"From Then Until Almost Now" is a collection of work I have done over the past 10 years in various incarnations including the bands DOPE FIEND, LOCURA, and QUEEN MARY, as well as my solo material. The cd consists of 17 tracks, 4 of which are "bonus tracks". I wrote or co-wrote every song on the album, and all of the lyrics. I co-produced everything with uber-talented producer/engineer Eric Young, exception being the two DOPE FIEND tracks "Fiend" and "Hairdu" which were produced by world renowned veteran producer/engineer Peter Yianilos and co-writer/bass madman Chuk Doom. The last track on the album is a rump-shake-uhh re-mix of "Nothing" produced by Jason "Scarkord" Vine. (I will add more detail about all of these projects as time permits.)
My primary motivation behind releasing "From Then Until Almost Now" is a symbolic one. I am metaphorically "clearing house" before officially moving onto "the next" - which I am SO eager and excited to move on to. This thing was a real labour of "labour" to put together, and I may have just said f*ck it if not for all of the "Where can I get the cd?" s. So THANK YOU to all the fans. Your encouragement and support are truly appreciated.
I can't tell you how many times I've heard something to the effect of... "When I first listened to your stuff I didn't really get it, but the more I listened it really grew on me and now I can't stop!" Moral of the story- PLAY OFTEN! (and play loud)
Musicians featured on this cd:
David Pastorius, (local 518, elephant gun, nature kids ) - bassist, co-writer
Chuk Doom - bassist, co-writer
Eric Young, ( brave new tribe, the warning ) - keyboards, sequencing, production etc.
Stewart Coleman - guitars, fretless bass
Derek Sexton, ( talker, dialect )- drums
Matte Henderson, (mick karn, david torn, natalie merchant) - guitars
Bobby Thomas Jr., (Weather Report, Jaco Pastorius , Zawinul Syndicate, etc.)- hand drums
David Torn, (splattercell, Tony Levin, Mick Karn, etc.) - pedal steel
Marlon Browden - drums
John Pastorius - drums
Bjarne Kjaer, (dub city tribe, indicasol) - drums
Jason "Scarkord" Vine - remix artiste
About the "archival" bonus tracks - #'s 14 & 15:
14. (pre)promised - live - 1996
mary - vox
david - bass
eric - keyboards
This is the first time David, Eric and I ever played all together. I had just written this song, didn't have lyrics yet but had basic structure - bass line, melody, chords and rough arrangement. Gave that info to the boys and about two minutes later we taped this impromtu, unrehearsed, improv recording live to dat. This is my favorite piece of music on the cd. There is something magical in it for me - so much so that I have never been able to record it "for real" because I feel there is no way to recapture the spontaneity of that moment in time. ~ mary
15. dead waltz - 1996
mary - vox, piano, drum programming
The fourth song Mary and I ever recorded together. The vocals were tracked in the shower of our little apartment on the beach. The piano was recorded one take with a single mic in the living room while our friends waited for us to finish so we could play cards, (rest in peace BVR).
The first four songs we did - What Else, Ascension, Eaten Alive and Dead Waltz, were all recorded on 1/4 inch reel-to-reel @ 15ips with one track being SMPTE timecode synced to an Atari 1040STf with a whopping 40MB Hard-drive, running Hybrid Art's SmpteTrack midi sequencer. Cutting edge technology at the time. / eric
Early reviews of "From Then Until Almost Now":
portrait of mary...
Review: Mary Pastorius: From Then Until Almost Now (Maeric Music)
"The debut Mary Pastorius CD, From Then Until Almost Now, is the work of a girl with a story to tell and the talent to tell it, as Mary audiopaints her world for the rest of us to peer into. Those who are drawn to the Pastorius name by way of her famous father, expecting some kind of jazz-tinged foray, should be prepared for a shock but assured that the Pastorius creativity gene is alive and well.
A compilation of sorts, and ten years in the making, From Then Until Almost Now is a dark, stark reflection of Mary's personal journey. Electronica and ambient fueled grooves splattered with metallic guitars, industrial synths, and innovative bass provide sonic pallets for Mary's melodic vocals that challenge us and translate her vision -- both inward and outward. The album is emotionally raw and personally deep in its artistic ambition. Considering the time span that these songs were written and recorded (more than half are dated prior to 2000), what we observe here is one person's inner process over time, as Mary seems to come to terms with her past and present and joltingly opens up the vaults for public inspection.
