Christopher Peifer

Musician, Producer, Sound Designer

PRESS

MUSIC

Blockhouses

"Attention fans of blistering NYC rock and roll:  Blockhouses has some really exciting news to share with all of you.  The band will be setting up camp at Kawari Sound in Philly in early February to record a brand new album.  Pete Donnelly of The Figgs (NRBQ, Shelby Lynne, Soul Asylum) will be pushing knobs and buttons as producer."  - Jetpack

“Blockhouses just released a new single, "One More Time To Get Home" b/w "Little Sweetie". It's actually the New York City trio's third single this year, and of course it's totally killer! A band named after a fort should be rock solid, and that's clearly the point. This single delivers that perfect blend of muscular guitars and catchy melodies on a pair of high quality tracks ... an absolutely dynamite band. Check out all of Blockhouses' singles over at their Bandcamp - and let's hope for more from this band in 2015!”  - Lord Rutledge, Faster and Louder

“Blockhouses is a trio from New York City with bare-bones, lo-fi blistering pop-punk. There won't be a more rock 'n' roll party.”  - David Malachowski, Albany Times Union

“There’s a shortage of no-frills rock & roll these days, but Blockhouses are keeping the flame alive. The New York City trio recreate the time-honored tradition of classic rock & roll — following the thread that connects the early rock & roll of Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry to the seminal ‘70s punk of the Ramones to the garage-pop renaissance of today. It’s all about great songs with catchy choruses, lyrics that people relate to, and live punk-rock energy. The band came together in 2013 after singer-guitarist Guy Lyons — a pivotal member of the Figgs back when the hooky, brash power-pop band was on Capitol Records — pledged a return to rock & roll. Looking to carry the torch for bare-knuckle, sing-along rock, he joined forces with bassist Christopher Peifer (The Kowalskis) and drummer Jim Balga, and Blockhouses were born.”  - Jetpack

“Former Figgs guitarist, Guy Lyons parted ways with the band back in the day in order to complete his college education and start a family, but he didn’t stop writing music. During the past year or so, he’s been recording some rockin’ good demos.  It took a while for Lyons to gather together just the right bandmates, but bassist Christopher Peifer (The Kowalskis, Heavy Creatures, Another Saturday Night) and drummer Bill Wolf fit the bill perfectly.  The name of Lyons’ new rockin’ power-pop trio is Blockhouses, so keep your eyes and ears open for ‘em…  Capital Region folk might also know Chris Peifer, a SUNY Albany grad, as a former member of the Staziaks. The recording of a new release is underway – sounds killer. Stay tuned for an Albany show in early 2014.”  - Nippertown

Christopher Peifer Q&A with Nippertown

“A bit of fantastic ass-kicking rock and roll from Blockhouses!”  - Wayne Lundqvist Ford, The Ice Cream Man Power Pop and More (Sweden)

Best of 2015:  Kirsten Ferguson’s Top 10 shows, Nippertown (Albany)

5/5 Stars, “Blockhouses” LP  - 1001 Records

Miscellaneous

“Colorform is a six member squadron of talent, getting their name from the improvisational art they create during the set. How it works, is Sarah (the artist), lays down a white blank canvass before Colorform cracks open that first note and as the music starts to play, Sara goes with the vibe — creating a free-flowing, soul-freeing, organized chaos piece of art that she finishes by the time the party is over. It’s Sarah vs. the rest of the band in the best way possible.  Now for the music. It’s folky, it’s punk, it’s indie garage meets the right now.  Kate’s swagger contagious, she influences the rest of the band, freeing them to let go, as they take raw bass lines mixed with funky cello play (played by Black’s husband Matt), all the while building out a hardcore display of industrious sound emotion. An emotion that bleeds out of Black’s artistic being, producing attention grabbing vocal shrills.”  - The Soul Dynamic

“With a new album and a new band, Stephen Clair & The Millionaires served up pointed, personal, powerful tunes ... while bassist Christopher Peifer (who you may also know as the bass man with Blockhouses) was thrumming up a storm.”  - Greg Haymes, Nippertown

