Tuneage Tutelage - New Music Monday....

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Monday, August 17, 2009

Just a short THANKS to all y'all who came looking for me this weekend when things got rocky...YOU ARE THE BEST!

This week, we bring you the band PUPPETBOX. John Payne on vocals & guitar, Chris Tempas on synth/programming & vocals and Mark Annotto on drums.

They claim as influences My Bloody Valentine, Brian Eno, Depeche Mode, The Monkees and The Pixies. I had to read that twice as The Monkees caught me off-guard.

From their bio we learn:
Puppetbox is a band. They are currently under the radar. In fact, both the radar and the band are unaware of each other. The band plays electro, rock, shoegazer, geek, pop music - and the radar continues to serve as a metaphor for bands that have made lots of money versus those that will forever be "emerging."

From a hamlet nestled on the corner shores of Brooklyn, Puppetbox has honed its sound to create beguiling pop melodies, but with a distinctive buzzy synth/guitar sound. Following a successful EP, Puppetbox released their eponymous album which expanded their songwriting to include array of styles and genres. The album, Runtime_Error! features songs ranging from hard electro-rock to infectious dance; the album moves relentlessly forward and includes shockingly original instrumentals all mixed seamlessly together into a gapless album.

The band's goal is to make songs that they would love to listen to – and they only listen to music that is awesome.

In their bio, Katie Johnson is listed as vocalist, accordion and kazoo player, she is on the CD as a guest vocalist and the band loved her contributions so much, she became a permanent member of the band.

The sound they produce is full and not the normal synth type rock that you would expect. The band claims to have invented their sound, which they describe as post-geek-synth-rock.

We sent along some questions to the band and we received the answers from guitarist John...

What's the greatest thing that's ever been said about your music?

A podcaster, Cowboy Cantor, wrote us and said that our music really completely changed his mood one day and that friends actually noticed he was happier for having listened to our songs. That meant a lot to us and was more honest than people who always talk about commercial possibilities. We want more of making people happy.

What's the song you're most proud of writing?

Wow, that's a tough one. In general, we are usually proud of whatever song we are currently working on. There are songs we love to play live and there are songs that we continually go back and listen to, but songs we are still working on have that excitement and potential that makes them unique. However for a quick answer, the song "Everything" came together almost as a complete song the first time it was played, which is crazy. So we are proud of that.

Have you played any great live shows lately?

We are currently writing a new EP but the last great show we played was at a NYC venue, Crash Mansion. It was the end of the night and we got the whole crowd dancing and shooting each other with bubble guns. We had a blast, forgot to play a song, but made up another one and watched the fun from the relative safety of the stage!

What is your guilty pleasure band?

As in what do we listen to as a guilty pleasure? The only thing that we all agree on is that cheesy electronic dance/house music needs to be danced to in the most outrageous ways possible. We all went to a club once and danced so poorly I think the DJ just left. But we had fun!

If you could craft an all-star band, who would play in it?

If we could create and all-star band it would be one that would mirror our band, so here goes: One of the Reid brothers from the Jesus and Mary chain, Martin Gore from Depeche Mode, Debbie Harry and Danny Carey from Tool.

What visual artists influence you the most?

Guillermo del Toro's work is pretty cool and Quentin Tarantino's more stylized look is appealing as well. But as far as influencing our music, I would have to go with Blade Runner.

Do you support any specific charities and how do you give back as an artist?

We've played benefits in the past. Specifically for MS research. As artists we've given back the most by supporting other artists, through creating, hosting and promoting shows and making sure the artists get paid. I think in New York, that part gets overlooked a lot.

What is the most adventurous food you've ever eaten?

Rocky mountain oysters, fresh. Very fresh.

Do you follow any sports, if so, which ones?

Three of us actually try and play football during the fall and winter and that translates into watching it as well. We all follow different teams so it makes for a chance at non-music related trash talk. On a side note of athleticism, one of us is also taking pole dancing classes. That is a sport right? We'll not say who.

Here are three from the CD, entitled Puppetbox - the aforementioned "Everything", "Blue of Black" with femal vocals, and a live cut "Green Means Go", recorded at The Continental...remember to leave some comments and vote in the poll...the boys in the band will be by to check it out.

17 Of Your Sparks

  1. Micky-T Says:
  2. "Everything" wasn't bad. I listened while reading, but being honest, there not for me.

  3. DrillerAA09 Says:
  4. To be perfectly honest, I'm too old for this.

  5. Travis Says:
  6. Unfortunately, this music is not for me. But best of luck to the band.

  7. Jay Says:
  8. Oh they're pretty good. I don't think that's my kind of music. Or maybe I'm too old for their style or target audience. But, they don't suck or anything like that. ;-)

  9. katherine. Says:
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.  
  11. katherine. Says:
  12. okay...gonna try this without being on the telephone...

    I'd enjoy Puppetbox's music in person...and it'd be fun to dance to in a club...but I wouldn't buy the whole CD...maybe download a song or two if there was one I really liked.

    I totally enjoyed the interview...their answers were funny and insightful. And of course...the questions were great...smile.

    Football and pole dancing...just like my kids...

  13. Bond Says:
  14. MICKEYT: Well, you enjoyed one of the songs...

    DRILLERAA: Never bring age into this dude!

    TRAVIS: Thanks for weighing in

    JAY: Thanks for you opinion

    KATHERINE: LOL...I thought you had posted 3 times! I think they would be fun in person...glad the interviews are working for ya. I liked the pole dancing answer myself.

  15. Dianne Says:
  16. I just came to say Hi :)

  17. Ralph Says:
  18. I like the sound style of my youth. I think about 1970 (age 15 for me) . The sound is not polished, but that is what works best. The early synthesizer notes do transport me back to an era of musical possibilities - teen aged garage rockers, with no overproduced sound of commerce in the air. Excellent!

  19. Bond Says:
  20. DIANNE: Hi

    RALPH Glad you enjoyed...you make some excellent points.

  21. Very evocative of my club hopping days. Riotous fun is how I would describe it.

    I can hear echoes of the bands and musicians they mention as influences. The last cut made me think of Talking Heads a bit.

    Like Katherine, I might download a song or two. It's fun, and it's for a certain mood. I listen to different types of music depending on my mood, and I could see myself listening to some of this if I was in a "party" mood.

  22. Mimi Lenox Says:
  23. Ummmm....I must confess I did not listen. Does that make me bad???!!

    Please say no. I could use a little unconditional acceptance today. (smile)

  24. I agree the interviews really add to your weekly feature. And I think katherine is right ... this band would be fun live.

  25. Starrlight Says:
  26. Hmm. Well with Depeche, My Bloody Valentine and a Reid Brother mention I should like these guys a heck of a lot more than I do. I am leaving Frank Black out of this.

    I guess if I was at a club and had a few drinks I might be more receptive. Until I had a few too many drinks and this would become the music version of a hangover.

    While I totally respect and can identify their influences (and that all star band would kick some major ass) the over is a bit of a mish-mash for me and it just seems strained.

  27. I likwed the sound a lot... Sorry I'm late to the party!

  28. Patti Says:
  29. I didn't listen, sorry Mr. Bond...I'm s'posed to be working at the moment. I guess I'm on a coffee break or something.

    I did like the full photo of the sculpture/candleholder from last week. Thanks for posting. Happy RT to you!

    Thanks for the hint about I Photo. I'm slowly learning it.

  30. Tug Says:
  31. Funny...reading the interview I immediately thought I'd love them...and I did. Yep, they made me happy. ;-) Liked the first 2 songs better than the 3rd, but all told, awesome!


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