American Mars / Nick Piunti & R.A.D. / Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms
Sat, Nov 26, 2016 @ 8:00 pm to 2:00amView event on Facebook
Saturday, November 26 / 8pm doors, 9:30 show / $10
American Mars & Nick Piunti Dual CD Release Show!
Since its inception in the late 90’s, American Mars has been a kind of musical anomaly in their hometown of Detroit. In a town often dominated by garage and punk, the band has persevered for over a decade with its unique brand of atmospheric roots-influenced rock.
“Chasing Vapor” is the band’s fourth full-length release and the second for Gangplank Records, the label owned by the band’s pedal steel player and producer, David Feeny. The album features nine original songs along with a cover of Paul McCartney and Denny Lane’s 70’s hit “Mull of Kintyre.” Like American Mars’ previous two releases, “No City Fun” (2001), and “Western Sides” (2008), “Chasing Vapor” features a combination of roots, rock, and post-punk influences.
American Mars’ emotional and cathartic live shows have earned them supporting slots with The National, The Avett Brothers, Elbow, Clem Snide, Magnolia Electric Company, Richard Buckner, and 16 Horsepower. The band’s 2008 release, “Western Sides” (Gangplank Records), received enthusiastic reviews from Harp magazine and American Songwriter, while the music on the group’s 2003 release, “No City Fun”, received glowing comparisons to such diverse artists as Tom Petty, Joe Henry, James, the Dream Syndicate, and Blue Nile.
Nick Piunti began his “career” in Music at a Sixth grade talent show with his first band Dwarf. That lasted amazingly until they were 26. Years of studio work and several missed opportunities surprisingly did little to stop Nick from writing, recording, writing, recording, repeating, etc. Well, there was something that finally took precedence, marriage and family. But after a few years Nick found his way back into the studio and released his first complete solo record in 2002. Following that release, Nick formed the band The Respectables, which released two albums, 2005’s The Respectables, 2008’s Sibley Gardens, and the ep “3” in 2010. Sibley Gardens found its way onto many “best of 2008” lists and had songs featured in the NBC drama “Mercy” and the film “Jeff Who Live’s at Home”.
In 2012 Nick headed back to Big Sky Recording with Geoff Michael to produce his next project. “13 in My Head” is the new “solo” record, slated for a June, 2013 release. The Respectables had a nice run, and prepared Nick for heading in a slightly different direction. 10 new songs, new guys to record with, and even a new writing partner in Ryan Allen (Thunderbirds Are Now, Friendly Foes, Destroy This Place). Donny Brown (The Verve Pipe) handled the drums, background vocals, and assisted in the production. A trio of bassists, Chris DuRoss (engineer, producer at Big Sky), Todd Holmes (Chris Richards and The Subtractions) and Andy Reed (An American Underdog, The Verve Pipe). And of course Ryan Allen, who got the ball rolling with a couple songwriting sessions and his subsequent trips to the studio to guest on the record with both his guitar and voice.
Power Pop, Indie Rock, Dad Rock, whatever. “13 in My Head” is the record Nick wanted to make since he was 13. It just took a little while to get there.
Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms: “Hi guys. My name is Ryan. I play guitar and write songs. I’ve been doing it for a long time. There’s a whole bunch of records in existence that I’ve written and/or played on, with bands that have silly names like Thunderbirds Are Now!, Friendly Foes, Red Shirt Brigade, and Destroy This Place. I even made a solo record back in 2011 where I played almost all of the instruments (guitar, bass, and all the drums). Some people really liked it.
A few years ago, I decided to give the solo thing another go. I wrote a bunch of songs, started recording, and well… it didn’t really work out. So I scrapped most of the songs, waited awhile, and then started over with a fresh set of new experiences under my belt. Starting last summer, I decided to try again and record it at my parents house in my dad’s home studio. I recorded it with my dad Brad Allen engineering, my best friend Sean Sommer (Destroy This Place) on drums, and 11 very personal songs that I felt truly defined me as a songwriter and as a person. There are songs about my wife, my son, my family, my friends, and my time spent playing music over the past 15 or so years. It’s a record that I could never have made at 21, 25, or even 30. I’m glad I waited until now. The songs feel right, and they come straight from my heart.
After we finished recording the album, we sent it to Andy Reed (the Verve Pipe, An American Underdog) and he warmed it up with analog goodness for a stellar mixing and mastering session. I think it sounds great.
Anyway, out of all the records I’ve made — under the pressure of labels, to try to remain relevant, or even just to say I could do it — I made this one for me. Lucky for you, you can have it, too.”