Ports of Spain
From the back of the bar, Ports of Spain instantly scan as a full band, so it's a shock to discover their mathy shoegaze-pop is constructed by just two musicians . Ilya Gitelman uses octave pedals and loops to play lead, bass and rhythm guitar simultaneously, while Sam Carlson contributes vocals, keyboards and drums. Don't be fooled -- Ports of Spain are not another band that trades directionless loopy jazz odysseys for pure songcraft. Their equipment never gets in the way of their complex melodies. They write actual songs, consistently avoiding complication for the sake of complication. They juggle tons of ideas in every song, creating a noise that's consistently about to fall apart. That it doesn't is incredible by itself. Their brilliant songs may seem like a bonus under these circumstances, but don't underrate Ports of Spain. Even as these two guys spew chaos into crowded clubs, their songwriting is always there to remind you why a grounding in planned songcraft keeps so many of the best bands tethered to excellence. Ports of Spain belong in their company. Ports of Spain have played with bands like Tera Melos, Hospitality, Beach Fossils, Fang Island, Pissed Jeans, Pile, ONWE, Speedy Ortiz, Morning Teleportation, Kal Marks, The Paper Kites, and Solids.
"Ports of Spain is a small band with a large potential for success."
- Paste Magazine
"Gitelman re-creates parts he played in the studio — sinewy chord progressions, sub-octave bass riffs, surf-rock strumming patterns and arpeggios — without necessarily being constricted by them, and also sings. Carlson croons bright melodies, plays tom-driven beats, bashes cymbals and works a keyboard with one hand. Each man's routine is a tightrope act, synchronized with the other's."
- The Courant
"Ports of Spain goes a sonic step beyond the two-man band paradigm."
- Connecticut Post
"New Haven's Ports of Spain are Worth Seeing Over and Over"
- The New Haven Advocate
Jake McKelvie & the Countertops
Jake McKelvie & the Countertops are an indie-rock band from Keene, NH described as "one of the best up and coming musical experiences Keene has to offer". They have toured all over the U.S. opening for many national and local acts, including: Big D and the Kids Table, Ramshackle Glory, Eef Barzelay (Clem Snide), and The Heligoats. The band's sound ranges "from a cheekier Bright Eyes to a more literary Dead Milkmen" and their live shows contain equal parts goofball-theatrics and good musicianship.
In just over two years, JCM & Tops have released two full-length albums and completed one full U.S. tour and multiple tours throughout New England. The ratio of folk to punk-rock in the songs is even enough to encompass a wide variety of listeners.