Clearly interpretation is left for the listener, as only the text of lyrics-- all written by Mary-- are provided in the CD booklet, with no additional liner notes. Various themes resurface throughout: loneliness, desire, fear, mistrust. Mary sings of dreams and angels, but also of blackened hearts and burning flesh. She deals with feelings of seperation from the world, as in the opening song "Backwards World" where she sings of a "faraway girl/wrapped in a vision reminding/rewinding through a backwards world/trapped by a freedom that's blinding/and binding future to past". In "Everywhere" she explores her feelings of God: "I was a lonely girl/trapped inside a cage you couldn't see/lost in a netherworld/didn't know the answers were inside of me", and writes "I was afraid for so long I didn't even see you/but now I know you're in the air/here and there/and everywhere".
Mary's lyrics conjure up imagery and emotion with amazing clarity. At times disturbing ("fall moon burns me with a chill that feels like you/swirling in October wind that stinks of witches brew/the air is thick with you/I'm trying hard not to inhale/choking on debris of you and me") and other times fragile ("where are you hiding, who could you be/how will I know you when you come for me"), let there be no doubt: Mary Pastorius is a lyricist to be taken seriously.
As it turns out, Mary's husband Eric Young is also her musical partner as well, and proves to be a perfect compliment to Mary's lyrical and melodic sense. Eric constructs tracks of angular and often dense soundscapes over original beats that breathe, pulsate and quite simply kick ass. Distortion effects and samples jangle in and out as sine wavy synths dart around, and both Mary and Eric use dissonance to great effect. In "October", one of several standout tracks on the album, ominous strings approach like a dark dream from which Mary's distant vocals emerge. Often on the older material her voice is drenched and buried in walls of reverb and effects, but is mixed clearer in the more recent material, perhaps a reflection of Mary's growing confidence.
Obviously no review of any Pastorius endeavor can omit a discussion of the bass performance. Quite appropriately, David Pastorius provides much of it as he steps up with highly skilled fretted work, while Stewart Coleman contributes fretless to two tunes. In the context of a Mary Pastorius album, the Jaco-esque tone that pervades is more like a DNA stamp, so to speak.
The album appropriately closes (before the added bonus mixes) with the beautifully haunting "Lullabye", sung by both Mary and Eric over nothing more than David's solo bass; "fall to sleep and dream of me/i'd taste so much sweeter in a dream/close your eyes and be with me".
To these ears, From Then Until Almost Now sounds like it's meant to be cranked and shaking the walls of dance clubs, and I highly recommend it. It's a debut album that Mary Pastorius should be proud of, and one hopes that she won't wait too long to follow up with new material. Certainly Jaco would be proud of his little girl."
-Rick Suchow, August 2007
from then until almost now
Pastorius (daughter of the late jazz-bass legend, Jaco Pastorius of Weather Report) describes the purpose of this CD as "clearing house," and it's a compilation of her solo work, as well as frontwoman for bands Queen Mary, Dope Fiend, and Locura, dating from 1996-2005.
Thankfully, the chanteuse's musical vision has remained focused and consistent through the years. Throughout, her soft, sexy, slinky, and supernatural voice coos seductively over deep, luxuriant, and ominous beds of electronica, rock, and goth. These qualities already appear to be in full swing on the early Dope Fiend tracks, especially the chugging, menacing "Hairdu" (a devastating kiss-off; I'd hate to be
the loser that inspired this song!). And the more recent Queen Mary material, especially the poppy (for her) "Everywhere," will keep you transfixed under her hypnotic spell, feebly begging for some new music soon.
-The Big Takeover Magazine, December 2007
The Queen Holds Court
'From Then..' serves as a wonderful and comprehensive introduction into the musical vision of Mary Pastorius. Pastorius' compellingly dark aesthetic is effectively framed and offset by a terrific array of supporting musos, most notably husband, collaborator, and co-producer Eric Young. (Other notable cameos include killer bassists David Pastorius and Chuck Doom, and Matte Hendersdon, , "enfant terrible" of the modern electric guitar who shines on the Dope Fiend tracks). Young's instrumental and production skills and savvy make for a great sounding album full of engaging arrangements. These, plus Ms. P's noir-ish vocals, yield a satisfyingly addictive record.
