Blonde Redhead

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Blonde Redhead
Blonde Redhead performing at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California, United States L-R: Kazu Makino, Simone N. Pace, Amedeo F. Pace
Blonde Redhead performing at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California, United States L-R: Kazu Makino, Simone N. Pace, Amedeo F. Pace
Background information
OriginNew York City, New York, United States
Genres
Years active1993–present
Labels
MembersKazu Makino
Amedeo Pace
Simone Pace
Past membersMaki Takahashi
Toko Yasuda
Websitewww.blonde-redhead.com

Blonde Redhead is an American alternative rock band composed of Kazu Makino (vocals, keys/rhythm guitar) and twin brothers Simone and Amedeo Pace (drums/keys and lead guitar/bass/keys/vocals, respectively) that formed in New York City in 1993. The band's earliest albums were noted for their noise rock influences, though their sound evolved by the early 2000s with the releases of Misery is a Butterfly (2004) and 23 (2007), which both incorporated elements of dream pop, shoegaze and other genres.[3] They have released ten regular studio albums and have toured internationally.

Career[edit]

Amedeo and Simone Pace were born in Milan, Italy,[6] and grew up in Montreal (Saint-Léonard), but later moved to Boston to study jazz. After earning Bachelor's degrees, they entered the New York City underground music scene. Blonde Redhead formed in New York in 1993 after Amedeo and Simone met Kazu Makino, a film student at the time, through mutual friends.[7] The band named themselves after a song on the 1981 EP A Taste of DNA by the no wave group DNA. For the group's first decade or so, Amedeo and Makino were romantically involved in an on-and-off relationship.[8]

Blonde Redhead's self-titled debut album was released in 1995.[9] Shortly afterwards, fourth member Maki Takahashi left the band and was replaced by her friend Toko Yasuda as bassist. Yasuda played on the band's second album La Mia Vita Violenta also released in 1995.[10] Both records appeared on the New York label Smells Like. The band continued as a trio.[11]

Their third album, Fake Can Be Just as Good, was released through Touch & Go in 1997.[12] The band enlisted the help of Vern Rumsey of Unwound, who filled the role of guest bassist. Subsequent albums featured Skúli Sverrisson, who the twins knew from their time in Boston.

On their fourth album, In an Expression of the Inexpressible, Guy Picciotto of Fugazi was hired as producer.[13] Picciotto also contributed in the construction to the song "Futurism vs. Passéism Part 2" as well as lending it his vocals to the 1998 release. In 2000 Picciotto also co-produced Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons with Ryan Hadlock, an album about the relationship between Makino and Amedeo Pace.[14]

The four-year delay between Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons and Misery Is a Butterfly is attributed to Makino's recovery time after being trampled by a horse.[15] Much of the visual and lyrical imagery of Misery Is a Butterfly is reflective of the accident, especially in the music video for "Equus." It was the last time Picciotto produced the band.[16]

In 2006 Makino recorded vocals for the film Sisters.[17] Alan Moulder mixed the trio's album 23 which was released on 4AD, in April 2007.[18]

In mid-2008, they wrote and recorded the score of the documentary feature film The Dungeon Masters.[19] The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was released on February 12, 2010; a soundtrack album was released in July 2010.[20][21] In 2009, Blonde Redhead contributed to the AIDS benefit album Dark Was the Night produced by the Red Hot Organization.

In March 2010 the band included a demo version of the song "Not Getting There" on a 4AD sampler entitled Fragments From Work In Progress.[22] Their eighth album, Penny Sparkle, was released in September 2010 through 4AD.[23] The album was again mixed by Alan Moulder,[24] and reached 79 in the Billboard 200 chart.[25] For the subsequent tour the band added a key-board player.[26] The band released a six-track remix EP in July 2011.[27]

A year later, the band started the project for their next album but without the support of 4AD. Self-financed, the band embarked on a haphazard recording schedule with producer Drew Brown.[28] Simone Pace noted about Brown's involvement that "he has so much experience and definitely dictated the direction of the record; the choices of instruments, concept and that it was minimal." He forced the band to use analogue instruments.[29]

In April 2014 their song "For the Damaged Coda" was used in an episode of the first season of the cartoon Rick and Morty. The use of this song was again repeated in April 2017 in the third season. The use of the song became an important plot device regarding the character "Evil Morty" for the series. Around 2018 this song became an Internet meme expressing the sadness one feels at the worst moments of one's life.[30]

The band released their ninth album, Barragán, on September 2, 2014, through Kobalt.[28] It was preceded by the single "No More Honey" that appeared in June.[31] It was followed by the second single, "Dripping,"[32] which included a video.[33] The band also provided the soundtrack to the Danish film The Commentator.[34][35]

In June 2016 it was announced that the band would release the box set Masculin Féminin on September 30 through The Numero Group.[36] It contains 37 tracks, which cover the first two albums, associated singles, radio sessions and unreleased demos from the period.[37] In 2017, the band released the EP 3 O'Clock, which comprises four songs and featured contributions from Eyvind Kang, Michael Leonhart, Sam Owens and Mauro Refosco, among others.

