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Sputnik

Cleveland, Ohio, United States | INDIE

Cleveland, Ohio, United States | INDIE
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"Cleveland Trio Sputnik Plays Rare Gig at the Grog Following Release of New Album"

Alan Grandy's trio Sputnik isn't very prolific, alas. But Cleveland music scene veteran Grandy, who played with The Terrible Parade in the '80s and Jehova Waitresses in the '90s, still makes engaging music when he gets around to it. Sputnik's new album Rising is packed with timeless pop-rock gems. They'll be playing a rare gig at the Grog Shop. Thu 8/1.
When Alan Grandy moved to Cleveland in the ’80s, the local music scene hit the jackpot.
Grandy’s band The Terrible Parade connected him with the local college rock and folk scenes. He soon started his own label Sound of the Sea to release music by some of the outstanding folk and folk-oriented rock performers that were all over the local music scene in the early-mid ’90s. He performed with one of the best of those ensembles, the Jehova Waitresses. He released a solo album A Crown O’ Stars in 1996.
Grandy also formed a trio in the ’90s called Sputnik with Jehova Waitresses drummer Jeff Harmon and musician/studio owner Jay Bentoff on bass. It took a while for the group to release their debut I, Cosmonaut, in 2004. Underradar followed in 2008.
While Grandy’s life has gone in other directions — he’s a teacher — Sputnik hasn’t been very prolific. Luckily, they have a new album out called Rising, with Chris Solt replacing Harmon on drums.The music’s as well-crafted, well-played, engaging, and timeless as ever.
As usual, Grandy’s songs are firmly rooted in pop-oriented rock, enfolding influences reaching back to the ’60s with graceful melodies, gentle, earnest vocals, and jangling guitar that will remind you of a hundred bands and no one in particular.
Kicking off with “Solstice Song,” Grandy’s effortless vocal is cushioned in background harmonies and propelled by a typically sure-footed rhythm track.
The same elements, with Grandy’s almost conversational style of singing, combine to make a song like “Shine” achingly pretty. Even a rocker like the sprawling “Last Man on Earth” has a soft core, coating its melodic urgency in a lightly noisy texture. The more reflective songs like “Midnight Rose” and “Heaven Is In Yr Heart” really benefit from he straightforward way Grandy sings a song; there’s an honesty that repels sugary sweetness.
Grandy’s ten songs are augmented a cover of “Boiling Over “by My Dad Is Dead, a tribute to another Cleveland band making waves on the college radio scene in the ’80s. It’s just a tad edgier than the other songs on Rising, not surprising given that band’s darker orientation.
Sputnik doesn’t play all that much. So it’s a must if you like classic pop-rock to catch them at the Grog Shop this week where they’ll be playing with the Gallery, Maid Myriad, and the Singular.
Admission is $6 in advance, $8 at the door.
http://www.elgrande.net/
- coolcleveland.com


"Cleveland Trio Sputnik Plays Rare Gig at the Grog Following Release of New Album"

Alan Grandy's trio Sputnik isn't very prolific, alas. But Cleveland music scene veteran Grandy, who played with The Terrible Parade in the '80s and Jehova Waitresses in the '90s, still makes engaging music when he gets around to it. Sputnik's new album Rising is packed with timeless pop-rock gems. They'll be playing a rare gig at the Grog Shop. Thu 8/1.
When Alan Grandy moved to Cleveland in the ’80s, the local music scene hit the jackpot.
Grandy’s band The Terrible Parade connected him with the local college rock and folk scenes. He soon started his own label Sound of the Sea to release music by some of the outstanding folk and folk-oriented rock performers that were all over the local music scene in the early-mid ’90s. He performed with one of the best of those ensembles, the Jehova Waitresses. He released a solo album A Crown O’ Stars in 1996.
Grandy also formed a trio in the ’90s called Sputnik with Jehova Waitresses drummer Jeff Harmon and musician/studio owner Jay Bentoff on bass. It took a while for the group to release their debut I, Cosmonaut, in 2004. Underradar followed in 2008.
While Grandy’s life has gone in other directions — he’s a teacher — Sputnik hasn’t been very prolific. Luckily, they have a new album out called Rising, with Chris Solt replacing Harmon on drums.The music’s as well-crafted, well-played, engaging, and timeless as ever.
As usual, Grandy’s songs are firmly rooted in pop-oriented rock, enfolding influences reaching back to the ’60s with graceful melodies, gentle, earnest vocals, and jangling guitar that will remind you of a hundred bands and no one in particular.
Kicking off with “Solstice Song,” Grandy’s effortless vocal is cushioned in background harmonies and propelled by a typically sure-footed rhythm track.
The same elements, with Grandy’s almost conversational style of singing, combine to make a song like “Shine” achingly pretty. Even a rocker like the sprawling “Last Man on Earth” has a soft core, coating its melodic urgency in a lightly noisy texture. The more reflective songs like “Midnight Rose” and “Heaven Is In Yr Heart” really benefit from he straightforward way Grandy sings a song; there’s an honesty that repels sugary sweetness.
Grandy’s ten songs are augmented a cover of “Boiling Over “by My Dad Is Dead, a tribute to another Cleveland band making waves on the college radio scene in the ’80s. It’s just a tad edgier than the other songs on Rising, not surprising given that band’s darker orientation.
Sputnik doesn’t play all that much. So it’s a must if you like classic pop-rock to catch them at the Grog Shop this week where they’ll be playing with the Gallery, Maid Myriad, and the Singular.
Admission is $6 in advance, $8 at the door.
http://www.elgrande.net/
- coolcleveland.com


