Ladybug Transistor is back

for The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

The Ladybug Transistor may no longer name albums after Ditmas Park streets, but it’s still very much a Brooklyn band.

Since releasing its first album, “Marlborough Farms,” in 1995, the band’s been anchored in Flatbush — specifically, lead singer Gary Olson’s house on Marlborough Street, which features a basement recording studio and is fondly nicknamed after that first album.

“When I first moved to the area, I liked the idea of a more communal living situation,” explained the Midwood native about that curious name. “I would just read about hippy commune working farms. I wanted to start my own cult out here in Brooklyn.”

Olson may not have started a hippy cult per se, but he has achieved a nice following for the band’s New Wave-inspired pop rock, established in “Marlborough Farms” and the follow-ups, “Beverley Atonale,” “The Albemarle Sound” and “Argyle Heir” — whose titles are a who’s who of Ditmas Park blocks.

On the band’s seventh album, “Clutching Stems,” romantic flourishes make for some of the best moments, particularly on the standout track, “Oh Christina.” It begins optimistically enough with the sounds of seagulls and train announcements, recorded on a band field trip out to Brighton Beach, before Olson’s Morrissey-esque baritone references other heartbreak songs with such lyrics as “love would tear us apart.”

“That song is about getting a crush on the subway, which is easy to do,” said Olson. “It happens to everyone.”

The album has a heavy heart, but it’s due in large part to the death of the band’s drummer, San Fadyl, four years ago to an asthma attack, rather than failed relationships.

“Sadness runs through there a lot,” said Olson. “It’s hard to be specific, but San’s influence is there and a lot of his heart is in there. We carry a lot of him around.”

On July 6, the band will sing about subway dalliances, break-ups and loss with a show at the Knitting Factory in Williamsburg.

“We haven’t done like a proper local show in a long time,” said Olson. “We’re really looking forward to that one.”

The Ladybug Transistor at the Knitting Factory [361 Metropolitan Ave. at Havemayer Street in Williamsburg, (347) 529-6696], July 6 at 8:30 pm. Tickets $12. For info, visit

Posted 12:00 am, June 30, 2011
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: