The Thousand Pities are, L-R: Matt Friedlander, Billy Donohue, Matt Davis, Michael Carlucci, Ken Meyer, Racine Romaguera. (Photo by: Mike Caffrey)
Montclair's The Thousand Pities will be returning to Tierney's Tavern on January 14,. Also on the bill that night will be Feelies spin-off, Yung Wu. The bands will be playing sets from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
The Thousand Pities formed around the songwriting and ears of Matthew Davis. In the late '80s and early '90s, Davis fronted the Western Massachusetts band The Vestrymen, whose pair of independent records garnered ecstatic reviews and plenty of college-radio airplay. After seven years of Econoline van touring—and sharing stages with acts like Aimee Mann's 'Til Tuesday, American Music Club, Robyn Hitchcock, Green Day and Belly—Davis called it a day in 1994, retiring his brand of jangly-guitar power-pop and heading off in non-musical directions.
In 2006, after a dozen years trying to ignore the songs that kept knocking on the door of his musical id, Davis began playing, writing and recording again, recruiting old band mates and new friends from his adopted New Jersey home turf to contribute their talents. The result is The Thousand Pities, whose personnel includes guitarist Michael Carlucci (formerly of N.J. college-radio darlings Winter Hours and current leader of East Of Venus, which also features members of The Feelies and The Bongos), keyboardist Billy Donohue (another former Vestryman, who has also played with John Cale, Inger Lorre and New Brunswick/Jersey shore favorites The Blasés) and drummer Ken Meyer (of long-lived New York City group Life In A Blender). Rounding out The Pities' sound are guitarist/singer Matt Friedlander (whose résumé includes N.J.-based indie-rockers Painted Birds and garage-bashers The Miscreants) and bassist Racine Romaguera.
The Thousand Pities' debut album, Believe In Sound (OverPop Music), was released in the spring of 2011 and features sonic contributions from beat master Stan Demeski (The Feelies, Luna) and singers Deena Shoshkes (The Cucumbers), Briga Heelan, Aviva Patz and Lane Gardner.
The Thousand Pities have also recorded a handful of covers and tributes under the name of their alter-ego: The Parkway Charlies. Among these is a version of "4:04" that is featured on the deluxe edition of the compilation Ciao My Shining Star: The Music of Mark Mulcahy, which came out in September 2009. Other contributors include Thom Yorke (Radiohead), Michael Stipe (R.E.M.), Frank Black (Pixies), A.C. Newman (New Pornographers) and The National. Meanwhile, The Parkway Charlies' rendition of "Ten Minutes" graces the late-2008 compilation A Few Uneven Rhymes: A Tribute to Winter Hours, which also includes tracks featuring members of The Violent Femmes, Nada Surf and The Feelies.
Tierney's Tavern is located at 136-138 Valley Road.