Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Jack the Rabbit Stages A Triumphant Return - Sleepyhead, or NYC in the 90s

"If Syd Barrett had not departed for another dimension, this is how Pink Floyd would have sounded in 1999."
-- some Portugese (?) guy at a place that bills itself as The History of Rock Music
[disclaimer: this quote is not true; this guy is nuts -- but his arrogance is so out of control we need to respect him]

Chris O'Rourke
Rachael McNally
(Mike Galinsky) - old bassist
Dan Cuddy - current bassist

absurd that someone else is writing about these guys; check out the June 12, 2007 post


Saw these guys with my cousin Beez a few years ago in a Jamaica Plain bar named....can't remember the name. They had just switched bassists from their long time buddy Mike Galinsky to Dan Cuddy, mostly because Mike didn't want to leave NYC, and Chris and Rachael did.

Core band members Chris O'Rourke and Rachael McNally (who are married, incidentally) packed it up and moved Sleepyhead to Boston with some 4 odd albums, a number of singles and some compilations under their belt. This is the background.

The night we saw them in Jamaica Plain was one of their first performances they had played since basing their crew back in Massachusetts, and they were on fire. The studio space was limited, and the venue was intimate and they scorched through a set of tunes which were unfamiliar, but exceedingly entertaining. O'Rourke's guitar was screaming, even as he tempered the sound with his disarming voice. McNally held down the beat and added her sometimes gorgeous, sometimes spacey supporting vocals, and took the lead on a few songs. Cuddy thumped away seamlessly like he'd been playing with them since the mid-90s.

There's not much you need to know about this band except that they're impossibly underground, extremely hip and have talent to boot. They're ambitious in their endevours, and that's one of the most magnetic aspects of their vibe. I'll throw in a few tracks at the end of this post, as always, to give you a taste where they're coming from. They've come a long way on their musical journey, from a post punk era band in NYC in the early 90s to their current status as mature, talented and conscientious rockers in New England.

The best kept secret is this. Each album released has been significantly different, and better, than the last. The Brighter Shore, their last issue, was the closest they've gotten yet to their true potential. And the big news is that there is another album which has been in the works for about 5 years now which should be released sometime in 2008, I expect. (The recording and producing work was de-railed on two occaisons by additions to the O'Rourke/McNally family.) This next album, by all reports, will be their most impressive yet, and you should definitely keep an eye out for it. Get on the bandwagon now, and it'll be legitimate when you're cranking their next album at full volume. Go find their old albums. My fellow blogger linked above has some details on how you can find them.

You could write volumes on the angstful indie scene in NYC in the 90s, but most of that stuff ended up being whiney rubbish. Sleepyhead, however, transcends the scene. Here's some proof:


-- check out the Rosalita-esque theme (by the way, I have reports this is a big hit in the Rathmines village of Dublin):
Big Fat Cigar

-- another gem from the Brighter Shore, a real indie anthem:
Citizen's Band

-- yeah, listen to these lyrics again:
Perfect World

-- track 1 of the album...believe it:
Song For The Pied Piper

See you at their next album release party.


Little Gun said...

Sleepyhead should be the first KTTU show...there, I said it

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.

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