The Ampersands

The Ampersands

BandRockPop

Drawing from past influences like Brian Wilson and XTC while looking to contemporary artists like the members of the Elephant Six collective, The Ampersands are an indie-pop team-up who spin smart, hooky orchestrations into a sound that is entirely their own.

Biography

THE AMPERSANDS is an easy, typographical way to describe one of music's brightest new collaborations, a New York/New England-based indiepop team-up whose music is at once massive and delicate, and always unique and memorable.

Principals Aaron McQuade and Jim Pace have been making music together since their Rhode Island adolescence, and while they would never presume to compare themselves to songwriting duos like Lennon and McCartney or Linnell and Flansburgh, they really should. Trading off musical duties of all kinds keeps their sound rich, varied and packed with sparkly energy that sticks like a tough summer cold. Seriously, the song "Winterspring" has been known to cause ecstatic sneezing.

Between Jim's training in audio engineering and Aaron's work as a music and talk radio producer, they've got the technical chops to match their creative inspiration. Outside of the lyrical rock realm, Aaron has composed instrumental soundtracks for radio and television, winning a prestigious Telly Award for his musical score for a statewide PSA encouraging underwear donation to needy children. Really, it's a problem.

The Ampersands' influences include Brian Wilson, XTC, The Association, The Apples in Stereo, The Flaming Lips, The Beatles, science fiction movies, pancakes, Marvel Comics, Ocean Spray, surprises, hermit cookies, the Oakland Athletics and Jingle the Ham-Ham.

Lyrics

Dreams and Doing Errands

Written By: Aaron McQuade

The imagery of blindness appears beneath my sun
The cold and desperate longing of a real man for his gun
There's too much work to rest here and it all remains undone
Your strange and twisted reason, you're having too much fun

Lock me out with talk about revolution
Take me in, let's write ourselves a constitution
Let us sing and dance and play and frolic
In the red state reign
The daydream stops tomorrow
We're getting off this train

Excitement of a young boy when he thinks his dreams are real
Cat before a hurricane, the bear before a meal
So try to fly away boy, you're too young to catch my heel
Join the captain's love parade, I'll teach you how to feel

Lock me out with talk about revolution
Take me in, let's write ourselves a constitution
Let us sing and dance and play and frolic
In the red state reign
The daydream stops tomorrow
We're getting off this train

Baa bop bop baaa
La da da da da

I Don't Mind

Written By: Jim Pace

So you talk to me as if I haven't left the room
You know I never really cared
Those words you whisper too
Flooding all the shadows, we despair
I felt the anger hanging by a thread

It's ok, I've got rain to wash away
I don't mind, the sunny days are all I know
Is it you or is it me I justify
I don't mind, the sunny days are all I know

Try and smile now
When it's much too late because I know
I know about the things you've done
So forget those words
Those words that slap me across my face
They hurt the most when they're not heard

It's ok, I've got rain to wash away
I don't mind, the sunny days are all I know
Is it you or is it me I justify
I don't mind, the sunny days are all I know

Winterspring

Written By: Aaron McQuade

Winterspring, my six-moon grey
All canary flown away
And left is only coal
The bitter coal

Winterspring, why you insist
Telling me you don't exist
When I can feel the cold
persistent cold

I was climbing up, you were falling down
Mental photograph pulling me around
You decide to keep, I will throw away
Whiteout snow in March, brings a brand new day

Winterspring, I bought you then
Followed you through sword and pen
Pretended it was gold
And never told

I, too dumb to go - you, too scared to stop
Mental photograph, shiny purple hop
I will throw away, you decide to keep
Whiteout snow in march, I am still asleep (follows us like sheep)

Winterspring

Time Travel

Written By: Jim Pace

Do you believe in Time Travel
Do you believe we exist
through time it is impossible
What if I misstep and I'm never born
Another lonely dimension, one where I don't exist
And if this can't help you, I don't know what will

We're collecting dark matter
To convert the holes into traps
Then we'll tunnel around
Forget the paradox in all that we found
Traveling through wormholes
That's not for me to say
But if this can't help you, I don't know what will

