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Music Releases (more headlines) 07-15-2014

Adventure Set’s “Gazebo” Takes Listeners From Dance Floor To Nirvana

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Email: august@novo.net
Website: http://www.billsbarboston.com/calendar/
Music: http://adventureset.bandcamp.com/
Boston, MA – July 15, 2014. Mark Pothier and Ken Scales wanted the four songs on their new EP to sound simultaneously classic and new. They were willing to embrace Adventure Set's '80s origins, but wary of lapsing into soft nostalgia. "Gazebo" was born of their deep experience, but it lives in the present, and looks toward the future. To achieve that mix, they turned once more to Grammy Award-winning producer/mixer Stephen George, who worked with Adventure Set on the “Centuries to Go” EP a few years earlier. The three of them holed up at George's Gimme That Sound Studio in upstate New York to build "Gazebo" from a foundation of tracks Pothier had earlier created at his home south of Boston.

The EP launches with "Witness," an urgent blend of computer sounds and human voices that characterizes the entire EP. The first single, "Cellophane," follows, a song about transience in an age of ever-shortening attention spans and personal connections that stick together solely through social media. "Paper Cut" is about sarcasm cutting both ways in a relationship, and ultimately wounding both parties. The last song is the wild card. "Come As You Are" is Adventure Set's first cover song, and an unlikely one at that. But Kurt Cobain's overplayed relic from an overplayed "classic" '90s album is reimagined here as something slightly more sinister, and with a distinct political viewpoint. Besides, Adventure Set interpreting Nirvana? Bowie or Depeche Mode would have been so much more obvious, and maybe less interesting. Perhaps the boldest thing about it is that Adventure Set dares to dismantle the original’s signature bass line.

Adventure Set's back-story also offers surprises. Pothier, for example, is the Business Editor and an occasional writer at The Boston Globe. He also has a longtime journalism affiliation with Harvard University, where he was a Nieman Fellow, Class of 2001. After a long hiatus, he began writing songs about four years ago at the urging of Scales. The two hadn't played together since 1983, when Pothier left the original version of Boston's acclaimed Adventure Set to join the traveling madhouse that was Ministry.

Scales is considered by many in the Boston music scene to be one of the most talented and charismatic singers to have never broken big. With his bands Pastiche – winner of WBCN's legendary first Rock and Roll Rumble – and, later, Adventure Set, he became known as a sophisticated and cool front man, well-bred on eclectic and varied influences, starting with the Bowie-Ferry-David Sylvian school of vocalists. Adventure Set dissolved after several lineup changes, but not before producing a local hit, "Blue is For Boys." Now he and Pothier have made the follow-up. Four of them.

Adventure Set will celebrate the release of "Gazebo" with a show at Bill's Bar in Boston on July 31, 2014.

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