The debut album from this Washington DC band falls somewhere between Yo La Tengo and Sister Lovers-era Big Star.With bands like the Clean and Big Star framed on their bathroom wall, the band attempts to craft music that is original, forward-looking and meaningful all at once, a tall order at any drive-in. Other artists heard in their kitchen include Skeeter Davis, Bright Eyes, the Flatlanders, and Bob Dylan. While these influences can indeed be heard meandering throughout the album, Pagoda hopes that the worth of their music becomes evident in what they may communicate rather than in the stylistic pedigree of the bands they love. Pagoda is a four-piece band from the Washington DC area that began when Ben Licciardi persuaded some friends to help him record songs for Lazyline Records. DC paradiddle champion Kevin O'Meara tackled drums and vibraphone. Old friend and long-time musical co-conspirator Raj Gadhia helped write lyrics and later took on bass and keyboard duties. College cohort and Merle Travis aficionado Adrian Carroll played electric guitar while members of his country quartet, Shortstack, lent a hand with stand-up bass and lap steel. Ben played guitar, keyboard and sang. Starting in mid-2002 the boys jumped back and forth between a local studio and Ben's apartment, hard at work crafting melodies and cobbling together ideas. What had begun as a sort of solo project quickly expanded into a collaborative effort. Together they constructed a group of songs that would make up their debut album, Dearly Departed. The music, inspired by the likes of the Clean, Yo La Tengo, and Big Star is catchy, moody, and melodically rich. The group and its line-up continue to evolve. Kevin recently decided to overcome his punishing bicycle-crashing fetish and focus his energies on school. This meant leaving the band unfortunately, and they are breaking in his successor Elmer Sharp. Despite the transformations, Pagoda remains focused on creating good tunes, eating more potted meat, and working on a new invention called the computer.
item # 11798