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Bryan Scary & The Shredding Tears live at Luna Lounge

heatricality has a long standing in pop music, with Sergeant Pepper-era Beatles and anything ever done by Queen classic examples. Drawing comparisons to the two is Bryan Scary and The Shredding Tears, a Brooklyn-based quintet that follows in the psychedelic tradition of rock and roll legends like the Beatles and Electric Light Orchestra, as well as joining such contemporaries as The Fiery Furnaces and fellow Brooklynite Sufjan Stevens in carving their own orchestral niche. On February 29, Bryan Scary and The Shredding Tears bring their visual live show to Williamsburg’s Luna Lounge for an event not to be missed. Since debuting with the low-fi “The Shredding Tears” in 2006, Bryan Scary has been buzzed about on the indie music circuit – for his inventive, conceptual pop fare, as well as the fact that on the debut album, Scary played all the instruments, save for drums, played by Apollo Sunshine’s Jeremy Black. After touring for a year, Bryan Scary returned to the studio, this time with his band which he toured with, The Shredding Tears, to record his second album. The end product – “The Flight of the Knife” – anticipates release April 1. Until that time, fans can get their fix one week at a time, as for the past several weeks one song at a time has been released on the band’s MySpace page, www.myspace.com/bryanscary. In addition to music, theater and cinema is in Scary’s background. Involved in theater as a high school student growing up in the Chicago suburbs, and a graduate of New York University’s film school, the band is a way for the Gowanus resident to do things big, even on a small budget. “Most of the stuff I like and I would want to do causes more elaborate construction,” said Scary. “I’m not into the whole indie aesthetic. The money is not there for my ideas.” In his live shows, Scary transforms the stage just for his own performance, complete with matching costumes and makeup. “We do a lot of theatrical things – props and visual elements that are changing,” said the artist. “Our set is very crazy. It will be surprising to most people.” Scary is mum on what’s in store for the Luna Lounge show, though is promising a whole new aesthetic to accompany the new album as he and the band perform from the forthcoming “The Flight of the Knife,” released on Black and Greene Records and produced by Brian McTear. A highly conceptual work, the album finds inspiration from the sky and outer space, using that imagery and exploring the nature of story telling. There's the incredibly catchy “Imitation of Sky,” complete with pounding keys, falsettos and a humorous call and response in the chorus as the band mourns the fictional Susie High, a “mechanical mistress.” Another highlight includes “The Curious Disappearance of the Sky-Ship Thunder Man,” featuring Scary predominately on vocals and keys and telling the story of said sky-ship thunder man through ever-changing melodies, rhythms and instrumentation in a song that keeps the listener guessing. “When I see something I like, I take the opposite standpoint of it,” said Scary. “It seemed to me a lot of the elements on the album are bringing things that had gone missing. I think that classic pop hooks, trying to use theatrical elements – a lot of the story stuff is stuff that you don’t see a lot of these days.” Scary also wanted listeners to appreciate each song on its own, not just part of a conceptualized CD, hence the weekly release of songs from the album until the April 1 release date. “The way we construct the album, we try to make every song its own set piece,” said Scary. “I think that we felt so strongly about every single track standing alone, we felt like [releasing them each week] would be a good way to get people to listen individually.” The upcoming album in some ways Scary refers to as his first. Recorded in a studio with his band, it’s a marked departure from “The Shredding Tears,” recorded in his apartment with Scary playing almost all the instruments, including keys, bass and guitar, and supplying more of an elaborate demo. The follow up to that effort sees Scary joined in the recording studio by The Shredding Tears and the collaboration that entails, allowing for more complex arrangements and ensemble pieces, while still maintaining the things he values in popular music – catchy melodies. “[I'm] pushing the form and seeing what I could do,” said Scary, “[pushing] the boundaries of a pop song and how far you can take it.” Bryan Scary and The Shredding tears play Luna Lounge February 29 at 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at 361 Metropolitan Avenue. For more information, go to lunalounge.com. For more on the band, go to www.myspace.com/bryanscary or flightoftheknife.com to hear their forthcoming album.

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