Vapor Vespers

October 20, 2021 - 8:30 PM
Red Room
Vapor Vespers

Vapor Vespers is the edge- and button-pushing transcontinental collaboration between acclaimed NYC & Hudson Valley-based multi-instrumentalist Sal Cataldi (aka Spaghetti Eastern Music) and Alaskan playwright, actor and slam poet Mark Muro.   Drawing inspiration from music-powered spoken word icons like John Cooper ClarkeThe Last Poets and Lord Buckley, Vapor Vespers unwrapped their saucy stew with One Act Sonix, their critically buzzed-about 2020 debut album on Bad Egg Records and one two just released single, “Sex” and “You Changed” 
Notices for their debut album demonstrated how critics, radio djs and general music-lovers are venturing beyond the vanilla mainstream to embrace the Vapor Vespers’ poetronic genre, and its unique fusion of furious sound, words and humor.  
Underground radio institution WFMU called the Vapor Vespers “a supremely cool fusion of spoken word and progressive sound,” while praised its “blend of spacey synths, spicy guitar, ethereal drones and deep lyrics that redefine what music can be.”  NYC-based Good Times Magazine called the debut disc “a wild, indescribable sonic stew that mixes outrageous lyrics and storytelling with expert musicianship that recalls everyone from Steely Dan to Was (Not Was) to Frank Zappa.” Fresh Underground Podcast labeled it “stunning slam poetry and electro music originality in the tradition of Joe Frank” while Music Dances While You Sleep called it “as captivating as it is wacky.” Anchorage Daily News said “Cataldi’s music gives Muro’s narratives more urgency, veering between funk-jazz acid trip and graphic novel accompaniment, a collaboration that is truly something to behold.” MusiciansforMusicians called it “colorful and inventive, a perfection of onomatopoeic expression” while esteemed poet and Bowery Poetry Club founder Bob Holman said “you guys are doing God’s work!”  KMS Reviews might have said it best: “Push that play button and get ready to float in a sea of sound. It’s an album with a mystical glow that will keep listeners enchanted.”   
Tracks from the album have been featured on more than 40 influential radio outlets globally including New York’s WFMU, Radio Free Brooklyn, WVKR/Vassar U, Radio Woodstock, WGXC-FM, SOMA FM, SiriusXM, Radio SpiralThe Fresh Underground Podcast, Radio SpiralModul 303 and Radio Dark Tunnel (Germany), West Star Radio (UK), Krypton Radio (USA) and Brainvoyager (Netherlands).  
Cataldi and Muro’s partnership goes back to their teen years in Queens, New York.  Here, in the heart of blue-collar New York City, they formed a lifetime friendship and creative bond over a steady diet of Mad Magazine, Sun Ra, Henry Miller, Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa and the original spoken word recordings of the 50s and 60s from Caedmon Records.
A longtime denizen of the NYC and now Hudson Valley/Woodstock music scenes, guitarist/keyboardist Cataldi is most recently known for his solo project, Spaghetti Eastern Music. Here, Cataldi fuses Eastern beats, Spaghetti Western film soundtrack ambience, Krautrock spaciness and psychedelic and funk/fusion flavored electric guitar instrumentals with gentle acoustic vocal songcraft, straight out of the John Martyn/Nick Drake songbook. Time Out New York writes: “Cataldi’s largely instrumental, Eastern-influenced jams are infused with some delicate guitar work and hauntingly moody atmosphere,” while The New York Times proclaims he has “a beat unmistakably his own.” Called “truly excellent” by The Village Voice, “a jazz virtuoso without the need to prove it” by Aquarian Weekly, “beautiful and unique” by WFUV’s Mixed Bag, “wonderfully melodic and off-center” by WFMU and “part Sergio Leone fever dream, part Ravi Shankar raga, a whirling dervish of musical creation” by Hudson Valley One, Cataldi keeps up a steady schedule of performances at leading venues in the Big Apple and the Hudson Valley.
Bronx-born Mark Muro has been a cultural force in Anchorage, Alaska since relocating in the mid-1980s. His short stories and poetry have been published in anthologies including North of Eden and The Anchorage Daily News and he has produced and performed in a series of one-man shows including The Bipolar Express, Indistinct Chatter and Not Marketable at theaters including Cyrano’s and Out North, and also at the annual Alaska One-Minute Play Festival.  Muro has acted in numerous independent films and commercials, performed standup comedy, represented the state of Alaska in The National Poetry Slam. He also served as host of the PBS radio show, Stage Talk.  His newest one-man show, Bug Boy: Curse of the Ant Queen, premiered in November 2019 at Anchorage’s Cyrano’s Theater.
The opener, Martin Foley, is a veteran singer-songwriter in the Elvis Costello mode best-known for his former group, Attention, a favorite of the college radio circuit of the 80s and 90s.