Inspired by the reckless, self-destructive chaos of mid-80s college radio bands (The Replacements, Hüsker Dü, Squirrel Bait) and a misguided faith in the redemptive qualities of 70s arena rock, Irish whiskey, Jolt Cola, Popeye’s biscuits, the writings of Charles Bukowski, and the confused late-night ramblings of Dr. Gene Scott, Crash Harmony formed in 1986.
The band played numerous gigs at New Haven’s glorious Grotto, provided live soundtracks and occasional dance music for drunk students at Yale, Wesleyan, and Smith, and gave a senior class in Gardner, Massachusetts, a prom they will never forget. Over the course of two years the band wrote and recorded prodigiously, documenting their deep catalog of songs on demo recordings as well as live-radio performances at Yale and Wesleyan radio stations. Following graduation, band members Dave Derby, Jon Nighswander, Michael Potenza, and Nils Nadeau moved on to pursue different careers in and outside of music.
Discovering mutual friends at the Magic Door Recording studio in Montclair, NJ, Derby contributed backing vocals to Potenza’s band’s eponymous album, The Melancholy Kings. In time, a Crash Harmony reunion morphed from abstract ideation into whatever it is now. Finally hitting the studio in 2021, Crash Harmony began work on a soon-to-be released full-length album of original material inspired by the 70s, written in the 80s, forgotten in the 90s, reflected upon lovingly in the aughts, stored in the vaults in the teens, and painstakingly recovered and redeemed in the 20s.
No one asked for this. And yet, here we are.
Monobrow sprouted in the heady days of 1989-90, in and around Jonathan Edwards College. They won the 1990 Harvard-Yale Battle of the Bands before claiming the ultimate prize of early '90s indie cred — opening for Blur — at Toad's Place in the spring of 1992. A couple years in Somerville, MA followed, playing at the Middle East, the Rathskeller, TT the Bear's, and most memorably, at a Baroque music festival at Harvard. Relocating to the green pastures of New York City, Monobrow appeared frequently at Luna Lounge, Arlene Grocery, The Spiral, and the Westbeth Theater throughout the late 90s and early oughts. The 'brow has been quiet in the past decade, but looks forward to reuniting on its native turf in the Ninth Square.
Formed within the asbestos-flaked walls of the steam tunnels beneath Yale University, Beauty Constant assembled in 1983, inspired by the taut rhythms and sparse emotions of post-punk. Vocalist/guitarist Chihoe Hahn's rich voice wended through dueling figures with guitarist/vocalist Steve Folta and the elastic bass lines of Sandy Smallens. Original drummer Hugh Schoolman brought some ska flavor. As their sound grew to embrace the cacophony of mid-80s stalwarts like the Replacements, the band recorded their sole LP, "Like The Enemy," and featured on bills with the likes of Miracle Legion and the dBs. As they rehearsed for this, their first show in four decades - in which they'll be joined by Smallens's Too Much Joy bandmate, Tommy Vinton, on drums - it became clear that they had finally grown into their songs, or vice-versa.