Last time Science Club played a show in New York City, it was on a roof in Brooklyn.
Before that, it was for a AIDS benefit. We were the first band to play during an all-day festival. It was held in a church basement that could be charitably described as “dingy” and more accurately described as “a place where villains would torture James Bond.” We had about six songs and none of them sounded great. We dressed up like angels because there were angel costumes lying around because, again, church basement.
It was a good show, very much in keeping with the low-stakes punk rock world that Science Club inhabits.
On Sunday, we played a somewhat more high profile show at the Trash Bar in Brooklyn. It was, in every sense, a step-up for us. This show was at a reasonable time (8pm) in a reasonable neighborhood for punk rock (Bedford, Brooklyn), supported by a reasonable amount of promotion (concert listings on Brooklyn Vegan, etc), at a bar both dive-y and supportive enough to be an ideal place for local / regional rock music.
Normally, this is the part where I tell you that we bricked the show and everyone hated us, because that is more or less the narrative. Well, hold on to your dicks, cowpokes, because we actually did a pretty good job.
We had a setlist. We rehearsed it. We didn’t diddle around between songs, bullshitting for people who didn’t care to hear three strangers talk about Xmen or whatever. We played 11 songs in about 30 minutes, which is on the right side of the “overstaying your welcome” line. We had a bunch of friends show up, as well as a bunch of old metal folks who just like rock music (as well as the other metal band who we opened for). We opened strong, finished strong and even got people to dance at one of our songs, which is about as rare as finding a Picachu.
In short, we did a good job. It was one of our best shows, an exclamation point on what has been a very productive summer / fall for the Science Boys.
Random Notes from the Show:
- At one point, I called our band “The Shitty Misfits.” I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to realize that. I feel like I can see new colors now.
- Having Nick sing a few songs in the middle of the set is such a blessing. We opened with four high energy songs, and having Nick take some of the vocal burden kept me from getting too gassed.
- We’re transitioning out of our old songs and into our new ones. At this point, our setlist consists of one song from our first EP and three-to-four from Success. I’m stoked about this, because that’s what good bands do.
- Special thanks to Vega Fuse, the friendliest, brutalest metal band that played after us. They’re also from PA. I had to take off before their set ended and now I can’t find them on the Internet anywhere. If one of you dudes happen to see this, get at me. Let’s play a show in Philly.
- I didn’t break a string at this show, giving me a two-show streak. I’m finally learning how to play the guitar.
We’ve got an EP coming out in December, and then we’re probably done for the year. More on that in a bit, but get a listen here.
Nov 10 – Trash Bar, Brooklyn NY
Oct 26 – Crooked House, Philadelphia, PA
Oct 20 – Kidney Walk, Chester County PA
Sep 25 – Recorded “Aging Punks”
August – Rooftop, Brooklyn, NY
July – UArts, Philadelphia, PA
July – Jrs Bar, Philadelphia, PA
You ever stand really close to a very tall building?
I used to work in an office at 18th and Market (and when I say “I used to work at an office,” I need it to be clear that I worked there for about four months before I was laid off for not being very good at my job, because I wasn’t very good at my job), and when I’d walk into the place and take the elevator up to the 30th floor, I wouldn’t really be conscious of the fact that I was half way through a skyscraper. It just felt like going to the doctor’s office or whatever. That said, whenever I drive in from my girlfriend’s house and I take 95 to 676 and I get a whole look at the city unfolding, I’m struck by how frigging HUGE the damn building is.
My point here is that perspective is everything. If you get too close to a thing, you don’t get a chance to appreciate the size of it. Considering that I’m as close to Science Club as anyone besides Joey and Nick, I didn’t realize until right now that Science Club is kind of on a hot streak (at least, as much of a hot streak as a bunch of late-20s dudes playing sloppy punk music once a week can be on).
Here’s what’s been going on, as much as I can remember:
July: We played our last show with old drummer Joe Pelone at JRs Bar in South Philly. Shit was a corker.
We also played our first show with new drummer Joey the next day at UArts in Philly. We played in what was essentially a glass box, to a room full of people drawing cartoons. It was our second-worst show, but whatever. People liked our cover of “500 Miles” and Nick’s girlfriend liked one of our lady songs.
