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"Hartford's Rane drops three albums at a time and continues on"

Hartford's Rane drops three albums at a time and continues on

By Patrick Ferrucci
Register Entertainment Editor

It’s not everyday a local band puts out three albums at once, yet that’s exactly what Rane did Dec. 30, 2003.

"The Hope Seed" and "From the Vine" volumes one and two all saw the light of day featuring progressive experiments in sound with titles like "The Mysterious Disappearance of Secunindo Maldonado" and "Broca’s Aphasia."

"We had a bunch of material ready," says guitarist and vocalist Alan Veniscofsky, simply stating the obvious during a recent phone conversation. "We had a new drummer and it had been more than three years since we put anything out."

But, he says, the Hartford-based band — Veniscofsky, Ryan Bowman, Dan Prindle, Bruce Menard and Kurt Rinaldi — didn’t surprise any of their friends and fans with the multiple releases. "We’re all such gear-heads; we just love the studio."

While the singer and guitarist is 26, and some members are as young as 23, Rane is going on its 10th year as a band. The five-piece formed in 1995 and began playing bars at a very early age. "We’ve gone through phases musically," Veniscofsky explains.

"At first, we were just riding the wave of mid-’90s bands, but we were also really influenced by bands like Yes, Genesis and Pink Floyd, along with local bands like Mighty Purple.

"Then we went to school and there we are were all forced into things like jazz and classical and the sound went from a mid-’90s prog to a fusion of jazz, Latin and pop. Now, we’re kind of world pop."

The band’s willingness to experiment is evident in its songs, long-form collages of influences heavily inspired by the Peter Gabriel-fronted Genesis.

In 2003, Rane landed an opening spot on indie giant Wilco’s stop at the Oakdale, a major coup of a slot vacated Sonic Youth.

"There were a lot of Rane fans there," says Veniscofsky, "and it was totally amazing. The room was half-full, but we could hear screams for us from the back."

The guys recently completed work on a new studio, and the sounds of newer innovative bands like Wilco have seeped into recordings. "We’re focusing more on song structure, now," he says, adding, "The sound is more wholesome, more mature and focused, more of a Latin-fusion edge."

But even though Rane is making more commercial music, the guys still plan on recording a lot of different types of sounds. "Now that we have the studio, when we rehearse, we can record," explains the singer, "The plan is to eventually release a series of recordings that aren’t just pop, maybe some ambient noises or acoustic folk."

Veniscofsky credits the different members’ tastes for the original ideas the band comes up with. He says it’s more fun and the songs come out better when one person brings in a half-finished song and then the rest of the five-piece adds their individual flourishes and ideas to the structure. "One person is not as powerful as the sum of us," he notes.

And while Rane hits The Space tonight, more recording and a national tour in the spring lie in the band’s horizon. "We have a lot of stuff going on right now, but that’s really how we like it," Veniscofsky says. And that’s not a surprise coming from a band that releases three records at once.

http://entertainment.ctcentral.com/html/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=1565 - New Haven Register

"The Forecast is Good"

The Forecast is Good
Rane appears likely on Dec. 27

by Thomas Pizzola - December 25, 2003

The holiday season always brings with it certain guarantees. For instance, the malls will be filled with angry, miserable shoppers desperately searching for that perfect last-minute gift. Also, the lights will go on in Constitution Plaza, giving those who work in the city a reason to stay before they flee to the suburbs after the working day is done. And for the past five years, you could always bet that Rane would play a special holiday show somewhere in Manchester.

Well, this year is no different. The malls are still filled with angry shoppers, the lights are on in Constitution Plaza and once again Rane will be putting on their annual holiday show at Cheney Hall in Manchester on Dec. 27 with some excellent local acts in support. But this year the band plans on doing something different to make those in attendance feel extra special -- they will be releasing three new CDs of Rane material entitled The Hope Seed and From The Vine Vols. 1 & 2 .

And it's been a long time coming. The band's last CD, Camelopardalis came out in 2000, and since that time the band has undergone some major changes in personnel and how they conduct business. Original drummer Travis LaMothe left the band earlier this year and was promptly replaced by Bruce Menard. The band also installed a studio in their recording space, which allowed them the opportunity to record on a more flexible schedule.