Energy for radiation
it's a beautiful combination
Bend it, kick it, nothing is sound
And the wheel effects of hanging around
don't believe in the new high
we're all in holograms
and if this can't help you I don't know what will

Darkness and Decay

Written By: Aaron McQuade

Hard for me to find
A peaceful place in my mind
Hard for me to star
But if I fall apart
Maybe it'll be okay

There's no graceful death
For every wasted breath
Can't believe I stayed
Both fearless and afraid
of darkness and decay

If you could bestow
how the future would grow
with the devil I know
and the angel of status quo
it's not like we're so
gauguin on van gough
the master, painting the master, painting

How can I break free
It sounds so familiar to me
Yosarian and Boo
in a funny deja-vu
On evacuation day

Happy Camper

Written By: Aaron McQuade

Falling, all I do is falling
Slipping on the sidewalk
tripping over footsteps
crawling, answer every call but
I can only stall my
inevitable fall down
training wheels are only training
doggie paddle potty
baby steps and first words
wonder, view it all with wonder
wonder if I'll ever
be a happy camper

I resign to pull back blind
I am fine, never you mind

Eiffel

Written By: Aaron McQuade

Eiffel, you are, wonder personified
It's so amazing this can coincide
Eiffel, you are, perfect symetry
I wonder what if you shift polarity

I can't believe this incredible something
This awkward and dumb thing
This beautiful silence and staring
This mending and tearing
This splitting and pairing
is this?

Eiffel, you are, what this chance became
Tried to check out, fell flat, eyes went lame
Would you see the Mona Lisa
And remember anything about the frame?

I can't believe this incredible something
This awkward and dumb thing
This beautiful silence and staring
This mending and tearing
This splitting and pairing
is this?

It Makes Me Smile

Written By: Jim Pace

If you're someone that I love
It's just a little late, a little late
I try to hold it back
and hope it goes away, please go away
It's really been a chore
to stand aside for you, for you
But it seems as if my life's
been leading up to this, up to this
It hurts more than you know
to watch you sit so near, when I can't care
I get the sense my world
Disintegrated me into this

Don't you want to be forgiven
Don't you want to be with me?
Don't you want to be forbidden
Don't you want to hold me near
But I know that won't be

Snore

Written By: Aaron McQuade

Green with envy
How you can be
Still so sound asleep

Jealous arms will
Hold you until
You are mine to keep

Snore

Softer falling
morning calling
I will hold you still

Slow your breathing
Dream of sleeping
Quiet wish fulfilled

Snore

Sonyasaurus

Written By: Jim Pace

Sonya made it out, she could have been a boy
Got caught up in a mild melancholy state
Sonya made a mess, someone cleaned it up
We'll tease her all about this
When she's a little older
Time to rest, it's almost naptime

Sonya walked to class, and all the neighbors clapped
Stood there in amazement she made it there and back
Sonya got an A, and put it on the fridge
She got a golden star shining in the sun
Time to eat, it's almost dinnertime

Never wanted more
Once you fell through that door
I love the Sonyasaurus

Sonya went outside, she's playing in the park
She's running all around you, didn't she just learn to walk?
Sonya made a friend, she took him to the dance
She got a limousine to take them there and back
Time to go, it's almost time to leave

Never wanted more
Once you fell through that door
I love the Sonyasaurus

Discography

The Ampersands released their debut LP "And" in June 2008. The set was mixed and co-produced by Brooklyn's Bryce Goggin, whose credits include albums by Phish, Pavement, the Apples in Stereo, the Lemonheads and many others. "And" and its tracks are available all over the interwebs, and have been played and praised on podcasts worldwide. A radio promotion campaign will begin in late summer 2008.

Set List

Set varies, but averages 12 songs--common songs include Time Travel, I Don't Mind, Winterspring, Dreams and Doing Errands, Happy Camper, Late, It Makes Me Smile. Usually one cover in set, such as In My Room by the Beach Boys.