Passion Pit
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Passion Pit

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Who knows the truth behind the tale of the Pied Piper? There exist many different versions of the story, but according to the infallible research of the minions working at Wikipedia, the legend originated with a terrible rat infestation in the town of Hamelin, Germany, in the year 1284. The villagers, inundated with rodents, saw no end in sight. One day a man dressed, in colorful clothes and carrying a pipe, promised to get rid of the undoubtedly plague-infested rats in exchange for a sum of money. The villagers agreed, and the rats were led out of the town and drowned in the nearby Weser River. The outcome was all they could have hoped for, but the villagers reneged on their agreement and refused to pay the piper. In retaliation, the man returned one day while church services were being observed and led the town's one-hundred and thirty children into a cave where they disappeared, never to be seen or heard from again.

The parents of New Haven should have heard of this tale. They should have attempted a bribe, offered large sums of cash, an attractive retirement plan or something, in exchange for Gregg Gillis not announcing his presence Friday night. But they didn't, and Girl Talk arrived, lifting the town's young people into oblivion and transforming the long-established Toad's Place into a chaotic, sweat-drenched celebration of youth.

The night began, however, with Cambridge, Massachusetts' own Passion Pit. Led by a tri-synth assault, the five man collective galloped through half an hour of ecstasy-injected electronic power pop. Without a guitarist, the group relied heavily upon the interplay between the three keyboards on stage to take the spotlight, but it was the rhythm section's performance that really deserves a special nod. Adam Lavinsky's percussive force was in full effect for the duration of Passion Pit's set, and it was his vivacity and energy that poured gasoline all over the emerging flame that the group's performance revealed. While all of the originals were capable and strong, the incandescent highlight of Passion Pit's set was the cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Everywhere," which saw the band transforming a partially lobotomized FM radio staple into an exuberant monstrosity that played to all of the group's strengths and provided what was truly some of the most fun I've ever had at a rock concert.

link: http://www.lostatsea.net/feature.phtml?fid=2340234984815aa984d890 - Lost at Sea Magazine


I'm not going to lie. I've spent most of the remaining days of 2007 listening to nothing but Mary J. Blige. I mean, let's be real...2007 totally sucked. So I needed a strong black woman to bring me into the new year, eh?

When I was able to pull myself away from MJB, I was bumping the crap out of "Better Days". My friend Xue sent it my way for Christmas, and it may be my theme for 2008. My New Year's resolutions haven't collapsed entirely (yet), so such optimistic lyrics as "Baby don't be unhappy, Baby don't be sad. Better things are coming, I swear there's truth in that" really resonate with me in a total 9th grade gospel choir kind of way. Plus this is a totally hot dance-party jam. Kudos to Michael Angelakos.

I also can't get over how awesome this bio is:

"So like, get it out of your mind that this is yet another avant-retro scumbag project, some kind of 21st-century revival of that 80's electropop revival from the late 90's.

No, no, that's not it at all.

It's more like...well, remember when Peter Gabriel and Scritti Politti crashed your Christmas party sophomore year and did a set of Prince covers on your little cousin's toy piano? Do you remember how pure, how beautiful everything looked outside that night, the snowflakes caught in floodlight against the black of the sky? And that girl--what was her name--how gorgeous she looked in that weird white sweatshirt with all that fake sparkly stuff in her hair? It was NOW, right now, and there wasn't anything else but now.

Yeah, that's it. But that's not all of it." - The Hype Machine- It's The Money Shot


The current state of Boston music could be compared to Boston baseball: both the local scene and the Red Sox boast an enviable combination of dependable veterans and exciting young talent. I’m getting worked up just reading the list of the bands that topped this year’s new act category. The tuneful, brutal Pretty & Nice came out of nowhere (Vermont, actually) late last year and are already signed to the new Sub Pop imprint Hardly Art. Tulsa, led by clarion-voiced Baltimore transplant Carter Tanton, have gotten kudos everywhere from Rolling Stone oldie David Fricke to the snot-noses at Pitchfork. Tulsa cohort Drug Rug sent local crowds into a tizzy with their sunny but intense guy-girl retro rock from their first publicly played notes and then took the show on the road, winning fans in high places along the way. And winners Passion Pit, the sexy five-piece soulchild of songwriter Michael Angelakos, might just be the funkiest local group since the Jonzun Crew. PP only have a handful of shows under their belt, but as their BMP win suggests, people are psyched about this band. And for good reason: if you haven’t been experienced yet, turn up them computer speakers, point your browser to their MySpace page, click on “Better Things,” and your ass will follow.

— Will Spitz

link:http://thephoenix.com/BMP/Boston/NewAct/ - The Boston Phoenix


Passion Pit are from Cambridge, MA, and for an unsigned band, they’ve hit some good circuits. They’ve played with Girl Talk in New Haven, hit up the Great Scott in Allston, and it’s not hard to see why. The band has just released Chunk of Change, which is the creation of Michael Angelakos, the main man with the plan. Passion Pit was nominated last March in the 2008 Best Music Poll in Boston, and lo and behold, they won!

