carmen's condition
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carmen's condition

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Band Rock Pop

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Aug
04
carmen's condition @ Harper's Ferry

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Jul
26
carmen's condition @ Harper's Ferry

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Jul
19
carmen's condition @ Harper's Ferry

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Ready for prime time

By Paul E. Kandarian Boston Globe | November 24, 2005

Holbrook native Brian Scully was living a hockey fan's dream. For two years the Boston University journalism grad worked for the Boston Bruins, writing game stories and program notes for the club's website and program.

But an owners' lockout knocked the National Hockey League out of commission for the 2004-2005 season. And Scully with it.

Enter music, a lifelong passion for Scully, who now lives in Scituate. He is lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter in Carmen's Condition, a band on the verge of perhaps being the next big thing in local music or beyond. On Wednesday at 8:20 a.m., the band will play live on Fox 25 Morning News -- a sort of ''Good Morning America" moment, said Scully.

''We highlight new up-and-coming bands, local acts that are booking into the hottest local venues," said Dot Joyce, segment producer for Fox 25 Morning News.

Scully, a 1998 graduate of Archbishop Williams High School in Braintree, called the appearance ''huge."

''It really is. And it's just been a great year for us," he said.

Scully, 25, and fellow band founder Chris Petrillo of Connecticut wrote the music for the band's first CD, ''Spaces Long Unknown." ''This is after we just did a five-week residency on Tuesday nights at Harpers Ferry in Boston and started getting airplay on WBCN," said Scully.

Also part of the band are drummer Gus Lawlor of Braintree, a former English teacher at Archbishop Williams, and his wife, Susan Picillo, a drama teacher at the school, who does backup vocals on the album. Bassist Dan ''Doc" Giulotti of East Boston played on the CD; the current live bass player is Scotland native Dave Nicol of Boston.

The CD is being sold in Newbury Comics, said Scully. ''We're hard pressed to come up with a name for our style, but it's original radio rock," he said. ''We're mainstream rock, we're not reinventing the wheel; we're just taking our acoustic-driven rock songs and giving it our own spin."

He still misses the Bruins, he said, but loves music more.

''There's a lot of good things happening at once," he said. Music ''is something I'll always do the rest of my life, but if things don't work out now, it's a hobby. But for now, it's my focus. To have this stuff happening to us is pretty rewarding."

Carmen's Condition is scheduled to play at The Middle East nightclub in Boston Dec. 1, and at T.T. the Bear's Place in Cambridge Dec. 21. The band's website is carmenscondition.com. - Boston Globe


By JAY N. MILLER
For The Patriot Ledger

There were a lot of good and bad byproducts of the year-long National Hockey League strike, but ranking on the positive side has to be the founding of a new band devoted to bringing mainstream rock back to Boston.

Rest easy, Bruins fans, Joe Thornton is not giving up hockey. But another fellow whose previous career included chronicling Bruins exploits has become a rock singer and songwriter.

Brian Scully, a Holbrook native who graduated from Archbishop Williams High School and now lives in Abington, is half of the creative duo behind Carmen's Condition, a group well into its fourth month of a Tuesday night residency at Harpers Ferry in Allston.

Before the rock bug bit him, Scully, 25, worked for the Boston Bruins, maintaining the team's web site, writing the game program stories, and in general pursuing the journalism career for which his degree from Boston University prepared him.

But then the NHL strike/lockout hit, and like everyone from players to peanut vendors, Scully was out of work. That's when he decided to give his longtime passion for music a serious look.

A catalyst for Scully's career change was a newspaper ad, placed by Chris Petrillo, another musician with a unique background.

The Connecticut native had a science degree, and was well into his pursuit of a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Chicago when he decided to try something different. Since then, Petrillo, 34, has worked as a college professor, carpenter, cook and president of his own marketing firm, from which he recently retired to concentrate on music.

‘‘When the NHL lockout hit, I had to sit back and take stock of my life,'' said Scully. ‘‘Music is something I'd always wanted to do, and meeting Chris solidified it. I grew up singing in choirs and such, and discovered rock as a teenager. I had done a lot of really bad cover band rock stuff in my younger days. Of course, singing covers, you're constantly imitating someone else. I don't think it was until the last two years that I found my own voice.''

Meeting Petrillo, as unconventional a character as Scully, made partnership a natural.

‘‘I remember I had just gotten back from Montreal, game six of the playoffs that last year with the Bruins,'' Scully recalled. ‘‘I was reading in my office to relax, tired from the trip, and saw Chris' ad. What drew me was that he was open to mainstream rock, because I believe in that line, supposedly from the critic Lester Bangs, from the Cameron Crowe movie ‘Almost Famous,' that ‘rock 'n' roll is dumb ... in a great way.' The bands Chris listed told me he was willing to be in a mainstream group, and had some aspirations of making it.

