The Philistines Jr. Announce First New Disc in Nine Years: 'If A Band Plays In The Woods...?" (Tarquin Records/Embarque) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Philistines Jr. Announce First New Disc in Nine Years: 'If A Band Plays In The Woods...?" (Tarquin Records/Embarque)

John Peel, B.B.C. 1 (regarding The Philistines - Greenwich, CT LP)
" interesting, such a good LP...a band I think you’ll want to hear more from, frankly."

DOWNLOAD: The Philistines Jr. - "Cable Guy" (previously unreleased track from 2001)

The Philistines Jr. Announce First New Disc in Nine Years: 'If A Band Plays In The Woods...?The Philistines Jr. are brothers Peter & Tarquin Katis, drummer Adam Pierce and an extended musical family including piano/theremin virtuoso, Rob Schwimmer, and inventor / musician, Leon Dewan among others. With a reputation as No-Fi home studio recording wizards, they have been recording and releasing their unique brand of experimental pop music since 1990 on their own Tarquin Records label.

Due to Peter's successful producing career (Interpol, The National, etc), Adam's successful label/artist endeavors (Fat Cat, Mice Parade, etc), and Tarquin's homemaking (Henry & Helen!), the band is ramping up from a few years of hiatus.

With most of a new LP complete, the band is trying to decide if it's time to be a real band again. Over the years, the band had great success at college radio, achieved legitimate status as "critics' darlings", recorded three sessions for super-fan John Peel, toured and played with bands from Mercury Rev to Yo La Tengo to Jonathan Richman but still somehow remained perennial underdogs in the music biz.

On October 19, The Philistines Jr. return after a nine year hiatus with "If A Band Plays in the Woods...?" (Tarquin Records/EmBarque), a sharply clever, bittersweet record that teases wisdom out of everyday encounters with litterbug neighbors, unruly pets, and broken cable service.

Comprised of songwriter/producer Peter Katis (The National, Interpol, Swell Season), his brother Tarquin, and Adam Pierce (Mice Parade), The Philistines Jr. are a band unafraid to tackle life's big questions. The refrain "Hey, hey, it's the end of the world, again" appears throughout the album's 12 original tracks, but the context shifts each time. The result is a work with shades of melancholy that transform into hope, moments of despondence that blossom into optimism.

As with most Philistines Jr. albums, the music mixes rock instrumentation, vibraphone and glockenspiel, theremin, and electronic sounds including a half-broken sequencer, a cheap Casio keyboard, and a homebrewed instrument, the Dewanatron, here played by its co-inventor Leon Dewan. In keeping with the lyrical themes, the sound is quietly radical -- listen to the subtle but epic shift from keyboards to guitars on the majestic "B." "When I appreciate things for being weird," says Peter, "they're not obviously weird."

So, why the long hiatus? "If you work on a record three days a year," says Peter, "it takes about ten years." During that time, Peter has produced and mixed some of the most important indie releases of the past decade by The National, Interpol, Jonsi (of Sigur Ros), The Swell Season, Tokyo Police Club, Frightened Rabbit, Mates of State, Fanfarlo, and others.

The Philistines Jr. will play select shows this fall. Stay tuned for details.

The Philistines Jr.