Magpie Alarm


Admirers of Red Krayola, The Residents or Pere Ubu and anything to do with avant-garde rock will be happy to see the legendary New York band The Scene Is Now releasing another album. Formed in the early 1980s and caught between the fascinating New York City scenes of no wave and new wave, The Scene Is Now have retained an interesting but secretive aura by releasing few but excellent albums since that period. Originally from Minneapolis, the band nucleus Phil Dray and Chris Nelson were submerged in this New York scene as Dadaist Marxist art-terrorists The Information together with co-founder drummer Jim Sclavunos (Teenage Jesus & The Jerks, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Grinderman). By the mid-'80s, the Minneapolis gang had evolved into a NYC boho outfit called The Scene Is Now. Phil Dray & Chris Nelson always remained as the core with the band having a fluid membership of excellent and sharp musicians in their past such as Tony Maimone (Pere Ubu), Will Rigby (The Db's), Elliot Sharp and Sue Garner, to name a few. The Scene Is Now breeze through difficult genres and create diligent music which is in stark contrast to the commercial new wave and underground bands of their day. Phil Dray is an accomplished author in his own right on the side and together with fellow wordsmith Chris Nelson they create a beautiful awkwardness -- knotty tunes dressed with sharp intellect. Chris Nelson's booming and crackly voice is the perfect topping to their exotic slices. Australian label Lexicon Devil reissued the legendary BarNone albums from the past Burn All Your Records ((LEXDEV 024CD), Total Jive (LEXDEV 025CD) and Tonight We Ride (LEXDEV 026CD) and it is the perfect time to continue with new release Magpie Alarm. The four members that currently comprise the rest of the band are: Greg Peterson (guitar and vocals), Steve Levi (cornet), Ryan Walsh (bass) and Chery Kingan (baritone sax). Tight arrangements and wordy meanderings are still in abundance, making Magpie Alarm another gem from New York's original downtown artists.