Michael Cerveris (born November 6, 1960) is an American singer, guitarist and actor. He has performed in many stage musicals and plays, including several Stephen Sondheim musicals: Assassins, Sweeney Todd, Road Show, and Passion. He won the Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Assassins.
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Actor/Actress, Soundtrack, Producer
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Nothing is quite as compelling on record as the restless fluctuations of the fractured heart--something singer/songwriter Michael Cerveris proves brilliantly on his ferocious and fragile solo debut album Dog Eared. From the roiling anthem of "SPCA" (Cerveris' cheeky, power-pop collaboration co-written and sung with Sleater-Kinney's Corin Tucker) to the melancholy, but muscular musings of "Can't Feel My Soul", Dog Eared is Cerveris' lush declaration of liberation not only from lousy love affairs, but from his complex, parallel life as a critically acclaimed, Tony-nominated actor -- an extraordinary, but convoluted path for a rock musician. Cerveris originated the title role in the Broadway hit Tommy and in the late 90s, he starred in the smash cult hit Hedwig and the Angry Inch on London's West End, off-Broadway in New York and in Los Angeles.
Cerveris -- former frontman of British band Retriever (Hinterlands) and guitarist/vocalist on Bob Mould's 1998 US/UK "Dog and Pony Show" tour -- and his co-producer Adam Lasus (Madder Rose, Clem Snide, Helium) chose to make Dog Eared a unique "family" effort. They reached out to Cerveris' extended, diverse network of musician compadres and friends -- Sleater-Kinney's Corin Tucker and Janet Weiss, Ken Stringfellow (Posies, R.E.M.), Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Laura Cantrell, Norman Blake (Teenage Fan Club), Jeremy Chatzky (They Might Be Giants), Kevin March (Guided by Voices, Dambuilders), Anders Parker (Varnaline, Space Needle), Lara Gray (Luna, Ben Lee), Joe McGinty (Psychedelic Furs), strings arranger David Arnold (Bjork), Alex Lutes (Nightnurse, Retriever), Claudia Chopek and Leah Coloff for recording sessions that took place sporadically over the course of six months in locales ranging from Brooklyn's Red Hook waterfront to Portland, Oregon to Glasgow, Scotland. The album was mixed by Nick Brine (Oasis, Stone Roses) and Adam Lasus at the famed Rockfield Studios in Wales.
"The reason I chose not to continue [with Retriever] on this record was partly logistical -- the band was in London," explains Cerveris, who lives in Manhattan. "But I also felt that there was a musician, a person and a life I needed to shed.
"During a rough time in my life I learned to reach out to people in a way I'd never done before," he continues. "And reaching out to my friends, these musicians, for this album was very much in the same spirit." He laughs. "God, it was like rock group therapy!"
To simply call Dog Eared a "breakup" album would undercut the universal poetry and power of Cerveris' nine original tracks and two carefully chosen covers. From the playful, but incendiary hooks of the title track "Dog Eared" to the driving drums and lyrical snap of "SPCA," the grinding guitars of "Another Time" and the hushed, hypnotic beauty of "Snowbound," Cerveris and his rag-tag "supergroup" have found a gorgeous balance between sorrow and luminous self-discovery, dark mood swings and gentle fury.
"I didn't start writing these songs with the intention of writing a breakup album," says Cerveris who wrote the voluptuous, distorted ballad "Golden" just a few whiskey-soaked days after a three-year relationship foundered. "I just started writing because there were these thoughts I really needed to rid myself of -- it was the emotional equivalent of the medieval practice of boring into people's skulls to let demons out when they had migraines. But I think of this album less as a document of a breakup and more as a recovery record."
Self-resurrection following heartbreak is traced on Dog Eared from the ground zero of ghostly tracks like "Golden" which, cleverly and perversely, ends the album -- a raw memory of a lost love bound by electronically-altered, whispered vocals, twangy, raucous guitars, and Ken Stringfellow's sinuous organ work.
"It was a really intense slow jam," says Stringfellow who worked with Cerveris and Lasus in both Portland and Brooklyn. "Michael knew I could go rogue [on the track] and he let me have free rein. You have to find little places to breathe in a way, where the notes can stop. It was exactly like a meditation ... which is a good thing to experience."
Cerveris has a decade-long friendship with Stringfellow but was still surprised when the ever-busy musician asked to be involved with virtually every track. "He's one of those guys who plays so many instruments so well," says Cerveris, who was appearing in Tommy when he first met the R.E.M. sideman, former Posies member and solo artist. "[Ken] has this technical ability to respond immediately to what he hears and a lot of his work on this album was just done in one to four takes."
In addition to his original songs, Cerveris includes two intriguing covers on Dog Eared:
Couple Profile Source
1979 graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy
Yale University 1983 cum laude
Bethesda, Maryland, USA
Actor, Singer, Guitarist
Claim to Fame
Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Assassins
twitter.com/cerveris, www.cerveris.com/, www.amazing-journey.com/
Michael Cerveris (music professor)
Marsha (née Laycock) (dancer)
Posted by brian 12 months ago
what a hot band. love all their music
Posted by Joe 12 months ago
Would love to meet you before I die,
Posted by greg fischer 12 months ago
We are unable to find our family pictures. We would like to order our pictu...
Posted by Michael Wren 12 months ago
You can find the statue proposal on Kickstarter dot com