Indie supergroup’s debut album arrives in mid April.
By Blurt Staff
This is a very special premiere for us because the music and the artist are so close to the collective BLURT heart: New Jersey indie supergroup East of Venus, which included erstwhile Winter Hours guitarist Michael Carlucci. The gifted songwriter and axeman, you see, passed away this past October, and it hit us particularly hard. (Read editor Fred Mills’ obituary HERE as well as a story he wrote about Carlucci and Winter Hours HERE.)
Also in the band: Glenn Mercer (The Feelies, Wake Ooloo), Stan Demeski (The Feelies, Luna) and Rob Norris (The Bongos). The debut album, Memory Box, is set to drop on April 15 via Omnivore, so please enjoy opening track “Let’s Find a Way”:
The backstory: East of Venus began playing in the mid-20002, displaying such collective influences as Lou Reed, Rolling Stones, Faces, Doors, early Rod Stewart, Dylan, Patti Smith, Television, Gene Clark, and even Fairport Convention. The album includes three unique covers in addition to original material: Red Buckets’ “Jane September,” Tim Hardin’s “Reason to Believe,” and “Citadel” from the Rolling Stones. And of that original material, Carlucci’s track “Faded Pictures” actually began life in 1990 as a Winter Hours song and was performed live by the band for a couple of months just prior to their breakup. It’s a great, lost song that they never got to professionally record – although note that an East of Venus version was added to a various artists Winter Hours tribute CD A Few Uneven Rhymes from several years ago.
The band, in fact, has dedicated this release to his memory: “His spirit will forever live on through the music he created.” Definitely visit the East of Venus Facebook page as there are plenty of choice photos as well as equally choice live material to check out – such as this gorgeous version of Winter Hours’ classic “Hyacinth Girl” performed in NJ in 2013.
R.I.P. Michael Carlucci – you will always be greatly missed, sir.