The Remnants
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THE REMNANTS
A Few Evenings With a Bastard

New Art School

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The Remnants are from Miami. When’s the last time you heard anything rock n’ roll from Miami, or in Miami, or about Miami, besides that one Gun Club album? So the Remnants are pretty fucking special, right from the get-go. This spectacularly named album is also presented here on 10” vinyl, which is pretty special, too. They sound like the Bell-Rays, with lotsa fiery soul-punk riffs and glass shattering, revolution-now howls from lead lungs Cynthia Duvall, who is not only a white girl, but she is spectacularly white, white like the night, even. Yet, she lets loose with a rugged R&B yelp that would ruffle even Tina’s mountainous mane. Again, special. The songs are maybe the only thing not so special, as they just sorta speed by with out any really meaty chunks for Duvall to chew on, ‘cept maybe for the incendiary cover of Dead Boys’ classic “What Love Is”. But the pieces are all in place for a spectacular rock n’ soul revue, so keep your ears and eyes out for them. And learn how to dance, because that’ll probably come in handy.

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-Sleazegrinder
http://www.sleazegrinder.com/

- Sleazegrinder


Making It Last
The Remnants piece together some uncommon rock
By Maggie-Margret

The Remnants: Leftovers don't always suck.


In a place like Miami, it's not unusual to find supermodels frolicking on the beach in thong bikinis, vapid celebrities doing shots at the club du jour, or cops hassling drunken drag queens. One of the things you won't find very often is a true-blue rock band. For whatever reason, the screamingly loud, amazingly talented, and relentlessly gigging groups are few and far between. Until now, that is. The Remnants have stepped in to fill the blanks in the area's musical résumé.

The Remnants are, well, remnants of a sort. Bassist Dominic Sirianni, guitarist Jim Potts, and drummer Russ Moore were all members of now-defunct groups like the Pin-Ups, Avarice, and the still-functional cover band the Hooples. Two years ago, the boys met Cynthia DuVall while she was singing at a coffeehouse with a person named "Trash." They knew right away that voices like DuVall's are rare: beautiful, bluesy, dirty, soul-drenched, and loud. Judging by the connection they now share on-stage, it's clear something magical happened the first time they played together. Sirianni puts it all in simpler terms: "We all were around each other, and we just decided to give it a try."

I've learned from experience that interviewing local bands is actually really easy. You ask the basics, the one outgoing spokesman of the band answers, the rest of the band stares at their shoes, and it's a done deal. Interviewing the Remnants, however, is like trying to juggle a litter of puppies. The band members have strong personalities that make even the most generic questions fresh.

Over the past two years, the Remnants have played more gigs than most groups play in their entire careers. From Tobacco Road to Ray's Downtown, they've defiled almost every stage in South Florida. I'm guessing there must be some kind of pathological condition involved, because everyone shares the same gorgeously naive motivation. "It certainly isn't for all the money we're making," says Potts, voicing a unanimous sentiment, "so I guess it's all for the love of rock 'n' roll." Amen.

Musically, the Remnants have concocted a ballsy blend of their influences: bands like MC5 and the Stooges and icons like Johnny Thunders, James Brown, and Prince. Raucous and belligerent, soulful and pained, their stage show is exhausting to watch and a thrill to behold. In the dozen or so Remnants shows I've been to south of Broward, I've heard the same thing coming out of people's mouths time after time: "What the hell are they doing here?"

In the shallow landscape of Miami-Dade County, where techno jams and breast implants flow like wine, the Remnants stick out like "a turd in a punch bowl," to quote one of my favorite '80s movie lines. I've often wondered what kept them in sunny SoFla myself, so I put the question to Sirianni.

"I've built a life for myself in Miami," he answers. "Plus, I hate the cold. South Florida is cool because although the scene is weak in some ways, it's really cohesive and interesting in other ways. It's a musical Galapagos."

No Remnants show would be complete without the ritual hazing of human punching bag and formerly mustachioed Sirianni. Besides the music, one of the most entertaining things about their gigs is DuVall's relentless insulting of Sirianni. I wondered if it had ever gone too far, if someone had ever been pushed into an amp or lost an eye on a mic stand.

