Mr. Dream
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Mr. Dream

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"Come As You Are"

The weird, rarely sighted Brooklyn trio Mr. Dream make blunt, devolved songs about cult movies from the early '90s and cult bands from the late '00s, but their proto pigfuck punk could just as easily have been lifted off a Wipers record, or an early Nirvana demo tape... - Village Voice


"Mr. Dream vs. Father Time"

By Rebecca Huval

IN A PRACTICE room the size and temperature of a sweat lodge, Mr. Dream rehearses after work. Beads of perspiration bleed through the musicians’ sheer shirts in Williamsburg’s Sound City, and Adam Moerder, the lead singer and guitarist, flops his boyish curls.

“Are you guys cool with the pregnant pause thing?” he asks his two band mates after strumming his last gruff hook.

“Yeah, yeah, it’s funny,” says Nick Sylvester, the drummer, clad in a Vivian Girls T-shirt.

Moerder, Sylvester and bassist Matt Morello work tirelessly in a way that only twenty-somethings can. Although the band’s excited, punkish sound is inspired by groups of its members’ youth—Husker Du and The Wipers pop to mind—the three Ivy League grads brood over the future.These guys obsess about time about as often as Quentin from The Sound and the Fury. Even the band’s name is a caution against wasted time: Mr. Dream is named after Sylvester’s dad, a drummer who never achieved fame and now feels sad as he watches other percussionists “because they’re not him.”

“It’s the hallucination of what could have been, Mr. Dream,” Sylvester says. “It’s an American kind of sadness.”

And it’s a feeling that has permeated plenty of the band’s sound. In the song “Lawnmower Man” off its debut EP, Mr.Dream Goes to Jail, the three-piece band showcases its crunching chords and urgent enunciation: “When we were young/ we fucked and sang and hung,” Morello snarls. “But now we're old/ it's time to cut the grass.”

Morello does an impression of his Mom hearing, “fuck the kids” for the first time. In a breathy voice, he says, “We never said that to you or your sister.”Thankfully, Mr. Dream doesn’t just practice, write and rage against the dying of the light to please parents. Actually, the band does it to “fuck the kids,” in the dismissive sense—after all, this is their decade of selfishness.

“If you want to put yourself first when you have kids, that’s just wrong,” Sylvester says.The band members say that they think of life as a race, and in the lap between childhood and parenthood, they have to finish self-centered achievements. “Once you put it into perspective, you’re racing against the clock,” Moerder adds.

Appropriately enough, Moerder and Sylvester—who met as writers at The Harvard Lampoon—grew close while, you guessed it, running together. Supposedly, Moerder took Sylvester on his first jog along the Charles River.

“Did you run with one big iPod?” Morello jokes.

“Actually, we synced his iPod and my CD player,” Sylvester says.

“Are you serious?” “Yeah. At a minute-fifteen, I just lost it and Adam kept running.”

Sylvester and Moerder remain just as competitive in the practice room. “I could play music for 24 hours,” Sylvester says, “but I couldn’t handle writing four hours without checking the Internet.”

“I could,” Moerder mumbles. They all push each other to improve. After Morello experiments with bass lines, he selfconsciously asks the others if he sounds “too SST,” the record label of Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr.

Mr. Dream’s members say many of their favorite bands began as barebones rock groups like themselves.They embrace the DIY aesthetic on their self-recorded album, and view their strapped resources as a challenge.

“We’re feeling in a more primitive state than Grizzly Bear or LCD Soundsystem,” Sylvester says. “We can’t do what they do because we haven’t been working with software. Aim low, we figure.

“Part of it is the power of simplicity, too.

It’s the original head space that punk came out of.”

To set itself apart, Mr. Dream has a solution as simple and undeniable as its catchy riffs.

“We’re under the impression that if we write enough good songs,” Morello says, “then, eventually, people will like them.” For Mr. Dream, hard work is the answer, and pay-by-the-hour practice time is measured in sweat. - New York Press


Discography

Mr. Dream Goes To Jail EP (2009)

Photos

Bio

We make punk rock like the Wipers, Big Black, and McLusky. We started playing New York City shows in mid 2009, with a number of good bands: Harlem Shakes, Hospitality, Sundelles, Acrylics, Tony Castles, Total Slacker, and others. Our range is from SST hardcore to mid 70s power pop to something like 'proto-grunge'--short, fast songs with riffs and usually melodies.

From the liners of our debut EP, Mr. Dream Goes To Jail:

Why You Should By This Album
By Curtis Hanson, Rock Journalist

I’ve met these guys. I know these guys. These guys aren’t Mick Jagger. Hell, Mick Jagger isn’t even Mick Jagger anymore—he’s a middle-aged housewife from Brookline who watches The View to get the day’s top stories. I should know. I’ve met him too. But these guys aren’t Billy Idol—these guys aren’t even Bonnie Raitt. These are the kind of guys who have sex with their girlfriends a couple times and take ‘em to a magical weekend at a bed and breakfast before they introduce ‘em to their friends. And yet when these guys play…

Have you ever had your ear blasted off by a circular saw? Has anyone ever lathed your skin off your body? I mean, fucking, LATHED it off? Well that is the kind of fucked-up shit that happens in those “Saw” movies. I shit you not. People have to cut off their own hands. I can’t even imagine what I would do in that situation. Which is why it’s so fucked up. It’s like, what would you do? If you were there?

That’s what listening to these guys play is like.

You’re like, could I have done it any better, if I were these guys? Could I have played these instruments any better? Well, let me ask you a question, Sherlock: what if that instrument you casually mentioned, was your mind?

A bee is coming at you. Think fast! What should you do? But a better question is: what DID you do? Why is that bee coming at you? Bees think: honey, flowers, the queen, protect the queen, make the honey, BZZZZ. But suddenly YOU put out a pink colored cardboard box full of cookies, in the middle of the fucking park. Why do YOU think that bee is around?

That bee is music. And you just purchased it.

So don’t blame me when your eardrums jerk you off into next month. Don’t come crying to me when your toes start tapping and your bong starts ripping the shit out of your axe, playing purple haze like some forgotten fever dream, passed down through the generations from the soul of glass bong to the soul of glass bong, with one great great grandfather bong telling the story around the campfire about the day that Jimi Hendrix and one of the guys from Sha-Na-Na all took huge bong rips from his quivering, glass neck. “He wore a crazy, gold sequined jumpsuit, and he was the greatest artist who ever lived,” says the elder bong, so high out of his mind he doesn’t even remember that Jimi Hendrix was there also, not just the dipshit from Sha-Na-Na. “He had some weird ideas about retro.” Still keeps going on and on about this Sha-Na-Na guy.

So, in conclusion, congratulations. You bought this album, or you found it in a car—either way, you finally made one good decision in your life. But my point is, you can’t just listen to this album. Get off your tractor and get to the Acropolis, or Madison Square Garden, or wherever music happens, and insist that you see a live Mr. Dream concert. It’s like they say: once you see the Mona Lisa in person, you’ll never go back to printing out a color copy from the internet and cutting a hole in the mouth so you can act out getting a blowjob from the Mona Lisa.

Peace is everywhere,

Curtis Hanson
August 2009