While all these are worthwhile reasons to delay any band's recorded output, the band, which is comprised of vocalist/guitarist Alan Veniscofsky, bassist Dan Prindle, guitarist Ryan Bowman and percussionist/keyboard player Kurt Rinaldi, along with Menard on drums, looked at it as an opportunity to start anew and really let their creative juices flow.

"We set no guidelines as to what we could artistically do," says Veniscofsky, adding that the band had been writing material for the better part of 2003, so when it came time to record they had more than 30 songs. Instead of pairing it down to 10 or 12 songs, they decided to record three CDs. They were able to cut costs by recording and producing the CDs in-house.

The band is quite pleased with the results. Veniscofsky says that the three CDs each represent different aspects of the band's musical personality. The Hope Seed shows the band working in a more standard pop format, while FTV Volume 1 , showcases the band's acoustic leanings, and Volume 2 goes into a more prog rock direction.

The band has really made a giant step forward in terms of songwriting and craftsmanship on these three CDs. The songs are moody, atmospheric and at times reminiscent of a more earthy Pink Floyd, running the gamut from shimmering pop confections, to chilled-out ambient soundscapes to jazzy folk and back again. It's a highly accomplished work, one that could have easily fell into the realm of self-indulgent drivel, but doesn't, due to the expert playing from all members of the band. The band has really outdone themselves. They have managed to stay true to their sound, while pushing it into new and exciting directions.

The Hope Seed and From The Vine Volumes 1 & 2 were definitely worth the wait. Let's just hope the band doesn't make us wait another three years for their next batch of recordings. Although if the results are this good, then guys, take your time.

Now that the new records are out, the band plans on staying busy for the rest of the year. They will be embarking on an extensive tour, and possibly releasing an EP of experimental music early next year.

http://www.hartfordadvocate.com/gbase/Music/content?oid=oid:47684 - The Hartford Advocate

"The Hope Seed, From the Vine CD Reviews"

From the Vine, volume I - rane
From the Vine, volume II - rane
The Hope Seed - rane

Mike Greenhaus

For over eight years, rane has been leading a double-life. Opening for organic poppers Jump Little Children and Rusted Root, rane plays song-oriented, acoustic based music, complete with catchy hooks and radio-ready choruses. Sharing the stage with The Disco Biscuits, rane could be mistaken for a full-fledged jamband, incorporating electronica, prog-rock, and psychedelia into their extended medleys. So it makes sense that rane's most recent release is actually several distinctly different albums, tied together more by their players than their sound.

Based in Hartford, Connecticut, rane has been a mainstay on the New England jamband circuit since the late 1990s. Headlining club dates and earning opening spots for everyone from Santana to Wilco, rane are ready for their definitive release, the type of album that can line the stereos of the group's growing collegiate audience. But, given the group's progressive influences and diverse compositions, it's virtually impossible to define rane's style on a single, cohesive album. In fact, it took the quintet five years to truly figure out how to document their live sound. Building their own studio and writing over thirty original compositions, rane eventually created three complete albums, each with an individual sound and distinct mood. While a bit difficult to wade through in one sitting, rane have created three strong, serious efforts, full of jam-pop gems and some potential crossover cuts.

Featuring nine relatively concise songs, From the Vine, volume I is rane's most reflective album. Based around Ryan Bowman and Alan Veniscofsky's acoustic-tinged guitars, From the Vine, volume I comes complete with tight harmonies, gentle guitar picking and introspective lyrics -- the type of organic pop sure to appease fans of Guster and Dispatch. Highlighted by the catchy "Cat Stevens," Volume I is excellent afternoon music, with subtle bits of space and trance interspersed between more defined rock structures. Hiding hints of their more progressive jams in tighter tracks, Veniscofsky uses his gentle voice to tie Volume I together, stepping back to allow more experimental moments to unfold. Switching moods and time and signatures several times during the same song, the rhythm section of bassist Dan Prindle, drummer Bruce Menard, and percussionist Kurt Rinaldi also get a workout, but manage to hold Volume I together as a single, cohesive album. Backed by a seven-person string section on select tracks, rane also flirts with more baroque sounds, particularly on "No Hablo" and "Cello Jig," using their jazz chops to emphasize more subtle, pastoral sounds.

