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NYC's gritty instrumental trio plays the soundtrack to your life.
NYC's gritty instrumental trio plays the soundtrack to your life.
438 backers pledged $29,616 to help bring this project to life.

About

BIG LAZY'S NEW ALBUM. THE NOIR & THE TWANG. project video thumbnail
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         Big Lazy calling. Thanks for being here. If you took part in our 2014 Kickstarter campaign we appreciate your support. If you are a newcomer thanks for taking the time to check out our story. We all hear talk about the death of the music industry. The thing is, Big Lazy has thrived on the outskirts of the music business. Since 1990 we’ve produced and promoted our own product and shows. It’s a non-stop grind, and I love it. Today we are asking for your support as we embark on Big Lazy’s sixth album.

photo: Nathan West
photo: Nathan West

“The first time I heard Stephen Ulrich’s band, I indeed felt that I had finally found the score for my life.”  Alan Taylor (director for Lost, The West Wing, Six Feet Under, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, Deadwood, and Mad Men)  

LOST IN THE SUPERMARKET: When I was a kid I imagined a life of music. I’d drive by an old house and imagine an empty room with a chair and a guitar. A good place to make music. I studied guitar in a backroom at the Ed Sullivan theatre at 1695 Broadway in NYC with my mentor, bebop guitarist Sal Salvador. Living in NYC in 1978 I discovered punk rock and the downtown music scene; traditional jazz at the time felt like a dusty relic. Punk smashed music to pieces and made me look at Rockabilly, Salsa, Surf, Funk, Ska, Ennio Morricone, James Brown, No Wave (an endless list) and eventually...Jazz. Punk, coinciding with a period of anxiety in my youth will always be close to my heart because it got me through the turbulence. “I’m all lost in the Supermarket” - The Clash.

HOW WE GOT HERE: I formed Lazy Boy in 1990 with Paul Dugan and Mark Rounds. Paul, who passed away in December 2017 still lives on in this music. Lazy Boy specialized in heartsick drinking songs at impossibly slow tempos. Drummer Willie Martinez joined us in 1993 and we reinvented as a stark instrumental trio. The result was 1996’s “Amnesia.”

The New Yorker 1996
The New Yorker 1996

          With its noir undertones and cinematic gravitas Amnesia was licensed by NBC for the crime drama Homicide: Life on The Streets and our trio appeared in an episode. Shortly after Homicide we performed live on NPR and received thousands of cd orders from skate punks, film makers, NASA engineers and auto workers among others. After this national exposure we received a cease and desist order from intellectual property lawyers Harness, Dickey and Pierce. This was stranger than fiction! The La-Z-Boy Corporation feared that a noir rock band was infringing on their brand. Thus, Big Lazy was born. The name evoked both B movies and big sky country. Perfect.

             In 1998 Tamir Muskat joined us on drums and brought his brilliant production chops to the 1999 album Big Lazy. We recorded two more critically acclaimed albums with Tamir. After the release of our third album New Everything in 2004, the Dean of American rock critics, Robert Christgau, described the band as “The Big Apple crème de la crème.” We toured with Firewater, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Reverend Horton Heat. But mostly we played small clubs from New Orleans to Chicago, Boston to Knoxville. 

Lost Angeles 2001
Lost Angeles 2001

           After the release of our third album New Everything in 2002 the Dean of American rock critics Robert Christgau described the band as “The Big Apple crème de la crème.” The music’s cinematic quality got it licensed for film and T.V. projects.

          2007 marked a hiatus for Big Lazy. Tamir left to form Balkan Beat Box and Paul departed, pursuing other music in NYC and eventually starting a family. I started scoring for film and TV (most notably the HBO series Bored to Death and Make 'em Laugh on PBS). After a few years I craved the smoky joints that we’d haunted. I called on Yuval Lion on drums and Andrew Hall on bass. With these two brilliant musicians I wasn’t about to start a Big Lazy cover band and instead focused on reinventing the trio. The result was the finest Big Lazy album to date Don’t Cross Myrtle. 

The New Yorker - Illustration by Jashar Awan
The New Yorker - Illustration by Jashar Awan

 The New Yorker : Quit The Day Job - The guitarist and composer Stephen Ulrich returns to his trio, Big Lazy.

LIFE SINCE MYRTLE: (our 5th album): We’ve played hundreds of shows in the past few years and I’ve experienced the most thrilling musical experiences of my life playing with Yuval Lion and Andrew Hall. From UCLA’s Royce to our monthly gig at Barbès in Brooklyn we've ventured into new musical territory. The music has become looser, more improvisational and our on-stage collaboration became near clairvoyant. The album development process starts with me sketching out tunes, which then pass through Yuval and Andrew's refining filters. The tunes are then trotted out in front of a audience to live or die! The album tracks will be selected out of this road-tested material. 

Philly 2018  photo:Ramon Martinez
Philly 2018 photo:Ramon Martinez

FOOD PHONE GAS AHEAD: For the past month I’ve been driving around NYC and the swamps of Jersey listening to the demos for the new album. Hearing the music alone in my car allows me to do a bit of role playing. I can imagine myself as a Big Lazy listener. Where are these guys taking me?  With song titles like, Exquisite Corpse, De Los Santos and James Brown Funeral what life and death plots are they weaving now? The new material has forays into funk and blues and a lo-fi backroom grittiness arrived at after many late nights and long drives. (FYI NYC to Chicago is 790 miles!) There are also glimpses of Big Sky Country. Big Lazy's music continues to be a place the listener can inhabit and maybe get lost in for a little while. There's a duality to our music; it dwells in the city and out in the wild.

Every time I write a song I have a sense of place and of events unfolding.That’s not to say the songs are specifically about anything. They’re instrumental! But they are open to a listener’s imagination allowing them to write their own script.This music is many things to many people. Our fans have described the music as “The bastard son of Link Wray and Jim Thompson”, ”Noir on the Range”, “Music to drive back to jail by”, “found objects from a sonic junkyard”, “Guitar Noir”, and “Music from The City of Tomorrow Night.”

Yup. France in 2018!  design: Rockets Are Red
Yup. France in 2018! design: Rockets Are Red

Now we ask that you contribute more than your imaginations! You can help make our sixth album a reality by pledging to help underwrite the costs of recording, mixing, mastering, manufacturing and promoting this album. Be one of the first to receive the new album, complete your Big Lazy catalogue, pick an exclusive t-shirt or poster, learn guitar voodoo from yours truly or have Big Lazy perform in your living room.

Yes, we are asking for your financial support! Please become our partner and ally yourself with people who play music from the heart. In return we will give you our very best; a soundtrack that takes you from the city out to the wild.

Big Love, Stephen Ulrich, Yuval Lion, Andrew Hall

Food, Phone, Gas, Ahead - Joshua Tree 2017
Food, Phone, Gas, Ahead - Joshua Tree 2017

Risks and challenges

Live musicians getting their hands dirty and working with electricity in a live recording studio always presents the possibility of beautiful accidents. We've made five other albums previously. It's a messy process but in the end we deliver a quality product. Cover us we're going in...

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    The Downlow

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    The Bundle

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    The Works

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    The Music Lesson

    1 music lesson with any member of Big Lazy (at their studio) + The Merchandise

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    The NYC Gig

    Big Lazy performs at your place or event in NYC metropolitan area + The Works

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    Big Lazy performs at your house or event outside NYC/ (please include travel & lodging expenses if you live 100 miles outside of NYC + The Works

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Funding period

- (28 days)