Carlsonics, The
Carlsonics, The
Label: Arena Rock Recording Company, The
Genre: Rock
Online: Artist Website


Aaron Carlson's dream of having a band commenced in seventh grade, when after ersatz lip-sync versions of Milli-Vanilli and MC Hammer, he witnessed five ninth graders take the talent show by storm with a real-live, earsplitting rendition of "Iron Man."

Thus 7th grade's thunderclap ending and the beginning of the summer between 7th and 8th grade - Aaron's introduction to real puberty.

The talent show performance inspired the young man to learn the guitar. By the time he got to college in Harrisonburg, VA ("The Friendly City"), he earnestly had been trying to make a band throughout his entire adolescence. In the meantime he also put down the guitar and decided to become the singer.

Harrisonburg, a hodgepodge home to Russian and Dominican chicken industry workers, leftover hippie students, and low rent eccentrics, also had thriving basement rock. House shows complete with free beer, sweat, and smoke were not only drunken celebration grounds, but storied havens for the arts. Yearning for a more pronounced leap into the fray, Aaron asked his pal Mike Scutari if he had brought his drums to college. He had not. The drums were in a basement in New Jersey.

But the drums, in turn, found their way down I-81 and things inched towards fruition.

A nascent incarnation of the Carlsonics was toiling about when Edward Donohue walked into the basement to do his laundry. Aaron asked Edward, arms full of dirty clothes, if he wanted to join. Edward quietly accepted the offer and began his tenure as chief guitar alchemist for the band. For approximately two years, the Carlsonics engaged in the thoroughly Dionysian vibe of the Harrisonburg basement scene.

After graduating with a string of adventurous rock shows behind them and armed with virulent disdain for their respective day jobs, the band found itself calling the District of Columbia home beginning in late 2000. But two more members, also former Harrisonburg residents, were still making their ways to the District, that sleepy village on the Potomac.

John Passmore, a mild mannered Connecticut lad cultured in the ways of Gram Parsons, Bob Dylan and Leadbelly, imported his New England stoicism. However, it was when low-end lifer Nikki West also surfaced from Harrisonburg's abandoned train yards' towers to join the boys in DC, that an aural-psychic corner was turned, big rock was achieved, and the band began to enjoy their day jobs as an undercover agent enjoys false dialogues.

Two self-released EPs, incessant touring in their 1984 Chevy and 1982 Ford vans (Airhorse I and II, respectively), and many cathartic shows later, the band continuously enjoys driving around the country and playing rock! Their debut long player, THE CARLSONICS, was released in August 2003 by The Arena Rock Recording Company.