JOHN BIZ BIO! DIG
Look, the English language has been so sodomized by publicists at this point that any hyperbole we could lay down about do-it-himselfer Industrial Park Records founder John Biz would be as meaningless as it already it is. (Think about that, Lebowski.) After all, Biz isn't some piece of textual meat to be tossed around by the pound, thank you very much
In fact, quite the opposite: the Brooklyn born 30-year old is making some of the most urgent, personal music going these days, and will continue to do so whether or not you skip the following paragraph of porn-bordering food metaphor and head right for the facts underneath it about the albums he's recorded with Steve Albini and the label he started for his frients (which now boasts Brooklyn, NY and Austin, TX locations). Though he's not meat, John Biz is tasty. Very tasty
His voice shines like a distinctive, rich, full-flavored, deep amber-colored beer - boasting an inviting smooth taste without the excessive bitterness that characterizes many micro, specialty and imported brews. His guitar playing works in perfect harmony, much like a perfectly grilled angus burger topped with bacon, pulled pork, & pickles, served on a warm pretzel roll. Okay, that's out of the way. Commence with the run-on sentences.
We'd say that John Biz's Vida is the most exciting and best album ol' Bizzo has recorded so far. And, to be frank, that's probably what Biz would tell you if you asked him. But that's today. Though, today, as in right now, Vida certainly seems like it is. After all, it's Biz's second collaboration with legendary engineer Steve Albini (following 2006's The Happiest Days of My Life) and it features Biz's frients from his various bands, including the Rolling Stallones, as well as NYC's Higgins (whose "Make a Mistake" single was recently released by Industrial Park Records). Vida delivers analog sounds that bring back the golden era. Loud engine, soft breeze- good living. Marked by gorgeous songs, unashamed vocals, innovative, mind bending Ween-meets-Jimmy Page guitars and a 70's rock-perfecto rhythm section featuring the Bonham-esqe drumming of Brian Kantor with the McCartney meets Entwistle bass of Kevin Fish
But that's today
Of course, there are also Biz's songs: ferocious, magnetic personal ballads celebrating life despite turmoil, ultimately for love - true love. Can't forget that. Call him neo-vintage indie rawk. Call him grunge (please!). Call him post-Hot Snakes/pre-Warped Tour Venice Beach surf-punk (though a Long Beach bum before migrating to Brooklyn in 2003, Biz didn't see the Pacific 'til the age of 29 during a California mini tour). Hell, call him Neil Young, the Wipers, Woody Guthrie, or The Dude if it makes you feel better. We do
Next week, Biz could be on a two-drummer Grateful Dead trip for all we know, with another 23 new songs to go with it. Indeed, along with Vida comes Aloha, a companion EP featuring horns and woodwinds, most recently of Wilco & Cursive's company. And those go along with the two albums of new music recorded from unused Woody Guthrie lyrics (National Seashore and Love is the Only God I'll Ever Believe In, featuring members of Apollo Sunshine, Super Monster and others), as well as a nearly unstoppable stream of releases that truly puts the "industrial" in Industrial Park Records (the latter named in tribute to the north Brooklyn neighborhood where Biz found his musical footing)
Sometimes there's a man... I won't say "Hero," 'cause what's a hero? But sometimes there's a man who fits right in there. He's the right man for his time and place... and he's certainly been enough places. Raised on Staten Island (where he was fronting punk bands by age 13). Following time absorbing the ocean vibes of Long Beach, where he worked on his painting, Biz once again settled in his birthplace - Brooklyn. There, inspired by Ween, the Beach Boys, Nirvana and some other dudes with guitars you've probably heard of, Biz slowly honed his vintage ethos to a barbed emotional point (with a few detours into stoned-out loop-heavy electronic EPs). All of which was very useful when the storm set in, as you imagine it might be. Alas, Biz went out and achieved anyway - doing J's, braving the wrath of the gods, and giving death the finger since 1977
We conclude today's briefing with an itemized list of Biz's characteristics that might be read as hyperbole if we weren't actively encouraging you to believe in our sincerity about the matter: dude-like zen, big heart, no bullshit, commitment, laser-changers, love, love, love. I don't know about you, but I take comfort in that. It's good knowing he's out there, taking it easy for all of us sinners. Shoosh, I sure hope he makes the finals
JOHN BIZ DISCOGRAPHY since 2003
Empathy (with Shake Faithful) (2003
Acoustic Songs For My Frients (2004
The Elephant in the Room (2004
B-Squad Leaders (2004
The Happiest Days of My Life (with The Rolling Stallones) (2006
