Posts Tagged ‘Stardust Birthday Party’

Stardust Birthday Party is about human evolution. Specifically, one humans evolution: mine, Ron Gallo. That’s the name my parents gave me. At one point, I was a very lost mid-twenties person living in Philadelphia, in a relationship with someone struggling with mental health issues and crippling heroin addiction. I was asleep. I didn’t know how to handle my life. I was also writing songs for Heavy Meta – my “frustrated with humanity” album. I laugh about it all now, but at the time it all felt like an absolute nightmare. It was the perfect doorway to look inside the place I’d been avoiding forever: myself.

Stardust Birthday Party is about what is happening underneath all of this life stuff. My path inward. The details of my path are pointless because everyone’s path is different. It is about me sitting with myself for the first time and confronting the big question “WHAT AM I, REALLY?” It’s about the love and compassion for all things that enters when you find out you are nothing and everything. I think at one point I wanted to change the world, but now I know I can only change myself, or rather just strip away everything that is not me to reveal the only thing that’s ever been there. And that’s what this album is about, it’s me dancing while destroying the person I thought I was, and hopefully forever.

In the liner notes of John Coltrane’s album A Love Supreme (which we pay tribute to on this album) he wrote: “During the year 1957, I experienced, by the grace of God, a spiritual awakening which was to lead me to a richer, fuller, more productive life. At that time, in gratitude, I humbly asked to be given the means and privilege to make others happy through music.” That’s it. That is the pure essence of creativity. Someone embodying what they have realized about themselves and the world that surrounds them. That is why this album exists. Thank you for letting me share this with you. Ron Gallo.

Ron Gallo’s  debut LP Heavy Meta was released toward the very beginning of 2017, making it easy to forget that its opening cut, “Young Lady, You’re Scaring Me” was one of the most electrifying songs of the year. Gallo combines balls-to-the-wall garage psych with the kind of social anger and biting snark that keeps getting him compared to a young Bob Dylan (the voluminous ‘fro helps too.) The bitter humor of “Why Do You Have Kids?” and “All the Punks Are Domesticated” show there’re some real brains behind all the fuzzed-out brawn, while the stellar stand-alone singles he released last month (“Temporary Slave” “Sorry Not Everybody Is You”), have us hopeful he’s not slowing down anytime soon. it’s a classic album.

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Stardust Birthday Party

Leaving his well-mannered past as a roots rocker behind, Ron Gallo showed off a lean-and-mean sound and a lyrical style full of snarky wit on 2017’s Heavy Meta, and he’s dug in deeper with his second album from his eponymous band. 2018’s Stardust Birthday Party is dominated by no-frills melodies rooted in Gallo’s sharp, choppy guitar figures and the taut, efficient rhythms of bassist Joe Bisirri and drummer Dylan Sevey, which isn’t that far off from the formula on Heavy Meta. But this time out, the angles in these songs are a good deal sharper, and there’s a willful eccentricity to the keyboard overdubs and an eagerness to mess with the vocal and instrumental sounds that makes this album sound less organic and more exploratory than the debut. And if the thank yous to Alan Watts, Adyashanti, Eckhart Tolle, and J. Krishnamurti in the liner notes didn’t tip you off,

Stardust Birthday Party finds Gallo examining his own neuroses and looking for spiritual and philosophical truths as he bashes away at his electric guitar. While Gallo clearly isn’t above letting the funny side of his journey show on occasion, the tone of Stardust Birthday Party is ultimately serious and often urgent, and Gallo sounds ferocious as he charges through numbers like “Do You Love Your Company?” and “Party Tumor.” Unlike most musicians who are looking for the answers to life’s larger questions, Gallo isn’t interested in navel gazing so much as breaking through to the other side in the here and now, and while not everything he has to say sounds like he knows where he’s headed, he makes the search sound vital and compelling. Stardust Birthday Party is not always what one would have expected from Ron Gallo on the basis of his previous work, and for the most part that works in its favor; this is passionate and exciting music, thoughtful but never staid, and it shows Gallo to be an artist with some surprises up his sleeve.

‘Stardust Birthday Party,’ available October 5th

Garage-punk raconteur Ron Gallo has shared the second single from his forthcoming album Stardust Birthday Party, due out October. 5th via New West. “Always Elsewhere” is an oddball odyssey of self-discovery: “Talking, talking / Never listening,” Gallo sings over post-punk guitar chromatics.”Always elsewhere / searching, searching.” In the song’s bridge, he launches into a verbose, new-age spiritual tirade, proclaiming that the meaning of life “is just to be alive.”

The songs on Stardust Birthday Party emerged from a period of soul-searching for Gallo. He describes the album as a “spiritual 180” from his wonderful debut album, Heavy Meta. In early 2018, following the hectic dissolution of a relationship, he booked a trip to California for a silent meditation retreat, where he found a path towards inner enlightenment. The album “is about human evolution,” Gallo said. “Specifically, one humans evolution: mine, Ron Gallo … It’s me dancing while destroying the person I thought I was, and hopefully forever.”

The video for “Always Elsewhere” makes his journey of self-discovery literal. It revolves around Gallo walking across the country and through various surreal set-pieces with a box labeled “SELF,” and features the sort of artfully odd imagery one would expect from him.

Gallo will be touring in support of Stardust Birthday Party for the rest of the year.

From the new album ‘Stardust Birthday Party,’ available October 5th.

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Ron Gallo is delightfully hard to figure out. He takes the free-spirited, anti-capitalist ethos of 60s rock and mixes it with what the Black Keys think they sound like ,His lyrics are incessantly entertaining, making it almost OK that he named his debut LP HEAVY META. On album opener “Young Lady, You’re Scaring Me,” Gallo sings, “Let’s get a house, you and me and your 12 cats.” His delivery is sneeringly reminiscent of Dylan, singing such lines with a sincerity and confidence, as if the listener is crazy for smirking at this shack with a dozen cats. He should scan as annoying, but there’s something deliriously charming about this fractured soul spelling out the ills of humanity one song at a time.

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The Philly born, now Nashville-based songwriter first emerged with the modern Americana/folk band, Toy Soldiers, before leaving Pennsylvania for the warm grasp of country music’s capitol, introducing the city to a defiantly unsatisfied debutante, eager to take you out to lunch and then spit in your face because your politics are wack. Gallo has this innate ability—a tremendously tricky skill to hone to dose his songs with humour, all the while lacing them with scathing social commentaries and a level of depth most garage rock acts never reach, let alone aim for. On Heavy Meta, Gallo proved that he’s just a wiser and sharper songwriter than most people doing it. That trend continues on “It’s All Gonna Be OK,” the first single from Gallo’s forthcoming LP, Stardust Birthday Party, out October 5th via New West.

“It’s All Gonna Be OK,” is nervous and twitchy, hallucinatory and repetitive with its scratchy and fidgeting guitar parts, until Gallo, sensing the growing unease, sings, “It’s all gonna be OK.” Good to know. Gallo rattles off all of the shit tearing us apart before easing us with his oddly placating aphorism. Gallo’s philosophy comes as a sort of self-medication, as he tries to convince himself that this broken world can get better, Gallo works his way through insecurities and finds this blind faith to be comforting. He tells us:

it’s all gonna be OK, no matter what it is, because all feeling, thought and experience is temporary. could be in one second or 20 years but, to trust that it’s all going exactly as it should, is true and liberating. i like to remind myself of this often and figured might as well share this thought with others via a mostly one chord song featuring my trumpet debut heard in the outro of the song. it’s all gonna be OK is the main message, and “stardust birthday party” is me explaining WHY? from my own experience looking inside.