Dead Larry
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Dead Larry

Iowa City, Iowa, United States | SELF

Iowa City, Iowa, United States | SELF
Band Rock Funk


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



"Two Parts Funk to One Part Drunk"

Dead Larry: Story Time
**** out of *****

The funk masters in Iowa City’s Dead Larry lay a drunken, psychedelic piece of groove cake on the table with the group’s first full-length release, Story Time. The pseudo-concept album pays homage to the fast-paced rock ’n’ roll of the ’70s combined with funkified, soulful choruses and rhythms.

The MC5’s “Ramblin’ Rose” channels through the second track, “Rocks (ft. Animosity)” with sporadic falsetto vocals and pounding guitar chords. Iowa City rapper Animosity’s contributing rhymes bring about an unexpectedly fitting modernized urban flavor to the otherwise retro song.

Dead Larry’s use of synthesized sounds and airy background melodies create an eerie, friendly depth to most of the album’s tracks. This is perfectly exemplified by the overly modulated spoken-word opening song, “The Story of Dead Larry,” which provides the backstory of the band itself (a band of friends stumbles upon a funky source of inspiration in the form of a dead mansion owner’s possessions, including vinyl records, vintage clothes, and a bunch of alcohol).

Dead Larry has crafted a sexy, spooky story of an album that rides on an array of instruments including overdriven tube guitar amps and a raspy voice box. The quality of the sound on the CD betrays the price tag (or the lack thereof). The guys from Dead Larry are giving the album away for free to anyone who makes an appearance at the group’s release show Friday at the Yacht Club — a gift to those who gather ’round the stage for a taste of the inebriated, funky rock show called Story Time.

Ryan’s Picks: “The Rocks (ft. Animosity),” “Your Funky Friends”

— by Ryan Fosmark
- The Daily Iowan

"Rockin' Iowa City: Dead Larry all about having a good time"

Dead Larry is anything but lifeless. The alternative, folk-rock band is all about energy.
"We play dancing music," said Joe Scarpellino, bass and vocals. "We don't whine.
"If we write any sad songs, it is sad songs to happy music."
It shouldcome as no surprise then that the Iowa City-based band, whose members range in age from 19-21, quickly is becoming a favorite among the high school and college crowds.
Julie Thomas, a senior at City High, tries to make every concert she can.
"Other than when they went on tour; I've missed just about three of their shows," said Thomas, 17.
The big draw of the group: "They sound different," she said.
With so much of todays music being all the same, Thomas said she appreciates having a local band that is trying to do its own thing.
The group has songs that range from Irish ballads to folk to rock, said Mark McGuiness, 21, lead vocalist and primary writer.
Scarpellino, 19, sums up the group's sound as "catchy." The same goes for it's stage antics.
While the band was on a West Coast tour this fall, a fan came up to them and said, "Watching Dead Larry was like watching Saturday morning cartoons when you havn't slept."
The quote describes the band and its music to a T, Scarpellino said.
Although the group performs most often at The Mill, they also can be caught playing The Picador, Iowa City Yacht Club and the Hall Mall.
The band's next show is at 9 p.m. Nov 23rd at The Mill.
Lipstick Homicide, another popular Iowa City rock group, will join Dead Larry on stage.
Cover is $5.
Dead Larry has a 10-track, self-titled CD it recorded in 2006 that it currently sells at shows.
A second record is slated for 2006.
To date, the group's most widely known song is "Three Cheers for the Wicked."
"It is a song about getting tired where you are and wanting to travel," McGuiness said.
In 2005, Dead Larry won the second place popular vote of the Greater Iowa City Dollars for Scholars Battle of the Bands contest.
In the 2006 Chicago Bodog Battle of the Bands contest, Dead Larry made it to the third round before being eliminated.
Up for grabs was a million dollar recording contract.
Though contests are fun, Scarpellino says the band really is focusing on building up its local fan base.
It also has plans to be back on the road in early 2008.
"We have our sound down, we have our performance down," Scarpellino said, "We just need people to start, keep coming to see us." - Deanna Truman

