Hotline to the Underground Mr. Curt and Friends + Going Track by Track with The Walkoffs

Essays by Joe Viglione

From the Kids to the Real Kids to Mr. Curt solo on Euphoria Records, the Mr. Curt catalog of music is a long and important, historic part of the New England Rock and Roll Story. His bands Pastiche and The Exis made their mark from the 1970s to the 1990s if my memory serves and somehow a couple more decades developed to the year 2021, a half a century, and welcome to his newest CD, Kernels for the Birds.

Dave Godbey from Fox Pass co-writes the first minute and two seconds entitled “In a Haze.” It’s the intro to a collection of Space Age Bachelor Pad music meets the avant-garde side of the New Wave, Track two is about breeding heroes and includes a hypnotic mantra if you will, “Ripped,Wrecked and Excited” would raise the eyebrows of Roxy Music’s Eno and Velvet Underground’s John Cale. There are a number of college radio stations which should embrace this, most notably the Record Hospital over at WHRB, Harvard and WZBC Newton, bringing us truly back to the future. I’m surprised Curt didn’t invite members of Wet Pizza https://soundcloud.com/user-785838058 and Free Pizza https://soundcloud.com/bufurecords/free-pizza-boston-ma to join in on his two minute and forty-six second “Where’s the Pizza?” It’s innovative enough to have three bands clashing in stereo. George Harrison’s “The Inner Light” (flip of Lady Madonna 45 and on Past Masters and the Love album from the Beatles.) With Andy Hollinger on impressionistic guitars and Ed Morreau on assorted keys/fx, it’s actually a quite intriguing look into Lennon’s pop jolt that Beatles fans did not expect.

“Soups on the Table,” “Day Lilly” and “First is the New Last” segue into each other like a trilogy while Curt’s track on the tribute to the late Asa Brebner (of Robin Lane and the Chartbusters/Modern Lovers) album I Am Not Gone, similarly titled “He Is Not Gone” is included here. It’s very well done.

Also included is an exotic rendition of Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny,” recorded for the maestro’s Facebook SUNNY page. Bobby would have been very proud to hear such a different version of his popular song, one of the top 100 songs of the 20th Century for BMI. “A Monk in a Ninja Suit,” “Gaslighting,” “Wannabees (that never were) right up to “The Last Night on the River” are sixteen tracks that are entertaining, inviting and in some cases make your head spin. Let Kernels for the Birds be your secret treat to surprise people with at parties.

GOING TRACK BY TRACK Joe Viglione talks to The Walk Offs about Sorry For Nothing CD

How did Sorry for Nothing come about?

The band is

Rob Hankosky – Guitars, vocals

Frank Lewis – Drums, vocals

Dave Guerrero – Guitars, vocals

Nate Jaworski – Bass (joined band after the studio)

Fred Fechter – Bass in the studio

How did Sorry for Nothing come about?

By accident really. 5 of the 6 songs were written about a year before we recorded them. Pt. Blank was written years ago. We had a mid-west tour planned in July 2020 that was canceled because of Covid. The money we had saved for the tour we used to go to the studio. We went to Nexus Studios which is owned and run by Jason Hatch, which was a real treat for a band like ours.

As for the title, Dave came up with the name “Sorry For Nothing”. We are all veteran musicians and have been in a lot of different bands. Frank and I have been playing together for 25 years. Our blood & sweat are scattered on stages all over Texas . Lots of shenanigan’s between us and we are “Sorry For Nothing”.

Tell our readers a bit about the inspiration for each song and how the songs developed in the studio

All the songs were well rehearsed before we got to the studio. We had a bass player that had to move for grad school who couldn’t make the studio so we asked our good friend Fred Fechter who played some guitar on our first release “Ready To Roll” to come play bass in the studio. He did a great job pretty much on the spot.

1. Breaking Even – It a song about always trying to get ahead really, playing catch up. You know the old saying, “lets at least try to break even”. The first line “I woke up from a bad dream, screaming like I do” was actually written in the 3rd person, my wife. The rest is a view of life and asking, c’mon life, let us at least break even.

