“Rejoice Tonight” was the first release from the music ministry at St. Luke’s Church. It was a collection of Christmas music, done in our offbeat style, and featured a country-rock version of “It Came Upon The Midnight Clear” (my first attempt at playing mandolin, which is obvious to anyone who hears it), as well as a faux-jazz guitar solo of “O Come O Come Emmanuel”. The title track was the first original song we released, and it wasn’t even half-written when we recorded the drums. The miracle of (basement) studio technology. This album was one of our best sellers, and still gets a fair amount of play during the Christmas season, which currently starts around the end of July. Originally released on CD in November, 2006, and still available at CDBaby.
“Public Therapy” b/w “What Is It About You?” was the final released single by the D.J. Lauria Band, and had a harder-edged sound than our earlier releases. The title tune is about talk radio, and how it was poisonous to public discourse. HAHAHAHAHA Twitter is laughing at me now. Old friend (and professor, may he rest in peace) Henry Gaffney raised a few sarcastic questions the first time he heard the mix-down: “kind of a long guitar solo, don’t you think? Well, you know your audience, I guess.” Then, later: “what’s up with all the French? Isn’t this a rock song?” “What Is It About You?” has so much that I love: exaggerated lyrics, big guitar solo, intro in 7/4 time for no reason… Also, for some reason John S., in full Dr. Seuss mode, managed to convince a lot of people that the title was “What is it, a balue?” THAT’S HOW YOU MAKE HITS, KIDS.
Originally released on cassingle, C&D Records catalog #48-218. Currently unavailable, unless you ask for one really nicely.
Satellite Pictures collected our previous singles with three new songs for the D.J. Lauria Band’s first big CD release! (CDs were a thing at the time, trust me.) This was when we had the most label interest, and things were looking up for the band, until: Imago went belly-up, the guys in Worcester decided to put their money into online dating instead, and Global Media turned out to be a semi-scam. Typical music industry stuff. But, hey, at least we got a CD with the wrong track listing printed on it! “Huddleston Pond” was a diary entry from an afternoon spent at a small park in Peachtree City, GA. The Providence Journal called it a ‘sweetly voiced slice of life’ in their album review, much to our delight. “Emergency Stop” was me trying to sound like Elvis Costello (yet again) by taking a metaphor and stomping every variation of it into the ground for four minutes. Which, no. On the other hand, “The Day Before We Met” started as an attempt to write like John Lennon, which didn’t work, but it became something else, pretty and sad, which did. The other songs had already been released on the exciting cassingle format, making this a sort-of greatest hits compilation, which contained no actual hits.
Originally released on CD in April, 1997. C&D Records catalog #47-193. Currently unavailable.
This was a good one. “Time That I Forgot” started as a songwriting exercise: I wanted to see if I could fit new words to an old, preexisting song, and then write an entirely new song from the lyric (I’ll never say what song I used for the template, and I’d be astounded if you guessed). Eventually, it became a beautiful bit of power-pop all on its own. It’s both defiant and hopeful, and I don’t think I’d really pulled that off before. I was humbled when it was chosen as an honorable mention in the 1997 Billboard Song Contest, and it’s still one of the songs of which I’m most proud, both for the writing and production. At the time, I was playing an old Ibanez 12-string acoustic, the one from the 70s which, inexplicably, used a bolt-on neck. It had imploded, as most of them did, so we repaired it with a huge block of wood, hoping that would better support it against all the string tension. We were lucky enough to double-track it on this song before it blew again, for good. The Strats are doubled, too, and the whole thing sits on one of John’s finest drum tracks. The flip side is “Previous Engagement”, which is pretty much one joke. Love the marimba, though.
Originally released on cassingle, C&D Records catalog #45-163. Currently unavailable.
The first release for the D. J. Lauria Band, “Barn Owl” took its title from a famous (well, infamous) episode on the Late Night with David Letterman show. Writing a song about anything 80s after Nirvana put out Nevermind probably seems pointless, but as it happened many areas of the country didn’t take notice for a good five years that big hair was now out. Anyway, we thought it was funny. The band wasn’t quite a band, yet; John A. was just helping out on the recording session, and John S. hadn’t moved back to RI from Vegas. There were so many terrible gigs, yet to be played… Releasing these songs on the cassette single (cassingle!) format was kind of an innovation. Records had fallen out of favor and CDs were very expensive to produce, so most local bands opted for full-length cassettes of at least ten songs. Our idea was to save money by releasing only a couple songs at a time, on a throwaway format, with all of our contact information right on the package. We either sold them for a dollar a piece, or used them as business cards, to drum up interest in the band. Then we would go play at the blues clubs in Providence, or the punk clubs in NYC, where we utterly DID NOT fit in, and no one wanted them anyway. Always leave them scratching their heads, I say.
Originally released in 1994 on cassette single. C&D Records catalog #44-126. Currently unavailable.