‘‘Now, I'm married, so going up and down the East Coast in a van for no money doesn't appeal to me, but I liked the idea of being in a band where you're not afraid to do stuff that sounds like it could be on the radio.''

They formed a duo called South Street with a rhythm section of young turks from Berklee School of Music. That didn't work out, because as Petrillo and Scully kept penning middle-of-the-road rock tunes, their rhythm section kept turning them into world beat, techno beat, or some hazy avant-garde hybrid.

On the verge of going into Q Division studio in Boston to record some songs, Scully and Petrillo decided to dump the rhythm section. Scully remembered an Archbishop Williams teacher who sang in a weekend blues band.

‘‘Susan E. and Bluesliner plays all over the region,'' he said, ‘‘and Susan Picillo is a drama teacher at Archbishop Williams. Her husband, Gus Lawlor of Braintree, is a former AW teacher himself, who plays drums in her band, so we called him for the session. Gus recommended their bassist, Dan ‘‘Doc'' Giuliotti, (of East Boston) and so that became our rhythm section for the recording, with a minimal amount of rehearsal.''

The results were good, as Carmen's Condition's debut CD, ‘‘Spaces Long Unknown,'' is a nine-song sampler that moves along nicely between Dave Matthews-type jam-rock, and the type of thickly-textured pop that Counting Crows or Blues Traveller might do.

‘‘We've been working together for a year now, and it is great to work with people who respect both the music and the process,'' Scully said. ‘‘One song had been mangled by our old rhythm section, pushed and pushed in some world beat direction that kept getting worse. Doc came in and immediately decided it was a bossa nova, simplified it, and let it breathe. Both those guys are 50, and we appreciate the maturity and team spirit they bring.''

Songwriting has been a revelation for Scully and Petrillo, who doubles as lead guitarist. From their first efforts, they found an affinity that results in smooth and efficient songwriting.

‘‘We write songs more from feel than from any direct influence,'' said Scully. ‘‘How do these songs make you feel? That's what we go on.

‘‘Chris has a much more jazz background than I, and may be the single most talented guitar player I've ever been able to play with,'' he added. ‘‘He can do a lot of stuff extemporaneously, yet he understands it is a band, and not all about showing off.''

Since both Scully and Petrillo have public relations backgrounds, both agreed an early goal would be to have a CD demonstrating the band's sound.

‘‘We hope the CD can entice people to see the live show,'' said Scully. ‘‘We can deliver on the promise of the CD with a show that is actually much better today. The first CD was done in one 36-hour burst at Q Division, when Doc and Gus had, like, one rehearsal. They still made it happen, incredibly.''

The Harper's Ferry summer residency, which was so successful it has been extended through October, began as a Scully/Petrillo brainstorm. They had seen a lot of local band nights around Boston where five or more disparate bands would play, and some parts of the bill might drive out fans of the other parts.

Their idea was simply to mix bands with a mainstream rock sound in common, using their own slot as an anchor, and inviting national touring acts to perform a set, too.

‘‘We found that the residency idea works, and we had 40 people a night all through the summer, which is difficult in all clubs,'' said Scully. ‘‘We set out finding bands we liked, and booked a whole night of them. We used a lot of national bands coming through the area as the middle slot, rotated others, and concentrated on one type of music - as mainstream as rock can be. They got a $3 cover, and with cheap drinks at Harpers it was a popular night. Now with colleges back, we've had 66 people last Tuesday and expect more and more.''

Carmen's Condition - the moniker is a silly phrase Scully found in his mother's old phone book - has played The Beachcomber in Quincy, and a few other area club dates, but is focused on the residency for now. The band expects to begin recording its second album in December.

Jay Miller can be reached at kingmuskrat@yahoo.com. - Patriot Ledger


Discography

Pretty Girl Single -- November 2004
spaces long unknown LP -- June 2005

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

carmen's condition is riding a wave of momentum that has the band poised for a breakout 2006.

The band has been featured in the Boston Globe's Globe South ("a band on the verge of perhaps being the next big thing in local music or beyond") and Patriot Ledger ("thickly textured pop") and will be making its first live television appearance on Nov. 30 as one of the latest up-and-coming bands featured on the Fox 25 Morning News ("We highlight up-and-coming bands, local acts that are booking into the hottest venues" -- Dot Joyce, producer Fox 25 Morning News).

The band made it's radio debut on WBCN on the Boston Emissions show and the CD, "spaces long uknown" is available for purchase at Newbury Comics.

After five consecutive months of a Tuesday night residency at Harper's Ferry in Boston, the band has gigs booked at the Middle East and TT the Bears in December.

With a slate of new shows planned for 2006 and a New England tour scheduled for February, carmen's condition is a band on the rise.