Saturday, August 27, 2005

News From The Great Beyond

Is Runner Dead?

One of our favorite bands is Runner & the Thermodynamics. Recently, I contacted Marc Pinansky, guitarist and vocalist, to catch up on the latest from the band. Rather than have me paraphrase, hear the latest from Marc himself:

The Runner and the Thermodynamics saga has grown quite bumpy. Due to pressures within and outside of the band, in mid-May I officially put the band on the dreaded "hiatus." It became increasingly clear over the past year that the band attitude was suffering greatly. Although I am confident that much of this was never apparent to the audience, it was something we struggled with everyday.

Tell-tale signs included going through 3 bass players in less than a year (although all of them were great!), injuries, living distances, misused funds, and a rift between management and the band concerning direction. We enjoyed many of our best achievements during the final few months - another tour with Drive-By Truckers, sold-out shows, lots of recording, and a tour with Louis XIV, but the band morale was very low.

We were confused. We were turning into a full-fledged rock band and those who were supporting us didn't know what to do with that. Ultimately, I feel that my songwriting began to suffer and some of the performances were becoming too "by the book" - probably due to my increasing paranoia that everyone could see that I was heart-broken when they wanted a rock n' roll good time.

As opposed to shutting the door completely on the band, we welcomed our old bass player, Mike, back into the fold to record the rock opera we had all worked on together since the beginning. Deemed too ambitious then AND now, we figured that we'd record it as best we can and give it to the fans for free as a thank you. It was basically us as a band closing some doors. But, as new bootlegs still trickle in and people continue to e-mail, who knows what the future holds.

Although our site hasn't been updated in awhile, we are keeping it alive and will post new bootlegs, photos, and videos when they arrive. I have been playing solo steadily since the demise of the band and have been working on a new project with a friend of mine whom I've been making music with since I was fifteen. Having a partner has really opened up my eyes again and I have been on a writing binge for months now. We completed a demo that sounds pretty damn good - considering he lives in San Diego at the moment. We're taking it slow to get all the things in place before we jump in. This feels really good, and will not disappoint Runner fans.

Roger has teamed up with his brother and Jimmy Jaxx (past two Runner bassists), and have their first string of shows coming up this month. Roger and Randy playing together is a sight to be seen and no one should miss this. Mike plays in the Snow Leopards with his girlfriend, Heidi Sapperstein, and they have been steadily gigging in Boston and NYC for almost a year now. Always a duo, they're are beginning to put a full-fledged band together and are working on a new record.

So, I have real trouble saying that Runner is over. When the three of us get together and the stars are aligned, it is everything I could have ever hoped for - energetic, unique, fun, and at times ridiculous. We're still getting air-play on a few internet radio stations, and most people are still unaware that we have even broken up for the time being. I don't have a nice conclusion for this piece, other than thanks to everyone who rocked with us, and we may or may not see you again in this band???.....???

For my money, I have enjoyed this band, and if is their last hurrah, good luck to al involved. Yet, I have a gut feeling that we have not seen the last of Runner and the Thermodynamics. In the meantime, go to, and download the tracks to the rock opera, The Dude.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

SFTS - Clearlake

It's been more than two years since Cedars, their last release, but Clearlake are on the verge of releasing the follow-up entitled Amber. "We've been very busy finishing the new album," said singer, piano and guitar player Jason Pegg. "The recordings are all done and we're pretty proud of it. We know it's our best album yet."

Clearlake was formed in the UK in 2000. From the beginning, the four piece unit consisting of Pegg (voice, piano, guitar), Sam Hewitt (keyboards, devices), Woody Woodward (bass, omnichord) and Toby May (drums, percussion), who replaced orginal drummer James Butcher, have been hailed by critics for their sound. In a review of Cedars, Pitchfork Media wrote, "Throughout Cedars, Clearlake continually find beauty in melancholy and melancholy behind beauty, while raising your hairs in reverence with occasional guitar squalls."

About the forthcoming release, Pegg adds, "It has a harder, more rock, feel to it than previous albums." As for plans following the release, "It should be out in early January 2006. Soon after that, we'll be in the states touring."

Pegg and his mates are obviously not a band that rests on its laurels. "We're a little frustrated that it's taken so long to complete Amber, but we've been working on stuff for the next album which will hopefully be a much quicker process to make."

Label: Domino Recording Company (USA) or Domino Recording Company (UK)
Band Website:

Monday, August 22, 2005

SFTS (Sounds From The Superhighway) - Smoosh

Smoosh - Consider this: They have been featured on NBC's Today Show, NPR's All Things Considered, received stellar reviews from the NME, Boston Globe, Seattle Weekly, and Alternative Press, garnered airplay from the likes of KROQ (Los Angeles) and KCRW, been featured in showcases at SXSW and CMJ and opened for Jimmy Eat World, Rilo Kiley, Pearl Jam, Death Cab for Cutie, Sleater-Kinney, The Presidents of the United States of America and Cat Power. Now consider that they are only 13- and 11-years-old. Chloe and Asya make up Seattle-based Smoosh, two talented young adies making music for the sake of music. Despite their physical age, Smoosh make music that transcends age. With the aide of Death Cab's Jason McGerr, Smoosh have made their mark and should continue to do so for many years to come. Absolutely check out the NBC and NPR features on the bands website.

Smoosh's debut album is entitled She Like Electric and can be purchased through the Pattern 25 imprint's website. For those on the east coast, Smoosh will perform on September 16th as part of the CMJ Music Marathon.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

I was gone, but now I'm back!!!

Hi everyone:

Some (and I mean "some") may have been wondering what happened to me. As a school teacher, the summer should have the time for me to put this blog into high gear. Unfortunately, that was not the case, but with good reason. In fact, I consider it the best of reasons.

I got married. On July 23rd, my fiance and I made it official in front of 175 of our closest friends. The day was gorgeous and the ceremony, as well as the subsequent BBQ/picnic/reception, were equally as spectacular. My wife's name is Deborah and she makes my life complete. I am extremely blessed to have this woman in my life. I have, and will, cherish every moment.

So as you can imagine, my life was a whirlwind of planning, spending and celebrating. Now, that part is over, and we can get back to the business of music. Thank you to everyone for your patience. I hope you will continue to enjoy reading "The Great Beyond" as well as posting you comments.


Sal Treppiedi