When a band loses a member (or members) during the recording of an album, it usually doesn't bode well. This was the situation that Remora Deign found themselves in 2007. The band, founded by bassist Ben Milliron, and guitarist and vocalist Kyle Hoffman in early 2004 already had one album under their belts, 2004's lackluster Red Skies and Lullabies. By Summer 2007, after a series of lineup changes Milliron and Hoffman found themselves as the only remaining members of the band with an album, Catharsis that needed finishing touches and an infusion of cash. The vast majority of unsigned (and signed for that matter) artists would have thrown their hands up and cut their losses, chalking it up to a learning process.
Instead, they dug in, re-imagining themselves (with the addition of Garth Porter as drummer) as a trio and released Catharsis, a striking album worth the wait and a tribute to artistic perseverance. Remora Deign keeps the crybaby lyrics, but reaches into a something a little harder for their second wave emo music. Vocalist Kial Hoffman's voice is strong and clear while having a bit of emotional straining. The fat bass lines pay a mostly debt to more theatrical sounding atmospheric metal bands (could a Francis the Mute - style concept album be in the future?).
It's easy to see why they have such a following in Northwestern Pennsylvania - Catharsis has a "big-time band" sound (even though it was produced by the band) while the players are, by all accounts, friendly, funny, and ready to talk to fans. Of course, a band that relies on fan support as much as RD has to play out. A lot. And they do, with amped and acoustic shows. And in the studio, with Catharsis, they've created a really radio friendly and, beyond that ,a really radio ready pop album that deserves a wider audience.
Remora Deign next plays out at Feb. 16th at Franklin Area High School (246 Pone Lane, Franklin, Pennsylvania 16323) for a 5 pm Rock Against Cancer benefit show.
Going to see newmen at Tidoute Charter School? the band sent out this note to fans:
I was just informed that the TCCS Show Feb 9th isn't a free show. The cost is only $3 and you get a free baked good with the ticket you get after paying admission. This is a fund raiser and refreshments will also be sold.Also, at this fund raiser, you're allowed to bring your poetry to read. Not sure how this will be presented.
Jerome Wincek and the Old Hats play Brother Bean this weekend. from 7-9 pm. No cover. From their last show there:
The Internet's foremost resource on Pittsburgh's distinctive local dialect, pittsburghspeech.com, now features podcasts. (via)
Chatham University has an interesting new fellowships available for their MFA program:
Arts and Technology Fellowship. This Fellow would help facilitate and publicize arts events with a particular focus on MFA events. Duties would include documenting readings, arts events, creative writing traveling field seminars, creating and posting podcasts on our website, and
helping to update the MFA website with images and other multi-media. This fellow may also assist with creating multi-media podcasts and other web-friendly materials for Global Focus and Chatham Abroad.
Sheryl St. Germain
Professor and Director, MFA in Creative Writing
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Huzzah for skiffle! WNYC features singer-songwriter Jack Penate with an interview and in-studio performance.
Free and legal download:
Matt Pond PA, Live in Boston