark

Following his 2010 effort, Moon Deluxe, the rock-and-roll musician Andrew Cedermark spent 2012 putting new songs to tape in an honest-to-goodness rock-and-roll recording studio. Ten of these songs make up his new album, Home Life, which is set in New York, New Jersey and Virginia, and which, loosely, is about growing up only to find that you didn’t have to, and the subsequent discovery that the process is irreversible.

Other irreversible processes discussed in the album include falling in love; losing friends while not making friends; and realizing that one is mired in a place where one does not belong. Like country and rap music, neither of which Home Life resembles, the album’s lyrical content is designed to reflect the likely concerns of its listeners.

The majority of Home Life was recorded by Kevin McMahon at Marcata in New Paltz, New York, with two separate bands: on half the songs Kevin Haney played drums and Jacob Wolf played bass guitar; on the other half Alex Tretiak played drums and Sarim Al-Rawi (of Liquor Store) played bass guitar. Jacob played all the keys and contributed many melodies, and Andrew wrote the songs and plays all other parts. “On Me” and “Come Back” were recorded at homes in Charlottesville, VA and New York City.

Shorts

Formed over a recent NYC Winter, 'Shorts' are a bratty guitar pop four piece lead by known Australian song-writer Michael Caterer as he is joined by eclectic members from a handful of well toured New York and Melbourne bands.
Made up of catchy drones and home made slacker guitar pop, you can expect a healthy dose of layered textures, synth solos and atypical song writing from this exciting and modest group of friends. Shorts release their debut full length album in early 2014.

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Coke Weed, Andrew Cedermark with Shorts

Tuesday, November 5 · Doors 8:30 PM at Glasslands Gallery

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