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I’ve been a longtime writer and singer of songs on both guitar and piano, leading various bands and recording on my own. I began as early as high school, performing my very first song Sunset 4000 in front of an audience full of parents and students. In college I was part of a band called Kaspar Hauser and we did a recording produced by David Minehan of the Neighborhoods. We were the first band he produced. The second was the Del Fuegos. I then fronted the Cure-inspired outfit Rapture of the Deep and released the record "Under Quabbin" on the Techno Tunes label. A few years later I formed a band called Savage Garden and did a recording at Fort Apache with Paul Q.Kolderie of Radiohead, Dinosaur Jr., Lemonheads, and Hole fame. A few years later Thinner had a release on the british label Rough Trade U.K. A later version of Kaspar Hauser landed music on the soundtrack to a film called The Magician (Death By Magic),and some of our songs have popped up on various tv shows. I also put out a political rock CD to protest the invasion of Iraq, Wildman: Flag Retirement (still available at CD Baby) and got a lot of airplay out of song called "God Damned Mistake". Somewhere in there I wrote the liner notes for releases by two great local artists: Natalie Flanagan and Roger Miller and was recognized by the Boston Phoenix as one of the top 5 local writers who can rock. My most recent bands were Fire in the Boathouse on Accurate Records (Morphine's first label), The Unfamiliars a two-guitar hard rocking outfit (see below) and Carriage House a guitar/violin fold rock duo with Clara Kebabian. In the past few years I’ve switched to doing mostly solo gigs at places around the greater Boston area like The Plough and Stars, The Tavern at the End of the World, The Midway and The Lizard Lounge backed up by various musicians including steel guitarist John Mulrooney, cellist Nicole Equerme and drummer Stephen Wilkinson.
Carriage House performing The Weary Kind at Boston Society of Film Critics Awards
Formed in 2005 this was a vehicle for my dark, poetic rock songs and angular, Tom Verlaine-inspired guitar playing.
The band featured Jason Raffi (ThirteenEven, Blastique, The Cautions and Cult of Point Break Society), Guitarist Greg Campagna (Blastique, Feldspar, Pleasure Vehicle, Contrails and Cult of Point Break Society) and Drummer Adam Goodwin (Miles Dethmuffin, Permafrost, The Birdwatchers Society of America and The Details)
We played at TT The Bears, The Middle East, Lizard Lounge, The Cantab, PA's Lounge, The Baseball Tavern and The Midway. Our first demo received solid airplay on WBCN, WMBR, WZBC, WFNX.
Here’s a link to a video of one of our songs, I Am a Lighthouse on YouTube (Video is also below)
The following is our extended bio answering every question you never asked:
The long winding thread of The Unfamiliars saga dates back to 2005, when singer/songwriter/guitarist David Wildman entered the Rock Band INXS contest, which you will remember was an attempt by the 80’s Aussie sensations to replace Michael Hutchence after he auto-eroticized himself to death. Wildman was a veteran of more local bands than he wanted to count or admit to, including Savage Garden (who recorded with Paul Kolderie, the producer that helped Radiohead and Hole reach gold, but not Wildman), Thinner (who released a record with Rough Trade) and Fire In The Boathouse (Accurate Records), but he wasn’t seeking to replace Hutchence, instead he was participating in his capacity as a journalist, looking for a story. To compete he needed a demo of original songs, so he called on his friend Scott Craggs of Roh Delikat who had a studio and agreed to play drums and help him record it. In addition he brought in violinist Clara Kebabian and guitarist Mark Bowden. As far as the audition, it unfortunately turned out that those picked had to sign a document stating that if they spoke to any member of the press it would bring a multimillion dollar lawsuit crashing down onto said participants head. It was a moot point anyway, because Wildman wasn’t picked. The judges seemed to like his sideburns, tolerated one and a quarter of his songs and that was that. But now he had a band. They dubbed themselves The Familiars until they realized there were about fifteen other Familiars on Myspace, each with enough friends to occupy a small city. Craggs solved the problem by scratching “Un” in front of the name on one of the demo tapes. More or less this incarnation played gigs around town and in NYC before disbanding and leaving Wildman on his own with a bunch of good songs and no one to play them. He briefly worked with bassist Alan Levesque (now of The Young Tremors) but nothing materialized. Then he met Jason Raffi who had played bass in an experimental pop band called ThirteenEven, as well as Blastique, The Cautions and Cult of Point Break Society. They took on a shifting series of drummers and started playing out as a trio, occasionally recording with Craggs. In 2007 they added second guitarist Greg Campagna, who had played with Raffi in Blastique, and Cult of Point Break Society and had also been in Feldspar, Pleasure Vehicle, and Contrails. After a few years of different faces behind the drum kit, in the fall of 2009 they brought in Adam Goodman of legendary Boston rockers Permafrost and Miles Dethmuffin, as well as The Details with Dave Aaronoff and Corin Ashley and Birdwatchers of America featuring Matt Hutton of The Red Telephone. That was when all the pieces fell into place. Goodman’s no-nonsense rock-solid kick/snare approach was the anchor that freed up Raffi to explore the dark, sinewy melodies of his unique spider-like bass approach, and brought out the developing Odd Couple interplay between Wildman, with his gritty, sloppy Gibson Firebird and Campagna and his intricate, impeccable, and often explosive Strat work. Goodman also brought in another element: background vocals to complement Wildman’s Tom Verlain-esque wavery croon, and a love of pop music. The band has since received write-ups in The Noise: “"Like Lou Reed -- if he were a good singer -- fronting The Dream Syndicate with Tom Verlaine on guitar." -- Shady of The Noise, and The Boston Phoenix. In mid august of 2010 they completed a four song demo at Moontower Studios: Vicodin – a lurching rocker about internal escape (“My doctor he gave me some/relief from the things I’ve done”), The Seed – edgy pop in the vein of Echo and the Bunnymen (“All my beginnings have endings built in”) I Am a Lighthouse- jagged guitars and a metaphor for losing the capacity to lead (“I’m a lighthouse and the light is going out”) and No Army, an eerie song about the limits of megalomania (“I’ve got assassins on my payroll/but no one wants to kill a holy ghost”). www.myspace.com/theunfamiliars.