A few months ago, Basstown interviewed these guys about their local buzz. Angelakos, in true local-hero-gone-pro bashful form, said that the buzz made him “horrified,” at least initially. “I didnt expect it,
he said, “I get horrible stage fright too, I think the local scene expects so much but we will warmly embrace it as it has embraced us.”

Sleepyhead, off Pretty Penny, is a sparkling dance track that enlists the most creative aspects of bands like MGMT in creating its synth and sample based structure. To the untrained this will just be well done “electronica,” but under a few layers, the careful textural deconstruction and reconstruction makes these guys a band to watch.

link: http://www.thehippodrome.org/passion-pit - The Hippodrome/ The Hype Machine


Passion Pit was nominated for best new act in the 2008 WFNX/Boston Phoenix Best Music Poll.

Link: www.bestmusicpoll.com - WFNX/Boston Phoenix


Introducing: Passion Pit. get with this. Passion Pit is a new band out of Boston that is about to blow up. The Goose Got Me Loose team is working on a video for their single, "Sleepyhead". Shit is going to be ridiculous. To prepare yourself for the awesomeness to come, here is a four step recipe:

Step One: Download Passion Pit - Sleepyhead right now.

Step Two: Visit their myspace to get familiar.

Step Three: Check them out TONIGHT playing at Great Scott in Alston Mass. Show is 8 bucks and you should arrive at 9:30.

link: http://goosegotmeloose.blogspot.com/2007/12/introducing-passion-pit.html - Goose Got Me Loose


Local Voices: PASSION PIT


Not much more than a month ago, a band opened at the Great Scott in Allston, MA and stole the show as the club filled with their fans screaming along the lyrics louder than the singers mic'd on stage, all while completely flooring everyone who was lucky enough to witness them for the first time. That was the first time I saw Passion Pit and since that nite they have ignited a buzz about them unparalleled in speed in the Boston music scene. They were offered opening slots for Hot Chip (whom they draw a lot of comparison) and The Bravery and have playtime on WFNX and NPR.

The band consists of Michael Angelakos (songwriter/vocals/synth), Ian Hultquist (vocals/synth), Ayad al Adhamy (vocals/synth/sampling), Adam Lavinsky (drums/sampling), and Thom Plasse (bass/synth). Last nite i got to sit down with four of the five members and get better insight to what Passion Pit really is.

BASSTOWN - So im under the impression that this was originally your (Mike Angelakos) solo project, how did Passion Pit evolve into what it is today?

Mike Angelakos - "Well I started making electro-pop on my own in 2006, Im a pop songwriter though, typical formulaic pop, but i started playing it for my roomates and dancing and i realized how much fun it was. So i released an album (Chunk of Change) the night before a show on April 20th 2007 and i played with my laptop and just sang along, and it went over pretty well. Then Ian [Hultquist] and Adam [Lavinsky] offered to be my backup band if I ever wanted one. I called them a few weeks later and we got a practice space. I still do all the recording alone and play live with the band."

BT - so what way have you found to be most efficient for translating your programmed recordings into live songs?

Adam Lavinsky - "by nt playing along with the track"
M.A. - "yea we're not gonna be Kate Bush, the songs change several times before playing them live"

BT - So how does the local buzz about you guys make you feel?

Ian Hultquist - "it makes me nervous"
A.L. - "we just do it to have fun, i dont think about that"
M.A. - "i was horrified, i didnt expect it, i get horrible stage fright too, i think the local scene expects so much but we will warmly embrace it as it has embraced us."

BT - who are you feeling in the boston scene?

Ayad al Ahamy - "Ramming Speed, a thrash metal band that sings about pizza and girls and Eureka Gold i miss them"
M.A. - "Tulsa is awesome and Benefit Friends is doing great things"

BT - definitely, so whens the next album coming out?
M.A. - "its called Pretty Penny and its #2 of 3 concept albums and it will include 2 discs, one with the music and one with a multimedia experience for each song as well as acoustic versions and such, my roomate Sam Pettibon is putting it together, he's a genius."
I.H. - "its coming out in April"

Yep i'd say 6 more months of Enzyte and this P.P. will be huge. You can catch em this Saturday January 26th at Basstown, February 4th at Northeastern Univ.'s After Hours Club with The Peasantry, and February 15th at Charter Oaks in Hartford, CT. Also check back here for the premiere of their two new music videos for "Sleepyhead" and "Cuddle Fuddle"! heres there myspace once again.

link: basstown.blogspot.com - Basstown Blog


This morning I got a hit from Breeze about hooking up replacements, so I sent out some messages to see who was available to play a rush show. Well, sort of rush. The set is at the end of the month. Anyway, I'm not sure about who'll take up the spot for the New York dropouts, but I did come across a band whose sound catches me. Passion Pit are based in Cambridge, MA, and they've got a sound that makes me think of my favorite joy music. Not exactly like Animal Collective's latest album, Strawberry Jam, but the same kind of hands-in-the-air feeling.