With tracks culled from a variety of projects spanning a good 10 years,'From Then...' holds together remarkably well. The CD's over-arching consistency of sentiment and gesture is no doubt due to Mary's fully developed narrative voice, which is as sultry and mysterious as a curl of smoke in a dark and sketchy nightclub - slightly dangerous, yet full of promise. Her vocal melodies get lodged deep in the unconscious, where they begin to resonate. Think of the slightly narcotic quality of the glory days of the 4 AD label, which regularly produced audio magic from folks like The Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil.
Mary Pastorius is clearly a new force to be reckoned with on the scene, as this disc makes abundantly clear. Lucky for us, we can look forward to years of equally evocative music from this confidently iconoclastic new voice.
-Conor Dowling, December 2007
"I've listened to your CD twice so far, and can tell you with no smoke or mirrors...I f*cking love this stuff!!! The lyrics, compositions, arrangements...and on and on are all just spectacular...but your voice is what haunts me throughout the entire journey.
Sure, you're an incredibly beautiful woman...but if you had a picture of Pee Wee Herman on the cover...I'd still be seduced by that voice. :^)
Also, congratulations for releasing a work that actually moves popular music forward, instead of cookie-cutter soup dejour. You and Eric have really opened a portal into a new place and I beg you...never let it close.
It's so wonderful to experience a music that doesn't fit any known genre' tag! They're going to have to invent a new one just for you dear.
Super kudos to Eric and all the people who helped you make this a reality. You are indeed an Artist who needs to be taken very seriously Mary. Dad is so proud of you...wherever he is...I know he can feel this."
"I really like it! I have listened to it several times now. You have a great voice, great pitching and excellent tone! Quite haunting but in a beautiful mysterious way. I like the choice of unusual notes you use sometimes and the great production makes everything crystal clear too. The lyrics are really interesting and your not afraid to deal with dark themes in an enticing way like Jim Morrison did. As well as some of the more modern styles you use, you seem to have an 80's influence with some parts making me recall my favorite bands from that time like Japan, Kate Bush and Bauhaus (all of whom I still listen too).
All the tunes are great but my favorites are 'Backwards World' which sounds very Arabic (tonally). I also really like 'Playing with Fire' and the sparseness of just the vocal parts and bass on 'Lullaby' is great too (nice playing from David as well). I also really like the ambiance of 'Promised'.
Thank you for introducing me to your music. I think it's a really good album and you deserve to get a lot of recognition."
(Note: Many of the following reviews are referring to "LOCURA- 10 song demoLITION" which was a demo we - Eric, David Pastorius and I - put out some years ago. Many of the tracks that were on that release are now on this compilation which is why I am posting the reviews.) - mkp
LOCURA/QUEEN MARY PRESS REVIEWS:
"WOW! This is exceptional! Female fronted, extremely dark and brooding electronics fused with alternative rock elements. I cannot stop listening to these tracks!" -MBI
"An intense, well-produced, female fronted alternative band with touches of darkness in each song. Fiercely original and a definite star in the making." -MP3.com
CD Review - 10 Song demoLITION by LOCURA - Moving Hands Music Magazine
"This is a CD for those of us who have stopped hoping to ever hear anything that sounds remotely fresh or new. LOCURA get ten points for originality, though there are some bands you think of when you here the music. The vocals, designed for your mind every time, by Mary Pastorius remind me of Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins), not the voice but the style of singing and the phrasing. But it is still very personal. Another band that comes to mind is Japan or to be more precise, Mick Karn, the bass player of Japan. This because LOCURA's Dave Pastorius plays the bass in a similar way. This is good since Mick Karn is one of my favourite bass players of all time. The music is a strange brew of rock, goth, trip hop, wave, new romantic and a touch of industrial. It's really tasteful and mature, and I mean that in the best of ways. The music is on the dark side but naturally so, it doesn't feel fake in any way. They definitely have a future, the songs are that good, and I'd be very disappointed if this is the last I hear of LOCURA. Their music defies definition and categorisation. A great band with a great personality and an identity of it's own." /Magnus Nilsson
Darkcell Digital Music
"The closest you can come to seeing beauty with your eyes closed is by listening to the haunting tones of Queen Mary (who could probably make a shopping list sound erotic), spellcasting vocalist with pop industrialists LOCURA. But don't be fooled into thinking this is a one woman show, no siree bob! LOCURA's musicians happen to be masters of their own art too, in setting the mood and dragging you into a fantastical world of synth-pop and darkwave ambiance, stopping at nothing short of genius to ply their trade. Voted "CD you'd most like to make out to" here at Grave H.Q, this is an essential piece of listening which I would defy anyone to be disappointed in." - Grave 2002©
"This song is labeled as "Alternative", which is vague, because "Ready Right Now" is so unique that it deserves to be labeled as a genre of its own. It is truly original, which makes it so great to listen to that you will want to play it over and over again. This song is very fresh, very catchy, and very good! LOCURA is Ready!!! (right now)" -STRANGE-WAV
The Violet Collection
Detailed Review of LOCURA's 10 Song demoLITION:
"10 Song demoLITION by LOCURA is a strong collection of songs that showcase the talents of this quartet from Florida. Listening to it, I'm hearing all the right things in all the right places, most apparent of those right things being the vocals. There's something spellbinding about singer Queen Mary's voice. Something smooth, sultry, and kinda sinister, but in a very enticing way. Add that to David Pastorius' bass mastery and assorted electronic sounds and beats, and you have the recipe for a rather impressive listening experience...
