Friday, July 13, 2007

Pela: A Better Offer Interview

So, the guys from Pela were kind enough to respond to some questions I (and a guest writer) sent over to them. I'm sure you'll see soon, but they are extremely authentic and well spoken. Hopefully this will entice you to purchase their record (if you have not already done so). Make sure you read the bold faced quote from the fourth question down. It is the reason that A Better Offer exists. Hopefully, my little project is attempting to fight this. Enjoy the interview.

ABO: Can you tell me about how Pela the band came to be?

Pela: We met in late 01. There was a subway that my best friend and i had been playing in for change post 9-11. Jobs weren't easy to come by because NYC was still in shock. So there we were trying to make some money in a tunnel when Eric walked by. He was really gifted and i dont think we played a whole lot in the subway after that. Eric came from a great community of musicians and thats how we came to play with Nate. After a couple drummers Tom came into the fold and only lived blocks from us on Columbia st on the waterfront in Brooklyn..

ABO: You guys seem to have a do it yourself attitude with your music. You seem to have a large amount of input in everything from the artwork to the production of the records. Can you talk about how important this is to you as a group of artists?

Pela: Honestly we always made flyers, t shirt designs and produced our records to the point were somebody would have to really be committed to step in. We take alot of pride in our Independence.

ABO: What inspires you to make the music you do? What other musicians inspire you?

Pela: I dunno just following our hearts i guess.Our tastes our always changing so its hard to pinpoint. I'm a great fan of writers like Shane MacGowan,Joe Strummer, Springsteen, Steve Earle etc.

You recently said (On "Dinner with the Band") that Anytown Graffiti is essentially three concepts/records in one. Would you please explain what you mean by that and how you put your debut record together? Also, do you feel that there is going to be a space for concepts/full records that are meant to be listened together in an increasingly singles-oriented music business (with single-song digital downloads becoming the new norm)?

Pela: I dont remember the 3 in one thing. Maybe what you are thinking of is that we recorded in 3 waves. I find it conceptual by way of its themes. The songs sort of weave in a perspective from a person living in a smaller environment that is not convinced that that this is what life has to offer and then little betrayals or dramas that has led up to the lyrics. I come from a town of 6100 people and those were hard years to start realizing i was gonna have to leave to follow my heart and of all places i ended up in New York....As for the digital I tunes listening experience,we obviously are losing so much...-Who didn't sit down and pine over a record and its art/lyrics? So the thought of younger fans maybe never having that by way of being raised with a home computer, surfing around and downloading singles is just hard to accept...i think we are missing out but that's just me. Something that im seeing alot is a frenzied reception to talented upstart bands...its great for all of us but in a way it makes a shorter shelf life for bands. Its difficult for anyone to sustain that sort of underground swell for too long and with the webs density with constant bands coming out, or awareness of all things in the national music scene ,its hard to keep up. That said, shelf life or not we are not a slave to the dreaded old school magazine subscription or your older brothers back issues of maximumrockandroll anymore. Its your generation now and you can plug in and shape your tastes by youtube, itunes, myspace...ect. It would be a tragedy to try to strategize how to streamline a record to meet the demands of the i tunes generation. Not to fair to your soul if you ask me. We recorded in our bedrooms,in studios and really anywhere we could. We paid for it out of our pockets and self produced it. Id say after a year and a half and running out of money several times, its nice it saw the light of day. I was worried at times if we would crack (lol)

ABO: "Tenement Teeth" was featured as the song of the day from KEXP (and it may well be the song of the year, in my opinion). What's the story behind this track?

Pela: I meant it as in "cutting your teeth" and obviously a tenement conjures thoughts of poverty. So in a sense getting used to or an acceptance of being among the downtrodden. It isn't about me but a couple and their love story. I like the thought of listening to a record player crackling because the records done and a couple so defeated from their mismanagement of the great gift of love that they actually need each other. I like the visual thought of them leaning on each other and dancing to the skipping record. My favorite lyric is "i kissed you lips of ruby red and this is what was said......Land." Who hasn't felt adrift and the thought of reaching the shore via a kiss makes me smile its a nice thought.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pela: Waiting at the Stairs (live)

Here's a clip of "Waiting at the Stairs" live taken at SXSW. I'll have lots more up by the soon, including an interview and the contest! Check back.

For now don't forget to check out Anytown Graffiti. You can stream it here.

And if you'd like to purchase Anytown Grafitti, you should purchase it from Insound. Buy at Insound and receive a free mp3 of “Present”, from the iTunes-only “Exit Columbia Street” EP.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Pela: Lost to the Lonesome

Photo credit: Bob Sanderson

So if you are wondering what Pela sounds like, here is the best place to start. Pela has given A Better Offer permission to post this track as part of our coverage. So grab it while you can.

We recently had a death in the family so I'll be traveling quite a bit for the next few days so my posts may be a little scarce...but stay tuned as I may extend my coverage of Pela because I've got lots to share...

For now check out Pela's tour dates and get out there and see them while you can.

07/11 - Black Cat , Washington, DC
07/12 - Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC
07/13 - Village Tavern, Mt. Pleasant, SC
07/15 - The Earl, Atlanta, GA
07/18 - Schubas, Chicago, IL
07/20 - Buffalo Icon, Buffalo, NY
08/14 - Spaceland, Los Angeles, CA with Film School
08/15 - Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, CA (tickets) with Film School
08/17 - Douglas Fir, Portland, OR (tickets) with Cloud Cult
08/18 - KEXP BBQ, Seattle, WA (tickets) with a bunch of great bands
08/25 - Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY (tickets) THEY ARE HEADLINING THIS SHOW!

New Featured Artist: Pela

Photo Credit: Bob Sanderson

Ladies and Gentleman, it is my pleasure to announce that I will be covering Pela exclusively for the next two weeks. You can expect all the usual highlights from A Better Offer. I have tour dates, background info, album reviews, an interview with the band, and hopefully another contest! Check back often during the next two weeks, to find out much more about the spectacular band Pela.

If you are completely new to their music, you can stream their new album "Anytown Grafitti" here. Or you can check out the links to the right as to where to hear more Pela. And about their sound--think good old American rock and roll. These guys make brilliant rock music. Their website describes them as being, "guided by the voices of Bruce Springsteen, Hubert Selby, Husker Du, Raymond Carver, The Replacements, Andre Dubus, The Pixies, Wilco, and the Hold Steady, amongst others, Pela’s brand of pastoral punk has been beautifully described as equal parts desperation and inspiration, which they have masterfully crafted into a signature sound."

You can go ahead and make your day by purchasing their music through any of the usual online retailers...