I think what gets me is the infectiousness of the bass beats versus the whimsical vocals. I'm a sucker for something that makes me want to shuffle my feet and a melody that makes me want to shout.

link: http://castanetclap.blogspot.com/2008/01/passion-pit-have-you-heard.html - Castanet Clap Blog


For “East Coast Boast,” the January edition of their monthly Great Scott wingding, the BASSTOWN posse bring in Atlanta DJ CHOYCE HACKS, local remix duo PLUS MOVE, and hot-shit Cambridge up-and-comers PASSION PIT, the sexy five-piece soulchild of songwriter Michael Angelakos. With resident DJs Die Young, Mistaker, and Etan.

Printed in January 24th Boston Phoenix and online at: http://thephoenix.com/Listings/FeaturedByCity.aspx?city=Boston - The Boston Phoenix


Pulp and Circumstance kittens better be heading to the East Coast Boast tonight, put on by our friends at Basstown at Great Scott in Allston.

Passion Pit is meant to be performing tonight and Pulp and Circumstance nods their hat to this amazing Cambridge, Mass. - based brainchild of Michael Angelakos. Passion Pit's high energy, soul infused tracks have been on constant rotation under our "Boston Artists" for some time now and quite honestly it may by far be one of our most favorite artists from here and across the Charles.

Because there's falsetto. Golf Claps.

And the way in which Angelakos and company describe their bent is pretty effin' brilliant:

"So like, get it out of your mind that this is yet another avant-retro scumbag project, some kind of 21st-century revival of that 80's electropop revival from the late 90's. No, no, that's not it at all. It's more like...well, remember when Peter Gabriel and Scritti Politti crashed your Christmas party sophomore year and did a set of Prince covers on your little cousin's toy piano."

There you have it. If you had no reason to check out this outfit, now you do. It's just dripping with buttery smooth dance beats and sweaty magic.

And you should be listening to Passion Pit. Not watching that French film pornographique called Passion Pit... then again who are we to judge how you spend your time? (aside of wondering if that was the inspiration for said band name....)

Passion Pit is on its way to dropping the second record in their "three part concept" this April, and expect great things from it because apparently its called Pretty Penny and will not only include the trax, but a second disc of multimedia for each tune, as well as acoustic versions. Hello! Oh, and if you missed their first in the three part concept, it was called Chunk of Change and you can purchasey through their myspace page.

Unfortunately for Pulp, we're out of town for the weekend and can't make the East Coast Boast, and also missed out on famed Thunderdome last night. Sighs.

However, if you can't make it to the Boast tonight, have no fear. Passion Pit will play After Hours at Northeastern on February 4 and yet another gig for The Pill at Great Scott on March 7. Plenty of Passion in the Pit to be had by all, so no excuses. P&C will definitely be attending their next gigs, but if anyone is planning on hitting the Boast and wants to review it for P&C, email me. Yessir?

Oh! Passion Pit chatted with Etan of Basstown (another musician to watch in his own right!) a few days ago, so check the interview here.

Enjoy! (They're brilliant so if you don't click, you suck.)

link: http://pulpandcircumstance.blogspot.com/2008/01/plenty-of-passion-in-pits-this.html - Pulp and Circumstance Blog


Discography

Chunk of Change - 2007
Pretty Penny - expected to drop July 2008

Photos

Bio

Passion Pit was named Best New Act in Boston for the 2008 WFNX/Boston Phoenix Best Music Poll.

So like, get it out of your mind that this is yet another avant-retro scumbag project, some kind of 21st-century revival of that 80's electropop revival from the late 90's.

No, no, that's not it at all.

It's more like...well, remember when Peter Gabriel and Scritti Politti crashed your Christmas party sophomore year and did a set of Prince covers on your little cousin's toy piano? Do you remember how pure, how beautiful everything looked outside that night, the snowflakes caught in floodlight against the black of the sky? And that girl--what was her name--how gorgeous she looked in that weird white sweatshirt with all that fake sparkly stuff in her hair? It was NOW, right now, and there wasn't anything else but now.

Yeah, that's it. But that's not all of it.

Chunk of Change is part 1 of a 3 CD set from Passion Pit, a/k/a Michael Angelakos, a songwriter's songwriter, an elusive and sought-after solo performer whose rare and fragmentary output in pop, slowcore, and soundtracks just teased and hinted at what was possible. This one's been slow in coming, 'cause he's a perfectionist, you see. But maybe, just maybe this is something like perfection--five jewelled tunes that catch the waves of joy shimmering up there on the future horizon. Euphoric but plaintive, sublime but wiggly, Chunk of Change gets to the truth of the matter about what we all want--love, release, goddamn snappy beats and swooningly gorgeous hooks. Gorgeous like the girl in the sweatshirt. Passion Pit is now, dude, and that's all there is.

roddy potter