Showing posts with label "Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned". Show all posts
Showing posts with label "Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned". Show all posts


Sgt Dunbar and the Hobo Banned Muscular Live Sound @ Pete's Candy Store

Sgt Dunbar and the Hobo Banned @ Pete's Candy Store 3/25/10

On Saturday night, Sgt Dunbar and the Hobo Banned pulled out all the punches with their muscular sound and street-savvy creds at Pete's Candy Store
Clearly, their new material had more might and less folk. The heavy brass metal mash, double percussion, and a slew of hefty instruments trumped up the acoustic guitar, banjo, and violin to make way for an evolving new direction. Sgt. Dunbar brings the street into the venue, making music that is alive, at the moment, and vibrant. Busking has raised their stamina and connectedness. They are energized to perform for each other. The beneficiaries are the listeners. This was their eighteenth show and the last stop of their tour to SXSW and back. All eight members orchestrated instrument changes with ease and precision. No easy task to accomplish, especially on a small stage. I'm just stating the obvious,  but this takes practice and planning. They might call themselves Hobos,  but this outfit is a disciplined crew.
Hobo News on the horizon: Bob Boilen interviews Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned at the Studio SX. They were also interviewed by New York Times, so be on the lookout! Awesome Flickr Set


Sgt Dunbar Kickstarts Their Way To SXSW

Click the picture to see the video

Sgt Dunbar and the Hobo Banned have achieved their goal of raising funds necessary to fix their broken-down tour van and make it to their destination SXSW. Mission Accomplished with the help of Kickstarter, a funding platform for artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, journalists, inventors, and explorers. The tagline on their Myspace page has always read "Give More than You Take Away." So in keeping with that sentiment, they gave an awesome give-back to anyone who donated. The rewards ranged from a simple Sgt Dunbar mug, a donor's name on their van, a unique house show, or the band-supervised date with Donna Baird.

The fans gave back their heartfelt love to a very giving and talented band.
Go, Dunbar! Kill it at SXSW and enjoy the tour down and back. Like last year, I look forward to seeing the rad videos of your awesome Busking and official dates!


CMJ Day Three

                       Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned @ Zebulon, Word of Choice Amazing

Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned CMJ @ Zebulon

Sgt. Dunbar and The Hobo Banned packed the house and the stage with eight musicians and every imaginable brass and string instrument. I love the Hobos and have seen them several times. Their instruments were in full force featuring many songs off their new EP. They played the title track, "A March Through Charles Mingus' Garbage Pile," which featured a vibrant mix of Folk and Jazz, a direction they are forging ahead with. The two new songs they debuted forecast a vital and original direction.

The musicianship is something to behold they have become a much tighter entity without losing their energy and heart, displaying the joy of playing together. What is also fascinating is the seamless exchange of instruments throughout the set. Whether blowing, singing, or strumming, everything works. This is a democratic collective where various members share the lead vocal helm adding diversity to the mix.

Sgt. Dunbar and The Hobo Banned were full of bite. All the instruments and vocals united and filled the space with joy and substance. When the set was over, I walked through the crowd, and the word choice was amazing.

Flickr Set

Pink Noise @ Zebulon Invigorating Smart Noise

Pink Noise @ CMJ Zebulon

Pink Noise makes lots of noise from metal shredding guitar and bass and pounding drums but could not drown out the hefty and soulful vocals of Sharon Sulami This was a set of pure intensity with incredible exchanges between instruments. The noise of exhilaration and contrast played with the force of unpredictability. Invigorating smart noise.

Flickr Set

Little Teeth form San Francisco @ Zebulon Scrabbled Experimentation

Little Teeth CMJ @ Zebulon

To say I was delighted to see Little Teeth is an understatement. The twosome of Sofia Bell and Dannie Murrie recently added Sean Real to their inner circle. Their original music is Folk as an art form played with a conviction of sensibility and spirit. Their all-out abandon of song structure focused on experimentation, strange but beguiling harmonies, and escalating emphasis on vocals, drumming, cello or banjo.