In sharp contrast to its predecessor, From the Vine, volume II is more indebted to instrumental experimentation than lyrical musings. Utilizing the same instrumentation, including a sea of guest strings, "Broca's Aphasia" is dense, prog-rock, mixing a series of odd percussion noises. "Hazelnut" mixes dark, ethereal noises from trance into the group's jazzy jams, birthing a song that must have fit well in a Disco Biscuits' opening slot. More akin to Pink Floyd than Phishy jambands, From the Vine, volume II is full of extended, dark spacey compositions, not groovy jams. Progressive and carefully structured, Volume II doesn't meander, but rane do extend their songs with guitar solos and extended opening sequences on songs like "Resort to Whisperings." This closing number also showcases Menard and Rinaldi's dense percussion, a treat throughout the seven-song album.

But, as can be expected, there is a fair bit of cross-pollination between the From the Vines. "Resort to Whisperings" includes a crisp, acoustic-flavored song amidst a sea of percussion and spacey guitar licks. At times, the track sounds as if a song from Volume I was marooned in the middle of a Volume II jam. Similarly, Bowman's electric solo in "Placenta" might fit just as well during the climax of "A Single Color": a great hook ready for a organic pop number to give it structure.

Falling somewhere between the From the Vines, The Hope Seed may be rane's definitive album. Mixings bits of trance, jam-rock, and organic pop into a sleek, single jazzy disc, The Hope Seed marries the From the Vine series. Opening with "Forwards, Onwards," rane let their more pronounced pop-rock tendencies take over, reining in their funk and jazz influences, while still hinting at their roots. Somewhat separate from its siblings, The Hope Seed is the most clearly defined studio disc in this series, further removed from rane's live sound. While The Hope Seed lacks the mental musings of Volume I or the adventurous experiments of Volume II, the single disc does provide the most complete overview of rane's musical diversity. "The Rambler" is a fun run through jammy, jazz-influenced rock, while "Sounds of Sleep" comes complete with some breezy bongo bashing. "Cent - JamBands.com

"Only Rane we welcome"

We like the band Rane because it is truly independent -- it started its own label, Tides Records, to protect its indie identity. We like the band Rane because it has opened for other acts we like, including Wilco, Santana, and Jump Little Children. And we like Rane because it dabbles in an array of genres, from pop to folk, comparing itself to Peter Gabriel, Steely Dan, and Super Furry Animals. Tonight, you can decide why you like Rane when the Connecticut band plays the Paradise Lounge. - The Boston Globe

"On the Verge: Artists Too New to Know"

RANE: Hartford, CT


Rane's sound runs the gamut, so when the group returned to the studio a few years back they decided to record three completely different personas. "One disc has a heavy techno sound, while another is organic pop with a string quartet," says guitarist Alan Veniscofsky. "The third is straight pop." An ambitious project, rane's triple release proved its studio capabilities. But now, Ryan Bowman (electric guitar), Bruce Menard (drums), Dan Prindle (bass, cello, keys), Kurt Rinaldi (percussion, Rhodes) and Veniscofsky have settled on a single sound. "It's very acoustic-based," says Veniscofsky, "but it retains elements of progressive rock and our Latin percussion." While you still can't judge an opener by its headliner, rane's varied resume, which includes spots before the Disco Biscuits, Wilco and Rusted Root, is a testament to its diverse audience. With its next album set to drop in September, rane is ready to unveil a new batch of compositions tailored for its studio setting. "We are really honing our songs to three or five minutes," Veniscofsky says. "But we also leave the middle section open to jam." www.soundofrane.com -- Mike Greenhaus

http://relix.com/cgi-bin/content_details.php?id=1541 - Relix Magazine, August 2005

"Magnetic North CD Review"

Tides Records

Rane made a bold move by releasing three new albums at once in December 2003. They were substantially great records, but it was a lot to sort through. This time, the South Windsor jam band has limited itself to one album with nine songs (one of which is a hidden track) that clock in at a very reasonable 58 minutes.

A seafaring theme carries "Magnetic North," and ocean imagery pops up throughout the record. There's talk of waves and tides on the title track, distant shores on "What It's For" and some kind of mysterious sea beast on "The Shark."

