*Update! Two tracks from Yuletide Swank are featured in the online "CHAD VADER" Holiday Video Card. Chad Vader is the comedy series that's become an internet hit with over 50 million downloads to date.
After colliding at a favorite neighborhood watering hole in Madison, Wisconsin one summer evening, guitarist Dan Hicks and vocalist Courtney Collins instantly bonded over their mutual love of old-school power pop. They closed the evening with a pact to start a band that would pay homage to the bands that inspired them during their formative years, and then set about finding the rhythm section that would complement their music, which they dub "arena pop." Drummer Dave Ross entered the scene and wholeheartedly agreed to join the expedition. The lineup was completed with the addition of bassist Andrew Yonda.
Hicks' roaring power chords and classic arrangements are augmented by Yonda's melodic bass lines. Ross's precise but big beat provides the foundation for the playground that is Arena Venus. Collins ties it together with her bright melodies, contralto vocals, and multi-entendre lyrics which are usually delivered with tongue planted firmly in cheek.
The band's debut EP, "Plucked," was released in July 2003. "Plucked" has been reviewed as a "smart, catchy disc," with "gritty guitars" and "sultry, dreamy legato" vocals. Over the summer of 2004, Arena Venus took a temporary departure from power pop to record a Christmas CD. "Yuletide Swank" combines lounge, rockabilly, and traditional stylings - upright bass, vibraphone, Christmas bells, rocking guitar, organ, and smooth female vocals that make the recording both retro and fresh.
To purchase WELCOME TO CHRISTMASTOWN by Courtney Collins and Jeremy Ylviskaker, go to: http://cdbaby.com/all/arenavenus
To purchase other ARENA VENUS CDs go to: http://cdbaby.com/all/arenavenus
To purchase COURTNEY COLLINS'S solo CD, Violet Night, go to: http://cdbaby.com/all/arenavenus
And also visit www.CourtneyCollins.com and www.theBack40s.com for more music from members of Arena Venus.
"Let's get this out of the way straight off - this is the best Christmas album I've ever heard - anywhere. Brilliant arrangements and sublime musicianship...with a pristine recording and mix, delivering one of the best albums of the year." - Rick's Cafe, South Central Wisconsin's Regional Music News
" ...Yuletide Swank is pure pop pleasure. It's a fun ride for a broad audience of holiday music lovers. Take a seat in the lounge, and enjoy!" - Carol Swanson, Christmasreviews.com
"The band candy-coats its usual guitar rock edge and gives yuletide favorites an 'indie lounge' feel that goes down as smooth as spiked eggnog at your holiday party." - Rob Thomas, The Capital Times
"Arena Venus could likely succeed in any genre, the elements from each of the individual players are that in tune and that cohesive." - Christine Holm, The Badger Herald