Doo Radley, Pixels, and the Bendays

Self Portrait (2008), Andy Davis/Doo Radley – cibachrome paper cut to fit in 4×5 holder, aprox. 2 min exposure.

This is the story of the Bendays: how it grew from an earlier project, Doo Radley, to a solo recording project and finally a working band.

It’s told by me, Andy, and it may be biased.

Doo Radley (2006-2012)

IN 2006 I had an idea for a comic book character – a music snob obsessed with digital guitar effect pedals that had “authentic” vintage tone. The character was a meta-retro-hipster named Doo Radley. Doo was what I feared I would become, should I indulge my worst musical impulses. The comic never happened, but I used the name to refer to musical compositions and recordings I made.

Mock-up of Doo Radley comic book character from Me + Doo. (2007).

A year later I wrote and recorded a couple songs for audio-birthday card/mix tape as a gift. The songs were kind of weird – sweet but dark, (probably not what they wanted for their birthday).

WHAT LOVERS DO recorded in Riverside, along with ONE AND ONLY SWEETHEART, as part of the birthday tape.

At this time I had a band called Green Bean. Dave McNally (bandmate, Kamchatka, Publius, musician extrodinairé) had a small recording studio where we rehearsed. He was kind enough to share it with me. Inspired by the “birthday” songs, I started using the studio on my own.

Dave and Andy rehearse outside the studio on a warm day (2008).
Waves in the sound (2008), recorded at Dave’s studio.

I recorded one song at a time and as I would finish them I’d share them on MySpace (remember this was 2008). Eventually the songs formed something like an album. Later, probably 2009,  I compiled six for BandCamp, a new thing at the time, and called it an “album” with the name Purple Eights.  A couple years later I released a second batch of songs as the album The Olneyville Square, both with Doo Radley as my nom de guerre.

Pop Art: Pixels to Bendays (2012-2018)

In 2012 I quit all my bands and put my effort into a visual art, a series that I called Pixels. These grid-like portraits were half a dig at digital photography and half a tribute to pop art and 1980s computer graphics.

Part of my PIXELS art series shown in progress. (2012).

But by the end of the year, without realizing it, I was making music again. New songs formed, almost involuntarily, and I sought band members to play them with. That band became Pixels, which took it’s name from the art series I was working on. The first song I wrote & recorded during this period was Leave To-day.

LEAVE TO-DAY, recorded in my basement in August 2012, the song that sparked Pixels. When I remastered The Olneyville Square for Spotify I replaced a beach boys cover with this recording.
pixels paul
Pixels performing on New Year’s Eve, 2012-2013, at the News Café, with the original lineup (Myself, Adam Souza and Melba Cantwell)

Pixels evolved into a five piece band and released five records. Meanwhile I built a “solo” catalogue with my four track and home studio equipment. I started using the name The Bendays as tribute to Roy Lichtenstein.

PIXELS performing with the final line-up (Ly Barber, Iz Dungan, Thea Shaheen and Lawrence Stumpf) for  the Tiny Desk Contest. (2017)

[Mitus Lumen, Clinton Manner].

A cover of Nirvana’s Serve the Servants recorded with Neil Hodge in 2015.
In Los Angeles with friend and collaborator Neil Hodge aka Mitus Lumen. (2016).

By 2018 Pixels had fizzled out and I was ready to make a Bendays record. My freinds were kind enough to join in and soon it was a regular band.

Scott Macreading  plays bass, Shawn Faberplays drums and Lawrence Stumpf plays lead guitar. Together, we are THE BENDAYS.

Bendays rehearsing in 2018.

Andy Davis, January 2019.