"It hasn't gone far enough I think," DuVall says. "Dom is good-spirited about the whole thing; plus, he likes getting his ass kicked. I think that speaks volumes about his sexual orientation. Plus, he smokes those clove things now. Need I say more?"

Sirianni's take on the issue is slightly different. "One time I broke a bottle over Cynthia's head on-stage and she blacked out a little," he remembers. "But it was in a totally collegial spirit. And I question my orientation daily."

For a band that's so full of good, old-fashioned, rock 'n' roll swagger, it's surprising how humble and downright fun each of the members is. When I ask about their aspirations as a band, I expect to hear things like, "We're gonna take over the world, man!" Instead, I get answers that are practical, even self-effacing. They're all just looking to find a home on a small label, make enough money to support a small tour, and play out every chance they get at any place that will let them.

The Remnants recently finished recording a seven-song EP appropriately titled A Few Evenings with the Bastard. Produced by none other than the infamous Rat Bastard, whom DuVall describes as "a great guy," the EP will be released on vinyl only, packaged with an extra CD of bonus tracks for good measure. My prediction is that the hottest holiday gift this year will be a record player. At least for me. Mark your lists.
- Broward-Palm Beach New Times Thursday, December 9, 2004


No petulant, open-mic warbler or girly pop tart, the Remnants' smoldering soulstress, Cynthia Duvall, is, ironically, responsible for a major part of the Broward quartet's balls-out attitude. Think of Duvall as the ass-kicking, sass-spewing, rock-star love child Janis and Iggy never had. With one of the hardest-working bands in South Florida, she, along with the rest of the Remnants (guitarist Jim Potts, bassist Dominic Siriani, and drummer Russ Moore), has rattled windows in venues from West Palm to Weston and left crowds panting with rock 'n' roll fever in her wake. Warning: The Remnants are not a subtle band. Check out Duvall on the band's six-song EP or, better yet, catch her belting it out live. You'll be glad you did, if you make it home in one piece. - Broward-Palm Beach New Times 2005-05-12


So, exactly how many cover songs do The Remnants know? Quite a few, actually. OK, a lot; more than 70 - some punk, some garage, and some just plain rock. But that’s not to say The Remnants are a cover band. Five of the six tunes on this disc are originals, which indicates that the four-piece has a deep knowledge of the myriad rock sounds it digs. And they are executed with all the enthusiasm of Axl Rose awaiting a Botox injection. The band’s not just throwing together a few garage riffs; The Remnants have a more pervasive grasp of ‘60s and ‘70s rock aesthetics. There’s as much Jefferson Airplane in these tunes as there is MC5, and it’s evident in the deep, bellowing vocals of Cynthia Duvall. From the explosively raw opener “Short Song” to the mellow, soulful psychedelia of “Mean and Surly,” this band’s record collections comprise more than just a few Nuggets compilations. And, in true Remnants fashion, the disc closes out with a boffo cover of the Pretenders’ “The Wait.” Fortunately, you don’t have to wait to see The Remnants; they get around more than Pete Townshend on the Internet and are probably playing a show right now. Check out www.the-remnants.org. - Jason Budjinski, New Times Broward/Palm Beach, 07.15.04 - New Times Broward/Palm Beach, 07.15.04


They’re loud, they’re rude, and chances are they’re playing another show right this minute.

by T. Marie

The fate of many a rock band can be sealed with a late-night skim through Rag magazine’s classified ads. Musicians have answered strange requests for “guitarist with no girl problems” or “singer with serious attitude — and transportation.” The art of these appeals can sometimes get downright poetic. The number of band bios starting with an answered ad can make it seem like rock ’n’ roll protocol, but sometimes a band manages to break the cycle and actually form elsewhere — like on a notorious sexploitation/horror director’s final film.

Broward County rock ’n’ roll outfit The Remnants proves that life can be cinematic. Singer Cynthia DuVall, drummer Russell Moore, guitarist Jim Potts and bassist Dominic Sirianni offer female-fronted soulful punk rock.