"Second Quarter Roundup: Listening to the Last Three Months"

by Tim McMahan
Sputnik, Rising (Sound of the Sea) -- A cold-call received unsolicited via snail mail from Cleveland, these usually end up right in the round file, but this one ended up in heavy rotation on my iPhone. Think of it as a modern homage to classic R.E.M. or The Wedding Present or whatever jangle-pop you were into in the late-‘80s / early-90s. Worth finding.
- the Weekly (Omaha, NE)


"Second Quarter Roundup: Listening to the Last Three Months"

by Tim McMahan
Sputnik, Rising (Sound of the Sea) -- A cold-call received unsolicited via snail mail from Cleveland, these usually end up right in the round file, but this one ended up in heavy rotation on my iPhone. Think of it as a modern homage to classic R.E.M. or The Wedding Present or whatever jangle-pop you were into in the late-‘80s / early-90s. Worth finding.
- the Weekly (Omaha, NE)


"SPUTNIK – Rising (www.elgrande.net)"

Representing pop-rock at its most buoyant, vibrant, and engaging, this
album radiates a bright light-as-a-feather gaiety and positivity that’s
sure to put a smile on your face. The warm and energetic vocals soar over a tasty array of jangly guitars, bouncy drum beats, and smooth basslines. Moreover, the dynamic backing harmonies add extra zing and appeal. The smart songwriting mines a likable line in sunny optimism. Good
easy’n’breezy fun. - Joe Wawrzyniak, JerseyBeat.com
- Jersey Beat


"SPUTNIK – Rising (www.elgrande.net)"

Representing pop-rock at its most buoyant, vibrant, and engaging, this
album radiates a bright light-as-a-feather gaiety and positivity that’s
sure to put a smile on your face. The warm and energetic vocals soar over a tasty array of jangly guitars, bouncy drum beats, and smooth basslines. Moreover, the dynamic backing harmonies add extra zing and appeal. The smart songwriting mines a likable line in sunny optimism. Good
easy’n’breezy fun. - Joe Wawrzyniak, JerseyBeat.com
- Jersey Beat


Discography

artist/album/label /year

Sputnik/"Rising"/Sound of the Sea/2013 (cd/digi)

Alan Grandy, Sputnik, the terrible parade/"El Grande"/Sound of the Sea/ March 2012 (cd)

Sputnik/"underradar"/Sound of the Sea/2008 (dig. distr. only)

Sputnik/"I, Cosmonaut"/Sound of the Sea/2004 (cd/digi)

Photos

Bio

Sputnik and Sound of the Sea would like to announce the May 15th, 2013 release of "Rising", which features ten new original songs along with a cover of "Boiling Over" (originally by fellow Clevelander My Dad is Dead), on Sound of the Sea.

The group are following up their 2004 debut "I, Cosmonaut" as well as the studio/live collection "Underradar" (2008).
They also had two tracks from each release featured on
Grandy's recent career retrospective "El Grande" CD sampler.

press for "Rising"
coolcleveland.com - "Rising is packed with timeless pop-rock gems."
the Weekly (Omaha, NE) - "...this one ended up in heavy rotation on my iPhone...Worth finding."
Jersey Beat - "Representing pop-rock at its most buoyant, vibrant, and engaging,...the smart songwriting mines a likable line in sunny optimism."

"Rising" has received airplay on WRUW, 87.7FM (Cleveland), WZBC, WKWZ, KSHU, KLBC, KDHX, KTUH, CJUM, and Radio Andra (Sweden).

- press for "I, Cosmonaut" -
Paste Magazine - "a delicious, harmony-filled pop debut"
All Music Guide - “quite talented songwriting…tightly-wound
arrangements and unique melodies suggest The Wedding Present, or the maturity of Workbook-era Bob Mould”
Cleveland Plain Dealer - “…reminiscent of the Kinks here, the Pixies there…with catchy hooks and shimmering harmonies aplenty.”
Exclaim! Magazine (Canada) - “I, Cosmonaut is a collection
of jangly indie-pop songs that deserve a wider audience”
Charleston (WV) Daily Mail - "...one of the more intriguing
sounds I've heard of late...I'd keep an ear out for these lads."

press for "El Grande"
Cleveland Free Press - "El Grande is the perfect place to begin to start discovering the talent and music of one of Cleveland’s best singer-songwriters. The album is also a good indicator for things to come from this talented musician."
Scene Magazine - "El Grande" is a fitting retrospective and a preview of things to come from one of the city's best unsung heroes."
wspn.tumblr.com - "It’s worth a listen...the Terrible Parade is excellent."

"El Grande" was added to rotation/received airplay at CFMU (#30, 4.16.12), WCNI, WERU, WSPN, KASF, KKFI, KSPC, KTSW, KUNM, CJSW, WRUW, KSHU, KLBC, WRAS, WTBU, WHRW and WLFM.