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Vapor Vespers Return With Double-Sided Single

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The two tracks, available today on streaming services including Spotify and Bandcamp, are a sneak preview to their sophomore album, slated for winter 2021.

Vapor Vespers Return With Double-Sided Single

It's a sonic funhouse that draws upon everything from Fripp & Eno ambient and Krautrock to Miles Davis acid-funk-jazz and baroque classicalism. These varied sounds are conjured as soundtracks to spoken word ruminations that are part Eric Bogosian hyper-monologue, Bukowski poetry slam and, occasionally, politically incorrect Rudy Ray Moore party record bawdy.

This is the world of Vapor Vespers, the edge- and button-pushing transcontinental collaboration between acclaimed NYC & Hudson Valley-based multi-instrumentalist Sal Cataldi (aka Spaghetti Eastern Music) and Alaskan playwright, actor and slam poet Mark Muro. Drawing inspiration from music-powered spoken word icons like John Cooper Clarke, The Last Poets and Lord Buckley, Vapor Vespers unwrapped their saucy stew with One Act Sonix, their critically buzzed-about 2020 debut album on Bad Egg Records.

Now the duo is returning with a double-sided single that ups the ante on the cool grooves, guitar riffage and narrative absurdity, You Changed and Sex. The two tracks, available today on streaming services including Spotify and Bandcamp, are a sneak preview to their sophomore album, slated for winter 2021.

You Changed is high-energy funk-jazz of the Ornette Coleman Prime Time/harmolodic variety. Its galloping funky beat, snappy clavinet accents and dueling snaky lead guitars propel Muro's caffeinated rant about an actress friend who's now too cool for school and their friendship. "You used to be nice, you used to be normal, you used to be my friend, then you suddenly changed... You started wearing vinyl pants and blowing kisses to strangers... You called me a sad sirloin burger...You wanted to be interesting, so you rented a wolf, had your elbows pierced, bought a stuffed owl and went to the opera dressed as a mermaid!"

On Sex, Cataldi's soundtrack is a slow-creep electro modal blues reminiscent of latter-day Jeff Beck, one on which Muro sleepily riffs couplets that illuminate what sex is. "Sex is a big basket of shiny red apples and a good sharp knife... Sex is a time bomb under your seat and a dog sleeping at your feet... Sex made a monkey out of Darwin and a man outta King Kong... It's how I got here and how I wanna go."

Notices for their debut album demonstrated how critics, radio djs and general music-lovers are venturing beyond the vanilla mainstream to embrace the Vapor Vespers' poetronic genre, and its unique fusion of furious sound, words and humor.

Tracks from the album have been featured on more than 40 influential radio outlets globally including New York's WFMU, Radio Free Brooklyn, WVKR/Vassar U, Radio Woodstock, WGXC-FM, SOMA FM, SiriusXM, Radio Spiral, The Fresh Underground Podcast, Radio Spiral, Modul 303 and Radio Dark Tunnel (Germany), West Star Radio (UK), Krypton Radio (USA) and Brainvoyager (Netherlands).

Cataldi and Muro's partnership goes back to their teen years in Queens, New York. Here, in the heart of blue-collar New York City, they formed a lifetime friendship and creative bond over a steady diet of Mad Magazine, Sun Ra, Henry Miller, Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa and the original spoken word recordings of the 50s and 60s from Caedmon Records.

A longtime denizen of the NYC and now Hudson Valley/Woodstock music scenes, guitarist/keyboardist Cataldi is most recently known for his solo project, Spaghetti Eastern Music. Here, Cataldi fuses Eastern beats, Spaghetti Western film soundtrack ambience, Krautrock spaciness and psychedelic and funk/fusion flavored electric guitar instrumentals with gentle acoustic vocal songcraft, straight out of the John Martyn/Nick Drake songbook. Time Out New York writes: "Cataldi's largely instrumental, Eastern-influenced jams are infused with some delicate guitar work and hauntingly moody atmosphere," while The New York Times proclaims he has "a beat unmistakably his own." Called "truly excellent" by The Village Voice, "a jazz virtuoso without the need to prove it" by Aquarian Weekly, "beautiful and unique" by WFUV's Mixed Bag, "wonderfully melodic and off-center" by WFMU and "part Sergio Leone fever dream, part Ravi Shankar raga, a whirling dervish of musical creation" by Hudson Valley One, Cataldi keeps up a steady schedule of performances at leading venues in the Big Apple and the Hudson Valley.

Bronx-born Mark Muro has been a cultural force in Anchorage, Alaska since relocating in the mid-1980s. His short stories and poetry have been published in anthologies including North of Eden and The Anchorage Daily News and he has produced and performed in a series of one-man shows including The Bipolar Express, Indistinct Chatter and Not Marketable at theaters including Cyrano's and Out North, and also at the annual Alaska One-Minute Play Festival. Muro has acted in numerous independent films and commercials, performed standup comedy, represented the state of Alaska in The National Poetry Slam. He also served as host of the PBS radio show, Stage Talk. His newest one-man show, Bug Boy: Curse of the Ant Queen, premiered in November 2019 at Anchorage's Cyrano's Theater.

You Changed and Sex were produced engineered and mastered by Sal Cataldi about the studio aboard his houseboat in Port Washington, Long Island, Houseboat Garlic Knot Studios, and his Sonic Garden Studios in West Saugerties, New York (1/4 mile from the legendary Big Pink house made famous by The Band). Cataldi is also a member of the non-profit Musicians For Musicians (MFM), an advocacy group headquartered in NYC whose mission is to elevate musicians work to the level of a true profession.


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