antenna inn

Artist / Band / Musician
Indie / Jazz / Rock
Antenna Inn Music
"This nine-piece is like nothing from Popeye's."

--Antigravity, 5/08

".a nine-piece indie fusion project that is as heavily influenced by Steely Dan as it is by Tortoise.

The band takes the best from its jazz and art rock heroes to create a fresh, fiery sound reflecting the melting pot of New Orleans."

--Rory Callais, offBeat 4/23/08

"it would be tough to imagine the band — or any local band, for that matter — topping the live rendition of “Ernest Borgnine” put on by Antenna Inn.

.a sonic orgy and is always a study in glorious excess.

Dueling drum kits. Mid-song instrument swaps. Tag-teamed vibraphone solos. Curtain-dropping rhythm circles. Each of these made an appearance at a recent Blue Nile gig, and all on the encore performance of “Borgnine,” a 7-minute syncopation lesson that borrows parts from the Mercury Program, Tortoise, Aloha, Danny Elfman and Steely Dan and sounds precisely like none of them. It starts with two plunks on a piano and ends with a leisurely, lounge-y keys/brass/bass waltz. In between there are itchy cymbals and scratch snares; multiple polyrhythmic, Elfmanesque vibe-offs that evoke snowflakes colliding in a Tim Burton-directed blizzard; and that wordless, “ooh-ooh-hoo-ooh-hoo” falsetto hook that eventually should catch Antenna Inn the record deal it’s been fishing for."

--Noah Bonparte Pais, Blog Of New Orleans - "Inn Like Flint"

"As if assembled on a mythical ark, the instruments in Antenna Inn come two-by-two: two guitarists, two horns, two keyboards, even two drum kits. ….

Arithmetic time signatures and polyrhythmic percussion define the heavily orchestrated sets, which owe a debt to jazz/pop acts both traditional (The Dave Brubeck Quartet) and progressive (Steely Dan).”

--Noah Bonaparte Pais, Gambit Weekly 7-17-07

"The must-see show of the moment is Antenna Inn."

"The band's sound is a blend of jazzy, bluesy, gypsy, Latin-tinged stereophonic sounds--a gumbo of deep melody topped with Sam's smoky lyrics.

.a hip version of 1970s art-rock band Electric Light Orchestra."

--Lisa M. Daliet, New Orleans Living Magazine 12/07

“AI provides a soundtrack to accompany the world one explores after "Pet Sounds."

With their miraculous resurrection, AI's potential for 2007 is shooting through the roof.”

--Alex Woodward, Loyola Maroon 2/2/07

“God knows we don't have enough rock bands in New Orleans right now, let alone good ones. So, it was with great joy that the audience at One Eyed Jacks welcomed Antenna Inn back to the fold on Friday night.…

Everyone I've talked to about Antenna Inn liked them, were surprised they just popped up out of the blue with such well-arranged songs, and asked if they were playing again.”

--Jason Songe, 1/12/07

“The local rock scene seems to have been caught in a daydream as of late, so it was nice to see Antenna Inn come out of nowhere to art-rock the pants off everyone at One Eyed Jacks in January.”

--Jason Songe, Antigravity 2/7/07

“…the most creative local band around.”

--Shawn Dugas, Loyola Maroon 10/17/07

Antenna Inn, an eponym of the long-forgotten Kerouac failure, is ‘On the Road’ to anything but. The infamous Rogers brothers (scene-sters will not soon forget the now classic row-turned-riot outside New Orleans’ Howlin Wolf club back in 2004) have reunited on civil terms to collaborate for some of the most interesting music to come out of the Deep South in recent memory.

Thomas Rogers knew his boys had talent. So aware of this was the enterprising Rogers that he teamed up the brothers—Eric on drums, Ryan on guitar and Dustin, bass—with neighborhood chum and strummer Blandon Helgason. Petit Bois, the name aptly given to the band by the patriarch Rogers after a popular fishing spot off Louisiana’s Gulf Coast, were soon dazzling astounded inebriates in local blue-collar watering holes with a polished set of classic rock covers. A year later, the boys did it in front of a sold-out House of Blues crowd (Eric was barely 11).

Several interruptions and incarnations later, The “Petty Boys”—as they would often pun—were back at it. However, the songs were now original and showed a brooding, angsty side, as provided mostly by the older Ryan. Newly inspired, The Rogers brothers—now just Ryan and Eric—signed on singer/bassist Matt Glynn (of pop-punkers Chas Brosco). The aspiring film-maker, poet, and neo-hipster Glynn offered fresh creativity to the outfit, as well as the group’s new and current name. The three plus Helgason would record an album, I Minus (2003), and perform extensively in the Southeast, joined by Joe Bourgeois (Hello Asphalt) on bass. However, the hype would all come to a head in the summer of 2004 when, after a messy scuffle over “creative differences”, the band would dissolve seemingly forever.

Perhaps Hurricane Katrina help put things in perspective; whatever the case, the Rogers were able to put aside their differences for a cause they knew was too worthy to go to waste. Glynn, having fled the storm in the company of local folk-rock collective Silent Cinema, had grown too preoccupied to pick up where he had left off. He was replaced by singer/keyboardist Sam Craft (Glasgow!, Silent Cinema). Also joining the post-Katrina team are keyboardist/vocalist/trumpeter Cory Schultz (Chas Brosco, Silent Cinema, Rotary Downs), percussionist Chris Guccione (Agent C, Empire), trumpeter/keyboardist/vocalist Michael Girardot (Fay Wray, Empire, Big Rock Candy Mountain) and saxophonist/keyboardist/vocalist Stephen MacDonald (also of Fay Wray, Empire, and Big Rock Candy Mountain).

The new A.I. sound ranges from smooth and Latin-jazzy to punctuated and prog-rocking. Much of the catalog is saturated with vibraphone and Fender Rhodes. And yes, they’ve got two drummers—at least. An Antenna Inn rhapsody might call for an ensemble-maraca shakedown here or a vibraphone duet there. In any event, they somehow manage to retain a clear pop sensibility that will hook the most casual listener right away. Keep your ear out for this young septet on a college radio station near you.

-Sal Ponticello,

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