The Rare Occasions

The Rare Occasions

 Los Angeles, California, USA
BandAlternativeRock

“They’re the kind of band that creates music that both slaps you and kisses you, sometimes within seconds of one another, with equal seduction and genuine ease.” - Michael Marotta, Vanyaland

Biography

Drawing inspiration from each successive wave of garage rock, The Rare Occasions put their own dark spin on retro. Pairing dizzying cacophonies of angular riffs with sweet indie pop melodies, The Rare Occasions have crafted a multifaceted and charismatic brand of indie rock. The Los Angeles quartet’s three self-produced, critically-acclaimed EPs demonstrate the band’s capacity to keep the listener in anticipation, from the blistering psych-anthem “Dysphoric” (Feelers) to the dreamlike “Bug Eyes” (Futureproof) . This variability and depth of styles, layered with lyrical themes of existentialism and self-reflection, are what both define The Rare Occasions and set them apart.

The band first turned heads in their native Providence, Rhode Island when they won the WBRU Rock Hunt, headlined the Summer Concert Series at Waterplace Park, and performed in front of packed audiences at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel and The Met. Meanwhile, they tore through the Boston club circuit, building a dedicated following.

The Rare Occasions went on to perform for festival audiences at SXSW and CMJ, as well as open for international touring acts, including Guster, Dirty Heads, Lupe Fiasco, AJR, and Knox Hamilton. “Dysphoric” took home the coveted ‘Song of the Year’ award in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in 2014.

This year, The Rare Occasions have been expanding their West Coast presence and establishing themselves in Los Angeles. In the midst of all their live shows, the band is recording a set of new material that shows the dramatic development of their expansive style.



“They’re the kind of band that creates music that both slaps you and kisses you, sometimes within seconds of one another, with equal seduction and genuine ease.” - Michael Marotta, Vanyaland


“A car chase on a distant cliff, filmed in black and white” - Jon Simmons, Sound of Boston


“The Rare Occasions ...craft little indie pop symphonies [with] tiered arrangements, pushing forward and pulling back sonic asides that give these 3-½-minute-long songs decent sweep” - Scott McLennan, Boston.com

Lyrics

Miss Mary Mack

Written By: Brian McLaughlin

Miss Mary Mack
All dressed in black
With silver buttons
All down her back

She took the train
Past Driscoll Lane
To spill the blood that
Swiftly runs through idle veins

And with her knife
To sink the strife
She looked him straight into the eye
And took his life

Yea it was so hard to find
The one she had in mind
The one that tripped her fantasy
She took her money off the salsa line
And put it in the butchery

And she was so overjoyed
That she found her little toy
They've got to take her away
While there's still time

So as his mind slipped away
It conjured up the day
He first laid eyes upon her skin
Oh she was smitten she was so divine
And with a smile she drew him in

But now she's spat in his face
And turned the tides without a trace
They've got to take her away
While there's still time

Yea it was so hard to find
The one she had in mind
The one that tripped her fantasy
She took her money off the salsa line
And put it in the butchery

And she was so overjoyed
That she found her little toy
They've got to take her away
While there's still time

Wickenden Kids

Written By: Brian McLaughlin

Cold are the winds between us, a shiver in the sun.
Dark are the clouds that hold her and trickle slowly down the evening,
Because she thought I wouldn't know;
She thought her eyes they wouldn't show.
How every speck of a doubt she's been toting about
Couldn't cut through the clout of despair.

And when I saw her I said “Baby, I know.
I know the things you've been through”.
Beneath the moonlight she was standing alone
Beneath the festering truth.

And I said love. Isn't it so fine and
I've got you on my mind and all those
Wickenden kids are smashing on the walls
So loud that you can hear them out in Central Falls.

So as the night it dwindled and swept her from within,
She drew a picture of the villain on the bathroom mirror.
She knew her mind had gone astray.
She took a glance and ran away.
And in the midst of the shame she had lost her own name
And the notions that came with it.

And when I saw her I said “Baby, I know.
I know the things you've been through”.
Beneath the moonlight she was standing alone
Beneath the festering truth.

And I said love. Isn't it so fine and
I've got you on my mind and all those
Wickenden kids are smashing on the walls
So loud that you can hear them out in Central Falls.

Getaway

Written By: Brian McLaughlin

You and I, we were lost in the shadows
You got me thinking I won't make it to tomorrow
You stole my mind
Wash the hands, count the spots on the ceiling
Leave it feeling all aligned

(ooh) And I shouldn't have to check the door
(ooh) Eleven times before I fall asleep and
(ooh) You got me walking to the second floor
Up, down, chase back stop and let me fall into the deep

What can I do?
What can I do?
To get away from you
What can I do?
To get away from
You

What can I do?
To get away from you
What can I do?
To get away from
You

When it's over they'll wring out all my bones
For lost is not as lost as we thought it was
And found's not as found
As that sickened soup that drips before the dawn

I don't need the word to say I know
I don't need the word to say I know

To get away from
You

Battin' Lashes

Written By: Brian McLaughlin

I saw you in the evening sun
You weren't afraid of anyone
The sky was painted out of phase
So count the words; so drown the haze

I saw you in the evening sun
You weren't afraid of anyone
The sky was painted out of phase
So count the words; so drown the haze

Lying on the road as whispers pierce the clouds above
You've got to stay
You got to stay
'Cause I've been thinking about you each and every day

Overcast and dreaming all tumultuously
Take it all back because I saw the sun inside
Saw every little thing you left behind

Deliria beneath the skin
Those flightless eyes are sinking in
So tell the floor; so tell the walls
It takes the climb to learn to fall

Deliria beneath the skin
Those flightless eyes are sinking in
So tell the floor; so tell the walls
It takes the climb to learn to fall