“These guys (Stephen Clair & The Millionaires) boast national-caliber talent.”  - Michael Hochanadel, The Daily Gazette

“Gorgeous Machines is a band that are ahead of the wannabe Californian desert rock posers, as instead of sharing the fuzz of Kyuss, they share the warm, relaxing tones of Yawning Man.  The Brooklyn band’s debut is likely to be filed alongside the tags of ‘cinematic desert grooves’, as each track is dunked in reverb and delay, while each riff is carefully crafted – cyclical and massaged.  ‘Holler in the Night’ breaks the listener in gently, as its delicate instrumental loops keeps things light and airy, while ‘Harmattan’ braids together strands of trebly surf-rock over waltz-like beats.”  - Chybucca Sounds

"The Luxurious Faux Furs ply a hazy delta / sexy blues vibe that doesn't really sound like much else.  The trebly attack of the vocals on this disc is really fucking great.  Honestly I wish the sound at their gigs would sound as good as this record.  I want more." - Shimmy, Bananas Magazine (review of Garageland produced 7" vinyl)

“Check out GRANDE – Seductive hits and powerful licks, rock-n-roar with just enough metal to keep the devil happy ... these boys know how to satisfy ... get an earful, the future is knocking at the door.”  - Starr Tucker, New York Waste

Heavy Creatures

"Through frequent tempo changes, they challenge their audience while insistently commanding their attention at the same time. Fans can look forward to seeing them as more of a presence on the music scene this year."  - KEXP 90.3 (Seattle)

"These guys had my head bobbin' and toe tappin' as they tore through an assemblage of nifty little riffs, plus their bassist (Christopher Peifer) was popping off some supercool John Paul Jones-esque melodies pretty much the whole way through.  I especially enjoyed how many of their tunes crammed seemingly unrelated riffs right up against each other back-to-back, making the longer songs less gassy.  Fun band."  - Tudd’s Mudd

"I've been really digging this band Heavy Creatures lately. I somehow stumbled on their myspace page, which is doubly strange/lucky for me because I don't spend that much time on myspace, but I was drawn to their name. Anyway, I love their artwork, I love their taste in guitars, I love the sound of their records, but most of all, I LOVE their songs. They're classic rock influenced, which in a lot of cases just means tired sounding and unoriginal, but not here, because the songs are just so good. I can't stop playing the riff to "Family Tree" in practice. So it's really crazy to me that they aren't really playing that many shows around town (NYC). They should be all over the place."  - Rock Insider (LA)

"Band names are important. If you're named the Fluffy Princesses and sound like Brutal Knights there is certain to be a tragic disconnect. Then there is Heavy Creatures. They could be Dirty Animals or Sexy Beasts - essentially you'd just need an adjective to convey purringly thick swagger and a noun that remained as primitive as possible and you would get the idea. Heavy Creatures is fronted by two women who use classic 60s female harmonies in "Family Tree" as effectively as they combine their vocal power to create a primal drum circle feel in "Love Come Down." And the music - well, shit is heavy. It chuggs along beneath grandly gesturing keyboard and guitar lines while toying with the blues and psychedelic music so cleverly you're hard pressed to assign them a genre. These creatures understand the meaning of "momentum" and "build" and "crescendo" so well, you'd swear they were mounting a charge on all the mediocre bands in NYC. Heavy Creatures is the closest thing to Jefferson Airplane when they were interesting, sexy and just a bit creepy we've seen, so put on something beaded and dig."  - RCRD LBL

"NYC's Heavy Creatures have developed their own special blend of organic rock reliant on viscous grooves and a sweeping ethereal spirit showcased on the quartet's latest eight-track excursion, The Cymbal and the Skull. There's an underlying darkness swirling through the Moog keyboards and Neil Young-esque fretwork that emits a kind of barren Midwestern farm night scene on cuts like "Crimson Canyon," while the hypnotic shuffle of "Landing of the Fall" harkens back to the days of surf rock psychedelics as interpreted through the walls of a dank metropolitan rehearsal space. Meshing entrancing drone rock with a free love, make peace not war sensibility, the smoky vibes emanated by Heavy Creatures teeter on the brink of rock 'n' roll danger with a tribal swagger with an underscored riot grrrl grit leading the charge."  - Perpetual Toxins

