08-29 Laura Stevenson reveals new LP
09-18 She has learned everything...
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Laura Stevenson was raised in Nassau County, New York, where she was introduced to music at an early age. Her grandfather, Harry Simeone, was a successful pianist and composer whose works included "The Little Drummer Boy" and "Do You Hear What I Hear?". Simeone's wife (and Stevenson's grandmother), Margaret McCravy was a singer for the jazz bandleader Benny Goodman. Stevenson began learning music by "playing the piano and singing in choirs and that type of stuff." It was not until she left her home for college that Laura began both playing gui ...read more
Laura Stevenson was raised in Nassau County, New York, where she was introduced to music at an early age. Her grandfather, Harry Simeone, was a successful pianist and composer whose works included "The Little Drummer Boy" and "Do You Hear What I Hear?". Simeone's wife (and Stevenson's grandmother), Margaret McCravy was a singer for the jazz bandleader Benny Goodman. Stevenson began learning music by "playing the piano and singing in choirs and that type of stuff." It was not until she left her home for college that Laura began both playing guitar and writing songs.
Growing up in Rockville Centre, Stevenson befriended members of Baldwin, NY's The Arrogant Sons of Bitches. After they disbanded in 2005, Stevenson was appointed as the keyboardist for the original lineup of lead singer Jeff Rosenstock's new project, Bomb the Music Industry!. By this time, Stevenson had written a number of her own songs and was performing solo at small gigs, particularly in bars. Her experiences during this time were the subject of a ska song that she penned called "Free Bird", which--after some editing from Rosenstock--was featured on Bomb the Music Industry!'s debut full-length Album Minus Band. While recording and touring with BtMI!, Stevenson began to piece together her own band which was dubbed Laura Stevenson and the Cans. The band was named for the musicians that Stevenson hired to accompany her in live performances, as she recruited anyone who told her they "can [could]" do so.
Initially, Laura Stevenson and the Cans, or simply "The Cans", consisted primarily of members of BtMI!. In the summer of 2007, Laura took a position as a counselor at Power Chord Academy Music Camp, where she enlisted Mike Campbell of the Long Island punk band Latterman to play bass for The Cans. One of Laura's most popular songs from this early era, "A Shine to It", was written about Campbell. Alex Billig of The Best Thing Ever was added on trumpet later that fall, and a year later Laura began working on her first studio record. Shortly after releasing A Record on Rosenstock's label Quote Unquote Records in October 2008, Laura Stevenson and the Cans played at the Plan-It-X stage at The Fest in Gainesville, Florida.
The following winter, Stevenson added Chris Parker and Wen-Jay Ying as drummer and violinist, respectively. This lineup of Stevenson, Billig, Campbell, Ying and Parker became the first established lineup of the band and they began writing for future releases. A Record received its first physical pressing in 2010, accompanied on CD and vinyl with three newly recorded bonus tracks. By this time, Stevenson and her band had also released a split EP with Bomb the Music Industry! as well as the EP Holy Ghost!; the title track from the latter release became the band's first music video.
The Cans' first full-length, entitled Sit Resist, was released in April of 2011 via Don Giovanni Records. The central Cans lineup on the record consisted of Stevenson, Billig, Campbell, Parker and guitarist Peter Naddeo, who proceeded to perform with Stevenson on her extensive US and UK tours before recording the follow-up to Sit Resist, entitled Wheel. Released almost exactly two years after its predecessor, Wheel was notable for being the first release since A Record to bear only Stevenson's name on the cover, with the band thereafter being billed only as "Laura Stevenson" although the members of "The Cans" still act as her backing lineup (minus Chris Parker who was replaced in 2014 by Samantha Niss). Since the release of Wheel, Stevenson has been on a lengthy run of solo and full band tours as either a headliner or a supporting act, sharing the stage with Owen, Tim Kasher, Against Me!, The Dear Hunter, The Hotelier, Anthony Raneri, Into It. Over It. and Kevin Devine.
Outside of her solo endeavours, Stevenson rejoined Bomb the Music Industry! in 2009, appearing on the albums Scrambles and Adults!!! before departing to focus on the release of and subsequent tours for Sit Resist. Stevenson then returned to Bomb the Music Industry! once more for their farewell shows in January of 2014. Since then, she has appeared on most of Jeff Rosenstock's post-BtMI! releases, including his first solo album We Cool? and both Antarctigo Vespucci EPs. She also sang on a Christmas album written by Rosenstock's Antarctigo Vespucci bandmate Chris Farren entitled A Gift from God or Whatever. Notably, Stevenson has appeared as an unlikely guest vocalist on Boston screamo band The Saddest Landscape's 2010 album You Will Not Survive, as well as the third full-length by Philadelphia pop punk band The Wonder Years, The Greatest Generation. « hide
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