Brahms' Third Racket is the latest vehicle for Wishnefsky’s music. This time around, it is his great fortune to be joined by R. Matthew Carroll on bass and David Rodgers on drums.
Here follows the BTR story, starting with a brief bit of history:
In the 1990's, longtime friends and musical collaborators Wishnefsky, David Rodgers, and Todd Jameson formed the Los Angeles based alt-rock band Jabberwock. Jabberwock released two highly acclaimed records (Southland and Letterbomb) and an EP (Wishful Sinking). After Jabberwock broke up in 1998, Wish retired from performing live and focused his attention on writing and recording. Under the Lost Dog Records label, he released eight solo records as Wishnefsky and two records as his piano based project Veneer. (You can find Wishnefsky's solo records here and Veneer records here.) Dave went on to play drums for various bands, projects, and sessions. Todd went on to pursue a career in graphic design and art.
Around 2011, R. Matthew Carroll, who happens to be Wish's cousin, commenced bugging Wish relentlessly to start performing again. Wish relented. As such, in 2012, Wish, Matt, and Dave started performing Wishnefsky music at various clubs in the LA area. From early on, Matt, no stranger to relentless bugging, started, again, relentlessly bugging Wish to utilize a band name. Wish recognized Matt was probably on to something (as opposed to being on something, though that may have very well been the case considering the amount of prescription medication to which Matt has access - just kidding and Matt's a physician by the way).
Indeed. Thereupon, the search for a band name commenced.
After a number of head-scratching sessions developed a towering trash heap of supremely unusable band names and some really great ones which turned out to be taken by other bands, Wishnefsky found himself being seductively enticed and enticingly seduced by the band name Mucho Burro: a hilarious line derived from the old British TV show Fawlty Towers. However, Matt suggested that, while Mucho Burro was certainly funny (especially when Wish screamed it at the top of his lungs and rolled the r’s in Burro like a speed boat with a stuck accelerator), he firmly believed it was pretty fucking stupid as a band name and, if Wish insisted on pulling a name from Fawlty Towers, he might as well call the band Brahms’ Third Racket.
Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!
And, so, history was made.
In 2013, Brahms' Third Racket released Strings Attached, which is based on a group of songs Wish wrote on acoustic guitar. As a result, Strings Attached is a bit warmer and more organic than Wish’s usual fare. Yet, despite the absence of the usual electronica, these songs feature the usual Wish recipe of lyrical bite, melodic taste, and harmonic sweetener.
Wishnefsky once again conned, connived, and convinced the supremely talented Michael James into mixing and mastering Strings Attached. That’s why it sounds so fucking awesome. If you reach the conclusion, in your considered opinion, that any particular parts do not sound fucking awesome, please blame and assign culpability to Wish, who, in all likelihood, stupidity refused to follow Michaels’ sage advice and instead conned, connived, and convinced Michael, ruthlessly, to ramble down the ruinous road of redundantly rotten reverberation. Really!
(By the way, Michael has mixed or helped mix all of BTR's records. Please check out Michael's webpage for more information about his storied career and various endeavors. Michael recently released a solo instrumental record entitled Marchesano, which features Wish on some tracks.)
Photographer extraordinaire Ed Nahin took the Strings Attached cover photo of a strange bird above me. Former Jabberwock band mate and artiste incroyable Todd Jameson created the lettering and graphics on the cover.
Later in 2013, BTR released All of the Above - a compilation of some of the songs BTR plays live. These songs are culled from Strings Attached and a number of Wishnefsky solo records (Sunlight Disinfectant, Fiasco – Book One, Nightwalker, Idiot Proof). This is not the complete collection of songs BTR might play live. They have been known to play new unreleased material, older Wishnefsky material, and, when a nostalgic mood strikes them, even a few Jabberwock songs. BTR does not repeat the same set. They keep it fresh, kind of like the mints in the bowl at the reception desk of a nice hotel.
In 2014, BTR released Out of Order, an album of Wish songs roughly based on his favorite guilty pleasure, Doctor Who. The album, like Doctor Who, is an enticing mixture of hi tech, organic analog, and lyrical wit.
In 2015, BTR followed up with the album Fantastic Shadows. This album concerns mortality, a subject that Wish explored in his writing following the far too early and untimely passing of a close friend.
In 2016, BTR released a double album entitled Water Hammer, a collection of songs concerning water in California. Shortly before releasing the full album, BTR released a collection of the Water Hammer singles in an EP entitled Dream Wasters.
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