I was outside socializing when the band set up and was flabbergasted when I moved to the front to find the most intricate found object drum set de jour, including a small xylophone. Dani Murrie strapped on an assortment of shells and bells from ankle to knee.

During the set, they brought out some additional homemade contraptions. The traditional instruments were plucked and bowed with attitude adding to the disjointed samplings of sound that fried my brain from overdrive of the unexpected. The drummer Sean Real has a passion for playing. A joy to watch.

the music sounds like a much looser Coco Rosie or The Roaches scrabbled. They bring it on with guts, punk, and moxie. Halfway through their fifty-state tour, they stated, “We showered tonight.” Everyone cheered.

Little Teeth CMJ @ Zebulon

Flickr Set

I would be remiss not to mention how much I enjoyed Zebulon. I loved the music played between sets, the food, and the great staff!


Catch Sgt. Dunbar and The Hobo Banned CMJ

Great set planned by the awesome eight-piece band Sgt Dunbar and the Hobo Banned. They plan to play eleven songs with one, possibly two songs never played in public, tomorrow at 9:00 @ Zebulon. All Things Considered, Blog made CMJ 09 recommendations of several bands, and the Hobos are included.

Everything Is Pt II from Tom Muro on Vimeo.


Sgt. Dunbar and The Hobo Banned; New Ep Review

I like the way the Hobos do things! Sgt Dunbar and the Hobo Banned New EP A March Though Charles Mingus' Garbage Pile is an invigorating big band splash of energy that is muscular and celebratory. The remnants of folk styling are weighted and lifted with bursts of brass, choral harmonies, and pulsating time. All six tracks transform their influences into an original layered and uplifting direction. Live this new material is awesome, and it translates on this EP! OCM Breakdown "Everything is, Pt. III": The clack and claps of percussion leave room for Alex Muro’s vocals to intertwine with a chorus and singing saw. “Carrot On a String”: Brass led polka beat with Alex Muro’s strained passionate vocals and a mighty band upsurge with the commanding chorus. “A March Through Charles Mingus’ Garbage Pile”: Great infusion of folk and jazz like a stomping New Orleans style funeral procession with standout solo trumpet and full chorus getaway. The Table & The Cup”: Heavy brass emphasis broke up with the folky charm of Tim Koch's vocals and acoustic plucking. Goin Nowhere”: Revamped and re-released the track with a faster pace, jazz breakouts of the sax, and trumpet with claps. I Am the Past”: Includes the listener into the hobo’s circle of jokes and talk. The fun really begins with guitar plucking and uplifting harmonies.
Enjoy the Video "I Am The Past"

Sgt Dunbar and the Hobo Banned Live at the Linda from Tom Muro on Vimeo.


Sgt. Dunbar 6th street SXSW

Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned know how to take it to the street. I chose this video because I liked the comments from the crowd about the singing saw and mouth harp. Enjoy! Thanks, neogondawanna for filming


Sgt. Dunbar Packed Full Of Sound

Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned miraculously packed all eight members and an army of instruments onto the small stage Saturday night at Pete's Candy Store. The band twisted and contorted their bodies to accommodate the trombone's large expanse or the tuba's scale. Even in cramped quarters, their musical competence was not compromised. The sound of full-bodied percussion and brass burst with energy. Sgt. Dunbar delightfully gave it their all as the crowd chanted for it not to end! Dunbar has solidified their roster to a solid eight talented multi-instrumentalists. They are adept at switching instruments; a banjo is abandoned for a sax or a trombone to an accordion within seconds. This band's rough and tumble and charming quality has not been lost but upgraded to a tightly woven ensemble with every member contributing to a robust sound. 

