Announce NYC & LA Summer Dates
Debut LP “Rings” Out July 21st On Frenchkiss Records, Featuring Special Guest
View “Wah Do Dem” Trailer Here : http://www.wahdodem.com
“You probably wouldn’t think the guitar player from Sam Champion would be able to convincingly pull off reggae, but you’d actually be completely wrong, you idiot.” NY Magazine
“‘Easy Street’ is basically a classic pop joint with some give, all swelling B3 stabs, doo-wop harmonies, and Sean’s wandering drawl over it all.” RCRDLBL
“A perfect marriage of the lovely hiss of tape reels and chalky, stuttering guitars, an upbeat ode to city living, loving, and chilling, or, as Bones himself puts it, “a weird and winning study of early reggae styles and recording techniques.” All so casual too.” EarFarm
“The meat of Rings, a project which grew out of a single Sullivan recorded last summer, was recorded live to a 16-track machine and is said to nod to the Congos, Desmond Dekker and Lee “Scratch” Perry.” Relix
|The film, Wah Do Dem, will be premiering in the Narrative Competition Round of the LA Film Festival
Screenings: Saturday June 20 9:30pm at the Regent Theater/ Wednesday June 24 4:30pm at the Landmark 4The Plot: Max’s (Sean Sullivan) dream Caribbean cruise becomes a solitary odyssey after his girlfriend (Norah Jones) dumps him days before their departure. Now, he’ll have to go with the Jamaican flow in this disarming and incisive debut feature.
The film was directed by Ben Chase and Sam Fleischne and also features Suckers, members of MGMT, Yeasayer, the Congos, and Carl Bradshaw
Upcoming US Dates:
June 12th – Bruar Falls (Northside Festival) – Brooklyn, NY
June 23rd – Space 15 TWENTY – Hollywood, CA
June 26th – The Echo – Los Angeles, CA
|It all started with swim trunks, a Summer Reading ‘zine and sunscreen. Oh, and a 7-inch; we can’t forgot that part.
“I’ve always wanted to do my own record,” explains Bones (ne Sullivan), referring to the solo single he released as part of the limited “S/S FRIENDS” fashion line. “I never thought it’d be reggae, but then last summer happened.”
Ah, last summer. At the time, Sullivan was getting restless over the looming release of Sam Champion’s Heavenly Bender LP, so he set aside some no-frills studio time. The two-sided result, “Easy Street” and “Act So Casual,” became an easy, breezy mission statement for Sean Bones, a project Sullivan describes as “music that might cause people to scratch their heads a bit, only to realize that scratching their heads would make a good dance move.” Indeed. Just ask the folks over at RCRD LBL, who got behind Sullivan early on and wrote, “Canvas shorts and reggae music sound like summer spent by the water being lazy. Sean Bones is not lazy.”
Sure enough, Sullivan spent many late nights crafting the dirt-encrusted reggae that drives Sean Bones’ Frenchkiss debut Rings. Named after the pervading influence of such speaker-imploding ’60s/’70s standards as the Congos, Desmond Dekker and Lee “Scratch” Perry, Rings was first recorded live to a 16-track tape machine with one malfunctioning slot.
“We were working with limitations from the start,” says Sullivan. “I also told the engineer (Jay Braun, who’s also worked with the Stills and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion) to track the music in a way that hit the tape hard, stressing it out and giving us a gritty sound.”
The result is a funky reggae party with feeling. From the sturdy rocksteady groove and sly Phil Spector nods of “Cry Cry Cry” to the dub flavor of “Instigator” to the twilight zone reggaeton of “Smoke Rings” – Bones’s debut seem tailored to summertime-in-the-city. And then there’s “Dancehall,” a friendly sparring match between Barrington Levy and latter-day Blur. So yeah-this ain’t Legend: The Fourth Generation here; it’s something much stranger.
“Even when it’s poppy, reggae is heavy and weird,” says Sullivan. “Especially the early stuff-it’s done on primitive equipment and it’s better for that. To me, that’s punk, and I love it.”
He’s not alone. Remember that early “Easy Street”/”Act So Casual” single? When Sullivan tried to book a Sean Bones show to recoup the costs of vinyl pressings and canvas shorts, he ended up signing a record deal instead. Not to mention scoring the starring role-without auditioning, mind you-in Wah Do Dem, an indie film with loose connections to The Harder They Come and Rockers.
“My character is this hapless guy named Max who wins two cruise tickets, but gets dumped and has to go on this trip alone,” explains Sullivan. “He spends a week on a Senior Citizen’s cruise before getting robbed and lost in Jamaica on his daytrip there. Somewhere along the way, he gets taken in and sees the ‘real Jamaica’.”
You might recognize Max’s ex as a certain Norah Jones. While her character may ditch Max early on, the Grammy winner wound up contributing vocals to the album closer “Turn Them,” a song catered to the film’s storyline. Landing such a high profile guest begs one question, of course: what’s next, beyond a spring 2010 S/S FRIENDS collection involving ponchos and galoshes?
“I’m not closing any doors,” says Sullivan of his past projects, “but when the idea to record my own reggae single came to me, I was so excited I had to stand on my fire escape. It feels right to be doing this.”
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