Stranded In Stereo: Band of the Week: Falcon

Monday, September 29, 2008

Band of the Week: Falcon

How many bands form with a finite amount of material? Really, think about it. How many bands form knowing, from the start, what the songs already are, and that there will never be another one? It's a problem tribute bands must often face. But what if the tribute band's songs have never even been heard before?

Enter Falcon.
Falcon is not a tribute band.
Falcon plays all new material.

But... Falcon will never write another song. In fact, they never have.
Let me explain. Every Falcon song has already been written by the band's namesake, Jared Falcon.
However, Mr. Falcon is not in the band.
From 1986-88, Jared Falcon attended Petaluma Junior High in Petaluma, Ca.. He played baritone sax in the orchestra and did not do particularly well in school. However, he was a songwriting prodigy, writing close to a song a day and recording each onto a Fisher Price tape recorder. This practice started in January 1987 and ended, 336 songs later, in February 1988 when Mr. Falcon was institutionalized.

Luckily for us, however, Jared Falcon's classmates from Petaluma Junior High, Shannon Ferguson and Neil Rosen, have those tapes. Both now living in New York City, Neil and Shannon have finally formed the band that will bring these amazing songs to life. Neil (vocals, guitar) and Shannon, who also plays guitars with New York band Longwave (RCA), recruited bassist Christian Bongers (Helmet, Botanica) and drummer Jason Molina, also of Longwave.

"It was easy once they heard the songs," Rosen said of finding band members who hadn't grown up with Jared. "The material really speaks for itself. The other guys were excited about it before I even told them the story behind the songs."

Mr. Falcon entrusted his audio tapes to his friend Shannon who has kept them safe and sound since receiving them. "It took me about two seconds to realize I'd found something special," Ferguson said of his first listen.

Surprisingly contemporary while simultaneously alien, it seems impossible for the material to have come from the mind of a fourteen year old.

"A lot of the songs are about animals. And many don't have what one might conventionally think of as a chorus, or the standard pop structure," Rosen says about the songs, some of which are barely two minutes long, "but once we arrange [the songs] and bring them to life, they really work. Songs this good have a life of their own."

Determined not be too precious with the material, Falcon has taken the fragile recordings of a boy with an acoustic guitar and transformed them into fully realized, often epic arrangements. Falcon has used these songs to build a strong fan base in New York City. Their live show has brought them to New York clubs like The Mercury Lounge, Pianos and Luna Lounge. They have also toured Scandinavia, played in London and have had Entertainment Weekly call the songs "marvelously dreamy."

Download: "Q of T" [mp3] // [Buy Here]

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