COLUMBIA, Mo 5/3/15 (Review) -- Timing is everything, especially in a tough business like entertainment, and this month's award for great timing goes to the band Vinyette.
Mastering a sound that might be called "chill grunge," the NYC-based indie rock group plays The Bridge in Columbia May 6. Mother's Day is four days later.
Mother's Day? you say.
"I quit my job, locked the flat; Wrote a note and never looked back," lead singer Nathan Frye casually croons in Vinyette's latest single, Just to Get Away. "I might be crazy or it might just be the first time I am free."
A famous mom rocks on
Free from home? Free from mom? Doesn't sound like anything a mother would love.
But she might like the tender edges of the song's hard-driving core sound, which suggest a certain homesickness, a quiet melancholy about breaking away. "I'll park my car beside the ocean...I'll give myself to the water; And she'll carry me home, all the way home."
A woman returning a young man home. Yep -- definitely mom-friendly material.
Vinyette's mom connection gets real when drummer Jonathan Crowley's real-life mother becomes the band's power publicist in a damned funny video titled "Nepotism." (also click pic)
The video opens with the dystopian first strain of the group's single, Every Little Mouse Run, suggesting wackiness ahead.
Mom and band deliver.
After watching a final cut of their Meatball Love Tone music vid, band members Frye, Crowley, guitarist Danny Monico and bassist Marc Ligenza ponder the Next Big Question: "How do we get this seen by everybody? Who can we possibly call to make that happen?"
Poof! Magically -- and comically -- appears a miniature cardboard standup of one of the most well-known political journalists in the history of broadcast journalism: CNN anchor and Presidential debate moderator Candy Crowley, who also happens to be the drummer's mother.
Standing between two half-consumed bottles of whiskey, mom cutout chuckles with "see, I told ya so" glee. "And you boys thought you didn't need your mother!"
Cut to Crowley looking serious behind the anchor's desk at CNN Washington, flags and the Capitol in the background. "It's called 'Meatball Love Tone,'" she explains to someone -- maybe a promoter or recording industry friend -- on the other end of her cell phone, careful to get every syllable just right. "It's my son's band, Vinyette."
Bingo! Money shot! Shameless plug! Cut to the band goofing on cardboard standups of Obama and Romney, all smiles, thumbs up!
"Not the neurosurgeon," Crowley says in a hushed voice. "This is the other son -- the one who hates politics." It's part of a new album, the journalist explains. It's not about spaghetti. I've seen it live. I mean -- "you want me to do this A capella?"
Crowley's storied 3-decade career suddenly goes from moderating an unusually contentious Obama-Romney Presidential debate to singing Meatball Love Tone, a rich, moody beauty of a ditty where the love tone is a memorable riff after lines like "Finally she said no, My all night girl."
"Keep on lovin', keep on lovin'," Candy sings, keeping her voice down as the camera crew counts down -- she's on in 30 seconds. Then: song over; cell gone. "Tonight's headline," she announces, a little flustered. "The War on Drums."
Vinyette hits Columbia Wednesday, May 6, 8 p.m. Bring mom. You don't have to be a distinguished news anchor to enjoy the news from this group.