The mix is a folk/jazz infusion with pulsating inventive percussion, big bold brass instruments that escalate with guitar, ukulele, banjo, violin, accordion, and an awesome full band of voices swell in-between. Percussion is a strong suit, whether they are playing the bass guitar with drumsticks, mouth harp, hand-held bass drum, and saw. The web and flow of acceleration between more subtle takes build the big stirring dialogue. They played an energetic nine-song set of old, new, and reclaimed songs. Starting with a new song to be released, “The Table and the Cup,” with a continuous pounding drum and a four / four-time accent of the full orchestra. Highlighting the influx of weathered jazz was another new one, “A March Through Charles Mingus’ Garbage Pile.” Alex Muro singing solo flanked by a chorus of passionate hobos and mashed with the one-two punch of brass orchestra strut and crashing cymbals. It is an awesome new direction. “The Weight” was revised with an accelerated tempo going from upbeat to mock speed and a full band chant / sometimes everything seems perfect / sometimes everything just sucks /. Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned have come a long way.

From the ambitious band, I reviewed a year ago with so much promise to a band with vision and purpose that is ready for prime time. Filling Pete’s is easy, but I see them in larger yet intimate venues like the Mercury or Bowery after tonight. As many NY Bloggers are reviewing the likes of David Byrne, I was happy to be there witnessing a new generation of great musicians. Get ready for March 13th the release date of Sgt. Dunbar and The Hobo Banned’s new EP Charles Mingus’ Garbage Pile. It is also the date of their tour send-off as they make their way from Albany to SXSW. Check their tour dates on MySpace, and don’t miss out

Scientific Maps opened. They are sometimes a twosome or foursome. Tonight it was Aaron Smith and Donna Baird. She is also a member of Sgt Dunbar. Together on stage, they are adorable. Aaron’s witty comments to the audience and affectionate interaction with Donna added to the delight of sharing time with such an affable duo. Tuning his guitar, he says, “Donna play that trumpet part when you know this happens.” Laughter followed as Donna played it straight as if she were just waking up and didn’t realize she was performing. Something about her is zany in the best possible way. The tunes Aaron writes are easy to love, kind of quirky pop with memorable melodies and offbeat lyrics. Their voices are great together.
Aaron, on guitar, sings and captures attention, and Donna adds a charming response with trumpet and vocal. The band's recorded material is upbeat, with drums, a keyboard, and experimental surprises. I’m ready to spend some time with their music; tonight was a nice introduction. 

Scientific Maps nice site Get ready for March 13th, the release date of Sgt. Dunbar and The Hobo Banned’s new EP Charles Mingus’ Garbage Pile. It is also the date of their tour send-off as they make their way from Albany to SXSW. Check their tour dates on MySpace, and don’t miss out. Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned Flickr Set Scientific Maps Flickr Set


B3nson Recording Company; Thrifty Albany Music Collective

Site Scavenger Series B3nson Recording Company is a collective doing it independently. They remind me of the early years of Saddle Creek Records. Omaha & Albany have some similarities. And like the newer model Wham City that has taken shape in Baltimore.  The B3nson collective of musicians’ artists, and writers are friends with benefits. They benefit by living, working, and performing in Albany? Rather than moving to Brooklyn, they are staying put with a plan. Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned, the largest outfit in the collective book, shows in the tri-state area about twice a month and regularly plays in Albany and upstate locations. Many bands pass through Albany, and Dunbar has opened for Rock Plaza Central, Deer Tick, and Avett Brothers. Staying put does have some benefits. They work as a collective recording, booking, video production, web design, flyers, and handmade merchandise. Their creative skills complement an aesthetic approach that is consistent with their ideals. Their music and artistic directions have a thrifty aesthetic representing a lifestyle of choice and necessity. Living cheaply and creatively from the outset makes choices about gas for touring, housing, instruments, food, and clothing a given. Sometimes the most interesting things to look at and hear are authentically represented and not commercially misrepresented. In tough times people who stick together help each other grow. The crews all have big hearts and can share a big tent. Their open spirit is represented candidly on the B3nson Blog, where members contribute articles about other musicians they meet. It is cool to read about music from a musician’s perspective. Take talent, commitment, focus, and the ability to say why not. This is a collective well on its way to contributing to the music culture while creating its own viable movement. Interview with Alex Muro of Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned conducted via email, in which he previewed a rough synopsis and answered the following curiosities. 