In September 2019, Kazu Makino released her first solo album, Adult Baby, which featured Ryuichi Sakamoto (on piano, field recordings, and "organic instruments"), Ian Chang and Greg Saunier (drums), and Mauro Refosco (percussion).[38]

The band toured the US in 2022 on select dates supporting Tool.[39] The following year, the band announced the release of their tenth album, Sit Down for Dinner, on September 29, 2023, through section1.[40] In November, they released a reworked version of "Damaged Coda" entitled "More Coda" for Rick and Morty.[41]

Members[edit]

Current members

  • Kazu Makino – rhythm guitar, keyboards, vocals (1993–present)
  • Amedeo Pace – lead guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals (1993–present)
  • Simone Pace – drums, keyboards (1993–present)

Former members

  • Maki Takahashi – bass (1993–1995)
  • Toko Yasuda – bass (1995-1996)

Timeline

Gallery[edit]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
US
[42]
BEL
(FL)

[43]
BEL
(WA)

[44]
FRA
[45]
GRE
[46]
ITA
[47]
JPN
[48]
SWI
[49]
UK
[50]
UK
Indie

[50]
Blonde Redhead
La Mia Vita Violenta
  • Released: September 1995
  • Label: Smells Like
Fake Can Be Just as Good
In an Expression of the Inexpressible
  • Released: September 8, 1998
  • Label: Touch and Go
Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons
  • Released: June 6, 2000
  • Label: Touch and Go
Misery Is a Butterfly
  • Released: March 15, 2004
  • Label: 4AD
180 77 50 41
23
  • Released: April 10, 2007
  • Label: 4AD
63 52 77 38 196 100 152 13
Penny Sparkle
  • Released: September 13, 2010
  • Label: 4AD
79 57 65 89 18 41
Barragán
  • Released: September 2, 2014
  • Label: Kobalt
180 68 86 104 [A]
Sit Down for Dinner
  • Released: September 29, 2023
  • Label: Section1
[B] 91 127 50
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

EPs[edit]

Year Title Label
2000 Mélodie Citronique Touch and Go
2005 The Secret Society of Butterflies 4AD/Beggars Banquet
2017 3 O'Clock Kobalt/Ponderosa/Asa Wa Kuru

Singles[edit]

List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
UK
[50]
UK
Indie

[50]
"Amescream / Big Song" 1993 Non-album singles
"Vague / Jet Star" 1994
"10 Feet High / Valentine" 1995 La Mia Vita Violenta
"Flying Douglas / Harmony"
"Symphony of Treble / Kasuality" 1997 Fake Can Be Just as Good
"Limited Conversation / Slogan" 1998 In an Expression of the Inexpressible (Japanese edition)
"Elephant Woman" 2004 82 26 Misery Is a Butterfly
"Equus" 84 19
"23" 2007 23
"Silently"
"Here Sometimes" 2010 Penny Sparkle
"No More Honey" 2014 Barragán
"Dripping"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Other charted songs[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US
Rock

[53]
"For the Damaged Coda" 2000 15 Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons

Soundtracks[edit]

Year Film
2008 The Dungeon Masters
2012 The Commentator

Compilations and remix albums[edit]

Year Title Label
2016 Freedom of Expression on Barragán Asa Wa Kuru
Masculin Féminin Numero

