Milo Greene

Early Show

Milo Greene

Family of the Year

Thu, July 26, 2012

Doors: 6:30 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY

$10

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This event is 21 and over

Milo Greene - (Set time: 7:30 PM)
Milo Greene
Milo Greene is not real. However, the fictitious character that is Milo Greene is very much alive.

His makers perceive him as an intellectual entrepreneur. In his poised and dignified manner, he keeps things close to the vest and lets everyone know who’s boss. He is exactly the type of man you would want to represent you in any business venture...and that is exactly why he was created.

In the DIY music world, having proper representation is key. Lacking an actual manager, college classmates Andrew Heringer, Robbie Arnett, and Marlana Sheetz concocted a virtual one – Milo Greene – to promote their individual musical efforts. It wasn’t until 2009 that the three began creating music together. While house sitting in the isolated Northern California foothills, the trio wrote and recorded a handful of songs. Seeking a name for their new venture, they thought it only natural to pay tribute to the fake manager/booking agent that had represented them throughout their college years: Milo Greene.

Eventually Heringer and Sheetz moved to Southern California, where Arnett was living. There, they added Graham Fink (formerly of ‘The Outline’) and Curtis Morrero (formerly of Arnett’s band ‘Links’). The five-piece made a habit of escaping periodically to desolate West Coast locations to continue the story they had started.

“We had no TV, no Internet, we had a fire going, and we had to hush the dogs,” Arnett says, acknowledging that the environment probably accounted for their music’s pastoral feel, as well as its meticulous attention to detail. Sheetz concurs: “Every place we’ve made music has been isolated, and it has certainly helped us focus.”

Milo Greene’s formal recording sessions for their self-titled debut with co-producer Ryan Hadlock (Ra Ra Riot, Blonde Redhead, The Gossip, The Lumineers) followed suit; they took place at Bear Creek Studio, a converted circa-1900 barn in the country near Seattle.

“We set out to make the album a cohesive piece, something that takes you from Point A to Point B,” Arnett says, “which is maybe not the brightest thing to do in a singles world, but …” Heringer finishes the thought: “Every song does stand on its own, so you never know what to expect sonically or emotionally.”

Milo Greene is a collection of voices that live and breathe simultaneously with the breadth of an omniscient, collective consciousness. The melodies invoke long drives down the California coast and the feeling of leaving home. There is something meditative about it, as though it asks to be listened to alone and given one’s full attention. Guitar lines swell and recede as ocean waves would. A slight dissonance can be sensed underneath a seemingly passive exterior; a tension can be found in passing tones that evoke jazz harmony and the sense of waiting for something really big to happen, a sense of growing inevitably older while grasping at the threads of youth.

The themes explored on Milo Greene’s Chop Shop/Atlantic Records debut are timeless: a quest for permanence, a longing for virtue, a need for reciprocity in all that is good, like on the album’s first single, the enchanting “1957.” “When, when, when we’re older / Can I still come over?” the band asks in “Silent Way,” looking hopefully into the future. It’s a future less daunting when faced with the strong bond imagined in the song “Don’t You Give Up on Me,” with its solemn vow “I’ll go wherever you go.”

Those songs, along with the embraceable “Autumn Tree” and “Cutty Love” embody the simple notion that, not unlike the way the quintet makes music, we are all in this together. “We all long to be comforted and secure,” Arnett says. “If our music sounds nostalgic, it’s for the times in our lives we felt that way. If we sound hopeful, it’s because we want to feel that way again.”

Says Fink: “We’re all in our 20’s, but we’re all coming to this band after living out other musical dreams. We’re still young enough to be wide-eyed, but experienced enough to know how special this group is.”

Wielding four-part harmonies and indelible melodies over sprawling, percussive arrangements, there is no lead singer of Milo Greene. They work powerfully as a team, yet each member is unique and can stand on their own.

“Four of us were lead singers in our previous projects,” Arnett says, “so we really have no focal point, no lead melody writer or lyricist. Everything is Milo.”

