Mr Fairchild
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Mr Fairchild

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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Carter: Year’s best indie CDs"

2008 was mostly a disaster for big-ticket music releases, at least independent music had a good year.

Here is a list of very good indie CDs that worked for me over the year — my Top 10.

1. TV ON THE RADIO, “DEAR SCIENCE.” Band-leader Dave Sitek has both the musical and political sense to make the albums of his Brooklyn band smart and riveting. He employs layers upon layers of instruments and vocals to create the doo-wop, art-rock and alt-rock effect. Like the band’s “Return to Cookie Mountain” in 2006, “Dear Science” is the year’s best album.

2. PORTISHEAD, “THIRD.” F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that “There are no second halves in American Lives.” Good thing Portishead is British. After a brilliant first couple of CDs in the mid ’90s, the trip-hop noir English act gets its dance act together one more time. “Third” is not what listeners would completely expect, and that’s not a bad thing.

3. ROBYN, “ROBYN.” Formerly a pre-packaged Swedish disco girl, Robyn outgrew the mold and put together a pop dance CD that’s catchy, melodically strong and smart. And, she even occasionally displays a winning sense of humor. “Gossip Girl” uses her music a lot. Sweet! I listened to this album the most last year.

4. VIVIAN GIRLS, “VIVIAN GIRLS.” Mix in the harmonies of ‘50s girl groups with the distortion and melodies of Jesus & Mary Chain and the drive from punk music on the side. It’s a remarkably catchy and fresh 20-something minute CD of a band that just drips of potential. And, yes, the band is from Brooklyn.

5. THE BUG, “LONDON ZOO.” Last year’ Burial’s “Untrue” introduced me to the dark, rhythmic soulful world of dubstep. The Bug’s newest record mixes a bit of grimy reggae with a little hip-hop attitude and enough electronics to give it atmosphere. The perfect disc for indie-minded people who want to gyrate or know what it’s like to hang out in cool East London dives.

6. LYCERGUS, “WORKS OF THE WOLF.” One of the most respected all-ages bands in the area captures the all-out metal of its powerful live shows. Play it loud and often. This EP is as good as the band at the American Legion No. 169, and you don’t have to worry about getting hit by flying bodies.

7. MR. FAIRCHILD, “ESTRANGED.” This local psychedelic-rock, blues jam band took its time writing and recording this inspired CD. Full-sounding, the CD sports enough guitar, drums and percussion, bass and vocals to keep listeners going for days. A breakthrough album for a dedicated band. Another CD is in the works already.

8. FLEET FOXES, “FLEET FOXES.” The first album of the Seattle-based folk outfit is the type of CD your granny and younger brother could possibly agree on. Rich in harmonies and melodies, it’s pure pop that could have been recorded in the ‘30s or yesterday, mixing in some Burt Bacharach, old-school country folk and the Beach Boys tempered with a Baroque feel.

9. ISLAJA, “BLAZE MOUNTAIN RECORDINGS.” Finnish folk psychedelic music continues to be the balm of choice for ultra eclectic listeners on both coasts. Islaja’s new CD is an organic mix of otherworldly keyboards, beats in the night and traditional northern European folkie singing with a touch of Bjork thrown in for good measure.

10. CELLAR WALLS, “UNTITLED.” Stevo Welch plays drums locally for John Henry Vs The Machine and guitar for Goliath. He also strums the acoustic guitar and sings some of the best singer-songwriter stuff I’ve heard in years. Great mood, songwriting and melodies. Download it now off his address, and there’s a full-length CD on the way.

- Richard Carter/ For the Times Record News

"Mr. Fairchild’s homebrewed CD full-bodied"

Just the facts

What: Mr. Fairchild CD release party

Where: The Iron Horse Pub, 615 Eighth St.

When: 10 p.m. Saturday


NEXT rating: B+

Too many area bands put out albums that sound like they recorded them at home.

That’s usually not a good thing.

