D.Q.E., formerly known as Dairy Queen Empire, is a band formed in Atlanta in 1986 by high school students singer/songwriter Grace Braun, New York photographer Chris Verene, and former Fat Day drummer, Zak Sitter. The band later evolved into one built around the core of Grace Braun (renamed Anna Trodglen) and her husband/drummer, music writer Dugan Trodglen.
"...Along with drummer Chris Verene, Braun seesaws between lush sensuality and numb fearfulness, between sweet melody and brittle sharpness, sometimes within a single line, and always at a pitch that is just this side of too much. It’s a focus that that’s as explicit as the rant about mental hospitals (which Braun, sometime girlfriend of troubled songwriter Daniel Johnston, has been in and out of ) tumbling into a joyfully savage cover of The Breeders’…
Terri Sutton, Spin Magazine, March Issue, 1994:
But Me, I Fell Down is a sort of female low-fi version of Nirvana’s In Utero; like her brother in psychic pain Kurt Cobain, Braun balances on a wire between self-protection (discord) and empathy (tunefulness), finding in the latter both love and a frightening loss of self."
Album produced in part with famed engineer Steve Albini, (Nirvana, The Breeders, Shellac), and Dave Trumfio, (Billy Bragg, Ok Go, The Pulsars). Complete credits available with download.
This album is scheduled for a re-lease by popular demand. Stay tuned on our e-mail list to hear more about the release! Hear samples, and the upcoming re-release of the 1993 But Me, I Fell Down. (digital download only- CD is out of stock).
"The Rock*A*Teens were the best rock and roll band of the 1990s. It’s sort of ridiculous to say, but as I write this sentence stone sober and drinking a glass of juice, I still kind of believe it. ...(we’re talking bands here, not singer-songwriters – and rock, not hip-hop which I think was way more important than rock in the 90s anyway) and I’m pretty much ready to double down; this disastrously scrappy Atlanta band with their not-very-good-sounding recordings and their name half-swiped from a 50’s rockabilly outfit were… They had more great records than Nirvana (although no defining masterpiece), were (a tiny bit) smarter and had more at stake than Pavement, were more consistent than Guided By Voices, and had better all-around songs than Galaxie 500." - Will Sheff
The Rock*A*Teens began work on April 1, 1994 in Cabbagetown. The lineup consisted of Chris Lopez (lead vocals, guitar, keyboard), Justin Davis Hughes (guitar, piano, organ, backing vocals), Kelly Hogan (guitar, backing vocals) and Chris Verene (drums). They were signed to Daemon Records and released two records, the self-titled debut and Cry. Thereafter, they were signed to Merge Records for a series of albums. Chris Verene toured with the group until 1998, and continued to contibute the album cover atwork. When Verene left the band he was replaced by Ballarad Lesseman. In 2014, for the reunion tour, Verene re-joined the band as a guest drummer, sharing the stage with a six-member touring line-up on the US east coast.
Chris Verene has been playing drums for the Brooklyn Latin alternative rock band Cordero, since 2000. Verene and Ani Cordero are well-known for their four full length albums under the band name Cordero, as well as the 2014 release, Recordar, under the name Ani Cordero. Verene has taken a supporting role on this new record, though occasionally performing with Ani Cordero on drum set at live concerts. Verene is most active in the reasearch and promotion the all-important aspect of Recordar: contemporary activism and the need to focus on human rights, the right to a free press, and social justice worldwide.
You can follow the story of Ani Cordero, and see Chris rehearsing with the band here in a four minute documentary for the original Kickstarter Campaign. This video explains the activism behind the project, which is so important in today's society.
Bach On A Hook
Chris Verene and Marty Matteson began the band Bach On A Hook in 1992, focusing on creating arrangements of the beloved Bach Cello suites that could be performed with percussion, drum set, and viola. Growing up in Atlanta, Georgia in the 1990s, Hip-Hop and Rap were overwhelmingly important to the duo. Their influcences were largely rythms from Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy, T.L.C., and the genre of music called Drum and Bass. The duo expanded to altering works by other classical and contemporary composers, and relased two albums over a twenty-five year period. Today with a cult following in Atlanta, New York City, and Amsterdam, Holland, the band has vowed to re-take the stage in the coming year.