OCM What is the upside of forming and being a part of a collective?
AM I think the biggest upside is having so many great friends. Our house lately has become somewhat of a collective hang-out with the recent increase in B3nson activities, and its simply fun to have people around all the time, hanging out, playing music, making things, and playing Tetris. It's a great environment to conduct any sort of artistic activities. Beyond that there is the great advantage of talent and equipment sharing. We are lucky to have some really talented people in the collective who are good at all sorts of things from graphic design to recording and mastering to video editing, painting and all sorts of other stuff. The fact that we all enjoy hanging out together makes using those talents feel less like work and has allowed us to accomplish a great deal over the last month or so. 

OCM Were there any concerns? 
AM I don't think there were any general concerns about collectivizing as far as I know. We recently sort of "officially" added a bunch of new bands to the collective, like Beware! The Other Head of Science, Swamp Baby, and the Scientific Maps, but there was already all sorts of membership blurriness and good friendships going on that made the transition seem kind of obvious. 

OCM There seems to be a similar music sensibility between all the bands is forging a singular band identity a problem? 
AM There definitely is despite the fact that some our music sounds quite different with bands ranging in styles from laid back soundscapes to folk to synth-spazz rock and lots of other stuff going on. I think the similarity comes from the fact that most of us have similar-ish backgrounds and have been in bands for a long time and listen to some of the same music. In general I'm not really sure how come the B3nson aesthetic works as well as I think it does, but it's pretty cool. I think people are really going to enjoy the B3nson Family Funsgiving Compilation for that very reason, it fits together like an album way better than it’s supposed to. 

OCM Are there plans for a large group tour like booking all the bands or some on one bill outside of the Albany area? Is that feasible? 
AM There currently are not. I think that would be awesome and there is no group of people who I would rather spend an extended stay on the road with. Wham City has been doing something like that with Round Robin tour where they set up all the bands you listen around a big room each band plays a song and they go around in a circle the whole night. I think B3nson is still in much earlier stages than Wham City in that regard, we don't have any bands with national recognition like Dan Deacon or Beach House that can bring out the people to the shows that are needed to sustain so many musicians on the road. Give us a couple years though and we would really love to do something like that. 

OCM What does being in Albany offer the bands? 
AM The real answer is nothing, there is nothing in Albany that there isn't in any other city of similar size, we just sort of ended up here and the reason we are staying now is because we have made it a fun place to be. We are hoping that eventually b3nson and other currently growing facets of the Albany music scene make Albany a destination for new musicians but I definitely feel there is work to do before it really becomes attractive as a "music scene".

OCM Do you have other ambitions for the future? 
AM I know that the members of Sgt Dunbar all want to be professional musicians and we would love to be able to quit our day jobs. We are working on a new album for release next years, working with some friends of ours to help promote it and planning our route to SXSW in for March. B3nson Records will also be releasing the debut record from Barons in the Attic in January and following with an album from Pinguinos hopefully shortly afterwards. For now though our ambitions are mostly concentrated on putting on a killer release show tonight for our 10th release the B3nson Family Funsgiving Compilation. 

OCM Does working together build moral and help with a positive outlook for the future? 
AM Working together sure is fun. I personally am not so concentrated on the future beyond March 09. It just seems like we have so much stuff to do between now and then. Working together on our current projects though definitely makes for a more positive outlook because the stresses and concerns are shared among such a large group of people. 
OCM Were you asked to be a part of SXSW or are you going renegade and hitting the streets? 
AM We got invited To SXSW by way of some good luck. I was doing my daily blog reading during CMJ and there was post on Idolater about unknown bands at CMJ and I commented about my feelings on the subject. It must have been a good comment because someone from SXSW saw it and invited us to the festival. We are really psyched to know so early that we've been accepted it would have been much more difficult decision to make if we had found out on Feb 1. It allows us enough time to plan a really good tour. We will certainly be hitting the streets like renegades once we get there though.
Pocket Concert Series featuring bands in the B3nson Collective.
Sgt. Dunbar and The Hobo Banned “The Weight”, filmed in an open field.
Swamp Baby “Lavender” Nick Matulis is joined by Jen O'Connor, Donna Baird, and Frances Quinlan (Hop Along, Queen Ansleis)
B3nson is: Barons In the Attic Beware! The Other Head of Science Blood Desperately Obvious Pingüinos Littlefoot Scientific Maps Sgt Dunbar & the Hobo Banned Stacey Gets Drunk Swamp Baby The Hoborchestra We are Jeneric