It’s really rare for a group to get what they want working with a homebrew. Too often it’s a matter of not being able to articulate to an engineer what they want to hear, or the engineer is unable to get that feel or sound. Or, if the band actually is recording at the house, they only have half a clue (or less) about what they are doing.

Self-recording can sound good, though, like in the case of Mr. Fairchild’s new CD, “Estranged.”

Recorded by guitarist Cody Tucker in his band’s studio, this 10-song, 50-minute album didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it took several restarts after the original quartet added a percussionist and a second guitarist.

So while the six members of the band were writing new songs and coming together and maturing as a group, Tucker also got some good on-the-job training in the studio. Tucker not only plays guitar on the album — he’s like a seventh member, able to get the individual tracks down the way the band envisioned them and then mixing them together.

It’s a joy to hear (clearly) the band’s two lead guitars spiral through songs, or the dynamics of the percussion and drums against walls of guitars and driving bass lines. The new Fairchild album sounds clear despite the different musical parts that could have muddied it up. By the way, for listeners, the music also happens to be well-arranged and constructed.

One of the great things about the new digital software is that with some decent equipment and microphones and a good imagination and plan, it’s possible to record “the album of your dreams.”

I am not sure if the members of Mr. Fairchild will call “Estranged” the album of their dreams, but it’s certainly one with which they have to be very, very pleased.

Their second album effectively captures a whole lot of hard work. The band brings vocals, two guitars, bass, percussion and drums together as a cohesive, organic and functional band.

While they can barely fit all six members on certain stages locally, the band sounds clear and pretty colossal on the new album. Musically it makes sense, listening to the album, why they expanded.

Together for years now, Mr. Fairchild mixes together influences ranging from Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Beatles, Soundgarden, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and a world of traditional blues and avant-garde jazz .

But rather than being just blankly influenced, the members use those bands more as touchstones, hues and textures toward putting together their own sound.

The album opens up with “Delores,” a song intricate in parts and also overwhelmingly downbeat. Overall, it’s heavy as sin with a driving guitar and bass and a thick maze of drums and crashing cymbals.

“Delores” doesn’t let up until the subtle psychedelic opening of “Four Million Walls” that smacks right into a wah-wah rhythm guitar track and lead that screams ‘70s funk hard rock.

Dynamic with some nice playing and good writing, “Estranged” largely avoids the sin of becoming repetitive, which the earlier Fairchild struggled with from time to time on its promising first record.

One of my favorite new tracks is “Slap in the Face,” which is a nearly seven-and-a-half minute tune featuring a psychedelic freak-out break in the mode of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” Hendrix’s “Electric Ladyland” and Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew.”

Also check out the snake-like intertwining of the guitars on the super-psychedelic “Elias.” I also enjoyed the break in “Gone,” with its riff and a lead that almost sound like downright late ‘70s progressive metal.

Mr. Fairchild plays a CD release party at Iron Horse Pub at 10 p.m. Saturday.
- Carter / Times and Record News


Estranged (2008)



The current lineup of Mr Fairchild began in 2006 as a six piece band with a wide array of influnces. Each member brings a unique style from Latin influences ala Santana, hard rock in the vain of Led Zeppelin all the way through to Mastodon, funk from James Brown, Funkadelic the Chili Peppers, Hard Blues ala Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf and psych/prog in the vein of Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa. In 2009 bass player/vocalist John Mason was added to the lineup replacing longtime bassist Mike Litteken. He has brought a new dynamic to the band with his ability to sing lead/harmony/ vocals on a level that the band had yet to reach. He also brings an alt. country influence heard in bands like Wilco. Having three singers and percussion augmenting a traditional two guitar, bass and drum lineup really makes the band stand apart from other bands. In 2008 Mr Fairchild released Estranged a 10 song album recorded and produced by the band. It is the best representation to date of the bands unique sound and influences. Currently the band is playing as many dates as possible and working on the followup to Estranged which promises to be even more dynamic than its predecessor.