Press Release :
Introducing Perhapsody

greetings and salutations,

we did not lie to you. we realize that we have cried wolf many times in the past before our studio disc dropped, telling you that it was "coming", and then it did not. come. eventually of course it did, and no doubt you have your very own personal copy sitting there on the dash of your spacecraft, but still you may smart from all of the shouts of "hey! balloon!!!", when in fact there was no balloon. people can change, and so can aliens, and we have. changed. no more shouting about illusory things. when we say a cd is coming, by gum it's coming. and it has. introducing our new live cd, Perhapsody. coming out june 19, just like we said it would. but don't take it from me. take this from our "official press release":

"When Club d'Elf released its first studio CD of its nine years of existence, Now I Understand, it was only fitting that the band should hold its official release party at the Lizard Lounge, where it had been playing most every other Thursday since '98. For this special evening leader Mike Rivard gathered together a heavyweight ensemble of MMW keyboardist John Medeski, the dual guitars of Dave Tronzo (Daniel Lanois/Sex Mob) and Duke Levine (Shawn Colvin/Jonatha Brooke), Mister Rourke (Soulive) on turntables and samples, and original d'Elf drummer Erik Kerr. Joining this stellar cast (with Rivard on electric and acoustic basses and the Moroccan sintir) were horn players Tom Hall, Tom Halter (Either/Orchestra) and Sam Kininger (Soulive). Fortunately the music that evening was recorded, captured in all of it's detail on multi-track. The result is the live CD that sounds like a studio CD, Perhapsody, the band's seventh release on LA based Kufala. The album captures the intense energy that d'Elf bring to their live shows, which have become the stuff of legend, featuring telepathic improvisations adorning relentless grooves, played by musicians at the top of their craft..."

we will be celebrating the release of Perhapsody (a double cd, with over 150 min of REAL GAS MUSIC FROM JUPITER!) with a special show at a new venue for us, the Regattabar. we are also collectively gleaming like toy potatoes at the prospect of an evening that will see us on a co-bill with Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey. can your heart stand it? of course we will have copies available for you to purchase and put next to that copy of NIU, making you the envy of all of the slime molds and gaseous entities colliding with you as you orbit jupiter. and isn't that what it's all about? that, and leonard nimoy covering the bad brains ( if you can't make it to the show, you can order your copy directly from kufala here: and remember: it comes in a clear, cellulose (ie: paper!) baggie, which you can, um roll your smoke in. natch!

read on for info on this show and other summer shows, including our long-anticipated return to the big apple in july. also we would like to extend a big up to tabla player Aditya Kalyanpur for joining us at the lizard lounge for our show there this past may 17. those who were there got quite a treat, and we look forward to playing more with this exceptional musician when he returns from india in august. lastly, these newsletters are now being blogged, if you're into that.

Biography :
Club d'Elf coalesced in public for the first time in early 1998 when bassist/composer Mike Rivard (a/k/a Micro Vard) was given the opportunity to host an every-other Thursday night at Cambridge's ultra-hip Lizard Lounge. An in-demand session and live bassist with such local and national acts as Morphine, the Story, Jon Brion, Paula Cole, Aimee Mann and Guster, he had a long list of friends and contacts to call upon to guest with the band. For the core of the group, he drew from several groups in which he was affiliated: Hypnosonics (led by Mark Sandman), Mat Maneri's House of Brown, and Indo-jazz group Natraj. The original concept was to have a "house band" (consisting of Rivard, drummers Jay Hilt or Erik Kerr, tabla player Jerry Leake, and sampler player Jere Faison) play composed grooves upon which guests would improvise, so that every show was a different remix of the tunes. Boston/Cambridge lacked the kind of improv scene that embraced jazz, dub, electronica, rock and world music such as existed in NYC at venues like Tonic (where the band soon found its Manhattan home). Word got around that something new was going on in town and a devoted following began to develop.

The range of musical styles the band incorporates is reflected in its wildly diverse audience: DJ-oriented club kids and ravers; notebook-scribbling, boho-intellectuals; tie-dyed Phish fans; Berklee students attracted to the high level of musicianship; and Moroccan Berbers. In other words, sensation seekers. The Lizard shows came to be known (only half-seriously) as "ceremonies", or as the Boston Phoenix dubbed them "non-denominational revival meetings", where everyone -Christian-Muslim-Jewish-Buddhist-Pagan-Sub Genius-etc- was invited to explore the states of trance which the music led both listener and musician towards. For Club d'Elf "trance" is not just an electronica genre but also includes the Gnawa music of Morocco, extended James Brown tracks like "I Got To Move", and Led Zeppelin's "In My Time of Dying", amongst other points of reference. It's the intersection between Ali Farka Toure and The Talking Heads; between Fela Kuti and Nustrat Fateh Ali Khan, and it is this nexus which the band is interested in exploring.

The name was inspired by Rivard's interest in the writing of Terence McKenna and highlighted as well the fact that, more than just a band, this was a club with varying levels of initiate-hood. Shortly after the first Lizard shows Boston Magazine awarded the group Best Cutting Edge Act and announced "the sound of the future is here". It would be the first of many awards bestowed upon the band including Best DJ/Electronica Act (2001 FNX Best Music Poll), Best Jam Band (2001 Boston Phoenix Editors/Readers Poll) and Best Jazz Act (2004 Best of Boston). The list illustrates the sometimes confusing task of labeling the band's music, which defies easy categorization. Ahead of the curve in predicting the trend of mash-ups, d'Elf navigated a musical terrain where Squarepusher accompanied (Moroccan band) Nass El Ghiwane; where Music For 18 Musicians collided with John Cage's Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano (drums c/o DJ Shadow); and On The Corner was remixed by Brian Eno with Mississippi John Hurt sitting in.

By the time the band released its first CD, 2000's As Above: Live at the Lizard Lounge, the group had shifted to an even greater emphasis on Moroccan music, heralded by the addition of Casablanca-born/NYC-dwelling Brahim Fribgane on oud, vocals and all manner of percussion instruments. Fribgane moved to Boston, and along with Rivard and Kerr became the core trio around which a startling variety of special guests added their flavors, including John Medeski (whom Rivard had been friends with since their time together in the Either/Orchestra in the late '80s), DJ Logic, Joe Maneri, Kenwood Dennard, David Bowie guitarists Reeves Gabrels and Gerry Leonard, Hassan Hakmoun and many others. Inspired by Hakmoun, Rivard began to play the sintir (also called guembri or hejhouj) and worked it into the band's repertoire. Trips out of the 617 area code became more frequent (NYC had already become the band's second home) with tours of the north and southeast, and in 2001 the group first toured Japan, where it has played several times since.

A deal with Los Angeles-based Kufala Recordings yielded six double-CD releases of live shows from the period of 2000 to 2004, and 2006 saw the release of d'Elf's long-awaited studio debut, Now I Understand (Accurate/Hi-N-Dry). This CD was the culmination of eight years of work, and in addition to the core of Rivard, Fribgane and Kerr it featured the contributions of over 20 other musicians. Primary amongst these was Mister Rourke, whose DJ skills had become a major element of the group's sound by this point, giving the music a decided hip hop slant and a surreal quality that played on the group's interest in monster movies, aliens, and paranormal phenomena.

On June 19, 2007 the band's seventh release on Kufala, Perhapsody, will hit the streets. Recorded at the Lizard Lounge Release Party for Now I Understand, it features deconstructions of tunes from that album as well as other tunes from the group's large repertoire, and a sampling of the "crazy-make-'em-ups" for which the group is famous. In October 2007 the band is scheduled to play at the prestigious Festival du Monde de Arabe in Montreal.