“Curiously potent”  - TimeOut NY

"Bringing on the REAL deal - Rockin' like the magical 60's TODAY:
Every now and again, on a blue moon, something magical and fantastic CAN happen. In the case of HEAVY CREATURES release just such an alignment of the stars has occurred. An absolute MUST have for any collector of neo-60's pure rock and roll. That is to say that if you find yourself stuck in love with the type of sound the wonderful late 1960's was so prolific in producing then you are sure to appreciate this work of art. HEAVY CREATURES would have fit right in on tour with Jimi Hendrix, Jannis Jopplin, Black Sabbath, etc., if there wasn't the issue of a 35 year time gap."  - Cat Blair, Talent Scout Weedshare.com, ICP Chemistry Set Records, CSR Radio (SHOUTcast.com and live365.com)

 Another Saturday Night

 "Damn, this shit is tight as a vintage Robert Mitchum noir thriller. Same sorta swagger and cocksure deliverance. Timeless stuff.  New York heroes like Johnny Thunders and Velvet Underground come to mind as well as some of the more rowdy late-60s Stones albums. Classic rock and proto-punk engages beautifully in a soulful street party with bruised dames and cheap liquor. I really dig the stripped down production that aids the 11 songs. Raw, devil-may-care and ballsy – I bet they slay on a stage. “Secrets And Whispers” even recalls The Humpers (remember them?). Don’t waste your money on the latest limb offerings from the ashes of The New York Dolls or Stones, Another Saturday Night’s debut album is your ticket to gut level decadent rock’n’roll that actually oozes with cojones and heart. The band hails from - of course - the Big Apple." -- LowCut (Denmark)

"These songs are sassy, full of bare knuckle truth and put together very well, a great introduction to this band. It’s got me wanting to hear more.  I’m surprised and regretful at the same time, because I missed them the last time they rolled through Cincinnati. I’m also a bit surprised that this band isn't a huge success already and really, I realize from the perches of my self-imposed exile, that they really might be. Or rather, they should be playing packed holes in the wall anywhere they go. Like a locked groove record, rock and/or roll will never stop... The beast is too unruly now, it can only be shuffled around and kept at bay, but with a band like Another Saturday Night you can hear an example of how the battle still rages."  - Neus Subjex (Cincinnati)

"Another Saturday Night (Slow Gold Zebra):  I noticed tons of Rolling Stones posters wheat-pasted to construction sites and abandoned buildings and had some sarcastic inner-thoughts about Mick and the boys creak out a new inevitably unmemorable album. But when I realized the posters were for an "Exile on Main Street" reissue I was surprised to feel a little disappointed that no new Stones was forthcoming. Then I went home, but this LP on the Victrola, and was in rock 'n' roll ecstasy enjoying the best new Stones album the Stones never made. Jaggerian jaggings with L.E.S. track marks murking up the madness makes for some serious hot, cool shit."  - Roctober Magazine

"Kongress's vivacious bellow fills you with adrenalin ... he sounds like he's gargled with kerosene! His bandmates back him with spirited, persuasive playing, especially on the horn-filled "Night Flies", the piano-driven killer "Secrets and Whispers" ... this debut is high-energy, soul-infected music you can go wild to.”  - The Big Takeover (no. 66)

“Whiskey scented riffs, as if from the breath of Keith Richards … a more than recommendable record for Saturday nights.” – Kick Out the Jams (Spain)

“Best of 2008” / “Best of 2010”  - Gorilla Got Me Radio, WMBR (Boston)

"Seven inches of vinyl ... Another Saturday Night's latest bar room rocker ... Howlin' guitars and steady rollin' tunes. Grab a PBR and bring on the night."
-- Starr Tucker, NY Waste, Fall '08

"Another Saturday Night is pure American rock n roll, maybe even typically New York if you're listening to some of the vocal parts that are reminiscent of the Dolls or the Fleshtones. The songwriting, rooted in all the epochs of rock and roll, is also timeless, simple, raw and energetic Garage Rock with background vocals, just like you want it. With this one we should keep our eyes open for a LP because these songs whet your appetite for more."  - Flying Revolver (Germany)

