June Cleaver & The Steak Knives - Biography
Although June Cleaver and the Steak Knives began as a collaboration centered around film and video experimentation, Christopher and Patrick Bradley, brothers from Syracuse, NY, soon decided to focus their energy on the recording arts. Using a broad array of instrumentation, ranging from traditional rock (guitar, bass, drums) to the more exotic (sitar, zither, accordian) and electronic, June Cleaver connects innovation, concept, and the reconstruction of many popular modes of musical expression. The duo has recorded 5 CD\'s, each uniquely different from one another. The music is unusual, yet infectious. Employing a highly innovative approach to composition and production, the music is often created within a conceptual framework. The last two CD\'s have been collections of unrelated songs, experimenting within more traditional popular musical structures.
The band spent a few years on the independent label, Esoteric Music Group, before its demise in 2000. The company\'s founder, Tom Timony, ran Ralph Records in the 1980\'s working with underground favorites like The Residents and Yellow, and he found similar potential in June Cleaver. J.C. & the S.K.\'s have recorded soundtracks for film and video works, radio and TV commercials, radio dramas, and even soundscape material for an interactive exhibit at Chicago\'s Field Museum. The band has slowly perfected the creation of its own unique brand of uncategorizable rock music. This band is extremely self-sufficient. Every aspect of making the CDs -from composition to performance to engineering to production (with the exception of mastering) - is done by the two brothers...even the artwork for the finished product. Quality control.... However, collaboration keeps things interesting. The last two CD\'s have featured the talents of several guest musicians from a variety musical backgrounds.
The brothers are currently living half way across the country from one another. Music is constantly being transported between respective residences in Chicago and New York\'s Hudson Valley. The group was voted \"Best Local Band 2003\" by Hudson Valley Magazine. The group has become more of an animation production house as of late. Pat creates the visuals, often writing the stories himself or collaborating with developers. Chris is in charge of the audio end, creating both scores and songs for the productions. The two have done nationally award winning animations for several permanent exhibits at the Field Museum, and are currently finishing up a Patrick Bradley original, entitled UNDO, about what life might be like if we could erase certain sections of it. Look for it at independent film festivals at the end of 2008.
June Cleaver and the Steak Knives has reached its 10 year anniversary this summer, and have recreated a song from the first CD called Steven. Recent work has begun on a new studio CD.
June Cleaver & The Steak Knives - The Album
This CD is the perfect combination of uncharted musical territory and toe tappin\'/shirt flappin\' rock and roll - from sing-a-long pop songs to hypnotic sound experimentation. It is a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the darker sides of a man and his wholesome American family living in 1950\'s suburbia. Take a musical journey through the multitude of emotions only to be found in the hidden closets of the family next door. Put on those 3-D glasses, grab your pipe and slippers, and reach for a refreshing June Cleaver cocktail.
Amidst the modern tendency toward cynicism, we can assure ourselves that life could never have lived up to the automated pleasantries of \"Father Knows Best\". We all know that people who put such efforts towards living one-dimensional, picture-perfect lives are often the victims of severe subconscious compensation. This leaves a lot to the imagination. What really went on in the Cleaver household that the cameras didn\'t let you see? The cheerful tranquilty of the family bombshelter transformed into a ghastly torture chamber? The frustrated, mundane father figure choked with paranoic and sadistic fetishes?
What evolved from this idea is a satirical sort of \"movie for the ears\", which attempts to take you on a musical journey into the past as seen through the modern lense. The apron clad mother, pipe smoking father, atomic bomb and communism anxiety all make their appearances. In addition to the story line, several instrumental pieces are interspersed. Many of these pieces were designed to musically enhance the characters\' moods, such as the father\'s grim arrival home, or his decision while driving on the highway to spice up his banal lifestyle with some savagery towards his wife. Other pieces were inspired by musical styles of the past, to exist as sort of a sountrack to the soundtrack. Rockabilly, swing, surf, African, and Latin are all reinterpreted and thrown into the mix for aesthetic purposes, as are old TV show themes (of course, the Leave It To Beaver theme makes several obscured appearances) and radio advertisements. The Buddy Holly classic, \"Rave On\", is reconstructed from charred debris. The CD as a whole is an attempt to arrive at the future by means of the past, and at the same time an attempt to display the timeless struggle to introduce meaning to an essentially banausic existence.
An Auditory Movie in 23 parts
THE BASIC OUTLINE OF THE STORY
The story begins in happy times with everyone in their proper 1950\'s place: June in the kitchen, Ward at work, and the kids enjoying themselves down in the bombshelter. Things severely darken as Ward comes home from a tough day at the office, looking for someone to release his pent up aggression upon. After a bit of cruelty, he falls into a satiated trance while June darts around the house perfecting the art of housewifery. As Ward\'s satisfaction wanes, he begins to question what his life has become, and longs for a change. In an attempt to escape his existence, he is met with the realization that with the right amount of familial sadism, he may be able to sustain his will to live. During these twisted episodes his mind drifts to happy times of watering the lawn and sipping his favorite refreshing drink. Rejuvenated, he decides to exercise his power fully, basking in savagery and punishment. During these episodes of torture, June begins to experience neurotic fantasies involving dancing vacuum cleaners.
On his way home from the office one day, Ward experiences a mental journey through the collective unconscious. The fears of modern technology and mass destruction begin to hover like dark clouds over his freshly manicured lawn. His fears converge into a singular paranoiac agitation: the foreign neighbor moving in next door. This new obsession adds fuel to the household cruelty, and finally causes his wife to take refuge in a tree outside the bedroom window. Her final refusal to be a part of his sick fantasies seems to rapidly deflate father\'s belt to that of a mere shoelace. His outlook on life is also quickly reduced back to its former state, but additionally soured by his growing paranoia. The story ends with a false sense of hope being slowly suffocated by the growing awareness of the futility of his life and the failure to reverse this essential situation by any degree.