Demos For Burt Reynolds EP (with The Rolling Stallones) (2006
American Awesome (with John Biz Parmesan) (2007
National Seashore (with National Seashore) (2007
Love is the Only God I'll Ever Believe In (with National Seashore) (2007
Vida (with Higgins) (2008
Aloha EP (with Higgins) (2008)
NYC artists on the rise: John Biz
Is John Biz a singer-songwriter? The singer-songwriter label has gotten some kind of awkward rep in the past decade or so. In fact, the very term itself creates an image of a guy cradling a guitar in a downtown coffee shop playing "heartfelt", probably not too exciting songs. It didn't used to be this way and New York artist John Biz is doing everything possible to shake that picture from everyone's minds. His buzzing, poppy, fun songs, which are often peppered with an undercurrent of seriousness, reflect pop music at its best. His new album, Happiest Days of My Life, is a dirty, exciting and high volume trip through one of the city's hippest minds, and as such, shouldn't dare be missed by anyone that even pretends to have their finger on the pulse of the underground music scene. The boy is gonna blow up! - Dan Berkman
Verbicide Issue 22 Print - Winter 2008
Bands On The Rise
Emerging from an ever-burgeoning pack of Brooklyn scenesters while running the always dedicated Industrial Park Records, John Biz is putting out some solid efforts that are decidedly too loud for mellow coffee shops, yet retain enough of a wordy confessional edge for his rock/pop to resonate with the singer/songwriter crowd. As the myspace entry describing his creative process with The Rolling Stallones illustrates, he has a goofy side he doesn't mind sharing: "I actually play with different ninja frients all the time. Keeps things purdy darn in'erestin'. Every now and then someone tries to pull some judo shit but it's no match for my huge ninja johnson." Although his ninja johnson may indeed be huge, it's his big musical skills that attracted the great audio engineer and all around good dude Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, Cheap Trick, PJ Harvey, etc.) to collaborate with John Biz on his last effort, The Happiest Days Of My Life, in addition to an upcoming album that finds our stripped down rocker celebrating the spirit of the great American troubadour, Woody Guthrie. John Biz will not overpower you with the kind of loud guitar bravado you'll get with full on punk (although his recent EPs may suggest more rock on the rise), but his thoughtful delivery will call to mind Jonathan Richman with a side of The Replacements, updated for the new millennium of listeners reliving the same frustrations and longings those original alt daddies articulated so well. Let's hope John Biz can hop on their wheel and continue to ride.
Issue 21 - Print - Fall 2007
The Happiest Days of My Life - Industrial Park - CD
John Biz embodies the storytelling spirit and grit of Mike Ness or Mark Lanagan combined with the humble, lo-fi stylings of Robert Pollard. The songs he creates are simple, fuzzed-out indie rock tunes that, rather than trying to be cute or quirky, are instead authentic, biographical nuggets that endear the listener to the artist. Mellower tracks settled in the middle of the album, "Low Tide" and "Engine," or the instrumental, Sonic Youth-ish "Like An Ashtray Full Of Empty Promises," counter nicely with bouncy bass-driven songs such as "Heavy Bag" and "Maybe There's a Way." Like the aforementioned Pollard's Guided by Voices, none of the songs are too lengthy, none are too short - Biz knows how to get in and out of a song and keep it satisfying without straying into the self-indulgent. Im a child of the '80s, but a music fan born in the '90s, and incidentally, many of the guys I came of age listening to also recorded with Steve Albini, who recorded and mixed this album. John Biz is worth a listen if you too prefer The Pixies and GbV to... well, whatever shitty band your dumb kid thinks is cool. (Jackson Ellis) (Industrial Park Records, 104 Nassau Ave #3, Brooklyn, NY 11222)
* Published by Allmusic - blog.allmusic.com
CMJ Report: Tuesday Night in the Tank" CMJ Report: Tuesday Night in the Tank
October 17th, 2007 | 11:02 am
Industrial Park Records, the East Williamsburg-based label run by John Biz, a workhorse of a man who not only spent the entire showcase last night at the Tank - where the risers and folding chairs made the small bar seem more like rehearsal space than anything else -- introducing and promoting the artists, thanking everyone who's been supportive of them, but also performing two sets himself. He's certainly no one-trick pony. Besides Biz, who first appeared onstage as part of the Woodie Guthrie tribute band National Seashore and then with the punk-influenced John Biz and the Rolling Stallones, trippy duo Norris and a Bob-Dylan-esque set by Joey Weiss (aka Super Monster) both provided solid examples of what the label can do.