Their fictitious character, Milo Greene, is British, they muse, and well versed in art and history, with eclectic tastes in music. The kind of guy who wears a three-piece suit even when it’s hot, and has a record player in every room.

“I think he would be a big fan of our music …” Arnett says.

Fink interjects: “But only because he’s very vain.”
Family of the Year - (Set time: 6:30 PM)
Family of the Year
Channeling Fleetwood Mac's musical stylings with a hint of late-era Beatles, Family of the Year braid catchy melodies, stellar male/female vocals and personal folk tales to create some of the happiest and saddest music you've ever heard. The band's classic musical style has been integrated with a modern fanbase that the band continues to create and release new music for.
Family of the Year self-released their debut EP Where's the Sun on their Washashore imprint in September 2009. The EP showcases a variety of Family's music, and includes "Let's Go Down," "Castoff," "Summer Girl," "What a Surprise," and "Psyche or Like Scope." Where's the Sun is available for digital download at FamilyoftheYear.net for an optional donation. Contributions went directly toward the release of the band's debut full-length album and continue to fund their collective life on the road.
In October, Family was handpicked out of 700 artists by Ben Folds and Keith Lockhart to open for Ben and The Boston Pops at Symphony Hall. Shortly after, the band flew west for California shows with Bell X1 before returning east for the CMJ Music Marathon, marking Family Of The Year's New York debut. SPIN.com selected the band as one 25 Must-Hear Artists from the 2009 CMJ Festival.
In November, Family hit the road with Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros in support of Family's debut album, Songbook, also available for optional donation.
In January the band announced the release of an exclusive song every month through their e-mail list in 2010 and followed that with the digital release of their sophomore EP Through the Trees on March 9 under their own imprint, Washashore Records. The band retains their signature folk-inspired style while pushing the musical genre exploration for which they're known on the new EP, which also features friend and fan Willy Mason.
Singers Joe Keefe and Meredith Sheldon blend seamless harmonies in the Beach Boys-esque ballad, "Summer Girl," while "Stupidland" and "Let's Go Down" are upbeat, catchy folk tunes. Crossing boundries, Through the Trees features the traditional Family sound, but will also include "The Barn," a synth-heavy rock song, as well as "The Princess and the Pea," which embodies a laid-back yet catchy reggae sound.
Like most American families, FOTY come from all over. Brothers Joe and Sebastian Keefe grew up in Wales before staking their claim as locals on the rustic country island Martha's Vineyard, where they grew up with Meredith Sheldon and Farley Glavin. Christina Schroeter is a misfit of Orange County, CA while across the country southern gentleman James Buckey grew up in Jacksonville, FL.
Musical veterans Joe, Seb, James, and Farley enjoyed local Boston success in their raw rock ensemble Unbusted. Farley and the Keefe brothers switched gears when they created the up-tempo indie-pop band The Billionaires, while James pursued a career in sound engineering. Christina, who spent five years of her childhood trying to weasel out of piano lessons, recently resigned from an entertainment PR firm, where she often rushed clients down red carpets before heading to band practice. Meredith is an accomplished singer and guitarist, and has toured with Ben Taylor as a backup vocalist.
Joe, Seb, and Jamesy met Christina in LA, and Meredith and Farley moved from Martha's Vineyard to complete the ensemble. Even when they're not practicing, you can bet that this tight-knit group are hanging out. Whether it's playing board games at the practice space or mellow nights sitting by the backyard fire pit over a jug of wine, FOTY truly consider each other family.

"I'd never heard anything like them before. They were so eclectic in the music choices, something like a combination of folk indie rock and the Beach Boys. I was fascinated. They were [Ben Folds'] favorite, too."
-Keith Lockhart, Conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra
"A collective that's equally comfortable harmonizing on '70s-style Hollywood Hills piano rock as it is churning out urgent, high-tech indie pop." --SPIN.com
"They're like the Mamas and the Papas on acid." --Steven Tyler
Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002
http://mercuryloungenyc.com