"Rolling Stones jangle and swagger. Think "Brown Sugar."  - Kristen K., Razorcake

"Yep, it's another Saturday night in NYC, and you're heading out to your favourite local bar, having finally managed to scrub the dirt out from beneath your fingernails. You shoot the shit with the bartender, Dale, who knows your preferred brand of beer without you having to tell him. You say hey to some friends playing pool in the corner, adjust your balls, take a long pull from the cold bottle, head over to the stage and nod your head in time to the Stones-by-way-of-Dolls garage rock the band is playing. It's Another Saturday Night, man, and the world is A-okay."  - Sleazegrinder (Boston)

" ... The whole thing is retro as fuck , but all around so well done and also still played quite crisp. A very classic , catchy sound a whole lot cooler than what else is offered from this direction."  - OX Fanzine (Germany)

"New York’s Slow Gold Zebra label sent us a whole bundle of vinyl joy this issue.  Their package didn’t just serve to reassure that someone else still appreciates the beauty of shiny 7 inchers in grainily photocopied sleeves, but offered a comforting indication that there’s still some sleaze strung out on the streets of the cleaned up Big Apple.  Whether or not you can offer a “yes” when the leading ladyboy with Another Saturday Night inquires, “do you remember the Giants of Love?” in a hearty Johansen baritone on the A-side to their single, it’s certain these Doll-y boys will bring back memories of the City’s golden era, with a twist of The Stones gritty Brit groove for good measure comes B-side “Sidewalkin’”.  - Bubblegum Slut 7" Roundup (UK)

sir

"The best gig I ever did in my life was in the summer of 2000 in a pub in Brighton, England. Yes, I was already wearing leather with the VP, BUT I was also the guitarist for one of the best power/pop-punk bands to come out of NYC. I truly miss writing and performing with these guys…Christopher Peifer, you wrote the most badass bass line ever on this tune…to this day, one of the best songs I’ve ever been a part of writing and performing. “Prayer”: Vocals- Jesse Wayland Adams II, Bass- Christopher Peifer, Guitars- JE Anzalone, Drums- Ozzie Martinez. From our one and only CD … damn, I miss this."  - Eric Anzalone, The Village People

SIR – “Rock On! Love, Agnes” (Motif Records)
"NYC's SIR take the power of punk and the glitz of Queen (the even cover “Sheer Heart Attack”) and come up with a potpourri of rock music chock full o' sass and attitude.  This 12 track CD includes some kick ass originals (“Prayer”, “Postal”) with some off beat covers (The Eurythmics “Who’s That Girl”!) to create a really solid offering."  - Mike SOS, Ear Candy

" ... consegue dar um toque bem sexy às interpretações de, por exemplo, Prayer ("Crente"), que aliás tem um baixo delicioso nas mãos de Chris Peifer ... sexy interpretations, for example, Prayer, with a delicious bass in the hands of Christopher Peifer.”  - Brazilian Record Review

 Frances Farmer My Hero

“Great songs; harsh, witty lyrics. Good production and package. Unique and highly recommended.”  - Indie Output

“Now this is original stuff. Lorijean Kreussling sings with an eerie Sinead O’Connor-like vengeance, and mood-swing grooves are nailed down by drummer Jamie Barbarotta and bassman Christopher Peifer.”  - The New Times (Indianapolis)

“A dreamy blend of poetry and art-pop composed by George Snow, this “concept” follow-up to the 1988 debut retains the unique skew which made the first record both charming and disturbing. Smart, cynical lyrics, theatrical arrangements and show-stopping vox make for a hugely entertaining and intellectually exciting album. Bravo!”  - The Musicians’ Exchange

“Frances Farmer My Hero: a band that breaks out of the mold of the many categories of today’s music. Conventionally deviant thinkers, non-conformists and anyone else who is bored with “the usual” will be entertained.”  - Adam Barbasso, Good Times (LI, NY)