* Published by Allmusic - blog.allmusic.com
CMJ Crush Band: National Seashore
October 15th, 2007 | 3:29 pm est | by Matt Collar
Essentially the rootsy brainchild of singer-songwriter John Biz, the Brooklyn-based National Seashore is a melodic and folk-inflected group conceptualized around reinterpretations of the legendary songs of Woody Guthrie. With a sound that's a little bit Wilco - who navigated these exact same waters with Billy Bragg on the Mermaid Avenue albums - a tad New Pornographers, and even a dash of early R.E.M., National Seashore may just get you to hear Guthrie's songs again (or for the first time).
The group is scheduled to play at the Tank on Tuesday, Oct. 16.
* Published by: bp2.blogger.com
National Seashore hail from Brooklyn and are fronted by singer-songwriter John Biz, a talented young man with varying musical interests. I'm getting the feeling that Biz has a challenging time sitting still; which is good for you, I mean, us, as music fans. He's got several musical persona and founded a label on top of it all to put all this great music out. The label is called Industrial Park Records and it's filled with great music to listen to and buy. Biz can rock with the best of them and he can also lead some pretty cool sittin' around the campfire sessions as well. For his National Seashore project, he was inspired by his love for Woody Guthrie and took some cures from the Billy Bragg/Wilco collaboration. National Seashore was born out of that passion and serves as a collective to interpret the lyrics of Guthrie. And it's a beautiful knockout. I'm still trying to connect the dots, however, Biz also has something to do with the band called Higgins... Ah, but this is really about National Seashore, I guess.
John Biz: Named One of the Top Emerging Artists of 2006 THE DELI MAGAZINE, NYC
"By now the scene in Brooklyn has probably gotten so hipper-than-thou that it's already imploded and moved back to Omaha or Austin, but John Biz is out there trying to keep it real."
"Once homeless and hungry; Biz used the experience to fuel his creativity and his drive to succeed. His hard work has paid off. The Happiest Days of My Life his latest CD is a Rock and Roll Record reminiscent of the late seventies Punk movement and it explores the turmoil in his life and the belief that good can be found in whatever situation you find yourself in."
-Interview with Bruce Moore
"Listening to this record it is obvious that John Biz is not the typical singer-songwriter; this guy's material is not meant for coffee shops, the 11-songs on this album are raw rock tunes featuring distorted guitar and great beats... Not your typical singer-songwriter stuff, Biz brings the raw rock. "
" A great rock album, which has those punk over tones, with a little bit of Nirvana thrown in for good measure. A great album to test out that new stereo or MP3 player that you get for Christmas. "
-Indie Launchpad Review
"John wanted The Happiest Days of My Life to stand on the strength of the songs alone. Amazingly, in this day of "production-or-crap" mentality, The Happiest Days of My Life has the strength to stand up on Jupiter (gravity reference there for you brainy types).
Bottom line: If you're tired of the same crap that gets rammed down your throat every day, month after month, year after year, then The Happiest Days of My Life will be a breath of fresh air."
-Hard Rock Haven Review
"a majority of these songs were the first take, which explains the rawness of them, but then again that's what makes this music so great. The slight flaws, the rawness, and the overall feeling of passion you get from these bouncy songs without this being emo. Solid record from start to finish and a must listen for any fan of rock music."
-All Ages Zine
"Biz delivers one gritty hard rock album."
-Rock Is Life
"Fuzzy indie-pop, recorded with Steve Albini. This record is actually very, very good."
"This is far reaching power-pop that has occasional indie rock noodlings with driving guitar fuzz and infectious rhythms that are demanding."
"John Biz may just be one of the brightest unsung lights on the Bowery for those of us who share this strange fascination with all things Big Apple - or even those who don't. His latest Steve Albini-produced disc, The Happiest Days of My Life, is - if not perfect - a by and large fine addition to that exalted East Coast rock pantheon."
-Score Music Magazine
"i'm so smooth i got a beard on my hands"
Toasty harsh-mellow with a healthy slice of attitude. Aggressive guitar and high performance rhythm section gracefully speeds along a dark winding highway. Lush authentic vocals, emotionally driven lyrics, infectious melodies. Songs that bring back the golden era. Loud engine, soft breeze- good living.