Mascara

Mascara

 Medford, Massachusetts, USA
BandRockAlternative

Expansive avant-rock: epic ballads on one end of the spectrum; angular garage punk at the other. Put Pete Townshend, Sonic Youth, Shudder to Think, Jeff Buckley, Queens of the Stone Age in a blender, and you get an idea for Boston's MASCARA.

Biography

You have probably seen Chris Mascara perform, though you may not know it. Throughout 2007-08 he modeled moves for all lead singer avatars in blockbuster games ROCK BAND and ROCK BAND 2. Singling him out for his dynamic presence, Game creators Harmonix shuttled him to New York to perform marathon motion-capture sessions in the “spandex suit of lights.”

This year, BLUE MAN GROUP drafted Mascara (yes, his real last name) for grooming as lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist in the “How To Be a Megastar” international touring band, recognizing his chops as a tailored fit for their imaginative rock spectacle.

To collaborate on his original material, Mascara recruited A-list Boston rockers, bassist Bo Barringer (MEandJOANCOLLINS) and drummer Matt Graber (Sarah Rabdau) in 2007. The band enjoys an esprit de corps from past work together in Me&JoanCollins, Boston Rock Opera, Caged Heat, and Make Lisa Rich. Recorded by David Minehan (The Neighborhoods) & David Westner at Woolly Mammoth, the newest release Fountain of Tears is mixed by ShimmyDisc mastermind KRAMER, legendary for his work with Bongwater, Galaxie 500, Ween, Low, Urge Overkill, Butthole Surfers. After discovering MASCARA on MySpace, the Rolling Stone Producer-of-the-Year was so wowed he insisted on working on their new album.

A child prodigy on classical organ, Mascara came to Boston to study religion. Then, cast as Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, the role stirred an inner conflict between his love of Rock and need for a spiritual quest; mixing sleep deprivation, fasting and meditation ultimately landed him in McLean Psychiatric Hospital.

Upon his release Mascara formed a band and unveiled the album Cellar Door in 2000 to critical acclaim and airplay on 150 radio stations. With demons conquered, he nailed a second chance to play Jesus in Boston Rock Opera’s Jesus Christ Superstar costarring with Gary Cherone (Extreme, Van Halen). Mascara lent his talents to more BRO productions (Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Aqualung), worked with other local acts (Ad Frank, Emily Grogan), and performed ragas with his wife in their project Sitar Tabla Power.

In 2003 Mascara showcased an eclectic biweekly variety show, Scara’s Night Out at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA. It included local rock stalwarts, Celtic dulcimer, Portuguese hip-hop, burlesque dancers, Charlie Chaplin-esque skits, multimedia comedy, poetry, belly dancing; and even drew The Wu Tang Clan out for the theatrical madness.

2006 welcomed the EP release Spell, which brought organ, piano and samples to the fore, versus the exotic sitar, bowed double bass and dobro that characterized Cellar Door. Feted with a sold-out release show, Spell debuted at 14 on CMJ's Most Added Records, charted on 200 radio stations, and garnered feature articles.

Exploring heady themes through raw avant-ballads and angular garage-punk, MASCARA’s newest release pays tribute to tragic artists, 1930’s Spanish poet-iconoclast Lorca (who inspired the album’s title) on "Ainadamar" and 1960’s soul icon Jackie Wilson on "B261." Out this January with a regional tour, Fountain of Tears brandishes the power-trio’s longstanding rapport, which anchors Chris Mascara’s innovative guitar tunings and propels his expansive vision.

Lyrics

Dragonflies

Written By: Chris Mascara

Sweet dreams, Mary Anne, in spite of me
You have said time and again that you need a change

When you lay you down to sleep, secrets must keep
And if you cry before you wake, they don't wash away

I slowly back away but you don't seem to care
You are just like me in your underwear
Holding tightly onto restless memories
Things we cant forgive, lock up and lose the key

If I go too far, I can stop awhile
Catch my daily breath, crack a crooked smile
We can spend the night catching dragonflies
Hold them up to light, see what they have inside
Catching dragonflies

I have passed your dark window while you have slept
Jealous of your pillow where you rest your head

I slowly back away but you dont seem to care
You are just like me in your underwear
Holding tightly onto restless memories
Things we cant forgive, lock up and lose the key

If I go too far, I can stop a while
Its the words I use, they foul the air
We can spend the night catching dragonflies
Hold them up to light, see what they have inside

We can spend the night, we can spend the night
catching dragonflies

B261 (for Jackie Wilson)

Written By: Chris Mascara

Medford Leas – my heart is crying
Burlington Rest Home – my heart is crying
Chitlin rockin’

Black Elvis, white Elvis
What’s a-matter here?

