The Thousand Pities formed around the songwriting and ears of Montclair-resident (and father of three) Matthew Davis. In the late '80s and early '90s, Matt fronted the Western Massachusetts band The Vestrymen, whose 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, Robyn Hitchcock, fIREHOSE, 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 bandmates, kind Montclair neighbors and other new friends from his adopted New Jersey home turf to contribute their talents. In early 2011, The Pities released their debut CD, BELIEVE IN SOUND, on the start-up indie OverPop Music. The album - recorded mostly in Davis's attic studio - received excellent reviews: "One of the best local releases of 2011 so far?" gushed Star-Ledger columnist Tris McCall, "Heck, forget about 'local.'” The band began playing dates in the tri-state area and northeast in support of BELIEVE IN SOUND and can be found on local Montclair stages like Tierney's and Hat City Kitchen with some frequency.
To sow a smidgeon of confusion, Davis sometimes has The Pities lineup recording under the name "The Parkway Charlies." The Charlies' output has been limited to various tribute compilations and charity releases, covering songs by artists like Queen, Winter Hours, and The Runaways. (Lead vocals on their version of The Runaways' epic "Johnny Guitar" were handled brilliantly by friend and fellow PWR artist Aviva Patz of Client No. 9.) In 2009, The Charlies' recording of the song "4:04" was released as part of the CIAO, MY SHINING STAR: THE SONGS OF MARK MULCAHY tribute compilation that also featured contributions from Radiohead's Thom Yorke, R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, Josh Rouse, The National and other musical luminaries.
Matt continues to write and record in his home studio, also finding time here and there to work on producing, engineering and mixing other artists.