Sgt. Dunbar and The Hobo Banned; review

Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned 2007 self-released The Thing About Time is a passionate collection of brass-centric gypsy folk rock featuring a community of spirited voices and an array of instruments that sound like weathered antiques given new life.  This band of nine multi-instrumentalists and counting play the guitar, accordion, trumpet, trombone, flugelhorn, French horn, mandolin, saxophone, violin, ukulele, singing saws, banjo, bass, typewriter. The phenomenal found object percussion of hot water pipes, stainless steel chairs, squeaky glass pot top, and coffee mugs imaginatively enhance the festive atmosphere. The songs fluctuate between intentionally sloppy melding of instruments and cohesive mixing, two distinct but agreeable directions. The large band sound is reminiscent of Bright Eyes touring band during Lifted. It has that kind of a charming mess and endearing qualities. It also reveals the admiration of The Neutral Milk Hotel. Sgt Dunbar and the Hobo Banned is a lyrically smart outfit. The word Banned is cleverly chosen to highlight their culturally rebellious point of view. They weigh in on philosophical issues of life and time. Refreshingly nuanced is the term Wake Up which is repeated in several songs, affirming a commitment to staying awake and being aware. 

The first offering“Passing Time,” starts with a rumbling of guitar strumming, accordion, horns, and Alex Muro’s nasal fervent vocals that plea wake up. / I hear the sound months make when they disappear / gone into air, and only clues remain / that they were ever here / leaf floats freely down and turns into ground /. The full force of the orchestra is revved up as Wake Up, Wake Up is emphasized and harnessed between verses leading to an awesome prolonged lullaby chant, “Dave’s Song,” in the vein of “Hey Jude”. / Wake up / wake up / you can’t sleep all day / you can’t sleep all day/ the sun is out calling your name / the sun is out calling your name /. “Don’t Fall Asleep” is an appeal to those that have given up hope. / Dear little girl / I feel that your sadness is quite profound / chasing you around your mind / no place to hide / is dragging you down /. This song builds in volume and intensity, employing the singing saw to weep and the full chorus to implore / please don’t fall asleep / when you wake the world is a dream /. The song “The Weight” has a plucky bounce using the ukulele, guitar strum, and singing saw to launch a weighty message / some people's shame could fill up the ocean, some people's sadness can block all the sky/ some people's guilt could pave every highway, and some peoples fears makes many men die…then the reaffirming chorus / oh how heavy this gritty grating life / that the world is on / oh how silly is all you strain and strife / build a world so real and strong. “Realism Is The Purest Form of Art” features banjo, lazy horns, and clashing symbols with a pitter-patter beat. While "Telescope" is slower and examines how far you need to look away when love is untrue. / Do you believe in karma / does she believe in you / but what if I told you / that she wasn’t true? / Oh, what would you do? / Both songs exhibit Muro’s vocal range that strains higher to reach sighs of emotion. The under-belly of the beast is urgently felt in the stalwart rants on “Communist Father” with vocal force and added experimental accents that mimic the uncertain future. / Under the brightly blemished blanket of the night / an arrogant anthill with life / while weeping cities shed tears of light / into the unknown vastness of the universe / Sgt. Dumbo and the Hobo Banned recorded The Thing About Time in the living room and basement. 

This homegrown undertaking amplifies the community spirit they embrace and has enabled them to create ambitious and worthy music! B3nson Records CMJ Pete's Candy Store October 21, Brooklyn NY


Sgt. Dunbar and The Hobo Band; Mountain Jam Winners to Hear!

Radio Woodstock and Warren Haynes present the Mountain Jam 1V from May 30th to June 1, 2008.

Just wanted to give a shout-out to the talented and awesome band
Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned. They won the Mountain Jam competition and were chosen to open on Saturday, May 31st, on the west stage at 12:00 PM for a half-hour set.

