Monday, June 1, 2009

Pheaturing Sean Kelly From A Fragile Tomorrow


Hi there, welcome to a Monday entry of the Phile, I am your host Jason "Assburger" Peverett. The Phile is a proud sponsor of and So, today I went to the doctor and I was told I am fucked up, just like the economy. Well, I don't have a monologue but the other day I went to Target and I found the best Star Wars toy ever. 

Bloody crazy, right? Okay, let's get on with the history lesson.

The "Triple Tree" gallows is installed at Tyburn, England in time for the execution of John Storey, who is hanged, drawn, and quartered for committing treason. The Triple Tree consists of an equilateral triangle nine feet long on each side, 18 feet off the ground. It can hang as many as 24 prisoners at once, and will remain in place for almost 200 years.
After having received a last-minute reprieve seven months earlier, Mary Dyer is hanged for heresy after returning to Boston. Dyer was a member of the Quakers, a subversive religious sect which had been banned by the Puritan colony under "pain of death."
Gladys Baker gives birth to Norma Jeane Mortenson in Los Angeles.

The Beatles officially release their new album, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", in both mono and stereo versions.
Helen Keller -- America's all-time favorite deaf, dumb, and blind Socialist -- finally dies in Westport, Connecticut at the age of 87.
In just two minutes, Nepal's royal family is nearly exterminated by one of its own. With a selection of machine guns, Crown Prince Dipendra massacres eight relatives, including King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya. He then turns the gun on himself. Even though Dipendra winds up comatose in a hospital bed, a government council crowns him king anyway. The new monarch dies three days later.
The Department of Homeland Security decides that New York has "no national monuments or icons" and anti-terrorism funding is reduced by $83 million. Instead, the money is distributed to fly-over states like Nebraska and Kentucky.

Seventy-eight year old Carl Frederickson (voiced by Ed Asner) has two things to live for after his wife and childhood-adventure-mate Ellie passes away: to save their house from being torn down by construction and to fulfill their life-long dream of moving to the mythic Paradise Falls. He ties thousands of balloons to the house, heads south and teams up with an unlikely friend for an adventure slightly off the agenda. It's Pixar, a studio that makes producing brilliant movies look simple, so right off the bat we expected an adorable, feel-good film with easy laughs and stunning eye-candy graphics. Up goes, well, above and beyond. Especially in the wake of Pixar's charming Wall-E, a movie about a huffy old man who ties balloons to his house doesn't exactly sound like the bar breaker. But if not compelling, the premise is definitely original: Our hero is elderly, and he attempts to use weird science to achieve his goal. In his way is an unwanted passenger, the overly helpful Russell (Jordan Nagai), and more maliciously, vindictive explorer Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer), who has spent decades trying to capture the bird no one believes he saw. Each of them have their own story, and Pixar never sacrifices their character development just for a happy ending. It's why we get so easily emotionally invested in them and the situations that arise. Prepare to cover your mouth in suspense and blink back the tears because the sentiment in Up is unsurprisingly too much to handle. Oh, and you'll want to take Dug the retriever and his high-tech talking collar home with you. I thought I would hate the 3D, but I liked it, but it was unnecessary. And if you think the little kid is fat, wait until you see how big the old guy's head is. In one scene that's clearly not to scale, Pixar completely disregarded proportions when Carl and Russell are trying to climb up into the floating house above them. Oh, CG animation… It's Pixar's own fault that we're so greedy for perfection. The movie is beautiful. See it in theaters. And yes, I will buy it on DVD. I give it a nine out of ten. 

Today's guest is a folk-rock/alternative singer from a band based in Montgomery, New York who played for over 30,000 people at the Papal Youth Rally on April 20, 2008 in Yonkers, New York. Please give a warm welcome to... Sean Kelly from A Fragile Tomorrow.

Me: Hey, Sean, how are you? Welcome to the Phile. So, how are you?

Sean: Thanks! Great to be here. We’re doing well

Me: You're on tour right now, right? Where are you playing? And how is it going?

Sean: As of right now we’re playing pretty much locally, though we toured a bit this past October, playing shows in Georgia and South Carolina. It was a blast and we’re going back on the road soon. We’ll be doing some traveling this coming month too. We’re playing at the Millennium Music Conference in Harrisburg, PA and it’s going to be a great showcase!

Me: Where did the title of the band come from? A Fragile Tomorrow is a pretty good name.

Sean: Why thank you. The name came from a song that our drummer Dominic wrote about 4 or 5 years ago. The tune was called “Fragile Tomorrow” and we never actually played it anywhere but we thought it would be a good name for the band so we stuck with it. Prior to that we were Acoustic Midnight (for all of 5 minutes, it seemed) but that was taken. A Fragile Tomorrow definitely has a deep meaning though; I guess it depends on how each person interprets it.

Me: Fans of the band should be called Fraggles. What do you think?

