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The best kept secret in music


"Impeccably crafted California pop."

Beach Boys-obsessed local popsters Tripsitter return with their second disc, a sunny, light collection of layered pop tunes befitting its title. Brothers Jeff and Jon Celentano write mostly catchy songs in the vein of '60s and '70s California pop, and while their sound is derivative, it's impeccably crafted and worth a listen if you need something to wash down that Smile reissue with. - Las Vegas Weekly- Josh Bell

""...a slice of pure pop majesty..""

By its very definition, "pop music" means "that which is currently popular among the listening demographic," particularly teenagers with Mom and Dad's disposable income at the ready. When talking to a true fan of music both past and present, however, the term means something altogether different. It calls to mind the sterling, mini-symphonies of such luminaries as the Beatles, the Beach Boys, R.E.M. and a deluge of other bands who set the template for this genre back in the '60s.

California Son, by local quintet Tripsitter, is unabashedly pop in every sense of the word, and makes no apologies for being utterly anachronistic in the modern age of plastic-fantastic sampled pap. It's also simply stunning to find a release by a local act that doesn't come across as gauche and could easily stand up to the quality and scrutiny of a band from any top regional scene.

The Las Vegas group's love for the majesty of Brian Wilson and Lennon and McCartney is evident from the first press of the play button. The 13-track disc's "Intro" offers stellar, five-part vocal harmonies that set the stage for the band's core sound. "Let Me Know You" is a slice of pure pop majesty that sounds like a long lost outtake from Rubber Soul or Revolver. Driving piano lines reminiscent of the Fab Four's "Drive My Car" propel a sweetly ascending chorus melody. The bouncy title track adds a pinch of minor-key melancholy, recalling the piano pop of Elton John or Ben Folds. For an independent local release, the quality of the production is surprisingly lustrous, with the densely packed harmonies dominating the mix.

Criticism can only be leveled at the fact that the guitars could use a bit of a kick in the ass. The songwriting of vocalist/keyboardist Jeff Celentano and vocalist/bassist Jon Celentano displays all the hallmarks of their heroes without coming off as mere pastiche.

- AARON ARCHER-Las Vegas City Life

""Freshest sounds you'll hear these days""

There is a new wave of sound hitting the shores of the music world and Tripsitter is riding that swell on the coolest surfboard in the lineup. Their second CD, “California Son” is a fascinating amalgam of sounds; from harmonies as deep as the Pacific Ocean to guitar that will rip into you, then cool you off better than the afternoon trade winds. There is no doubt of Tripsitter’s influences and band leaders and vocalists Jon and Jeff Celentano are unapologetic. Sure, Brian Wilson’s harmonies pervade, and Ben Folds’ piano attacks ring on this disc, but what they have done is create something completely their own, while still honoring the greats of the past.
Songs on the disc vary in sound and feel. From the lush harmonies of the title track, the inspired rock of “On and On,” to circus side-show sound and humor of “Positively Thomas,” Tripsitter presents a Yin and Yang of music. Ever revolving and evolving, completely balanced, one song gaining strength from the next.

Tripsitter is one of the furthest things out there from modern day cookie-cutter excuses for rock and roll. They have employed the novel approach of taking modern music in a completely new direction; by simply honoring the past, shaping it in their own original mold and giving birth to some of the freshest sounds you’ll hear these days.
- Christopher Wilkins - College Web Magazine

"pint-sized symphonies"

Tripsitter's Jeff and Jon Celentano have pitched their tent between 10cc and Gerry Rafferty, with the High Llamas and Grant Lee Phillips, and for their sake I sure hope someone notices. These times aren't particularly friendly to Tripsitter's brand of 1960's and 70's styled pop, the successes of Ben Folds and John Mayer notwithstanding, and while I can imagine talking Steely Dan with these fellows until Jimmy Carter comes home, I can also imagine a crowd of emo brats talking over their entire set. The music tips the odds in their favor. "California Son" is one of the best-produced records I've ever heard come out of a Vegas band. The songs are layered with smooth harmonies and have backgrounds deeper than the Pacific; these are not so much pop songs as pint-sized symphonies, rich with color and emotion. The Celentano's obviously adore Brian Wilson-and they do well by him, perhaps too well. None of this matters, however, when you're deep in "California Son". The record quite literally speaks for itself; it is exactly what it seems to be. If Tripsitter isn't to become a Big Thing, it's only because popular music today is too damn small. - Geoff Carter- Las Vegas Weekly

"Clever Lyrics, Swelling Harmonies"