The slow beat of October opens the album, playing underneath treated vocals inviting and enticing you deeper into the music. You can't help but be drawn in, shuffled along by a hypnotic tattoo played on the snare, led by that voice. A heavy pulse in Feeding the Disguise breaks the spell, but by this time you're so far into the disc that removing yourself will take too much effort. Better to surrender to it's charms, let LOCURA do the driving.
Skipping ahead a little bit Come puts a bit of a club spin on the proceedings, a funky bass line punctuating Mary's sultry vocals. "I love you love you love you on the dance floor..." Mmmmmmmmm, I think we can all relate to that idea... Have you ever noticed that all the best dance songs have an equal mix of enticement and tension? I think that Locura have noticed, and they've made it work very effectively here.
Buff (Welcome to the House of) shows a playful side of Locura, a whining keyboard line playing overtop a shaking drumbeat, seductive in the way that all the best instrumentals are. Credit for this one goes to keyboard player Eric Young, who's electronic wizardry plays throughout the disc. Being a keyboard player myself I can appreciate the talent here...
It's the last two tracks that impress me the most though... Lullaby is a beautiful ballad of sorts, featuring Mary's vocals winding through a repeated bass line, sparse, simple, and all together brilliant. Whoa. Whoa I say...
Take is the album closer, a hypnotic piece where layers of sound are added with each verse, resulting in a riveting, spellbinding climax, which ends at just the right moment to leave you breathing for more. Brilliant, simply brilliant...
So to sum up. LOCURA's "Ten Song demoLITION", awesome vocals, awesome bass, awesome keyboards, "I love you love you love you on the dance floor...", Lullaby: brilliant, Take: brilliant. Any questions? No? Good. Go buy the disc now. You'll be glad you did... " -rik from The Violet Collection
"Very impressive tune that uses NO GUITARS (Ready Right Now). All the distorted chords are created from the bass. Invigorating and inspiring!" -HIDDEN SANCTUARY
"THESE GUYS ARE READY!!!!.... where there is smoke, there is LOCURA!!!" -POPROCKGHANDI
"Here is a group that is hard to describe, certainly hard to categorize to help describe them, but displaying a lot of talent in what they do. Formed recently in Melbourne, FL. band members Queen Mary (vocals, keyboards), David Pastorius (bass), Eric Young (keyboards, programming) and Derek Sexton (percussion) are exploring and developing their sound. It combines so many elements but always with a prominent bass and Queen Mary's smooth, brooding vocals. So far they have only released a 10-track demo album which I'm featuring here. However, you can still buy this album to check them out. This album is what I'm featuring here to give you a taste of what we might be able to hope for in the future:
10 Song Demolition - Review
I've listened to this album over and over again, and it's been very hard for me to find a comparison, some middle ground to compare them to in order to give you, the reader, and idea of what to expect. Well, I'll make an attempt and let you be the judge based on your own tastes.
At first listen, you'll notice the prominent, brooding yet at times dreamy female vocals. The other thing that you'll definitely notice is the bass that is very prominent throughout all the tracks. At times it's dark and brooding, other times it's quite jazzy and sometimes it's just overbearing and bluesy.