B261 – a song left unsung

Hangin’ from my ankles – out the window
I ain't gonna sign it – out the window
I’m a Detroit hero

Black Elvis, white Elvis
What’s a-matter here?
A voice from the wilderness
Cries it’s the end of fear

White Elvis, black Elvis
What’s a-matter now?
A voice so great, not stifled young
Or buried in the ground

B261 – a tomb left unknown

Cherry Hill Casino – my heart is crying
Dick Clark Revue – my heart is crying
Hit Men hunting

Black Elvis, white Elvis
What’s a-matter here…

Ainadamar (for Lorca)

Written By: Chris Mascara

Ainadamar, Fountain of Tears, I am still alive

Ainadamar, Fuente Grande to the Granadinos

Ainadamar, only mystery enables us to live

Emptiness

Solitary world

Estuary

Ainadamar, muerte de Lorca

August 16

August 17

August 18, 1936: Federico Garcia Lorca was assassinated by the Black Squad Falangists at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.

Listerine

Written By: Chris Mascara

Here comes that same old fear
Weighs down upon my heart
Something, I can’t say,
is going to fall apart

Here’s one for your collection
Pulled it out of my head
Don’t know if you need some more
Maybe I should just trash it instead

I’ve been told I am a sick man
Not sure if I’m glad or sad
Nihilist some may say
Depends on what substance I do today

I drink Listerine to take the edge off
I drink Listerine

I’ve been riding a mobius strip
One minute I’m up the next where you been
You remind me of someone I knew
Who took off I hope you don’t too

I drink Listerine to take the edge off
I vent my spleen to take the edge off
I puke purple green

I’m so scared of living this deal
I’m not certain what’s right or real
Murderous rage on solipsist time
It’s got me, but it’s not mine

I drink Listerine to take the edge off
I vent my spleen to take the edge off
I puke purple green to take the edge off
I drink Listerine, I drink Listerine, yeah

Great Divide

Written By: Chris Mascara

So it’s your turn
to dive off the Great Divide

Sandalwood
the air is so light up here
you can hardly feel the fall

Gypsy your remedies
are out of sight but only feed the fire

castor oil
and gravity boots won’t help
won’t help you now

More than swords
and fallen stars what now has brought you to where you are
So it’s your turn the next in line to shine
or die trying

Electrode (for Sylvia Plath)

Written By: Chris Mascara

Lie steady It feels kinda cool Just release to Electrode, my love

You won’t hurt anymore, Sylvia, Electrode, my love

Stay the ecstasy sinking in
You won’t hurt anymore, Electrode, my love
You won’t hurt anymore, Electrode, my love

(Well, class) A is for Apple, B is Brainstem, C is Cranium, D is Dead
E is Electrode, F is Forgive, G the Gray Sky above your head

Lie steady It feels kinda cool Just release to Electrode, my love

Frostbite

Written By: Chris Mascara

I found myself a love
a love I call my own
and you my friend are out in the cold

With your dirty little hands
you know you’ll come to no good end
Isn’t it time you sought some help
before you kill someone?

I found myself a foe
a foe second to none
and you my friend are whom I’m speaking of

With your sharp and pearly teeth
you know there’s some blood upon your cheek
Isn’t it time you sought some help
before you kill again?

I found myself a fiend
a fiend like a machine
and you my friend are out on the thin ice

With a glimmer in your eye
and the frostbite on your nose

The smirk upon your face
tells me you always stumble home

and your sharp and pearly teeth
and the blood upon your cheek
and your filthy little hand
you know you’ll come to no good end

Isn’t it time you sought some help
Isn’t it time you sought a friend
Isn’t it time you sought some help

before you kill yourself?

Percy's Revenge (for Shelley)

Written By: c

This is how I spell my name out
This is how I spell my name
C H R I S T O P H E M A S C A

After the feast
vomit an avalanche of heat
The rest of it
is left to decay and putrefy

This tiger’s on my chest
This demonstration’s gone too far this time
Down in Chili
an inmate douses himself and strikes the match

This is how I spell my name out
This is how I spell my name
C H R I S T O P H E M A S C A

On the beach
rub me down with sand and oil
Scratch away
the scent of my burnt rotting flesh

Take my heart
May it stand for something other than
who I am
and what my father threw away for me

Discography

CELLAR DOOR (2000, Mascara Records) - full length
SPELL (2006, Mr. Fibuli's Records) - EP
FOUNTAIN OF TEARS (Mr. Fibuli's Records) - full length, release date: January 2010

Set List

SET LISTS by tuning

*SET I - STANDARD tuning*
1) HIGH SCHOOL
2) FROSTBITE
3) VALERIE
4) SHOVEL
5) FLY AWAY
6) LITTLE MONSTER
7) TIME IS A LIE

*SET II - ALT. E LYDIAN tuning (E-B-D-G#-A#-D#)*
1) LISTERINE
2) LESTER
3) AINADAMAR
4) B261
5) DEEP IN PALM BEACH
6) HOSPITAL BED
7) FIREWALL
8) RUNNER

*SET III - F# FIFTHS tuning (F#-F#-C#-G#-G#-D#)*
1) DRAGONFLIES
2) CARRY ME
3) TULSA GIRL
4) ELECTRODE
5) DAMP
6) DIFFERENT

*SET IV - ALT. DROP D tuning (D-A-E-G-C#-D)*
1) RETARDED
2) TEXT2VOICE
3) BARS IN CAMBRIDGE
4) PERCY'S REVENGE
5) SQUARE BOX MAN
6) CARNIVAL
7) CHROMOSOME
8) YOUTH IS WASTED

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Live shows consist of one or more tunings per set.