One of the year's surprises is the debut offering by the Las Vegas based band, Tripsitter. The band's release, "Tripsitter", embraces the listener with cascades of dazzling instrumental flourishes, clever lyrics and swelling harmonies bringing to mind The Beach Boys, The Association, and The Zombies with a generous dash of Ben Folds Five and Jellyfish to keep it current. Smart songwriting earmarked by Jeff Celentano's solid vocals and robust piano playing make Tripsitter a real treat. Dial up ''California Son'' and ''Transformation'' for a peek at this band's brand of aural magic. The album's standout track, the drop dead gorgeous ''Last September'', boasts a killer hook that refuses to leave your cranium. A secret hidden track, a faithful cover of Brian Wilson's solo nugget, ''Love and Mercy'' rounds out this promising new release. - Ken Sharp - The Rock Report

"Stellar Harmonies"

Try to picture mid-seventies Beach Boys influenced tunes as sung by Gerry Rafferty and you'll get a pretty good idea of the sound of this Vegas band. Their harmonies are among the most stellar you will ever hear! They played the International Pop Overthrow show and floored everyone with their vocals. Songwriter Jeff Celentano was the man behind 2003's IPO shows in Las Vegas! Thank you, Jeff!
- David Bash - Founder International Pop Overthrow

"Best Band In Vegas"

After I saw Tripsitter (see review below) I gave this CD a listen. I loved everything I heard on it. The arrangements were fantastic. Admittedly, this is not the same band that I saw on stage. This record is will compliment any part of your day, while their on stage performance will get you ready for a night on the town. Your adrenaline may never come down after the show. Simply just an amazing and very multi-faceted band.
Show Review - I've been a huge Brian Wilson fan all my life, so when I heard there was a local band in Vegas inspired by him, I had to check it out. I came in with some reservations about it. Who knows what hype to believe these days. This time, the hype was TRUE! They were playing at the Palms Hotel on a night called "Wired" showcasing original bands. They opened the show with their guitarist pulling off one of the best Dick Dale intros I have ever heard, then busted into one of their original tunes. Their two singers (who I have found out are brothers) are equally fine with their vocals. The thing is, everyone in this band sings. Their harmonies ARE worthy of Brian Wilson. And with a front man who literally attacks the piano (a kick-ass piano at that) with a vengeance, while never losing anything in his vocals. The lead guitarist is like Stevie Ray Vaughn reincarnated. Their rhythm guitarist had a fabulous voice and was way more than just filler on stage. He rocked out to every song like he was the front man. And I have to say I loved their drummer. It was like taking Ringo Starr and mating him with Stewart Copeland with delightful results. The songs were great from the lyrics to the arrangements, and their overall on-stage presence was fantastic. I'd highly recommend this band to ANYONE!
- Brian Gary

"Beach Boys-Inspired Orchestral and Harmony Flourishes"

The self-titled EP by Tripsitter. Fans of the Beach Boys will want to snap this disc up. "Wavestrumental" is a very appealing instrumental track, and "California Son" is an excellent homage to Brian Wilson. Tripsitter nails the Beach Boys-inspired orchestral and harmony flourishes on the other tracks. Please guys, treat us to a full-length disc the next time! - Eric Sorensen -

""Simply perfect pop...""

If I had my way, the Beach Boys would have retired in oh, say, 1974, and instead of foisting 15 Big Ones on an unsuspecting public, would have just soaked up some rays, done some surfing, and then once they'd all unwound a little bit, they could've put out an album like California Son, which is the finest, sunniest, most California sounding CD I've heard in a long, long time. Listening to this album brought back powerful memories of the West coast, with all the easy, laid-back effervescence that living in the Sunshine State evokes. Tripsitter have perfectly captured the good vibrations of the California Mythos, and personally have more than a few resemblances to the Beach Boys: a five-piece band, containing two brothers, and some simpatico friends who obviously share a love of harmony singing, they write their own music, play their own instruments, and weave a spell-binding magic in their music. They're not shy of acknowledging their progenitors either: they incorporate an acappella "Intro" and "Outro" which opens and closes the album in "Our Prayer"-like manner, or interpolate parts of "When I Grow Up To Be A Man" into the title track; or the "'Til I Die" vibes found on the instrumental "Wavestrumental" (love the title); or by doing their own vocal sampling of the harmony tag of "Be Here In The Morning" on "Last September." But these artists aren't Beach Boys clones - they're far more relaxed, and their influences also seemingly incorporate The Eagles, The Beatles, and The Carpenters, but not in overt ways - the album just breathes out a sweet, peaceful feeling, and alternately incorporates jazz, blues, or folk influences with remarkable fluidity. Other songs that trip my wires: "Transformation", "On and On", and the post-"Outro" benediction "Just A Little". Simply perfect pop. Check this album out at CDBaby, Tower Records, and be sure to stop by their website and say hi. Meanwhile, I'm going to play this disc over again and hope they have plans to catch a second wave of sweet, California music. - Bret