Sgt Dunbar's nine players boast a crazy array of instruments: guitar, accordion, trumpet, trombone, flugelhorn, French horn, drums, mandolin, saxophone, violin, ukulele, singing saws, banjo, bass, typewriter.

Their passionate folk styling has a kind of sloppy gypsy jug band feel with full brass and awesome auxiliary detailing from the singing bow to the typewriter. Don’t be fooled this band of hobos can play and each member is a multi-instrumentalist.

Watching the constant instrument rotation is part of the fun, but the full-bodied charm of the sound they create is delightful.

They are DIY all the way and truly live by and play by the rule of the music community. They Share!!

Myspace B3neson Recording Company
New Release: The Thing About Time on Itunes

Homemade video!


Obsession Collection: Noteworthy Music News and Dates

Langhorne Slim Has Found a Home!! Langhorne Slim has signed with Kemado Records. The much anticipated self-titled album their fans have been waiting for will be released on April 29th.

Visit their myspace page to listen
to two great new tracks.

"Rebel Side of Heaven" and "Diamonds and Gold"

Langhorne Slim myspace Page

Photo credit : the great Crackerfarm

Drink Up B
uttercup @ the Cake Shop 1/19/08 Saturday night. You know what I'll be doing!! If you can't catch them tomorrow, they are doing a residency at Piano's during February, on Tuesdays!
Philadelphia Weekly
Drink up Buttercup myspace

t AKA Damien Derose Coffee Shop Series: Starting on January 29th with a creative acoustic lineup at the Cake Shop: Chris Archibald of the band Illinois doing a
solo stint, Peasant, and Ben Thornewill of Jukebox the Ghost.
I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be.

Peasant's myspace for a complete schedule.

Illinois myspace
Jukebox the Ghost myspace

Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned
 the new Release
The Thing About Time
Looking forward to seeing them again!!

Nice words from My Old Kentucky Blog

myspace site


Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned / ambitious appearance at the Trash Bar

From Albany New York the Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned is an ambitious and talented outfit, that is inspired by the classic band Neutral Milk Hotel.

While exploring the vast world of the Internet,
I came across their page and kept going back. The music is derivative but has originality and a smorgasbord of instrumentation. On their profile they display their influences (Neutral Milk Hotel) without apologies.

So I took it upon myself to see them live at The Trash Bar in Brooklyn. This is a group of fine musicians. Aside from
some technical difficulties with the banjo hook up, they did a nice job presenting their material. The diversity of sound has unique possibilities because many of the members can interchange roles and instruments for different songs and even during songs.

This is a five-member band of guitar, bass, two trumpets, coronet, french horn, sax, accordion, ukulele, percussion/drums, bow/saw and banjo. The trumpet player Tim Koch sings and plays the ukulele and can pound on a drum piece changing roles without a hitch. I couldn't take my eyes off Dan Pardee. He played the saw and bow masterfully, accordion, trumpet, drums and even the typewriter. I admire his work ethic and acumen . Alex Muro the lead vocalist and guitar player was strong at the helm and affable. The brass section nicely supported his vocals harmonizing with him in between blows.

They are a very ambitious band, and given time and experience performing, their delivery will meet up with their ambition. I really enjoyed the set. My only criticism was that when they performed an obvious cover by Neutral Milk Hotel the whole band went into overdrive and was animated and exciting to watch.
Their original songs sounded fine and there were moments when they were equally enthralled, but not as charged and confident. Hopefully with more experience their original songs will thrive as well.

They are planning an east coast tour in the fall and I think they will develop their stage persona and work out some of the kinks. They are almost there and that is a good thing for a young band.

After the Show I purchased their release While Waiting for the Space Age
that has wonderful instrumentation, great song order and selection and is quite multi layered. There are some obvious "Hotel" segments on the recording but there is originality in the songwriting and arrangements. It also brings to mind the band Beirut but with more folk elements. Originality will develop with time. Inspiration and ambition are nice ingredients for the development of great music.

Myspace Site Enjoy

Picasa Web Album Link