A brief and mostly true account of the band
Part I: Song
Formed in Brooklyn, New York, Piñataland is (from left to right in the photo) Bill Gerstel, David Wechsler, Robin Aigner and Doug Stone. Starting as an odd and frantic polka band, main songwriters Doug and Dave’s fascination for the stories and sounds of the Weird Old World slowly led the band down a darker, more unusual path.
Piñataland conjure the strangeness of history to life with a grand Americana orchestra including violins, tuba, pedal steel guitar, banjo and more. Far from being “old-timey” purists, the band’s strikingly original music resembles some never-existed pre-WWII rock, lurching from the epic and grandiose to the haunting. Piñataland draws inspiration from the all-but-forgotten events of the past, yanking dim but startling memories directly into the audience’s waiting ears.
The menacing “Ota Benga’s Name” summons the tragic ghost of the African pygmy who found himself living in the monkey house of the Bronx Zoo in 1904. “The Sky Is Blue, the Highway Wide”, tells of a fervor fueled road trip after the grisly double murder by the Lafferty brothers. These and other events hidden in our collective unconscious come to light on the band’s two Songs for the Forgotten Future albums.
Part II: Stage
In addition to touring the Eastern United States, Piñataland have been featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered; they have performed (and demonstrated wax cylinder recording) at the Thomas Edison Historic Site; they have appeared at the American Museum of Natural History’s Margaret Mead Film Festival, and played the historic Atlantic Avenue Subway Tunnel.
Piñataland have also performed on New Jersey’s legendary WFMU; played at both Coney Island and Riker’s Island, and staged a multimedia performance at HERE Arts Center.