Way back during the first decade of the new millennium, did you ever experience the magic of Apollo Sunshine?
Oh man, I loved this band... and I still do. Their first two records were listened to repeatedly, on CD, then mp3. Something just flipped, and I was on the other side of the world now.
But as we moved into a on-demand streaming world, I would go look for the albums on streaming services, but neither of these gems would be there. Understanding the overmedia’d world we live in today, everything is out there somewhere. So I tracked down Jeremy, Jesse, and Sam, and asked them if I could put these albums out... and they said yes. So please give ‘em a spin on your favorite modern music service (Katonah / Apollo Sunshine).
Katonah captures the raw, young energy of the guys, plus the dynamic between quiet and explosive. Simple melodies, on vibes or piano, juxtaposed by bass thunder and searing guitar, with insane noises from another galaxy, interspersed at a level just enough to make you think you're hearing things. On some drum fills (“Happening" “The Egg”, “Flip”), Jeremy Black sounds like he is literally destroying his kit.
“I was on the Moon” combines a sweet ode to a little brother mixed with swirling guitars, it's pure two-toned Apollo Sunshine, the gorgeousness and the grease, all gobbed together. The guitars are noteworthy, such as the “Conscious Pilot” solo. The guitar sounds of Texas-born Sam Cohen were born and raised through Apollo Sunshine, and he has grown to be one of the axemen of our generation.
Apollo is Sunshine-y pop music, it's psychedelic rock music, and it should have been universally huge. Although we talk about Apollo in the past, the least I can do is keep breathing, it's all I can do…. I also can recommend two trip down memory lane by these two fantastic albums from 2003 and 2006.
The band continues to make music, here's an update on the guys:
Jesse “Nightime” Gallagher released an EP in this tradition of these Apollo Sunshine re-releases, have a listen to the Nighttime Sunshine EP now (listen link) and check out his video for “Time” on YouTube. For the last 10 years, the root of Jesse has been his hermitage above the Lilypad Jazz Club in Cambridge, MA. He books the club full time and lives a continuous musical collaboration & creation that has been archived in thousands of hours of amorphous unreleased “Mythological Records” featuring endless co-conspiritors (Biff Rose, EDAN, Sunburned Hand of The Man, Kurt Heasley (Lilys), Willy Mason, Gary War, CAN’s Malcolm Mooney, Drug Rug, Bong Wish).
Sam Cohen has put our fantastic records (both with Yellowbirds and his latest solo album, Cool It, on 30th Century Records. Sam has also produced amazing records, like this Kevin Morby gem Singing Saw (Sam Full Credits). Sam will be performing on the “Alone and Together” tour in late February 2017 (LA March 3, SF on March 5).
Jeremy Black is been busy, on the drums (playing with Matthew Logan Vasquez, Sandy's, Apollo Sunshine, and Marco Benevento) as well as producing records. Currently, he is working with Justin Vernon on Jeremy’s solo record, and Jerry has produced and/or drummed on records by Langhorne Slim, Geographer, Du Blonde, Cellar Doors, Con Brio, Spooky Mansions, Kacey Johansing, Farallons, Sandys, Go By Ocean, Fred Torphy, and FJAAK. At the Mitchelberger Music Festival in Berlin last year, he played drums in performances with the Dessner Brothers (National), Lisa Hannigan, Hauschka and Justin Vernon.