Even for the time (1997) it was an old camera/VCR setup, and the video quality in a dingy, poorly-lit club was beyond bad. You had to bring a VHS tape and $20 in cash to get the sound engineer to hit record at that start of your set. On the plus side, though, sound was straight off the board and they took that part pretty seriously. Besides, it was CBGB, and we had no idea that we would continue to play there, so we really wanted a keepsake for that first show.
Considering how unlike the other bands we were, I something think that maybe this was the most punk thing we ever did: going to CBGB and playing a straight rock set in 1997. Clearly, the ska/DMB crowd had no idea what to do with us, but they were gracious about it, regardless. We got the recording, watched it once, then didn’t think about it again for years. John A. ended up with it and brought it to Oregon when he moved, where it ended up in a box in his basement. He sent it to me around 2010 and I promised to digitize it, so of course I threw it in a closet and forgot about it myself. When I finally dug it out in early 2023, it had problems: dropouts on the tape where the sound and video just disappeared. After some painstaking editing in Reaper all the songs were whole again and we realized that this was an album that deserved to be heard.
I only noticed it as I was putting the album together in March, but the set list inadvertently tells a story with the titles: Partners – We’re really not. Yikes, things are going bad, fast Day Before We Met – It’s over. Remember how we felt at the beginning, though? Huddleston Pond – Watching the people in a park on a summer day, trying to forget about it for an afternoon at least How Does It Feel To Be a National Joke? – Everyone needs to stop talking about what happened. Except me, obviously Time That I Forgot – For the love of Mike get up off the floor, already Public Therapy – Please stop oversharing. Please? Seen This Episode Before – DON’T GO BACK DON’T DO IT NOOOOO
The DJLB was a great live band and I’m so excited to be able to share a small piece of that history. Now if we could just get the video cleaned up…
I wrote the song “Rejoice Tonight” in 2006, for the first cd we released as St. Luke’s Church Contemporary Choir. Honestly, it was so thrown together that I didn’t have all of the sections, and had to have Ryan (was it Ryan? I think it was Ryan) play drums while I pantomimed where I guessed we would put the stops. Then I brought the tracks home and completely rewrote it anyway. Having said that, it’s been pretty popular over the years, and is still an absolute must-play on Christmas Eve. So I was psyched, and honored, to have it covered by the OLG Young Adult Choir from Hoboken, NJ. Led by Bill Turtle, this group released their first album, “Love’s Pure Light“, in November of 2019. It’s a wonderful mix of standards and contemporary music, and you should listen to it all year round. Why is Christmas music only for Christmas, anyway?
Atlantis, At Last is the collected set of recordings by D. J. Lauria Band from 1993-2000. It brings together several cassette singles, the Satellite Pictures album, a few unreleased tracks, and assorted demos. It’s not even close to containing all of the music from that time period; we closed up shop just as it became cost-effective to record your own releases. Still, it’s great to finally have it memorialized, if for no other reason than that my kids will believe I once actually had a band.
