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Hamptons Life

Dec 15, 2009 12:31 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

The Glazzies go unplugged in benefit for Guild Hall

Dec 15, 2009 12:31 PM

Sag Harbor’s own rising-star teen rock band, The Glazzies, has begun to attract national attention, with an appearance at the College Music Journal festival in New York in October and a new EP that has attracted the attention of Pete Townsend and Steve Earle.

The band will be the closing act this Saturday night, December 19, at a special benefit for Guild Hall in East Hampton sponsored by Crossroads Music, the North Main Street music store that has been headquarters for the hottest local talent in recent years.

Crossroads Music owner Michael Clark has known many of the members of The Glazzies since their first incarnation in middle school as “Too Busy Being Bored,” which included lead singer Peter Landi, guitarist Forrest Gray and drummer David Horn.

Conner Vorhaus, a classically trained pianist and violinist, has been added to the lineup, along with bass player Gabe Burford, who replaced TBBB’s bass player, Tucker Ruiz, this summer.

“When I first opened the store four years ago, we did a concert in a big field next to Carvel in Bridgehampton. At the time they were in eighth grade,” said Mr. Clark. “I was pretty wowed then by the talent they had.”

Now, the three original band members—Mr. Landi, Mr. Gray and Mr. Horn—are seniors in high school, and they’re all applying to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston next fall.

“We plan to stay in touch and play shows,” said Mr. Landi, as he and the other members of the band took a break from a sound check at a recent performance at Pierson High School in Sag Harbor. “The internet is a huge thing. People can find our music.”

The Glazzies formed in September of 2008 after the breakup of Too Busy Being Bored, with the remaining members of the band playing together for four months before they decided on a new name. “Glazzies” is pronounced with an emphasis on the z sound.

“I was at Forrest’s house and he had a book there—‘A Clockwork Orange,’” said Mr. Landi. “There was a line in it that said ‘look into my glazzies,’ which meant eyes. We threw that name around for a while and it finally stuck.”

Mr. Landi describes the Glazzies’ music as influenced by classic rock, with more emphasis on dynamics than Too Busy Being Bored’s punk-emo vibe.

“I didn’t play guitar then. We were really young and had different influences then. My Chemical Romance influenced me to start singing. I said ‘I kinda look like their lead singer; maybe I could do it,” said Mr. Landi. “Now I listen to Kings of Leon, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana. It’s more of a mature sound.”

“It’s not just kids yelling into the microphone,” said Mr. Vorhaus.

“Darn, Conner. I didn’t know you felt that way,” Mr. Landi chided.

This past summer, the band recorded a four-track EP, “Scratch Trax,” at Bulldog Studios in Noyac. The EP, officially released in late October, includes a track called “Coming Clean,” with lyrics written by poet Jim Carroll for Forrest Gray’s father, the late Spalding Gray. Mr. Carroll, who died in September, told the band members that he showed the track to Pete Townsend and Steve Earle this summer and it was met with positive reviews.

“It was surprising to hear that feedback from musicians I admire,” said Mr. Landi, who said that he was equally surprised that The New York Post’s Page 6 picked up on the story and said that record labels will now be scrambling to sign the young band.

“I hope so, but until it happens, you just kinda take it in one ear and out the other,” he said.

Right now, the band is preparing for the more intimate setting of an acoustic show at Guild Hall—a format that they’ve experimented with at gigs at Bay Burger and Blue Sky Lounge in Sag Harbor earlier this year.

The acoustic shows give the band’s songwriting a chance to shine, and gives Mr. Vorhaus, whose electric violin has been malfunctioning lately, a chance to augment the music.

“When we play acoustic, the violin is involved in every song,” said Mr. Landi.

“Every vocal is crystal clear,” said Mr. Burford.

“I think acoustic is more beneficial,” said Mr. Landi.

This Saturday’s show at Guild Hall is part of an effort to help the recently renovated venue cover its 2009 operating losses. Guild Hall announced earlier this fall that staffers would be going on unpaid furloughs for a week at Thanksgiving and again between Christmas and New Year’s Day, in an attempt to reduce expenses to cover a projected $100,000 shortfall in the museum and theater’s $3.2 million operating budget.

In addition to The Glazzies, the R&B duo Mamalee Rose and Friends, folk rocker Dan Asselin, crooner Matt Coss, Bob Dylan tribute band The Complete Unknowns, pianist and songwriter Mariann Megna, local teen bands Deep Dish Genesis, Rite of Way, King Tut and the Rubbler Band and The Dylan Carozza Experience, rock band The Third Estate, and local musicians Michael Rusinsky, Doug Rielman, Walter Noller & Paul Gene and Larry Macri will each perform two to three songs on Saturday night.

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