Lying on the road as whispers pierce the clouds above
You've got to stay
You got to stay
'Cause I've been thinking about you each and every day

Overcast and dreaming all tumultuously
Take it all back because I saw the sun inside
Saw every little thing you left behind

Don't try and convince me sweetly; let me collapse completely, babe
As warm as a plate of ashes, we were just battin' lashes, babe
From over your shoulder you could feel me adore you
You could feel me adore you, girl, from over your shoulder
We were trembling softly by the shore - it's something in those eyes

So light it up and show the way
'Cause I've been thinking about you each and every day
Those little words will have to stay
Because of all you had to say

Lying on the road as whispers pierce the clouds above
You've got to stay
You got to stay
'Cause I've been thinking about you each and every day

Overcast and dreaming all tumultuously
Take it all back because I saw the sun inside
Saw every little thing you left behind

I'll Be The One To Say Goodnight

Written By: Brian McLaughlin

Well you, you might say it sounds cheesy,
But it's true that nothing good comes easy.
So even if you're far away when you close your eyes,
I'll be the one to say goodnight.

I tried, I tried to be so perfect
But in time I found it wasn't worth it
So even if you're far away when you close your eyes,
I'll be the one to say goodnight.

Said even if you're far away when you close your eyes,
I'll be the one to say goodnight.

Dysphoric

Written By: Brian McLaughlin

how could you possibly screw up any worse?
you were given trust then let it leak till it burst
pale pale guilt that could cut through your hide
until it’s fizzing inside you
you know you’re bound to find it
dysphoric dysphoric dysphoric
cast those myths off the tips of your teeth
before they sour every ballad and pull you underneath

swallowed up, the silent tyrant tangles and frays
viscerally shifting through a circular haze
wrought rocks swivel not like sparks in the eyes
but with furious incisors
you know you’re bound to find it
dysphoric dysphoric dysphoric
cast those myths off the tips of your teeth
before they sour every ballad and pull you underneath

Fell Through

Written By: Brian McLaughlin

in a hundred million ways
I had lost the nerve to say
how every fiber of the heart
is pulled from nothing at the start

so as it spun out of control
should I have sought the half or whole?
for I can see the now from then
will never know this place again

out of focus, out of time everybody needs a little light
anechoic passersby have seen the little sea within her eyes

and I don't even have to be bold enough to shake the floor
to be the driftless, silken glimmer shining at her door
I'll leave it to conviction alone until I've seen the truth
we were tangled in our hopes before they fell through

must I smash apart the phone
to drown the contrapuntal drone?
they say it's just a little noise
but what's a loss that don't destroy?

out of focus, out of time everybody needs a little light
anechoic passersby have seen the little sea within her eyes

and I don't even have to be bold enough to shake the floor
to be the driftless, silken glimmer shining at her door
I'll leave it to conviction alone until I've seen the truth
we were tangled in our hopes before they fell through

Goodnight

Written By: Brian McLaughlin

well you might say it sounds cheesy
but it's true that nothing good comes easy

so even if you're far away
when you close your eyes
I'll be the one to say goodnight

I tried to be so perfect
but in time I found it wasn't worth it

so even if you're far away
when you close your eyes
I'll be the one to say goodnight

said even if you're far away
when you close your eyes
I'll be the one to say goodnight

Halfheartedly

Written By: Brian McLaughlin

dizzy are the bones
that carry a longing
which many never know
though they claim they've seen the worst of it

gotta find a way
to not botch the method
of the dilated sway

she set my glasses on the chair
and blushed at the thought of how we must have stared
for weeks and weeks with curtains drawn
and our faces pressed till my vision had gone
and I pulled her closer into me
for there's no sense in loving halfheartedly

give another rise
to all that collapses
when you're drifting through the lines
that were set before the earth began

momentary sweep
it's not like I planned for it
the things I couldn't see

she set my glasses on the chair
and blushed at the thought of how we must have stared
for weeks and weeks with curtains drawn
and our faces pressed till my vision had gone
and I pulled her closer into me
for there's no sense in loving halfheartedly

I've been thinking about all you've been through
I've been thinking about all you've been through

La Mort

Written By: Brian McLaughlin

if time was asleep and the stars were awake
would you still make that one fateful mistake?
all of the things I have seen in the past
were nothing so special, were not meant to last

wide-eyed and restless and duly prolonged
chaque fois que la mort pleure je ris de ma tombe
lost in a vision and found by the sea
shameless devotion don't mean much to me

supper's on the stove, darling

please let me down 'cause I'm lost in the sound I don't know
I tried and I tried but I can't get it right anymore
shapeless convictions have found me and swept me away
now that you're gone I see no sense in having to stay

An Actuary Retires

Written By: Brian McLaughlin

nobody came to my retirement party
nobody cares when you’re on your way out
inconsequential and oh so replaceable
all along I thought I would’ve left with more than nothing to show

I once was hailed as the prince of invention
I once was cast as a modern Galois
nobody came to my retirement party
all along I could’ve walked away with more than nothing to show

I place my things in a cardboard box
swiftly struck by a swivelling shard of the past
schoolyard voices swirling around
the other kids: aspiring firemen and ballerinas
me: walls plastered with equations
out to prove or disprove the magnetic monopole,
swim far from thought’s shallows,
hold experiments, teach classes
then someone said:

“there’s no money in that!
quick wit to pick apart fiction from fact
you’ve got brains, kid, go make some cash!”

with neon dollar-sign eyeballs,
hollowed-out, I’m placing bets on life or death
listless drips seep through the teeming weeks
and I lose respect for myself

hope is the last of the spirit to falter
hope is a weight that drags from within
and if I’d known in the end it was worth it
I would’ve followed that hope to begin