August: We played on a rooftop in Brooklyn like an episode of Girls or whatever. That was a weird show, mostly because we only played six songs and one of them was a cover of “Where Eagles Dare” and one of them I broke a string on 15 seconds in and it was our second ever show with Joey and I ended up getting way too drunk and making college kids listen to rap music. Still, it was fun. People liked us. We liked people. I’m never hauling our junk up four flights of stairs again (unless someone asks us to play on a roof again, in which case I probably will).
September: We recorded a batch of news songs that will be released sometime this month. We’re calling the collection Aging Punks, because art imitates life.
October: We played the inaugural show at Crooked House to a bunch of friends and quasi-strangers. Old friends showed up and performed. New friends show up and performed. One of the neighbors came over and said it was cool this was happening. No one called the cops. People enjoyed our songs. It was a total success all the way through. And, not for nothing, if I can toot my own horn for a minute, it was cool that we were able to do this in house and have people come out to it. Setting up a show at the place where you live, for a bunch of people who you already know, is the smallest possible piece of being DIY, but it still feels good when its done.
November: We’re playing at Trash Bar in NYC, which you’ll be hearing a lot about in the weeks to come.
That’s a pretty good five-month stretch for a band that didn’t play a show for a year. Thank you a million to anyone who came to see us, booked us, let us stay with you, or just came around and drank beer. I really mean it, it means the world that people put up with our nonsense, let alone actually consider themselves fans of what we do. You’re the best people and the best part of all our lives.
Science Club Forever,
Six songs were recorded in about eight hours over the course of a weekend spent in a partially finished basement. Drums, bass, guitars and gang vocals were recorded on day one. Lead and backing vocals were recorded on day two.
This process was the smoothest of any recording process so far. I attribute this triumph to a few things:
1) Practicing our goddamn songs. For most of its existence, Science Club didn’t practice, at least not in a traditional sense. We would get together once a month (if even that) and go over songs as a trio, with all our instruments turned up loud and our drums at full drum. The rest of the time, we huddled in apartments and played hushed, strained songs, like some kind of weird drug addict busker collective. Since securing a practice space in July, we’ve played the songs represented on this EP roughly three times a week. We know these songs like the backs of our hands.
2) Knowing how we want these songs to sound. This is a byproduct of practice, I suppose, but this past session marks the first time we had a complete and clear vision for how we wanted these songs to sound. We were able to follow through on that vision, which is exciting as hell. Of course, if these songs suck, that’s going to be on us. I really don’t think these songs are going to suck.
3) Working with people we trust. We did this second EP with Dale and Will of DaleWillRecordYou, the same dudes who did Failure Ballads. These guys are good guys to work with. They know us and know how we sound (to an extent); they worked to make us sound like us, not like some other band. That may sound immaterial, but I assure you it is not.
Credit is due to Joe Delorenzo, our faithful drummer, who recorded his drum tracks in record time. The dude is a machine.
I must also, as always, give special pause to Nick Elmer, a man of immeasurable talent. I always enjoy listening to him record his bass tracks because it reminds me how talented and unique a player he is. He constantly interoperates the shells I bring him in ways I never would have considered, always for the better. That man is Science Club, even if his fingers are made of sweet, soft dough.
I am excited about these songs, this release. I am excited for you to hear it.
Here are the album’s songs. We expect to get the first incomplete mixes back in a week, the final mix by sometime in mid-October. Barring some colossal errors, you could hear these songs before November. I’m stoked.
- More than a Man
- Free Pimp C
- Steal Your Shit
- Blood Ghost
- No Ghost
- A Future Sure to Come
Sweet baby, is there ever a lot to talk about.
1) New Song for July
For the past few months, we’ve been releasing a new songs from our forthcoming album “Success” and this month’s song is out now for your ears and your hearts.
It’s called “The Best Punk Band in the World” and, before anyone wants to even think about trying to step to us, it’s not about us at all. It might be about Scatterbrain, but it probably isn’t
Listen to that mess here. Special thanks to the the Science Club Choir Club for booing us at the end of the song.
Also, if you are some kind of Johnny-come-lately to this whole thing, here’s all the songs we’ve put out.
2) JRs Bar This Friday
About a year ago, we played a show at JRs Bar in South Philly with ogs The Original Marta. I cannot say enough good things about JRs Bar: with the Tritone gone it might be the city’s last true punk-rock dive bar.