“It’s almost impossible to confine the music of FFMH to any one stylistic category. One thing all these tracks do have in common is a great sense of movement, whether it’s an ambient wash, a funky rap or a techno rave. Another thing they all have in common is a great sense of originality. There is a freshness to all this material no matter what genre it’s aimed at. You may not like every track, but you’re almost guaranteed to love some.”  - JS, The Musicians’ Exchange

THEATRE

Dark Hollow (16th Int’l NY Fringe Fest, Theatre 80)  Sound Design, Composer, Music Director, Musician

“On the dimly lit stage of Theatre 80, a band of folk musicians dives into traditional gospel song “John the Revelator” while a hellfire-and-brimstone baptism takes place. This is just one of several memorable scenes in Elizabeth Chaney's powerful, haunting adaptation of Georg Büchner's 19th-century expressionist drama Woyzeck. Eternal salvation, economic exploitation and social disadvantage are still the main themes in Chaney's version, which is set in an impoverished mountain community during the Great Depression. Woyzeck (Kevin Kash) is a well-meaning but deeply tormented soldier plagued by apocalyptic visions; verbally abused by his superiors (a sergeant and the army doctor), he breaks under the strain and brutally murders his unfaithful girlfriend, Mary (Danyel Fulton). The Appalachian twist on this dark social commentary is best expressed through the use of American roots music scattered throughout the drama, including spiritual-style songs and traditional folk ditties like “Rye Whiskey” (performed by the cast with a delightful lack of polish). Rowdy soldiers, ragamuffin townswomen and plenty of onstage boozing provide comedy that balances the harrowing weight of the story.”  -  Sarah Hucal, TimeOut NY

"Soldier Woyzeck, a coil ready to spring, suffers apocalyptic hallucinations, abuse by his doctor and his army superior, and infidelity by the mother of his child. The play's adaptor (also producer, scenic/lighting designer and sometimes librettist) Elizabeth Chaney, hews tight to Büchner's original plotline, but moves the story from a German town in the 1800s to the Appalachian mountains during the Depression. Weighed down in tatters and poverty, provincial religion, and military irrational authority, Dark Hollow adds a Southern Appalachian twang and an infusion of traditional mountain music performed by supremely skilled musicians. Unlike a traditional Broadway musical, the many songs aren't belted out, but sung simply and well, as befits a rural story. Directed by Alkis Papoutsis with music direction by Christopher Peifer and performed by a disciplined and talented cast, the sure, deliberate pace accretes the palpable inevitability of a classic tragedy of grave consequence. It's a stunning and serious pleasure."  - Osenlund, Curtain Up

“You only had to walk back into Theatre 80 for another mountainous musical, the atmospheric Dark Hollow, which sets Gëorg Büchner’s Woyzeck amid the Appalachian hills … this production does claim a stirring bluegrass band and a song list drawing on terrific traditional ballads. The original ones, by Elizabeth Chaney and Christopher Peifer, aren’t too shabby, either.”  - Alexis Soloski, Village Voice

“The challenge Buchner presents -- and Chaney has taken up -- is to maintain interest in the hapless protagonist when he richochets through life as an army barber and as the spouse of a loving woman who eventually strays with another enlistee.  Alternately docile and irrationally outraged and in time homicidal, this Woyzeck (Kevin Kash) sometimes barrels, sometimes shuffles through his scenes with stooped shoulders. Indeed, the bent-over, defeated posture seems to be the one concession to characterization that Kash -- as directed by Alkis Papoutsis -- allows.  Chaney does add something to Buchner's 1836 work, which is based on a story taken from the 1821 headlines. By opening her version with Woyzeck sitting center stage while behind him a preacher rants and a choir member raves, she implies some of that old-time religion triggered his initial disorientation.  She enforces that view by making Dark Hollow a play with music, much of it carrying religious overtones. The most pertinent inclusion -- all are played by a gritty quintet at stage right -- is the traditional "Man's Life's a Vapor," which repeats the lyric, "Man's life's a vapor, full of woes -- he cuts a caper, down he goes." And just as the refrain repeats the "down he goes" part, the production keeps up the unrelenting going-down action.”  - David Finkle, Theatre Mania