Before forming The Remnants, the bandmates knew each other from other projects, a sort of six degrees of The Remnants, hold the Bacon. Then, in 2002, DuVall got the chance to be in Doris Wishman’s film Each Time I Kill. “A friend of mine — Linnea Quigley, who is in a lot of B horror films — got me a part in the film,” DuVall recalls. “And they were looking for a band, so I got The Pin-Ups.” Wishman cast The Pin-Ups in the role of “party band.” (Each Time I Kill would be the last film from the director best-known for her cinematic masterpieces Diary of a Nudist, A Night To Dismember and Satan Was a Lady before she died of cancer during production.)

Without a drummer, The Pin-Ups found Moore, and in what sounds like a tale out of a rock ’n’ roll boot camp, he says, “It was great. I showed up for rehearsal and learned like 50 songs in four hours.”

But the future of The Pin-Ups ended up on the cutting room floor, so Sirianni and Potts, being the “remnants” of that band, formed a new group with DuVall and Moore. “We all knew each other and hated each other,” Potts says, “and figured it would be the perfect rock ’n’ roll — ”

“Disaster,” DuVall finishes.

Fast-forward to May 7, 2004. The Remnants are playing to a handful of people and the bartender at Respectable Street in West Palm Beach. DuVall croons a woman-scorned version of James Brown’s “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World,” adding her own flavor here and there — “ ’Cause it’s a fuckin’ man’s world” — with all the conviction of a woman with mouths to feed waiting on a deadbeat’s check. Her voice has all the swagger of Janis Joplin’s.

Like the band’s sound, DuVall’s look is a little nostalgic with a nod to rock ’n’ roll frivolity. She’s wearing a dress that could pass for Billie Holiday’s prom gown. Jeans peek from the bottom, draping her chunky shoes. The band plays as if the house is packed, and Sirianni jokingly reminds the audience to tip the bartenders, even though most of the people in attendance are in bands playing later on and have heavy fists of drink tickets. With the showmanship of a grown-up Shirley Temple, DuVall shakes her redheaded bob and tells him, “Shut the fuck up,” and the band plays on.

As a quartet of technically skilled musicians with an obsessive list of cover songs — they’re now up to 70, plus 20 originals — The Remnants could easily get lost in the sea of other bands covering tunes at the Elbo Room or any other cabana bar on any given night. But besides the “no Jimmy Buffett” policy, The Remnants’ youthful energy — all members except Jim are 26 — and communal, all-for-one spirit set them apart from many of their fellow bands on the South Florida music scene.

With the exception of DuVall, The Remnants have the perspective of sobriety going for them, though they don’t want that to be their defining quality. “Basically we encourage her to drink all that we would drink,” Moore says.

They have also gained the reputation of a band that just won’t say no, often playing gigs every night of the week and even more than one a night. “I think it works for us, because we have somewhat more respect and we’re not playing Thursday in the ghetto for free anymore,” Sirianni says. Of course, it all depends on one’s opinion of what makes up the ghetto; the band regularly plays Churchill’s Pub in Miami.

Being up for anything can result in some interesting gigs. “We played a birthday party at someone’s house in this really upscale neighborhood in Broward,” Potts recalls. “They set us up in the back patio, poolside, where it was really cold, and we played The Beatles and Lenny Kravitz.” They once played a 2 a.m. slot with naked mud wrestlers. They also performed at a Christmas show with Blowfly and soul legend Andre Williams. The Remnants played as the latter’s backing band following a grueling preshow rehearsal with the tipsy Williams conducting the band, a KFC chicken wing firmly in hand. DuVall also got to sing a duet with Blowfly, whom the band knew from practicing at the same space before the original dirty rapper was 86ed for questionable odor.

Sirian - City Link - 6.23.04


SOUND CHECK / Have band, will travel

The Remnants will play anywhere, anytime, for anybody. Because they can.

BY TOM BOWKER


If Saturday nights are for fighting, then Friday nights at the Titanic Brewery in Coral Gables are for sitting. The well-fed yuppies and University of Miami graduate students who populate the just-off-campus bar/restaurant wouldn't get up from their beer mugs and chicken wing buckets for anything more than a bathroom break if a bomb went off. Certainly, rocking out to one of the bands that play the railed-in mini-stage wouldn't be worth risking indigestion, no matter how good it might be.

