The Martha's Vineyard Ferries with Gull Boy & The Stonedust Infield

The Martha's Vineyard Ferries with Gull Boy & The Stonedust Infield


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$15 – $18

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Sun Tiki Studios

375 Forest Avenue

Portland, ME 04101

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The Martha's Vineyard Ferries with Gull Boy & The Stonedust Infield

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The Martha’s Vineyard Ferries

Over the course of two prior releases — 2010’s In The Pond (Sickroom) and 2013’s Mass Grave (Kiam) — The Martha’s Vineyard Ferries quietly carved out a high-IQ corner of the U.S. rock underground reserved for taut, deathly catchy songs that showcased deft (if get-to-the-point) instrumentation. That the band have been kinda/sorta under the collective radar has more to do with their being otherwise occupied (more on that in a minute) than a lack of artistic ambition; they’ve slayed before and after a long break, they’re back to slay again.

So you’re wondering, what could possibly take precedence in real life terms over playing in a band this awesome? Much as I hate to compare and contrast, part of the dilemma is that the principals of The Martha’s Vineyard Ferries — commonly referred to by their fans as “the Fuckin’ Ferries”, “The Martha’s Vineyard Ferries” by everyone else --- are in too many awesome bands already. Guitarist/vocalist Elisha Wiesner has previously set the world on fire with the Massachusetts sextet Kahoots and earlier this year released a 63 song (!) digital masterclass in songwriting under the John Pancake nom de plume. Drummer/vocalist Chris Brokaw has previously pounded on things for heavyweights including but not limited to Codeine and The New Year, though there’s a fair chance you’ve also heard his guitar/vocal performances, both solo and with Come (as well as an impossibly long list of contributions to the likes of The Lemonheads, Dirtmusic, Thurston Moore, Consonant and more). Bassist/vocalist Bob Weston is internationally renowned for his sternum-crushing work on behalf of Shellac, Volcano Suns and sound manipulation tactics for Mission Of Burma (I’ve not heard any of the above, but I’m told they’re all “ok, if you’re into that sort of thing”)

Add to this workload the tiny matter of the 3 players having spent most of the last 7 years living in 3 different time zones, it’s nothing short of a miracle the 3rd and finest Martha’s Vineyard Ferries album could pass for the sustained effort of 3 men who’ve been locked up together all this time, writing and recording a powerful statement to rival anything in their collective catalogs (I’m thinking of a scenario kind of like “The Lighthouse”, except there’s 3 men instead of two and there’s more guitars than birds, but maybe the occasional bird, as you tend to get a few of them near the water).

Suns Out Guns Out was recorded in fits and starts (mostly fits) between 2015 and the end of 2019, the bulk of between Wiesner’s home studio on Martha’s Vineyard and Weston’s Chicago basement. Some portions were composed in record time, others, agonized over for years. The best moments sound instantly familiar, like the favorite band you-never-knew-you-had was waiting for the exact right moment to emerge. And of course, this is the exact right moment in history, what with absolutely everything going swimmingly.

Since I’m the optimistic type, I’ll hazard a guess we’ll not have to wait another 7 years for the next Martha’s Vineyard Ferries album, but however long it takes, I’m willing to hang around if they fashion anything nearly as stirring as Suns Out Guns Out.

Gull Boy is a post-punk explosion of joy, where instruments mesh in a clocklike system of gears, and words mine stories of people and situations that shine a light. The band joins two GingerBread Men: bassist Carl Thien and drummer Mike Mooney, with Greg Farrenkopf and his Rickenbacker chime. Carl leaves the soundscapes he explored in Turkish Delight for a world where Richard Hell and Television were ground zero, and Orange Juice, Teardrop Explodes and Josef K were venturers. Gull Boy has empathy for a damaged world, and is not afraid to travel to the edge to bring back tales to weave.

The Stonedust Infield is a collaboration of Danny Rudack and Mark Erdody. We started playing together in January of 2022. Danny had been playing drums in many bands since the early 90’s and most notably played in the Irresponsibles which released several records in that time and they actually were the backing band for Adrian Belew on a few tours. Mark spent the early 90’s fronting Kudgel, a noisy poppy band in Boston. Mark ran Cinderblock Records which was a vehicle for a community of Boston bands in that era. Mark also fronted the band Bullpen Catcher in the 2000’s. Life brings many challenges and Danny and Mark both had taken some years off from the active music scene. They come together now to play whatever inspires them at the moment regardless of whatever the current indie rock trend is. We both realized we started playing music to connect with people and that it was important to us to get back to it.

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