City Paper is not for tourists
The members of the band Barcelona explain on their slick, but friendly, Web site (barcelonadc.com) that their covert presence in the music scene has a rationale behind it: “In our world, rock stars are only slightly cooler than telephone solicitors. We are all fairly happy with what we do, either programming or Web design.”
They wear their computer-club patches proudly. Jason Korzen, Jennifer Carr, and Christian Scanniello all do Web design for a living, and Ivan Ramiscal programs the U.S.’s missile defense systems for heavies like Boeing. “Computers are part of our daily life,” Carr explains. Adds Scanniello: “We’re not closet dorks. We’re just dorks.” Tech talk comes easily to the group; it’s not that often that you meet an indie rock bass player who cheerily confesses to having attended space camp twice.
Barcelona, together only a year now, has quietly been honing its straightforward, New Wavey melodies in the practice room without much ambition to hit the stage or the road. It’s not all keyboards and, uh, keyboards—Barcelona’s members also make time for indoor soccer: The band began on the soccer pitch. Carr and Korzen met through the game, and she recruited her co-worker Scanniello, who enlisted his high school buddy Ramiscal.
After hanging out and practicing, the band began recording, with Trevor Kampmann producing in his Northwest studio. The members were pleasantly surprised by the results and continued working toward making a full-length album. Rather than slogging it out in the club scene, they laid down tracks on songs written with only release in mind. It wasn’t until January that the band played its first gig, at Arlington’s Galaxy Hut. (In the meantime, the group hooked up with March Records, now operating out of Hastings, N.Y.)
simon BASIC is discretely constructed pop (traces of Stereolab and Unrest) laced with techie insiderisms (“You stay up late on IRC”). But it’s solidly recorded and has enough hooky focus that it only treads close to bedroom-pop wimpiness.
The band is planning a two-week tour in the fall and hopes to collaborate with Kampmann on future recordings. The clean-cut Behind the Music-addicted crew is also daydreaming of a studio lock-in a la Bowie’s Low. “Second album, you have to have the cocaine party in the studio,” says Korzen. “We’re looking forward to hitting rock bottom.” As in a hard-drive crash.—John Dugan
Barcelona plays the Black Cat Sept. 5 with the Fly Seville.