Tonight, Hallandale maximum rock and soul band the Remnants are working the sedentary Titanic crowd like Jack La Lanne on a crank bender. It's a homecoming of sorts for singer Cynthia Duvall, who attended UM's school of music for two years before her financial aid ran out. ''It's amazing to be so close to someplace I owe so much money to,'' she marvels with a twinkle in her eye before launching into the band's opening rave-up, ``The Short Song.''

''Yeaaaa!'' Duvall screams la Tina Turner. The patrons in the crowd look up from their consumables. They can't quite adjust to hearing a throaty, soulful, joyful noise coming from a pale, redheaded vixen with model looks. Duvall then changes gears and begins channeling Aretha Franklin: ``I wanna kiss you / All over, yea!''

Confusing the matter further is the Stones-meets-Faces riffage churned out by her boyfriend, guitarist Jimmy Potts. Drummer Russ Moore and bassist Dominic Siriani smash the song into overdrive, egging Duvall on toward vocal gymnastics best not tried at home. After Potts answers Duvall's ''I wanna give you everything I got'' with a blistering, 15-second guitar solo, the room takes on the feel of the early '80s ''I want my MTV'' print ads; you remember, the ones with the windswept MTV viewer getting his mind blown in the easy chair.

Sensing that they are overloading the synapses of their feasting listeners, the Remnants take it down a few notches and leaven their rave-ups with Sly Stone and James Brown covers. By the end of the night, they've transformed into an all-purpose bar band who play to -- rather than over -- their audience.

''We have 70 to 80 songs that we can play at any time to custom tailor our set to the club, '' Potts explains after the set, in front of the Titanic. ''It's like being a whore,'' Duvall chimes in. ``You do what you think they're gonna want -- even if it's disgusting.''

Whorish? Maybe. In any case, the Remnants get around more than any local band in recent memory. In just 18 months of existence, they have played over 150 shows at a laundry list of clubs between South Dade and West Palm Beach: Alligator Alley, the Factory, Respectable Street, Broadway Billiards, Churchill's, Señor Frog's, and I/O, to name just a few. ''There are lots of places to play in South Florida!'' Siriani proclaims.

Duvall rolls her eyes. ''Dominic never carries a calendar with him,'' she says, ''so he keeps booking shows.'' Potts chimes in: ``Yeah, we played the Factory [in Fort Lauderdale] and the Surf Café in Boca [in the same night].''

Judging from The Remnants' participation in the lowest form of local gig, the Sunday afternoon battle of the bands at Churchill's, they're as choosy as a West Virginia dentist: Bring 'em on, as long as they have teeth. Still, the Remnants took on the task with gusto. ''We dressed in plastic armor and breastplates,'' Moore laughs. ``Dominic was so hopped up on Red Bull that he was challenging other bands with plastic swords. By the end of the night, the bar cut him off caffeine!''

As if on cue, an extremely drunk, middle-age Surfer Joe stumbles out of the Titanic and begins showering the band with equal parts praise and spittle. ``You guys were great, man! See right here, where that Mark Light Stadium is? That used to be a green field all the way across. You know who I saw there? Janis Joplin! That was 1970!''

Duvall smiles, because she knows: Given even a day's notice, the Remnants would have been there. Probably to open, so they could make their other gig.
- Street Magazine - 6.18.04


In a sea of unsigned local talent, self-promotion is everything. Learn a lesson from the Remnants, who describe themselves as a "generic rock quartet out of North Miami offering up another sad rehash of three-chord rock and roll à la the Rolling Stones." Self-deprecation aside, the band is actually a soulful mix of Johnny Thunders-style rock and roll fronted by a heady, goosebump-inducing female singer. With vocals as soothing as Otis Redding's "Cigarettes and Coffee" and as tongue-in-cheek as Chrissie Hynde, the group has emerged from the mass of bar bands to offer up a healthy dose of memorable music. -- Terra Sullivan
- Miami New Times - 6.17.04


Discography

Remnants - Remnants cd-ep (2003)
Remnants - A Few Evenings With the Bastard vinyl only - 10" (2006)

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Every day is Christmas for us!!

Perhaps you don't like Rock and Roll? In that case, please go somewhere else and listen to songs about being in pussy jail or something.