Washington, DC – July 24, 2007 – The Caribbean, the hyper-intelligent and critically-acclaimed DC band known for its impeccable, serene pop, will release its new LP, Populations, on the very friendly Hometapes label. The album’s release date is October 9, 2007 and will be accompanied by a brief tour. Possessed of a singular wit, the band’s smooth songs often center on issues like working in bureaucracy, intra-office business relationship, and generally toiling away at a mundane life. Like Joe Tangari of Pitchfork Media said, “It’s the folk music of the new American service economy.”
The Caribbean emerged in 1999 from the ashes of two highly analytical and forward-looking Washington, DC pop groups: Townies and Smart Went Crazy. The initial trio – Michael Kentoff, Matthew Byars, and Tony Dennison – endeavored to propel a loose collective toward Steely Dan-like immortality, freed from the bonds of orthodox rock band structure to play how and with whom they wanted when they wanted and call it The Caribbean. As if to prove the point, Dennison promptly moved to Florida during the making of 2001’s Verse By Verse and still records a bulk of the drum parts in the group, sometimes via telephone, sometimes in person in a proper studio.
Don Campbell was added, first in 2001, to the touring concern as drummer, bass player, and keyboard player to fill the breach (and then some). Campbell would go on to make immense contributions to the recorded documentation, starting with 2003’s History’s First Know-It-All record and continues to do so.
Weary from Kentoff’s lone guitar histrionics, the group asked Dave Jones to enter the fray as guitar sound architect in 2004 for performances supporting the William of Orange EP [also The Caribbean’s Hometapes debut]. Jones accepted the invite and debuted, in recorded form, the next year on Plastic Explosives. Jones remains a recording contributor as well as part of the current touring concern – Kentoff-Byars-Jones since 2006 – while Dennison raises a daughter and drives a 1972 Corvette in Tampa, Florida and Campbell attends grad school, readies himself for marriage, and plays bass and drums in various DC-area groups.
Throughout all of the recordings, The Caribbean continues to hew to the intent of its framers, working with friends, admirers, and admirees to create pop song standards for a nearly parallel time and place to our own.
The Caribbean tour dates.
8/2/07 – Denver, CO – Hi Dive
8/3/07 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
8/4/07 – Boise, ID – Flying M Coffeegarage
8/5/07 – Portland, OR – Towne Lounge
8/6/07 – Seattle, WA – SS Marie Antoinette
8/8/07 – San Francisco – Hemlock Tavern
8/9/07 – Los Angeles – Pehrspace w/ Brad Laner
8/11/07 – Boulder, CO – Trilogy Lounge
Aside from fighting off a nasty sinus infection, I’m going to be working with a DC band called Pagoda, helping them record their second full-length; they’re a bit like Galaxie 500 with a pulse and some melodies. We’ve started sketching out new material for the next Caribbean record, which will likely be an EP to come out in 2006 — possibly a concept EP inspired by the poet Weldon Kees. Don’t worry: it won’t be ponderous; Kees was anything but ponderous and it’s really just an excuse to write a song called “65 Cent Dinner.” We’re also working on the latest iteration of our live act, which, while Don gets used to graduate school, is trio format and lots of electronics.