The first track "October" is the track I heard that first introduced me to this group. I quite like this track and it reminds me a little bit of Collide with the smooth, yet groovy, almost trip-hop style. This attracted me enough to get the disc and listen to it. This same style is prominent throughout the disc, but to me the rest of the tracks just don't measure up to the first. There are definitely some highlights throughout the album, like the upbeat "Ready Right Now" with it's guitar rifts all made by the bass guitar. I'll tell you one thing for sure, David sure does have a talent for that bass! " -Gothic Paradise
REVIEW- LOCURA 10 Song demoLITION
Ready Right Now
Playing With Fire
"Whoa. Locura is making a statement. This release has been haunting me for days now. Locura is a three piece band with Queen Mary at the helm. I have to say I pulled rank on the other reviewers after I heard it was a gothy chick band (my fave.) At first I thought , "Nice song order." Kind of funny response displaying how the music was a little beyond my simple comprehension. But I wanted to hear the songs again.
This Demo is a fine release upon inspection. The bass work really stands out. It's been a long time since I have heard something this unique to a specific genre. An original blend of strange vocal melodies, wild effects, soft and spacey synth, and wandering music. Did I mention the phat bass licks? Supreme!
I got a few impressions of the bend after listening over a few times and them humming the songs back to myself. I hate to reveal anything about my age, but I was catching some serious Pre-popular Blondie vibes, slide in a little Shirley Manson, add a dash of Gwen Stefani, shake the whole thing up with a couple shots of Primus and you end up with Locura.
I really liked the hot tracks but also felt myself tapping my feet, singing along, and swaying back and forth as if snake charmed to the rest.
So with that being said: Locura is a technotic bluesy/jazzy speak easy band for the new millenium. Close your eyes and envision the smoke swirls, the dark atmosphere cut only by the stage lights, the dark rumblings of the enchanted crowd, and smell of the alcohol laced dance floor with wicked folks laughing and displaying knowing grins. Even though the muscial structure was a little confusing to my untrained ear bones, they got wicked cool upon repeat listens." -Ginger Starr
"Mary Pastorius, (singer/songwriter) and Eric Young, (producer/engineer), have been making groundbreaking, genre shattering music for years. Bursting onto the scene as LOCURA - the critically acclaimed band formed with bassist David Pastorius – they were heralded as "trailblazers", "innovators" and "a breath of fresh air". As QUEEN MARY they continue to forge ahead, breaking new ground and creating truly original music."
"Modern music has become a desolate wasteland populated by mindless drones devoid of musical identity. Hovering above this apocolyptic landscape Mary releases sky tears of sonic energy as she is crowned with a tiara of individuality." -John Leggiero, songwriter
"Central Florida's QUEEN MARY is one of the best bands I have heard in a LONG time. It is hard to nail them down into a genre. Mary Pastorius' vocals are spellbinding, sensual and the whole effect is mesmerizing. I am always telling people that a jazz fan could sit next to a full on death rocker and both of them would dig the music. That is no mean feat to pull off--especially while remaining interesting." - Patrick Ogle of Precipice Records, Projekt website
QUEEN MARY - A Great Unsigned Florida Band
"Their subtle blends of musical mastery and simplicity are what makes Queen Mary so powerful! Vocalist Mary Pastorius has a way of wording complex topics into simple phrases,and then painting images (sonically) into your head." - SHOVEL Magazine
Live Show Review
"There is a serene grittiness that is inherent in QM's live show. It borders on mesmerizing. I'm not going to say that they're a better live band than studio band; That's QUITE obviously not true. They "bring it" whether it be studio or a club. Their live shows are just so in-your-face while at the same time being melodic that the luscious dichotomy of it is much harder to ignore than when you pop in a CD or click on an mp3." - ZwanLive
*A few words about the packaging: My cd is beautiful to look at. I am very fortunate to have a veritable creative dream team when it comes to how I present myself visually to the world: Photographic artiste extra-ordinaire, Marcela Aguero (who has been making me look good for over 15 years- you wouldn't even recognize me in person!) and graphic artist/web design diva, Heidi Ramirez. Props to Eric as well for his behind the scenes work and expertise concerning all things technical which enables us to actually get our creative visions onto cd's, the www, and such.