"10k Lakes Festival paired good acts with good times"

"Now, we get to the bands. The highlights of my festival experience were performances in the Saloon Stage by bands I didn't know. Here I did not see any cosmic tribes, only music lovers. An all too short set by psychedelic funk pop band, Dead Larry, from Iowa City, Iowa, was all I needed to realize where the great music truly was. Lead singer/rhythm guitarist Mark McGuiness screamed his lyrics with rock 'n' roll conviction to the raw and dark simplicity of the musical compromise that is the rest of the band. Each member worked their musical niche to create something greater than themselves that is Dead Larry." - Travis Beck - The Daily Nebraskan

"Dead Man Rockin' (with spirits)"

Once, there was an old man named Larry. When Larry died, four young musicians snuck into his house and "borrowed" a number of Larry's possessions, including clothes, records, and a suitcase filled with bottles of alcohol from his stocked liquor cabinet. After partaking of the deceased man's spirits, the quartet decided to pay tribute to the old soul by naming their newly formed band in his honor. And Dead Larry was born.

Dead Larry will play at the Yacht Club today at 9 p.m. The group is composed of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Mark McGuiness, bassist and vocalist Joe Scarpellino, lead guitarist Ned Barclay, and drummer Josh Felling. Formed in Iowa City, they've been playing shows in the area for almost five years.

More than anything else, the band members agree it's the live show that keeps them interested. They play one or two shows every week, traveling as far as Des Moines and Rock Island to get their sound out. They hope to properly tour the Midwest soon.

"I like meeting other musicians, and if we make this music, we might as well play it to people," Barclay said. "And there's free beer sometimes."

Dead Larry plays a mix of funk and rock-infused with psychedelia, and the music is inspired by such classic rock acts as Led Zeppelin as well as contemporary jam bands such as Phish. McGuiness' lyrics focus on storytelling, though he notes that they "sound happy but they're actually pretty dark."

Scarpellino said the band has a fresh, "spring-scented" sound.

"People will be pleasantly surprised," McGuiness said. "There are elements of something you know but something new as well."

The band released an EP over the summer titled The Wishing Well, and it is preparing to record its first full-length record during the first week of December. The winner of five local "Battle of the Bands" competitions, Dead Larry recently won five days in the recording studio at a Yacht Club contest. When the new album is released, the members plan on giving it away for free initially as thanks to the fans who helped them win the competition.

"There were a lot of people who came out to support us," McGuiness said.

It's clear that Dead Larry hasn't forgotten about its fans, and its live shows are appropriately tailored with the audience in mind. A Dead Larry show has a "big family" kind of atmosphere, Scarpellino said, and people who haven't been to one of the band's shows before should "expect to dance."

"The audience is as much a part of the show as we are," McGuiness said. Scarpellino said, "If people aren't doing anything, we aren't doing anything."

If old man Larry were still around, he'd be proud. He might not even be upset about his empty liquor cabinet.
- Brain Dau - The Daily Iowan

"Dead Larry: Rock 'n' Roll is Evolving"

Dead Larry, a four-piece outfit
whose members range in age
from 18-20, enjoys a reputation as
one of Iowa City’s best live acts.
Although they are underage, most of
their gigs have been at bars. They draw
a diverse audience.

“Our youngest fan is five years old,” bassist and
vocalist Joe Scarpellino says, “and the oldest I know of
are in their seventies.” I recently spoke to Joe and lead
guitarist Ned Barclay at a local Iowa City coffee house
about their music and the connections between their
art and the times (lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist
Mark McGuiness and drummer Josh Felling were
unable to meet).

Joe and Ned have long hair, dress casually, and
look like they would fit right in at any college town
USA back in 1969. Joe smiles broadly when he speaks,
and his enthusiasm for his music comes across loud
and clear. Ned is more laid back, but no less serious or
passionate about his art. Joe says he is the Paul
McCartney of the group and Ned is George Harrison.
The Beatles and rock of the sixties have had a strong
influence, but this is no retro band. Dead Larry’s hard
rocking grooves definitely belong to today.