"What a crazy powerhouse of a play Georg Büchner's Woyzeck is.  Its reputation often seems to rest on its formalistic innovation, its ahead-of-its-time expressionistic shape of thematically related scenes that deliver atmosphere over strict narrative.  But what makes Woyzeck so resonant is in fact its story, which hits deep archetypal wellsprings of the human potential for cruelty through a tale of a beleaguered young solider Woyzeck, who murders his common-law wife after the world's humiliations grow too fierce for him to handle.  Dark Hollow: An Appalachian Woyzeck, currently being performed in FringeNYC, makes the choice to transplant Büchner's story into Depression-Era Appalachia, which seems high-concept but ultimately translates the play's cynicism in remarkable ways.  It maintains Büchner's scene structure and characters but frames them around a live band and a plethora of haunting songs (most traditional) that are steeped in a willful acceptance of death and futility.
Some of the songs - like "Pretty Polly" or "Shady Grove" - carry deep wellsprings of strength and darkness that the play discovers through a well-controlled atmospheric staging. There are funny moments but they come out of the dankness rather than overshadowing it, and even the excitable crowd scenes maintain the air of a Christ-haunted society unable to manage its original sin.  As Woyzeck, Kevin Kash brings a severe intensity that is constantly deepened as he is consistently battered by his doctor, drill sergeant, and even the mother of his child.  And the adaptation finds a similar complication to that of the original play through its setting: while much of Woyzeck's ultimate crime can be explained in terms of poverty, small-mindedness, and social cruelty, his visions come from somewhere much deeper than simple conditioning.  There's a nearly religious conviction to his mania (even if we do explain it in terms of the experiments he agrees to suffer for money) that finds an effective equivalent in rural Christianity.  Considering it's a FringeNYC show, the well-oiled production, which manages to deliver this atmosphere with seeming ease despite a large cast, live music, and complicated transitions, is particularly noteworthy.  What this team (adaptor Elizabeth Chaney and director Alkis Papoutis) has done is stay true to a legend while not letting themselves be hampered by it.  For both the overly-familiar and the neophyte, it's a great production that can make you forget why the play is so great so that you can remember why it's so damn scary."  - Stephen Cedars, NYTheatre.com

Christopher Peifer Q&A with NYTheatre.com

"A five-piece ensemble sits prominently onstage for Alkis Papoutsis’ staging of Elizabeth Chaney’s “Dark Hollow: An Appalachian Woyzeck,” her adaptation of Georg Büchner’s classic play. Chaney resets the tragedy—about a soldier who murders his girlfriend because of mental instability or societal pressures (or both)—in theAppalachian Mountains. The group offers up a host of traditional and original folksongs, and its presence is both welcome and warranted, as the music adds gorgeous texture to this solid version of this sad, familiar work."  - Andy Propst, Backstage

"In DARK HOLLOW; AN APPALACHIAN WOYZECK, Elizabeth Chaney gives Georg Buchner's 19th century German tale of exploitation, adultery, and murder a 20th century American context.The mountain folks's revivalist religion, hard drinking, and death obsessed folksongs provide new grounding for this haunting story. This big production with 17 actor/singers and 5 musicians achieve a remarkable cohesion. Kevin Kash is appropriately scary as the paranoid soldier. Danyel Fulton is sensuous yet vulnerable as his girl and Nick Mason is especially good as his bewildered friend. While Buchner's text is endlessly fascinating and rich, not every production gets as much from it as this fine work. Happy Face 5stars"  - Hi!Drama

Edward the Second (Red Bull Theatre at Primary Stages, NY)  Sound Design

"Sleek… erotic… fearless… supremely modern. A 400-year-old play fired with the excitement of today." – Jason Zinoman, New York Times

"A splendid new revival. Lurid and literate. The ratio of classy to trashy is perfect.” - Time Out New York

“Violence, sex and power are vividly evoked… Terrifying!” —Variety

"Marvelously evocative. Visually sumptuous." - Theatermania.com

"A spirited and intensely dramatic world premiere, filled with breath-catching violence, Red Bull Theater’s production of Edward the Second is as juicy as any you're likely to see or have seen." – Elyse Sommer, Curtain Up