Sean: That’s a great idea actually! We have a street team called The Frageelays, (it must be Italian) but we’ve never given our fans any type of collective name. Kiss has their Kiss Army and moe. has the moe.rons, so we should have the Fraggles. It totally makes sense, though I’d have to run it by the band in the next meeting. haha

Me: You guys have two amazing CD's out on iTunes. "Beautiful Noise" and "Wishful Thinking". How are the two albums different?

Sean: Well, the current line up of the band is a four piece, and the first album was just a three piece, so that’s one major difference. Song-wise, we definitely matured by the second album, and having a new member sort of re-focused the other three of us in a way. On the “Beautiful Noise” record, we got to expand more as far as trying new things. Malcolm Burn, who produced the album, did an unbelievable job at helping us sculpt our sound in the studio, and he really let his ideas flow on the title track.

Me: Who does most of the songwriting?

Sean: That would be me, Sean Kelly. On the “Beautiful Noise” record I wrote all of them and had help from our bass player Shaun Rhoades on one of them. It sorta just turned out that way. I don’t think anyone had any of me writing all the songs, but it just kind of happened like that. On “Wishful Thinking”, the songs were a collection of songs that had been written since the start of the band three years prior to that, so some of them were written by my brother Dominic, our drummer, and my brother Brendan, our guitar player.

Me: Actually, who is in the band and what are your functions?

Sean: There’s me, Sean, and I’m the lead singer. I play rhythm guitar and various other instruments like mandolin, lap steel, harmonica, and keyboards. Dominic is the drummer, and he sings lead on a few songs and also plays keyboards on occasion. Brendan is the lead guitarist and he doesn’t sing (yet) but in concert he raps, and it’s quite entertaining! Shaun is the bassist and he does background vocals with Dominic and he did most of the keyboards on the latest album.

Me: Where in New York is the band from? Upstate I think, right?

Sean: We’re in Montgomery, NY, which is about an hour and a half upstate from New York City.

Me: You guys have a New Orleans kinda song called "Zydeco Girl" which has the band Continental Drifters playing with you. Is that the same New Orleans band that played with the Stones? How did you get them and did you record with them at the same time?

Sean: Not sure if the Continental Drifters ever played with the Stones... The A Fragile Tomorrow/Continental Drifters connection actually started out when I was just a young, star struck fan of theirs. I was seeing Hootie and the Blowfish (my favorite band) in concert and the opener was Susan Cowsill from the Continental Drifters. I saw her selling mer ch after her set and was a nervous wreck but I went over, introduced myself, and we kept in contact ever since. About a year later I met Peter Holsapple from the CDs (again at a Hootie show, he is their keyboard player as well) and we became fast friends. This was all about 4, maybe 5 years ago.
When it came time to do the “Beautiful Noise” album, I wrote the song “Zydeco Girl” as a tribute to New Orleans, and we all knew from the start that wanted to have Peter and Susan play on the song. It just happened that Malcolm Burn had worked with both Susan and Peter in the past, so it worked out that way too. Originally Russ Broussard, the Continental Drifters’ drummer, was supposed to play percussion on the song but it didn’t work out, so it ended up being just Peter and Susan. Due to scheduling and time constraints, Susan recorded her vocals at her home in New Orleans while Peter recorded his accordion part at his home in Durham, NC. It was great for us to have them on the album and for me it was almost a dream come true. They’re such a phenomenal band and wonderful people and they really made the song come alive. Incidentally, we are going to open for the CD’s at a reunion show on May 1st in New Orleans!

Me: You guys look very young according to your pictures. What are the ages of the members? Maybe I am just getting old.

Sean: You are very correct! We’re pretty young. Brendan is 14 years old (though he plays like someone way beyond his years). Dominic and I are both 17, and Shaun R. is 22 years old.

Me: Have you guys opened for anybody cool?

Sean: Sure. We’ve opened for Blues Traveler, which was great, as well as Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, and Y&T. We like to say we opened for the Pope, though actually we played at a youth rally for Pope Benedict when he visited the USA last spring. The crowd was about 20,000 for our set and it was wild. One of the most memorable days for all of us

Me: Okay, Sean, plug anything you'd like. And do you have anything else to tell the readers?

Sean: Please check us out on Myspace as well as our site, afragiletomorrow. com! We’ve got a lot of shows coming up and a nice mailing list that’ll keep you updated when necessary. Oh, and one more, thing… please support independent music!!

Me: Good luck, and hope to see you in concert one day.

Sean: Thanks! We appreciate it.


Thanks to Sean from A Fragile Tomorrow for a great interview. Check out their music on iTunes, kids. Oh, The Continental Drifters did play with the Stones. The Phile will be back on Friday with a member of the band In The Red. So, in the meantime spread the word, not the turd. Now I have to run off and take Logan to Friendly's or somewhere. 

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