Why should anyone pay to see you play live?

Joe: To hear something with meaning and power
and emotion; our music has something behind it. It’s
all about our generation. We have to work for a living.
We don’t expect our parents to pay for everything.
I work five to six days a week and I go to
school. Our music is all about just being in the world.
We’re not the kind of people that are going to grow
up and become managers and things. It’s just
about how we are not really our jobs. We’re artists.
We are just dreamers and us working at our jobs is
not us. All we want to do is play music. Everything
else before and after that doesn’t mean anything.

Isn’t rock ‘n’ roll dead, and
you guys are just a bunch of
vampires feeding on its

Ned: I think that maybe rock
and roll in its classical sense of
actual rock and roll is dead, just
like punk is dead and jam
bands are dead. It was of a
time period. I think what we do
is make something new. What
we make may be rock or may
not be and maybe we should
call it something else, but it has
the same energy — and rock
came from blues — and whatever
we’re doing is just another
byproduct in its evolution.

What’s the relationship
between you, your music and
the times in which we live?

Joe: We want to write and play
music that means something to
us and displays very real emotions.
We want to say something.
We want to talk about our lives
and not talk about how our girlfriend
dumped us and we feel
really, really sad. We want to make
statements. Music is a reflection of
the times. Someone needs to talk
about it and no one is talking
about it right now.

Ned: Everyone complains about
the war and nobody does anything
about it. Everyone complains
about money. It’s very strange to
grow up in America. This whole collection
of everything called society
— it’s kind of hard to decide which
path to take. I think that comes
across in our music.

Joe: We don’t complain. We hope
for change and want our music to
be part of something positive happening
in the world. ✪

Visit Dead Larry’s webpage at - Steve Horowitz - ArtScene Iowa

"OurStage @ 10KLF: Dead Larry"

A beautiful thing happened during Dead Larry’s set: Someone in the crowd yelled out, during a semi-quiet moment between songs: “Who are you? Where are you from?” Repeatedly. Until she got an answer.

The beauty in this? This fan had found a new band she loved. Thanks to OurStage.

After all, that’s what we’re all about: new music discovery.

After I let this moment sink in, I listened as Mark, the lead singer and rhythm guitarist, shared with the crowd the story of how the band got it’s name. “A guy… died. His name was Larry.” Somehow, the band got into Larry’s house, drank his liquor and stole his clothes. Mark claims he was wearing the clothes on stage today. I believe it.

- Published by ejquinn on July 25, 2008 in 10K Lakes 2008.


"The Wishing Well" EP 2008 Fuse Recordings

"Story Time" LP 2009 Minstrel Studios - released 6/19/09



A delightful blend of psychedelic rock, dance and funk offers a look into the new generation of musicians and fans. Based out of Iowa City, IA, Dead Larry spreads a positive message to bring out a renewed feeling of passion and hope for anyone who listens. A group of 4 guys in their early twenties, Dead Larry loves to party and encourages the crowd to get up and moving. With a vast range of influences it's hard to pin down the sound, but comparisons have been made to Modest Mouse, The Talking Heads, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. Dead Larry encourages a community of friends and family (known as "The Family of Funky Friends") that continues to support and grow with Dead Larry througout their adventures. Touring relentlessly across the country, Dead Larry is a psychedelic force to be reckoned with.

"An all too short set by psychedelic funk pop band, Dead Larry, from Iowa City, Iowa, was all I needed to realize where the great music truly was. Lead singer/rhythm guitarist Mark McGuiness screamed his lyrics with rock 'n' roll conviction to the raw and dark simplicity of the musical compromise that is the rest of the band. Each member worked their musical niche to create something greater than themselves that is Dead Larry." - Travis Beck (The Daily Nebraskan) on Dead Larry's set during 10,000 Lakes Festival 2008.