Song info, in chronological order: Original demos and the “Barn Owl” single Recorded Jan-Apr 1993 at Lakewest Studios, West Greenwich, RI. Engineered by Jack Gauthier “Belinda”: Drums – Mike Stamp, Jr. Bass – Todd Stiles All other instruments/vocals – DJL Barn Owl”, “Top Cat”, “Town Librarian”, “House With Yellow Shutters”: Drums – John Andrade, Jr. All other instruments – DJL Belinda was originally recorded with the Ted Stevens Band for their self-titled cassette release in 1992. We kept the drum and bass tracks for this demo, and re-recorded all of the rest. More info on the “Barn Owl” single
Live to DAT and the “Time That I Forgot” single Recorded Feb 1994 at Lakewest “Time That I Forgot”, “Previous Engagement”, “As The Sun Fell”, “Play This, Pete”, “Actual Condition”, “All I Need”: Bass – Todd Stiles Drums – John Andrade, Jr. All other instruments – DJL More info on the “Time That I Forgot” single
“Another One Like Me” Recorded May 1994 at Celebration Sounds, Pawtucket, RI Engineered by a recording class, for practice (!) Bass – John Sundström Drums – John Andrade, Jr. All other instruments – DJL
Satellite Pictures sessions Recorded Sep 1996 at Lakewest “Day Before We Met”, “Emergency Stop”, “Huddleston Pond”: Bass/vocals – John Sundström Drums/vocals – John Andrade, Jr. All other instruments – DJL More info on the “Satellite Pictures” album
Public Therapy single Recorded Sep 1997 at The Music Grind Engineered by J. Brien “What Is It About You”, “Public Therapy”: Bass/vocals – John Sundström Drums/vocals – John Andrade, Jr. All other instruments – DJL More info on the “Public Therapy” single
“Christmas Morning, 5:00AM” Home recording from Dec 1999. Remastered for this release, 2019 Bass/vocals – John Sundström Drums/vocals – John Andrade, Jr. All other instruments – DJL I wrote and recorded a demo version of this for Mike Davidson’s All Star Christmas, Vol II (with Mike on drums) the year before. This was the first song I ever engineered at home, and it was a mess, so I’m particularly happy to have this remixed version ready for the twenty-year anniversary!
“Show Me An Angel” Home recording from 2001. Remastered for this release, 2019 Bass – Sean Finnerty Drums – John Andrade, Jr. All other instruments – DJL
Some of my favorite bands/songwriters/composers: Elvis Costello, Black Sabbath, Freddie King, Mozart, Thelonious Monk, The Monkees, The Go-Gos, Iron Maiden, Bill Lloyd, David Conte, Kenny Burrell, Telemann, Dave Brubeck, and about a million others. I was so incredibly fortunate that I was able to major in songwriting in college. It still feels like I won the lottery, just with tuition. Since it’s my thing, I’ve written a bunch of songs for friends in the business, over the years. “Town Librarian” was meant for the great Professor Harp, “As The Sun Fell” and “That Look” for James Montgomery, the instrumental “Play This, Pete” for Neal Vitullo, as well as songs for Black and White, Ted Stevens, and Erik Narwhal. We did demos of most of them, some pretty elaborate. Imagine how gratifying it was to hear these amazing musicians play my songs! Seriously, you’ll have to imagine it, since I never actually gave them away when we were done. I have a problem letting go, it seems. The good news is that most of these will be on the upcoming D.J. Lauria Band anthology, due out in November. Most of the artists named above are still performing (with the heartbreaking exception of Erik), so I’ll probably contact them all to say, “Hey, I wrote you a song twenty years ago. Wanna hear it?” At this rate, I might get one of them recorded before I pay off my student loans.
As I’ve assembled my discography for this new web site, I’ve been ignoring an obvious problem: none of the music recorded by D.J. Lauria Band is currently available for sale or streaming, anywhere. That’s a whole decade of my life, missing like the conscience of an investment banker. I’ve been putting off dealing with it for ages, but how hard would it be to fix, really? Thanks for asking! Here’s a Q and A:
Were those songs released digitally? No.
But the were mastered digitally, I’ll bet! Actually, yes they were. To DAT, or digital tape. Of course DAT is a format supported by literally no one, not even Sony, WHO INVENTED IT, since 2005.
Didn’t you back it all up? Sure, but… CD-ROMs from twenty years ago are often full of errors, or don’t load at all, or were written in a proprietary format that hasn’t been compatible with a functioning computer since Windows XP was a tiny, crying, cyber-baby.
You knew that someday Sonic RecordNow would ruin your life, didn’t you? Yes. And so did you, if you ever used it, even once.
With all of the cassettes, CDs, DATs, and even Zip disks (!) in your basement studio, did you at least have all of the material? Stuff was just plain missing. It took ages to track down our 1994 demos from Lakewest, so I was thrilled when I discovered that the case was empty. There was a cute drawing on the cover, though, so there’s that.
I’m committed to making these songs available, for the five or six people who would still care to hear them (Hi Mom!). Follow this blog for details on the restoration and detective work, and maybe even some giveaways!