The Sharp Things - Foxes And Hounds (May 10, 2005)
The Sharp Things - A Moveable Feast (June 26, 2007)
The Sharp Things stand out even on the eclectic Bar/None roster - a 10-piece orchestral pop ensemble showcasing pianist Perry Serpa's impressive musicianship and refreshingly adult songwriting. Serpa called it his "anti-rock band" when Bar/None released the Sharp Things' second album, Foxes and Hounds. Its followup, A Moveable Feast, was recorded over four months, traversing three of the five boroughs of NYC by piecing together sound bites on a laptop. Considering indie economics, The Sharp Things could have limited themselves. Instead, they went for broke. The result is an undeniably big pop record. In addition to tracking the 10 members of The Sharp Things in their rehearsal spaces, living rooms and basements, the band recorded their friends- Broadway luminary, Michael Cerveris (Sweeney Todd, Love Musik, Tommy), in his living room; Franz Nicolay, the curiously mustachioed accordionist/keyboardist of the Hold Steady in his kitchen (you can hear the clicks of his nails on the keys;) and a 40 piece orchestra in its concert hall. The Sharp Things continue to record and perform in their native New York City.
Perry Serpa: The Sharp Things are honored to have been a part of Bar/None's rich history. Perhaps we were not as illustrious as Freedy or Architecture In Helsinki, but I'm fairly certain that we were among one of the larger bands (member-wise) on their roster.
ironically, one of the things that stands out most was our participation in the 20th anniversary of the label. We were asked at the last minute to play a show at some Brooklyn venue that has ceased to exist along with other B/N artists. We rolled up and found out that we were placed back-to-back with one of our collective favorites (I mean, of all time), They Might Be Giants. Our set was pretty good, as I remember, but the Johns were AMAZING. They were already vets, so we were there to stand happily in the wake of a perfect run through of their best stuff with Glenn and the rest of the crew. A great night!
Our 3rd album, A Moveable Feast, was our 2nd release on Bar/None. The album included a cameo from Broadway luminary Michael Cerveris (singing the kick-off tune, "The Jumpers") and a 40-piece orchestra that we were able to secure for less than 2K.
AMF's songs were, for the most part, dancing around the big band, Bachrach/Beatles mashup aspect of the TST vibe, but within a week of mastering the material, I shat out a song called "Cruel Thing." It was, admittedly, riding the crest of the new soul upsurge, but definitely good as far that stuff was concerned. Excited about the song, I called Glenn Morrow and sent him a demo, essentially saying "Stop the presses! we need add this one!" Glenn may not have flipped over it, but he was enthusiastic enough not only to not give me a hard time about it, but also to haul ass out to Brooklyn from Hoboken for the recording, which turned out great. The song took the clean-up spot on AMF's track listing, and enjoyed many kind words from friends, fans and music press. I'll always be grateful to Glenn for that support.
The Sharp Things: http://www.bar-none.com/the-sharp-things/
Sharp Things Recommended Tracks
"Cruel Thing" = https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/cruel-thing/id281147315?i=281147493
"There Will Be Violins" - https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/there-will-be-violins/id281249041?i=281249042
"Through With Love" - https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/through-with-love/id281147315?i=281147373