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The Walkmen

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  • Formed: New York, NY
  • Years Active: 2000s
  • Website: http://www.thewalkmen.com
  • Recent Activity: 06.27.15 RT @skjelset: Please RT – Today, I am releasing my second record, Sunup. It is available via Bandcamp & costs whatever you want: https://t.…
  • The Walkmen

  • The Walkmen

Albums

Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

The Walkmen feature three members from Jonathan Fire*Eater and two from the Recoys. When Jonathan Fire*Eater disbanded in 1998, the group took the remainder of their Dreamworks funding and established an uptown rehearsal space in New York City that doubled as a 24-track recording studio where they use a wide variety of vintage equipment. The 900-square-foot Harlem industrial space, dubbed Marcata Studios, was completed in the fall of 1999. (Bands that have recorded at their studio include labelmates the French Kicks and experimental rockers Arto Lindsay and Nação Zumbi.) The Walkmen, some of whom had gigged in the city under the moniker Today Okay, formed in 2000 and consist of Fire Eaters Walter Martin (vocals, organ, etc.), Paul Maroon (guitars), and Matt Barrick (drums) and ex-Recoys Hamilton Leithauser (vocals) and Peter Bauer (bass). Like Jonathan Fire*Eater, the members of the Walkmen grew up together in the Washington, D.C., area and have played in the same bands since the fifth grade. Perhaps the only way the group could be any closer is if they were all related. (Martin and Leithauser are cousins, so the semi-merging of bands is also somewhat of a family reunion.)

The Walkmen make a conscious attempt to evolve away from the raw, fiery garage sounds of their previous bands. They incorporate piano into the new songs as well as take the compositions in new directions by experimenting with instrumentation and recording techniques. The Walkmen are influenced by such diverse bands as the Pogues, Joy Division, Bruce Springsteen, Björk, U2, New Order, the Smiths, and the Cure. Their new music has favorably been compared to Pixies, Brian Eno, and the Velvet Underground with strong hints of U2 and Television. An online advertisement for the Marcata Studios explains that the owners appreciate the sonic recordings on Joy Division's Peel Sessions, Talking Heads' Fear of Music, the Specials' The Specials, and Royal Trux's Singles, among others.

The Walkmen released a self-titled, four-song EP in 1999 through the small Brooklyn label Startime International (Brendan Benson) and completed a vinyl-only release to be made available at concerts. The first Walkmen concert was at Joe's Pub in the East Village in September of 2000, shortly after their EP was released. In 2002, the Walkmen made their proper full-length debut with Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone. It was a favorite among indie crowds and the album led the Walkmen to tour the world in support of it. Bows + Arrows, the band's first for Warner Bros.' Record Collection label, appeared two years later. Along with touring and appearing in a cameo on the Fox TV series The O.C., the Walkmen began writing a novel, John's Journey, together. The band returned to the studio in 2005, working with Don Zientera at Arlington, VA's Inner Ear Studio on their third album, A Hundred Miles Off, and at their own Marcata Studio on a song-by-song cover of Harry Nilsson's Pussy Cats, which was the last album recorded in Marcata before the band closed it. A Hundred Miles Off was released in spring 2006, and Pussy Cats arrived that fall. The Walkmen recorded their fourth album in New York's Gigantic Studio and the same Oxford, MS, studio in which they recorded Bows + Arrows, releasing You & Me in 2008 on Gigantic Music. Lisbon, the group's sixth studio album, arrived in 2010 on the Fat Possum/Bella Union label. The following year, the Walkmen celebrated their 10th anniversary as a band while recording with Phil Ek; the results, Heaven, arrived in 2012.

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eMusic Features

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Who Are…Light Heat

By Matthew Fritch, Contributor

Quentin Stoltzfus shot through the ranks of a late '90s Philadelphia psych-rock scene — a tightly-knit faction of retro-futurists that included the Lilys, Bardo Pond, Lenola, Photon Band, Azusa Plane and Asteroid #4 — on the back of a near-perfect dream-pop debut album. Watch It Happen, released under the name Mazarin, revealed Stoltzfus's talent for princely, soft-focus pop that was well aligned with peers such as Grandaddy and the Elephant 6 collective. Two more Mazarin… more »

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Label Profile: Fat Possum Records

By Marc Hogan, Lead News Writer

File Under: From raw, gutbucket blues to soul, rock and pop with a similar unspoiled spirit Flagship Acts: R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, Solomon Burke, the Black Keys, Andrew Bird, Band of Horses, Dinosaur Jr., Wavves, the Walkmen, Smith Westerns, Yuck, Tennis Based In: Oxford, Mississippi Like the Delta bluesmen whose records he started Fat Possum to release, Matthew Johnson is part of a dying breed. Rock owes much of its early legacy to eccentric, mostly European-descended label owners… more »

Activity

  • 06.27.15 RT @skjelset: Please RT – Today, I am releasing my second record, Sunup. It is available via Bandcamp & costs whatever you want: https://t.…
  • 06.26.15 RT @WaltRMartin: Here's a new song I wrote on tour, performed last night of the tour. documents my employment history. Thx @freezeout https…
  • 06.17.15 RT @pmbauermusic: New Shows for Sale - Columbus/Louisville/OKC http://t.co/jNU2Xzrxbv New Single - http://t.co/duWfrezEjI
  • 06.10.15 RT @BeatlesTube: [Fav4] Walter Martin - The Beatles | Sofar New York http://t.co/c5kXKqdbze Walter Martin performing "The Beatles" at Sofar…
  • 06.09.15 RT @pmbauermusic: New single up on stereo gum: Hold On To Someone (quiet version) http://t.co/eQTYJD3Y7V
  • 06.09.15 RT @HLeithauser: Hello San Francisco! I'll be at The Independent on Wednesday night. @indysf
  • 06.02.15 RT @HLeithauser: Back on road this week USA west coast & more. Dates at http://t.co/tKNjlWGAjt http://t.co/kQrZ9iOyZr
  • 06.02.15 RT @WaltRMartin: Apple iPhone 6 ad features my song "Costa Rica." Nice choice! http://t.co/WD6BsOTJFQ http://t.co/64DWKRrRlS
  • 05.28.15 RT @WaltRMartin: On tour solo in this HOT Ford Sonic heading rapidly up the west coast.This thing really cooks! http://t.co/HZe3XzorvY http…
  • 05.20.15 RT @HLeithauser: Greetings Texas. 3 beer-drinking concerts this weekend: Dallas, Austin, & Houston. Dates at http://t.co/tKNjlWGAjt
  • 05.19.15 RT @WaltRMartin: Finishing up songs for mixing w the great Phil Ek. After a year of writing/recording, album 2 is almost done http://t.co/E…
  • 05.18.15 RT @Do512: If you're a fan of @thewalkmen, you don't wanna miss @hleithauser's solo show @parishatx w/ @myjerusalem --> http://t.co/eCo4plp…