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THE HOT AT NIGHTS: The development of The Hot at Nights parallels that of the world’s most potentially destructive climatic occurrence: Global Warming. They are heavily influenced by the origins of jazz at the turn of the century, emblazoned by the raw and unbridled freedom of the 50′s and 60′s, and electrified by the external forcings of the 80′s. Chris Boerner (Foreign Exchange, Jeanne Jolly) on 8-string guitar, Matt Douglas (The Rosebuds, Erin McKeown, Harlequin) on woodwinds, and Nick Baglio (Jeanne Jolly, Foreign Exchange, Jean Morrison) on drums & keyboards make up the triumvirate of change. Even though there is a tiny contingency of Hot at Nights deniers, real and proven science has determined that they do, in fact, exist on a catastrophic level.
BLANKO BASNET: Joe Hall of Hammer No More the Fingers began playing solo shows in January 2011 under the name JoLo. Prior to this, every musical idea Hall had was funneled through Hammer. A song was considered complete only after intense collaboration, practice and live performance. Sometimes ideas didn’t stick but Hall couldn’t let them go. The songs that didn’t develop further in Hammer soon became projects for Hall’s future solo record. Enter Blanko Basnet. Written and performed by Hall with the help of Jeff Stickley on drums and long-time friend and producer JLa, the 11-song self-titled album was recorded in a playhouse they frequented as kids in the Trinity Park neighborhood of Durham, NC.
With the record complete it became obvious that Hall would need to recruit musicians for a full band. Stickley was onboard and Hall enlisted Brad Cook of Megafaun to play bass. A love story of sorts manifested when Hall and Cook attended a Canine Heart Sounds show. “What about that guy?” Hall said, referring to multi-instrumentalist Matt Peterson. A four-piece was soon born and shows were booked. After the album release, Cook’s intense touring schedule opened up a spot for Matt McElroy of Canine Heart Sounds to join in his place.
The same vitality that drives Hall’s guitar rifts and vocal melodies in Hammer is unmistakable in his new endeavor. That said, Blanko is its own adventure and the live performance is very much a showcase of the musical talents of each member of the band.