Vincent Gargiulo National Park
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Vincent Gargiulo National Park

Oakland, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | SELF

Oakland, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2016
Band Alternative Art Rock

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Music

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"Rising local rockers Vincent Gargiulo National Park play East Village"

Vincent Gargiulo doesn’t tolerate dead air, especially those moments at concerts between songs when, as he puts it, “The band looks at each other and are like, ‘Uh, what’s next?’”

Gargiulo is driven to fill those minutes to their full capacity for audible and visible entertainment.

His onstage antics include costumes, running off into the audience, moshing and awkwardly grinding. For his upcoming show with his band Vincent Gargiulo National Park at East Village, he cryptically promises to incorporate juggling and “a giant raisin.”

Visuals are almost as important to Gargiulo as song-craft – even though his songs can stand alone. Absurdist, surreal lyrics are set to tight art-pop arrangements delivered by his band’s skilled musicians, who include former Forrest Day members Jasper Skydecker on drums and Jeremy Greene on sax and keyboards.

Gargiulo, who studied filmmaking at San Francisco State, always intended to enhance tracks from VGNP’s debut album with his own music videos.

Take the track “’80s Theme Song.” The video depicts an opening credits theme song to a sitcom not unlike Full House. Gargiulo wears a knit Cosby sweater and awkwardly smiles at the camera. Then, the rest of the cast of cheesy, stereotypical characters are introduced. They include child actors with forced, mischievous grins. Greene’s sax solo reflects an additional cliché of the time.

The song and video go beyond being just farcically amusing. They capture a kitschy nostalgia that millennials crave in a bleak time: “I could feel it in my hands/ it was there for me to grab/ sometimes you get a second chance/ but you botch it up again/ when everything goes wrong/ my ’80s theme song comes on.”

- Sarah Kenoyer - Monterey Weekly


"Vincent Gargiulo National Park Album Review"

The Oakland goof-rock outfit Vincent Gargiulo National Park reminded me a bit of Pavement in the way they call attention to themselves in a jarringly funny way. They are begging for attention yet not so much because they want attention but because they know that’s what many bands with no sense of humor are essentially saying while trying to “sell themselves” if you’ll excuse my awfully unoriginal use of such a colloquialism.

They get it done right away on “The Enchanted Intro” the first tune from their self-titled debut Vincent Gargiulo National Park. They introduce the instruments in the intro calling out the “one pounding snare” and the bass that will “pulsate to hold your hand” and then sing “cuz Hot Sax is forthcoming” which is followed nonetheless by a hot sax solo. This silliness and the sax too makes its way into the subtly hilarious and ‘80s sounding “80's Theme Song,” which along with it comes a pretty hilarious and ‘80s themed video.

And it’s worth noting that singer Vincent Gargiulo formed this troupe of musical nonsense after floundering around for a few years as a filmmaker and soundtrack writer before recruiting bassist Ian Mesey, drummer Jasper Skydecker, saxophonist/keyboardist Jeremy Greene, guitarist Joe Morishige and vocalist Alisa Damaso, the latter whose sweet vocals provide an endearing female aspect of comic relief to many of these songs.

It should be noted though that one shouldn’t lose themselves too much in the oddballness of these songs all the time. “The Sofa That Nobody Wants To See,” however hysterical is musically excellent. Each player here is spot on in their notations and the compositions are spot on. This goes to even further levels of excellence on the B-52’s inspired rocker “Hands In Pockets” and the They Might Be Giants with a bit of funk added tune “Save Laura” and shows up again on the wonderful and beautiful “Ariel Take It Away.”

​With their self-titled debut Vincent Gargiulo National Park have knocked it out of the proverbial park. Though the lyrics are precisely hokey they are also witty. They are much like Talking Heads a band that seems at first glance to be a bit silly. But this is of course a con, a wool over the eyes. These songs are lyrical slapstick in the vein of Charlie Chaplin. Vincent Gargiulo National Park may just be the record many people need in their live for these dark and uncertain times which likely lie ahead - No More Division


Discography

As Vincent Gargiulo National Park:
The Curiosity Shop (2019)
Vincent Gargiulo National Park (2016)

As Vincent Gargiulo:
The Pets (2016)
Tiny Wannabe Comets: Music from the films of Vincent Gargiulo (2015)
Fantastic EP (2014)
Duluth Is Horrible OST (2014)
Roger (2013)
Sweet Maria & Other Songs From KNFR (2012)
The Muppetless Movie (2011)
Chickens In The Shadows Soundtrack (2010)
I Am Jesus Christ (2008)


Photos

Bio

VGNP incorporates funk, pop, rock, and humor into its own brand of theatrical indie rock, often sited as a modern day Talking Heads or B52s. The group puts on a high energy show and are known for their unique comedic music videos. VGNP is from Oakland and is the brainchild of filmmaker/musician Vincent Gargiulo. After several years of soundtrack and solo work, he decided to form a proper rock 'n' roll band before he became too irrelevant. With former Forrest Day players Jeremy Greene & Jasper Skydecker, Giggle Party member Ian Mesey, and singer Alisa Damaso, the 5 piece have put together a eclectic array of songs and have played all over the Bay Area. They have two albums with their latest, The Curiosity Shop, out in Feb. 2019. 



Band Members