Clem Snide was an alt-country indie rock project from New York, NY and Nashville, TN consisting of songwriter/singer/guitarist Eef Barzelay, and a rotation of musicians. Primarily an outlet for Barzelay, the band consisted chiefly of bassist/cellist Jason Glasser through mid-2006, as well as more recent members including multi-instrumentalist Pete Fitzpatrick, and his cousin Brendan Fitzpatrick.
"Clem Snide" is a character in several novels by William S. Burroughs, including Naked Lunch, The Ticket That Exploded, and Exterminator!. The band formed in 1991, when Barzelay wanted an outlet for his songwriting, but separated in 1994 after releasing a couple of 7" singles. A few years later, Barzelay met back up with Glasser and began writing songs again, performing under the name Fruit Key. After adding a bassist and drummer, they reclaimed the name Clem Snide, recorded songs, continued performing, and, in 1998, issued their first album, You Were a Diamond (produced by Adam Lasus) on Tractor Beam Records. This album received some short-term major label attention, enough for Clem Snide to release their second album, Your Favorite Music, on Sire Records, before being dropped prior to the album's release.
In 2001, Clem Snide released the album The Ghost of Fashion, which received some extra press due to the song "Moment in the Sun" being featured as the theme song for the second season of the NBC program Ed, after the show lost the rights to the Foo Fighters' "Next Year". Fans were allegedly distraught by the change, and Ed went back to the Foo Fighters for the third season; "Moment in the Sun" continued to be used as the theme song outside the U.S.
At this time, then-bassist Jeff Marshall left the band citing the touring schedule, as the band had performed a number of world tours in support of Fashion. He did, however, stay with the band to help record their fourth album, Soft Spot.
Clem Snide released their fifth album in 2005, End of Love, and in February 2006 Barzelay released his first solo album, Bitter Honey, on spinART Records. Clem Snide's latest record, Lose Big, is completed and was released on June 17th 2008, on 429 Records. Barzelay confirmed that the band broke up during the proceedings, and that another record was completed around the same time, the newer recording set to be released first.
Plants & Animals
The first seeds of the band were originally planted on Canadas salty-aired East Coast in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Young Warren C. Spicer and Matthew the Woodman Woodley had begun playing together in high-school bands. The sea winds eventually carried them through the vast plains of Quebec to Montreal (a journey they would come to know intimately as the years wore on). It was in the now hallowed halls of Concordia Universitys music department that they would come upon Nicolas Basque, a strange francophone native that shared their musical inclinations (and a trappeurs finely-tuned taste in cuisine). It wasnt until then that the three boys became men, signified their union with a name, and that Plants and Animals emerged from the wildlife.
In 2003 they bat out an instrumental menagerie of song-like folk-beasts, and put some of them to tape in the form of a recording that local label Ships at Night would later release. By 2005 the three young men were taming the sprawling wilderness of their sound and sculpting real songs, as Spicer also lead the way to a (hitherto unheard of) vocal domination of their materialas if he had been possessed by the ghost of some recently departed soul singer. During this time Spicer and Woodley would occasionally stop by to care for some of the neighboursTimber, Socalled, and Katie Mooreand play. All the while, the Halifax-born were jamming and pruning with Basque, harnessing the band and its songs like a wild horse. Some called it post-classic-rock. Some called it folk-prog. Those who knew better didnt say anything at all.
In about the summer of 2005 they carried a 24-track Studer bull up the stairs of Spicers apartment and split their time between their new makeshift studio there (aka Le Carillon Tropical), and the Treatment Room. By fall 2006 the foundations of what would later become Parc Avenue were layed, the band was playing shows (and singing), and a relationship with Montreal label Secret City Records was formed. By summer 2007 the once-monster was complete, temporarily tamed, housed, and ready to be unleashed.
While the band awaited the release of Parc Avenue, they kept busy touring in the US, Canada, and Iceland, working on their album art and recording with/avec EP that was released in Canada in October 2007. Like all plants and animals, these ones are just gonna keep on growing and blossoming, working on new songs, playing them for people and having a good time doing it.
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High Noon Saloon
701 E. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53703
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