We’re stoked to be playing there with Scatterbrain (pretty much the only other band we know), The Sexy Teenagers (NY) and Thoroughbred (NY). It’s gonna be a goddamn party.
Here’s the invite. I hope you can come, especially because ….
3) Joe Pelone is Dead
Okay, first. Joe is not really dead, just dead to us. After three years of sweating too much, Joe is leaving Science Club.
Mommy and Daddy aren’t fighting, don’t worry. Dude’s got a great wife and a great baby and he’s working on his great family.
I don’t begrudge him a goddamn bit. I’ve written about this before, but for me Science Club was an escape from the darkest part of my adult life. The fact that Joe’s got all this great stuff going on speaks miles to how far we’ve come and how much better we’re all doing.
I love Joe and his family, even if I’m going to write a million songs about how much I hate his baby / how much I’m going to raise his baby.
4) Does This Mean the End of Science Club?
Shit no! We got a new drummer. Everyone say hello to Joey, formerly of The Original Marta (yay!), J. Fox (yay!) and the Percentages (there aren’t enough boos in the world). Stoked to have a dude from two of my favorite local bands slumming it with us.
So come say hello to him at …
Fucking right we’re playing two shows in one weekend. The Draw-a-Thon is pretty rocking event that Uarts has been putting on for two years, and we’re stoked to play for them.
Get the info here, and come see us play …
6) New Songs
We’ve been working on five new songs with Joey, plus a few golden oldies to pad out a set. Look for a new EP sometime before the end of the year? Maybe? Shit, I don’t know. Point is, we’re got some new tunes. Get stoked.
So, in summation:
That’s it! Science Club loves you!
About two years ago, right around the same time Nick and I were recording vocals in a basement in Walnutport, PA, Science Club began writing songs for what would become its first album and second-ever release, a 10-song platter we tongue-in-cheek-ly decided to name Success.
At the time, the album name was more of a joke than an actual appraisal of ourselves as a band. The songs were about teenagers with delusions, grandmothers in ghost towns, man-made gods, serial killers, rapists and people high on drugs. Typical for us, it was not going to be a cheerful record.
We recorded 10 songs for Success in October 2012. Those songs are just starting to see the light of day now.
We’ve released three tracks from the album, one a month for the last month. You can listen to them on our bandcamp page. The songs are “Molly,” “For Red-Headed Wives…” and “S.E.I.” I’m really proud of how these songs turned out and I hope you like them.
Listen to them here:
Hey guys, remember when Science Club was a band?
Anyway, happy 2013, ya big goofballs. Here’s the deal:
Success is mostly done. We want to tweak the final tracks then put it out, but we can’t get in touch with Rich to make the last edits (come on, Rich!). We could probably put it out as is, but there are few things that we’d like to polish up. So let’s be optimistic and say that Success will be out this Spring.
Joe’s got a baby and a baby blog, so he might as well be dead.
Nick and I have been writing new songs and working on other, unreleased ones. We’re considering cutting a little EP in NYC sometime in February, but we’ve still got to work some of the logistics out. Pictured above are some ideas for the EP’s name. I forgot this when I was texting with Nick, but I’d really like it to be called Victory Snack EP, to finalize our trio of album titles about the hero journey.
Its incredible any woman has ever kissed me.
Anywho, tru punxz.
Science Club has finished the tracks for its debut full length, Success. In anticipation of the album, we present these thoughts on the album’s songs. These are not necessarily about the songs, though some might be. These are not intended to be interpretations or explanations of what the songs on Success will be about.
When I was 14, I tried to write song that sounded like Less than Jake and Blink 182. When I was 19, I tried to write songs that sounded like Modest Mouse. When I was 22, I tried to write songs that sounded like Ted Leo. At 26, I’m trying to write songs that sound like the Mountain Goats.
This song does not sound like the Mountain Goats at all, Part of the reason for this (most of the reason for this) is that I am not as good at writing songs as the guys in the Mountain Goats. Another aspect of it is that I like to rock, and the Mountain Goats often do no rock at all.
The math on this song looks like this: part Mountain Goats, part Fake Problems, part The Thermals, part Titus Andronicus, part Mclusky, a very small part of Warren Zevon. This song isn’t as good as any of those touchstones, but if you can listen to it and not obviously hear any one of those influences over the others, I’ll consider it a win.
You guys haven’t heard it yet, you’re going to like the way the drums sound on this song.