Troubles with Modern Convenience
'Each track is worthy of a listen, and demonstrates that PE is truly coming into it's own.' -- On Tap Magazine A staple on the VA/DC scene for years, Practically Einstein had a great start to 2009 with the brand new single ("So Far, So Good") chosen to be featured on the On Tap Magazine sampler "On the Verge Vol. 3" with a first-run distribution of 10,000. In January the band was part of an all-local lineup that sold out the legendary 9:30 Club, a rare feat for locals. The band had a picture from that show featured in a New York Times article on the DC club in January. PE subsequently would fill the Arlington favorite Whitlow's On Wilson to capacity at a recent show, and also perform at the nationally re-known Shamrockfest at RFK Stadium. PE released the CD on April 30 to a home crowd at the IOTA Club and Cafe in Arlington, VA. "We are excited about the way the year has started, and of course the new EP," says Brad Pugh, founder and lead singer of Practically Einstein. "We've got some new flavors we are adding to these songs, and we had a great time at IOTA, and now look forward to taking the music to as many audiences as we can after that." Brad will be touring Europe on his own in June, and performing the new songs in other parts of the globe. Last year saw the departure of longtime PE bassist Paul Schmidtke (who actually played the bass parts on the new CD and left shortly thereafter). But with that came the welcome addition of Jersey kid Phil Saraceno. "Phil has added a new dimension to the band, and has allowed us to step outside of some previous boundaries to expand our musical potential, both as performers and recording artists," says Pugh. The new songs were done with Don Zientara at Inner Ear Studios (storied studio in Arlington, VA, where the likes of Bad Brains, Fugazi, and The Dismemberment Plan recorded some of their seminal work in the '80's, and which later would welcome such artists as Bob Mould, Dave Grohl, and Jimmy Eat World). For the first time PE recorded on two-inch reel-to-reel tracking tape, and wanted to go for a more raw, organic, and real sound (the White Stripes among others have helped return this practice to favor for the classic, warmer sounds they get recording on tape). Many takes were live, with very few edits, or over-production, which is so prevalent on many modern releases. (Some of this process had to do with the subsequent titling of the EP). With the new songs, PE added such elements to it's rock and roll sound as Americana (think Pete Yorn, Ryan Adams), indie moods, and fuzzed-out guitars (the Jesus and Mary Chain, Oasis, My Bloody Valentine), along with some garage pop (Guided By Voices, Strokes, older Kings of Leon).
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