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Barragán did not enter the UK Independent Albums Chart, but peaked at number 17 on the UK Independent Album Breakers Chart.[51]
  2. ^ Sit Down for Dinner did not enter the US Billboard 200, but peaked at number 58 on the Top Album Sales Chart.[52]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michele Chisena (August 26, 2014). "Blonde Redhead, i gemelli italiani che con l'alternative rock hanno trovato l'America". la Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  2. ^ Pitchfork (October 24, 2016). "The 50 Best Shoegaze Albums of All Time". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 21, 2023.
  3. ^ a b Carr, Eric (April 12, 2004). "Misery is a Butterfly". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  4. ^ Tracy Frey. Blonde Redhead at AllMusic. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  5. ^ Claudio Fabretti. "Blonde Redhead - Noise-rock in agrodolce". Ondarock (in Italian). Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  6. ^ Mishan, Ligaya (May 11, 2015). "Blonde Redhead's Simone Pace Finds His Backbeat in Two Tiny Sips". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  7. ^ "Blonde Redhead". Allmusic. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
  8. ^ Chick, Stevie (September 22, 2023). "'The hate and contempt are as strong as the love': alt band Blonde Redhead on their twisted bond". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved December 10, 2023.
  9. ^ Lobenfeld, Claire (May 8, 2013). "Blonde Redhead (1995)". Stereogum.com. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  10. ^ Lobenfeld, Claire (July 12, 2013). "La Mia Vita Violenta (1995)". Stereogum.com. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  11. ^ Lobenfeld, Claire (July 12, 2013). "Blonde Redhead Albums From Worst To Best". Stereogum.com. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  12. ^ Lobenfeld, Claire | (July 12, 2013). "Fake Can Be Just As Good (1997)". Stereogum.com. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  13. ^ Lobenfeld, Claire (May 8, 2013). "In An Expression Of The Inexpressible (1998)". Stereogum.com. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  14. ^ Lobenfeld, Claire (July 12, 2013). "Melody Of Certain Damaged Lemons (2000)". Stereogum.com. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  15. ^ "Blonde Redhead". Freewilliamsburg.com. March 23, 2004. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
  16. ^ Claire, Lobenfeld (July 12, 2013). "Misery Is A Butterfly (2004)". Stereogum.com. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  17. ^ Epstein, Sharon. "Contact Ed Dzubak". Dzubak.com. Archived from the original on March 26, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  18. ^ Lobenfeld, Claire (May 8, 2013). "23 (2007)". Stereogum.com. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  19. ^ "Blonde Redhead - The Dungeon Masters (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". Discogs.com. September 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  20. ^ "The Playlist: Blonde Redhead Composing The Score To The Documentary, 'Dungeon Masters'". Theplaylist.blogspot.com. July 14, 2006. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
  21. ^ ""The Dungeon Masters" Blonde Redhead Soundtrack and DVD Release". Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  22. ^ "Stereogum". Stereogum.com. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  23. ^ Dempster, Gemma. "Blonde Redhead interview". Supersweet.org. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  24. ^ Cohen, Ian (September 14, 2010). "Blonde Redhead: Penny Sparkle Album Review". Pitchfork.com. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  25. ^ "Blonde Redhead - Chart history | Billboard". Billboard.com. Archived from the original on August 10, 2018. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  26. ^ Youssef, Andrew (November 18, 2010). "Blonde Redhead, Ólöf Arnalds @ Music Box, Hollywood 11/16/10". Stereogum.com. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  27. ^ Stosuy, Brandon (July 12, 2011). "Download Blonde Redhead Remix EP Feat. Gayngs, Games, SALEM, Pantha Du Prince". Stereogum.com. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  28. ^ a b Hannah, Andrew (September 9, 2014). "Simone Pace of Blonde Redhead: "We've always done what we wanted"". Thelineofbestfit.com. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  29. ^ "Blonde Redhead: An Interview with Simone Pace". March 2, 2015. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  30. ^ "'Rick and Morty's' Most Dramatic Moment Has Spawned a Savage New Meme". March 22, 2018.
  31. ^ Bowe, Miles (June 10, 2014). "Blonde Redhead – "No More Honey" + Barragán Details". Stereogum.com. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  32. ^ "Blonde Redhead – "Dripping"". July 8, 2014. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  33. ^ Breihan, Tom (December 3, 2014). "Blonde Redhead – "Dripping" Video". Stereogum.com. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  34. ^ "Blonde Redhead gets comfortable with past records | The Japan Times". June 17, 2014. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  35. ^ "The Commentator". March 21, 2012. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  36. ^ "Blonde Redhead - MASCULIN FÉMININ [Numero Group]". Numerogroup.com. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  37. ^ Minsker, Evan (June 14, 2016). "Blonde Redhead Announce Numero Group Box Set Masculin Féminin". Pitchfork.com. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  38. ^ "KAZU: Adult Baby". Pitchfork.com.
  39. ^ Maynard James Keenan: Why I Picked Blonde Redhead to Open for Tool, Revolver, 6 January 2022.
  40. ^ Pearis, Bill (May 30, 2023). "Blonde Redhead announce new album and tour, share "Snowman"". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved May 31, 2023.
  41. ^ Lindert, Hattie (November 14, 2023). "Blonde Redhead Release Rick & Morty Song "More Coda": Listen". News. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  42. ^ "Blonde Redhead - Chart History - Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved October 31, 2023.
  43. ^ "Ultratop Flanders Belgian Charts". ultratop.be. Retrieved October 31, 2023.
  44. ^ "Ultratop Wallonie Belgian Charts". ultratop.be. Retrieved October 31, 2023.
  45. ^ "lescharts.com - Discographie Blonde Redhead". lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved October 31, 2023.
  46. ^ "Greekcharts.com – Blonde Redhead – Penny Sparkle". Hung Medien. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  47. ^ "italiancharts.com - Discography Blonde Redhead". italiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved October 31, 2023.
  48. ^ "23 | ブロンド・レッドヘッド" (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on September 19, 2020. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  49. ^ "Blonde Redhead - Hitparade". Hitparade. Retrieved October 31, 2023.
  50. ^ a b c d Peaks in the UK:
  51. ^ "Barragán - Blonde Redhead - Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 31, 2023.
  52. ^ "Blonde Redhead Chart History: Top Album Sales". Billboard. Retrieved October 31, 2023.
  53. ^ "Blonde Redhead - Chart History - Hot Rock & Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved October 31, 2023.

External links[edit]