2. Lonely In Love – This is about being in love with someone you’ve been with for a long time. I’ve been with my wife, Sue now for 27 years and I’m still in love with her. Its actually an odd love poem to her stating that we are together which makes us lonely to the rest of the world but fuck it because we are in love. The lyrics kinda came in parts. The music took a while to fit. Frank does some really cool drum parts here.

3. Looking For Something – I don’t like to admit it but its really about being tired of waking up with a hangover. The lyrics pretty much speak for themselves. .

“Can you face it sober, friend foe or lover, Or do you have to look back over your shoulder.

When you see the world thru those drunken eyes, Being sober can make you cry”.

“I don’t remember saying sorry for nothing, I must of been drunk & looking for something”.

There’s really no hidden meaning in this one. Dave did a great job on the solo and riffs throughout the song. Fred’s walk ups on the bass are spot on.

4. Moving Forward – This song was a complete accident. This was just some warm up riffs when we would start practice that turned into one of my favorites on the cd. One day I put some meaningful lyrics to it and boom we have a song. Kinda my credo, “Moving Forward” The acoustic was almost left off but thank god sound reasoning prevailed!

5. Gotta Get Up – Basically fuck the media that portrays that life sucks and you have no chance at a good life. I hate social media in regards to how all consuming it has become. Everyone goes down the rabbit hole & not just kids. Hopefully this song will give someone besides me hope if things are drifting a little off course in your life. I give The Replacements a nod here, ” Radio used to blast our favorite songs, left of the dial was never wrong”.

6. Pt Blank, Tx – This one was actually written for a side project band Johnny Malingo. We get together every now and then & play covers. We were going to play a backyard party, and I wanted an original in the set. My friend Todd was a claims adjustor and had to go inspect a property in Pt. Blank, Tx that burned and an apparent suicide. Turns out a guys set his trailer on fire and his best friend went to try and save him and they both died. A real tragedy. Again the band did a great job in the studio on this one. Tough one to sing sometimes.

How are you working your recent release on the web?

We are on OTTO RECORDS! and they have us on their Bandcamp site. I really like Bandcamp. I find a lot of cool music and bands from all over the world there. I also like it because you can support the bands by buying their music and the bands get most of the money. We had the cd’s made thru CD Baby and they put us on all the streaming sites. You can find us on Spotify, Apple, Youtube etc. All that. Probably more I don’t know about.

Also through the dreaded social sites. Facebook, Instagram, a little Twitter. We’ve sent out the cd for review and a couple have come back. I think I met you thru Twitter so I guess its working.

Are you planning club dates in 2021?
Playing live is where its at. I love the anticipation for an upcoming show. I really missed that in 2020. We played back in early April. It was one of those shows, “let’s turn up and blast off”. A lot of frustration from not playing out for a year came out that night. The crowd loved it. We didn’t want to leave the stage. We pulled out all the tricks and covers, which isn’t many. IOU by The Replacements was a barn burner. She’s Drunk All The Time by Tim Timbomb, California Stars by Wilco. I think Nate bought everyone shots!

We have more coming up. Our friends 61 Ghosts are coming to Texas and we have shows planned with them. I think OTTO RECORDS! will have some showcases coming up as well.

Do you have other social media sites along with the Twitter and Facebook?

Yes here are some links:

http://thewalkoffs.bandcamp.com

http://ottorecords.bandcamp.com

http://www.facebook.com/walkoffs

http://www.instagram.com/walkoffs2018

Who did the cover art for SORRY FOR NOTHING?

An artist named Alex Rosas. He caught my eye when he did some Tommy Stinson artwork. Turns out he’s right down the road in Houston. You should really check out his art. Very tasteful and detailed. We all really love it. We are very proud of this cd and we needed a true artist to capture the sounds. Alex did just that. The cover is called The Willie Mo. Willie Mo is a real person and our biggest fan outside of our families. He’s been to more shows than anyone.

Anything you’d like to say to our readers?

Really the bands and venue owners have been struggling for over a year. Get out and support live music and buy the merch. Nobody is getting rich off this but it does help. Especially the venue staff. Hell our cd is cheaper than most beers!

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