Paragraph Nights

My cousin, Dominic, is a musician. He lives in Philly and teaches music to folks who want to learn to rock like him. Since I’ve known him he’s been in a bazillion and four bands, each successively better than the last. (I once saw him perform at the Rechter Theater in Baltimore in a robe, pajamas and play the illest cover of Gin & Juice.) He’s the kind of guy who can’t be pinned down to just one style of music. He is in a band with Zoe Kravitz called Elevator Fight and he is in the band DRGN KNG. Again, both very different in style and genre, but both truly unique and electric in their own right. As a whole hell of a side note, the kid can pretty much freestyle with the best of them too.

Dom via DRGN KING

Late last month, Dom sent along a few demos of songs he has been working for a while as I promised him an advanced reader copy of Zombie was on the horizon as well. See, he and I trade work quite regularly–him sending me rough cuts of songs, me sending him chapters of a novel-in-progress or drafts of short stories. I can’t say whether our work influences one another as I doubt that it does in any tangible or overt way, but I can tell you that all of his demos are part of my writing library, especially a track called “Cherry Hilll” that I hope finds it way to an album someday. (Ambient killer!) But I digress. The demos he sent were rough, but clean and pure in a way that surprised me–the cleanest I have heard in a long time of his. I wasn’t surprised talent-wise, I was surprised by the content. It seemed, to me anyway, that for the first time in a while he connected with a group of people who all came together to create something beautiful and seamless. His vocals, the production, the lyrical narrative, the band–they were all working in all the right ways.

They went on to make a video directed by Dan King for one of the tracks: “Paragraph Nights.” This is what I want to share with you. Based on this song alone, knowing nothing else about the band or their music or Dom or that when we were kids we developed a video production company called Green Sheep Productions where we would get together and make these awful, low-budget (would there be any other kind at ages 15 and 10?) movies, but based solely on this song, do me a favor, remember their name.

About J. R. Angelella

J. R. Angelella is the author of the popular debut novel ZOMBIE: A NOVEL (Soho Press) and a contributing author to the murder-mystery anthology WHO DONE IT? (Soho Teen), benefiting the nonprofit organization 826NYC. His short fiction has appeared in numerous journals, including Sou’wester, JMWW, The Collagist, Literary Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal and The Nervous Breakdown. His short story “Sauce” won the 2012 Short Story Contest held by The Coachella Review. He received a BA in English Literature from Ithaca College and an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from the Bennington Writing Seminars at Bennington College. He taught creative writing at the Gotham Writers’ Workshop in New York City and currently teaches professional writing at the University of Maryland at College Park. He lives in Baltimore with his wife, the writer Kate Angelella.
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