Strange Parade was formed by keyboardist, singer/songwriter Brian Cleary, former keyboardist/occasional co-songwriter for The Movies and Radar Brothers (Merge).
Originally from Boston, Cleary started teaching himself piano at the age of 5. His family moved to Florida where he joined a new wave/punk band at age 14. At the start of the 90’s, he moved back to Boston and in 1999, co-formed The Movies (Gern Blandsten / Houston Party). The band moved to LA, released 3 LPs, splitting up by early 2009.
Cleary joined Radar Brothers in 2010, touring with the band and co-writing songs for the album “Eight” (Merge, 2013) – all the while diving deeper into his own songs and eventually forming Strange Parade.
After a 2 year stint in San Francisco, Cleary moved back to LA, finding the locked-in, current lineup. Paul Lacques, engineer/producer of the band’s 2nd LP, was/is founding member, guitarist and songwriter for The Bonedaddys, Double Naught Spy Car, and I See Hawks In L.A., with 25 albums released under his belt. He’s recorded and/or performed with Bo Diddley, Peter Case, Stan Ridgway, and Mike Watt.
Before joining Strange Parade, Dan Allaire played with Brian Jonestown Massacre, Cass McCoombs, and Darker My Love among others. Ashley Berry joined after a stint filling in on bass for a friend’s band. Immediately blowing the minds of the band, she brings, in Cleary’s words, “an unusually innate sense of rhythm and finesse – the decision was made in about 10 minutes,”
Their sound is a swirling-but-driving psychedelic folk rock / post-punk / new wave hybrid with Lacques’ lap steel twang and Cleary's keyboards flowing over Allaire and Berry's transcendent grooves. The songs are moody and cinematic, recalling early Roxy Music or John Cale at times, Neil Young or Lloyd Cole & The Commotions at others. The songs dabble in a strange marriage of folk rock psychedelia and post-punk shoegaze churning out of it all something otherworldly and new.
PRESS RELEASE - "BETWEEN US ALL" LP
For Release October 4, 2019
STRANGE PARADE RELEASE DEBUT LP, “BETWEEN US ALL” - CD Release Party October 4 at Highland Park Bowl
(LOS ANGELES, CA)
"Between Us All" is the first album from Strange Parade, brainchild of innovative keyboardist and songwriter Brian Cleary, former keyboardist and co-songwriter of Radar Brothers (Merge) and The Movies (Houston Party / Gern Blandsten). The album, featuring members of Radar Brothers, Eels and Trans Am will be released October 4, 2019 with a CD release party at Highland Park Bowl in Los Angeles. The performance will feature his new lineup of the band, featuring members of Brian Jonestown Massacre, I See Hawks In L.A. and Double Naught Spy Car.
Brian Cleary got into his first band, Locals Only by playing Neil Young’s “Cortez the Killer” on piano for the band’s guitarist — solos and all. Cleary, however, didn’t have a keyboard. And … he was only 12. The band held his spot until Cleary turned 14 and convinced his parents that he wouldn’t drop out of school and die young of a drug overdose. (He at least kept his word on the second part.)
This was Florida’s ‘Space Coast.’ Cleary was a teen in a very decadent scene of 20-something surfers where drugs literally floated onto the beach. He spent the next 5 years playing keys for the band, surfing, hosting several radio shows at the local college station and immersing himself in the extremes and madness of the 24-hour party that was Melbourne Beach, FL at the time. Of course, it all came crashing down eventually.
At the dawn of the 90’s, Cleary moved back to Boston where he’d go to college to study English Lit. At night he’d sneak into the school’s music rooms to communing with the grand pianos, re-developing his raw style into something distinctive. He eventually started playing out as ‘Very’ in 1998, a solo/experimental outing he still plays under.
It was around this time he started playing with friends Timothy James and Jessica Gelt. In 1999, the three formed The Movies (Gern Blandsten, Houston Party) who would quickly move to LA, releasing three albums and winning LA Weekly’s “Best Rock Band” in 2005. Their song, “Creation Lake” was covered by Silversun Pickups 2005. Cleary played keys and co-wrote a handful of fan favorites for the Movies. They broke up in 2009.
Soon after the break, Radar Brothers front man Jim Putnam snagged Movies drummer Stevie Treichel and Cleary for a new lineup of the Radars. Cleary co-wrote and played keys on Radars’ 2013 release, "Eight" (Merge). The LP got high critical praise and landed them a few direct support tours with Modest Mouse, Teenage Fanclub and Overseas). Meanwhile, Cleary started recording his own songs with fellow Radars, Be Hussey and Putnam as well as Phil Manley (Trans Am, Terry Gross).
For two tracks ('Under' and 'Smoking Gun'), Cleary brought in an early/short-lived lineup of the band featuring Derek Brown (Eels) on drums, Paul Larson (DNTEL, Datamaps, Strictly Ballroom) on guitar and Seb Bailey (Division Day) on bass.
"Between Us All" was all tied together and mixed by another Radar alum, Ethan Walter. The songs run a gamut of subgenres, from the 80’s-like “The Locker Room” and “Under” to the shoegazey, slow-core psyche-folk of “Pause in Reception” and piano dream pop of "Between Us All." Moodier pieces fall somewhere between John Cale’s nicer side and Elton John’s angrier side – all with Cleary's vocals and experimental keys recalling early Roxy Music.
Now locked in as a band, Strange Parade are already recording a second LP at their home studio in Highland Park.