California Son-2004
Tripsitter - 2003


Feeling a bit camera shy


Trispitter was formed in 2003 by brothers Jon and Jeff Celentano. They began writing their own music as a way to break out of the lounge lizard and cover band world of their newly adopted home of Las Vegas. Both had spent time on the cocktail/private party circuit and realized there was more to be had from a career in music than just playing for tourists and gambling addicts at 2am on a Wednesday. Thus Tripsitter was born.

The band released their self-titled debut EP in 2003 and quickly garnered critical praise. Comparisons to the Beach Boys, Beatles, Queen and Ben Folds Five were common among fans and critics. The disc’s signature sound was full-on Beach Boys style harmony wedded to sparkly Brit-Pop guitars and driving piano. The Las Vegas Weekly said of “Tripsitter”, 'If Tripsitter isn't to become a Big Thing, it's only because popular music today is too damn small.' Positive reviews in the Las Vegas City Life, College Web Magazine and other publications followed. Propelled by Jeff and Jon’s powerfully emotive singing and creative vision the group was ready to take to the stage, bringing their five-part harmonies and quirky, well crafted songs to live audiences.

Tripsitter’s debut performance was at the legendary Knitting Factory in Hollywood, Ca. for the International Pop Overthrow Festival. Says I.P.O. founder David Bash: “Tripsitter’s songs and harmonies are among the best you’ll hear.” The group became a fan favorite at the two-week pop music fest and continue to be a part of I.P.O. every summer.

Tripsitter continued to perform around California and Las Vegas, racking up appearances at the Whisky A Go-Go, the House of Blues, the Palms Resort, the Kat Klub and the Coach House where they opened for (and floored) the Little River Band. But it was their set opening for rock legends America that gave Tripsitter an entre’ into rarified company.

At that particular show the band met Billy Hinsche, a former touring and recording member of the Beach Boys. Hinshce had been with the Beach Boys for 20 plus years and immediately grasped the concept and roots of Tripsitter’s sound. He was so taken by the band’s performance and CD that he invited them to perform for the Beach Boys themselves when the state of California declared the Beach Boys childhood home a state landmark. Jon remembers: “I couldn’t breathe when I looked down and saw Brian Wilson in the first row. It was total shock because I was singing the part he originally sang!”

Hinsche was so impressed by Tripsitter that he eventually recruited the band to back up founding Beach Boy Al Jardine. It was an especially huge thrill and honor for Jeff, a life long Beach Boys fan. “It was so great. I was completely blown away by that first show.” In fact, Tripsitter still performs with Al Jardine for special appearances in Las Vegas and across the country.

Tripsitter’s second release, California Son came out in 2005. The new disc presented a more diverse sounding group of songs, from the ethereal “Divine” to the boy-meets-girl, boy-can’t-seal-the-deal lament of “Banana Split” to the title track, an homage to pop genius Brian Wilson. The core of it all, though, remains the stellar vocals and playing of the Celentano brothers and top flight musicianship of Matt Bennett (drums/vocals), Rusty Petersen (guitar/vocals) and Jared Dalley (guitars). California Son continues the string of glowing reviews, this time on a larger scale; California Son made the year-end top ten lists of several publications, including The Big Takeover, Goldmine and the Decatur (Ill.) Herald-Review.

Lately Tripsitter has been dividing their time between live performances and studio sessions. The band recently finished versions of George Harrison’s classic “Wah-Wah” and U2’s “Staring at the Sun”. Both tracks are slated to appear on tribute albums to Harrison and U2, respectively.

Tripsitter is currently at work writing songs for their next CD. The band is focused, as always, on creating impeccably crafted songs that feature their trademark vocal sound and will also include several sonic surprises. “It’s about finding new ways to tell stories and express ourselves”, says Jon. “Whether we do it vocally or with the instruments, it’s always about coming up with new ways to do things.”

Jeff adds, “We’re really into bridging the gap between our heroes like the Beach Boys, Beatles and Pink Floyd and our new favorites like Neil Finn, Ben Folds and others. The next CD is going to be something really special. We’re very excited about a lot of the new material and we can’t wait to unleash it on an unsuspecting public.”