Rane produced the record itself, and the sound is exquisite. The instruments are perfectly balanced, and there's a glossy sheen to the songs. The title track sparkles with the interplay between electric and acoustic guitars, and the bass line struts imperiously through "In the Presence of the City."

As perfect as the record sounds, though, the smooth production sometimes softens the rough edges that can elevate a song from pleasant and interesting to fascinating. "Magnetic North" is mostly an agreeable next step for an innovative band, but there are moments when the songs resembles the other rain: It's pretty, but it tends to sound the same.

Rane performs Friday at Cheney Hall in Manchester. Information: 860-647-9824.

- The Hartford Courant

"Spin.com Artist of the Day"

With achievements like selling out the House of Blues in Boston and opening for both Wilco and Santana, it's hard to imagine that Hartford, CT-based progressive jam rock band Rane have yet to be signed.

http://www.spin.com/minitakesthestates/2006/09/060904_rane/ - SPIN Magazine


Magnetic North (9/05)
Telescope EP (4/05)
The Hope Seed (12/03)
From the Vine, Vol. 1 (12/03)
From the Vine, Vol. 2 (12/03)
Camelopardalis (6/00)
At War With the Moon (4/98)



"Rane has evolved into one of New England's most innovative bands... [Their] music crosses the boundaries of genre and defies easy classification." [Eric Danton, rock critic :. The Hartford Courant]

-- Multiple sellouts at the House of Blues (Boston), Iron Horse Music Hall and Cheney Hall (Manchester, CT), and nearly 900 paid at the Webster Theatre (Hartford, CT)

-- Started their own independent record label, Tides Records, to support CDs, merchandise and tours

-- Winners of the Hartford Advocate's Grand Band Slam for last nine years

-- Featured in Relix Magazine's "On the Verge: 5 Artists You Should Know About" column (Aug. 2005)

-- Named to "The Futures" list and charted on the "Most Played" list on XM Satellite Radio's Unsigned channel (Feb. 2004)

-- Camelopardalis (released June 2000) broke into Sound Scan's Top 50 listing for the Hartford / New Britain market and its Top 100 listing for the Springfield market

-- Released three new albums concurrently in December 2003, a project that the Hartford Advocate called "a highly accomplished work, one that could have easily fell into the realm of self-indulgent drivel, but doesn't, due to the expert playing from all members of the band."

-- Scheduled releases for 2005: Telescope EP (April); Magnetic North (September)

Venues Played: Meadows Music Centre (Hartford, CT); Oakdale Theatre (Wallingford, CT); The Bushnell (Hartford, CT); Paradise Rock Club (Boston, MA); Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel (Providence, RI); The Webster Theatre (Hartford, CT); Knitting Factory (New York, NY); House of Blues (Cambridge, MA); Pearl Street Nightclub (Northampton, MA); Chameleon Club (Lancaster, PA); Cheney Hall (Manchester, CT); Toad’s Place (New Haven, CT); The Chance Theater (Poughkeepsie, NY); Crowbar (State College, PA); Valentine’s (Albany, NY); Mercury Lounge (New York, NY); Middle East Downstairs (Cambridge, MA); Met Cafe (Providence, RI); Iron Horse Music Hall (Northampton, MA); Tribeca Rock Club (New York, NY); Better End (Portland, ME); Nectar’s (Burlington, VT); The Stone Church (Newmarket, NH)

College: Central Connecticut State University – CT; Connecticut College – CT; Eastern Connecticut State University – CT; Sacred Heart University – CT; Trinity College – CT; University of Connecticut, Storrs – CT; University of Hartford – CT; Assumption College – MA; Bentley College – MA; Clark University – MA; Emerson College – MA; Holy Cross College – MA; Tufts University – MA; University of Massachusetts, Amherst – MA; Westfield State College – MA; Johns Hopkins University – MD; Bowdoin College – ME; Dartmouth College – NH; Keene State College – NH; Saint Anselm College – NH; Binghamton University -– NY; Fordham University – NY; Marist College – NY; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – NY; Rochester Institute of Technology – NY; Skidmore College – NY; Union College – NY; University of Pennsylvania – PA; Brown University – RI; Bryant University – RI; University of Rhode Island – RI; Castleton State College – VT; Johnson State College – VT; Norwich University – VT; Saint Michael's College – VT