Glass Elephant

Glass Elephant

Glass Elephant is a lustrous, searing result of music forged within the crucible of Brooklyn's creative music community. The band, whose debut album Atlantic was released in April of 2013, consists of four musicians who are ensconced in a tightly-knit and all-embracing scene. Their lush and stormy sound has been just as much influenced by rock as it has been by contemporary classical and experimental music.

Multi-instrumentalist Russ Flynn and drummer Danny Wolf grew up playing music together on Long Island, New York. They formed a trio in the fall of 2011 with guitarist Sam Petitti, who had been performing with Wolf since their time studying music together at the University of Miami.Sam, Russ and Danny live together in Bushwick, Brooklyn, where much of Atlantic was self-recorded. Work on Atlantic began in the fall of 2011. In the summer of 2012, Glass Elephant welcomed the addition of bassist Jackson Hill.

The album takes much of its subtle power and atmospheric cues from the restrained tumult and dark beauty of the Atlantic ocean, whose quiet force is unceasingly lurking nearby the musicians' urban base. Its melancholic and brooding mood is reflective of the tameless winters of the Northeast. The music of Atlantic is a refined and intricately-carved concentration of the band members' collective experience. Its roiling sound is complemented by rich horn arrangements penned by Flynn. Atlantic was developed with patience and precision over the course of much of 2012. The final step was mastering by Joe Lambert, who has helped define the sound of contemporary creative rock via such artists as The Dirty Projectors and Animal Collective.

In August of 2013 the group plans to begin work on their follow-up to Atlantic. Stay tuned.

TIGUE is the latest project from Matt Evans, Amy Garapic and Carson Moody. Founded in early 2012, TIGUE presents contemporary music of friends, contemporaries, and themselves through a lens of percussive elements.

Education Reform

The initial sounds of an Education Reform tune tend to glance furtively around the corner, poking at the outskirts of a mind to ensure someone is home, and ready. That trickle of erratic, brooding vocals — husky and menacing, yet somehow childlike; those keyboard rains that evoke consignment to oblivion in interstellar oceans. It’s strange that the sonic arrangement — tumbling fields of emotion and thought — could be fitted with any success into the box of “indie rock.”

Did the ghost of Edward Gorey start a band with David Bowie, and enlist the filigree of a high school orchestra on LSD? Or did a poet’s heart get broken, splashing the colors of his soul on New York City tarmac?

The truth lies in between. Only this poet, Aaron Kruziki, is an ex-educator with a chip on his shoulder, and this gaggle of high school and college buddies aren’t necessarily on LSD, but rather the politics behind modern academia. Suddenly, learning got multi-dimensional.

Based in Queens, Education Reform is composed of Kruziki on keyboards, woodwinds and vocals; Travis Reuter on guitar; Jon Wert on drums; and Zach Lane on bass. The classically trained quartet formed in the fall of 2011, born of an errant idea from Kruziki to jettison his jazz training and the image accompanying it, and combine a love of droning, theatrical rock ‘n’ roll with philosophies that he, until then, had kept buried.

“When in academia, I was very focused on studying jazz and improvised music, saxophone and woodwinds. This led to my own compositions for different melodies, groupings and ensembles,” explains Kruziki, who attended Interlochen School for the Arts in Michigan, studied jazz performance at Western Michigan University, and the same at the revered New England Conservatory in Boston.

It was Bowie who stepped in to shatter images.

“For Halloween 2011, I came up with an extravagant Ziggy Stardust costume, outdoing even the Bowie costume I wore for 2010. I’ve always loved Bowie. I had this mysterious dream around the time of the Ziggy night. Simply, I heard a voice, and it said, ‘Education Reform.’ Somehow I knew immediately that I had to leave formal ideas of the jazz world behind and start a rock band, which was an entirely new concept for me. I realized my expression doesn’t have to be what I studied, but rather who I am,” he says.

Kruziki gathered a motley crew of his old classmates, Wert and Lane, and Lane brought Reuter along for the experiment. What began as a rejection of type evolved into a lyrical cauldron of commonly shared experiences and dislikes about the state of academia, from a foursome who’d spent time in the educational system as music teachers following college.

“Education is a deep-seated issue in this country,” laments Kruziki. “I’ve gone from teaching people from the Ravenswood projects, the poorest people in Queens, to those in Westchester (north of New York City, one of America’s wealthiest areas). I’ve seen educational culture from various level and angles, complete with its foibles. In terms of reform, their needs to be a trinity between students, teachers and parents; an awareness of each others role as pedagogue and pupil.”

He continues, “That is what I want this music to be representative of: awareness. Awareness of self. A call of alarm. A call to arms.”

Education Reform, with its outer-space sonic obstacle courses, poetry and thunderous jams, has allowed its members to find awareness of self outside the rigors of what they were taught, and of what they spent years teaching others. For as Plato observed, “Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.”

Needless to say, keep an eye and ear on this band. They just might challenge you to think outside the box.

#1 Kid (members of Rubblebucket)

#1 Kid is a 5 piece band from Brooklyn, NY that plays the chamber-bounce, sad-sex, dance songs of Adam Dotson. The band is an offshoot of the indie-metro rage-afro parade band Rubblebucket. Their debut EP "Boytones", produced by guitarist Ian Hersey and Dotson is a 6 song collection of songs you can dance to or go to the bathroom to. The focal point for these lush, but playful chamber-pop songs are the Arthur Russel-esque vocals of Dotson who also plays trombone and euphonium. "I was born in the military, raised on big band swing, Brian Wilson, and a lot of bad christian music, fed a lot of art/music school magic in my teens while secretly listening to Boyz II Men and Brian McKnight and attempting to improvise Gertrude Stein poems, then joined Rubblebucket in my 20's and started touring my ass off and listening to a lot of David Bowie, and then Arthur Russell, and then I started writing these songs."


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