Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Geoff Farina has proved himself to be equally capable as a songwriter, guitar player, and collaborator with a variety of projects in the world of independent music. Perhaps best known as the frontman for the trio Karate, Farina also takes credit for co-founding the fairly enigmatic indie folk outfit the Secret Stars with Jodi Buonanno. Farina's brush with fame started during his high school years in Massachusetts when he was classmates with various members of '80s metal/glam revivalists Kix and Poison. His own musical path forged a far different course than that of his high school classmates, however, and after he completed collegiate study of jazz guitar, he founded Karate with drummer Gavin McCarthy and bassist Jeffrey Goddard in 1992. Karate's sound incorporated progressive jazz elements with somewhat left-of-center classic rock forms and the first release in the band's catalog took shape in the Death Kit 7" single on The Self-Starter Foundation. Between working and touring with Karate, Geoff Farina co-founded the Secret Stars with Jodi Buonanno in 1993. The music of the duo was much more folk-oriented (originally conceived with the sole intent of writing love songs for the founders' friends) and often found Farina playing acoustic guitar. The Secret Stars themselves would come to be a loose collective of musicians involved in the East Coast indie scene, including notables such as Ted Leo. Farina stayed active with both groups seeing the release of numerous Karate and Secret Stars records, mostly available through Southern Records. In 1998, Farina released his first solo effort, Usonian Dream Sequence, that found a middle ground between the electric rock of Karate and the romantic folk influence of the Secret Stars. His solo discography grew the next year with the Steely Dan 7" and Reverse Eclipse in 2001, both of which are on Southern Records. Blobscape appeared in 2002 from Kimchee Records, followed by two releases in 2005: New Salt on Xeng Records and Already Told You on Southern Records. 2006 saw Almanac appear from Atavistic.