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MP3 Liza & the WonderWheels - Meet the Animal

Starting where the Velvet Underground left off, the music of Brooklyn rockers Liza & the WonderWheels lands somewhere in between Jefferson Airplane and the Pretenders.

10 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Psychedelic, ROCK: Glam

Liza & the WonderWheels

2003 "And the WonderWheels" 

2006 "Meet the Animal" 

BIO Haiku

Glamorous freaks 

we play into the night 

until rock means something new


Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Liza Garelik has lived in Olympia, Washington, Detroit, Michigan, and several other locations, conditions and states of mind. Besides making it difficult to answer the question "So where ya from?" her experiences have informed her on life as an outsider in the United States, and produced an uncommon awareness of both the political and the personal relationships between an artist and her environment. The movement and solitude of her early years fostered her strong connection to the mysterious world of creative inspiration seen in her song writing.

Liza believes that the ability to create like a genius comes to artists who live like they deserve it. A vibrant performer, her voice, conviction and charm enliven as she entertains her listeners with the smart, happy, melodic, political song writing that has been winning her a passionate fan-base in NYC for the last 5 years. 

Back in New York City in 2001, Liza performed all over as a solo artist:

- Opening for the Zen Tricksters at the now defunct Wetlands

- Enjoying a weekly residency ("Late Night Pleasure Set") for 10 months at what was then called the BMW bar

- Hanging out at anti-folk hotspot The Sidewalk Cafe

- Side-projects included performing in dozens of rock clubs as backing vocalist and keyboard player for literate pop band The Larch, and singing soprano in an off-broadway Funk Opera.

For her own material she plays a Takamine SantaFe series acoustic guitar and sounds like an exiled Liz Phair who has mastered her anger by writing to induce political activism. 

It''s time to record her debut album!


Ian Roure, Lead Guitar: Liza doesn''t have to go far as she and Ian Roure of The Larch deepen their musical collaboration (and continue to date in what must be one of the sweetest rock ''n roll love stories of the 21st century). Ian brings his blazing lead lines, pop psychedelic sensibility, charmingly raspy harmony vocals and authentic British accent to the project. 

Andy Mattina, Bass: Together Liza and Ian approach Andy Mattina from mourned 90''s bands Regular Einstein and Gregory''s Funhouse, however as an adept and popular bass player he is in high demand. Andy agrees to play on the first record and ends up sticking around forever. He is responsible in great measure for the often heard comment that we are a "real band who really plays and really listens to each other." 

Joe Filosa, Drums: Andy recommends his partner in the Plastic Beef and Beefstock music festival projects, Joe Filosa. Raised on the same block in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Joe came onto the scene as drummer of The Doids in the late 70''s, and has over 20 years of experience playing rock shows in New York City, Texas and Germany. [Yes, it''s true he once played at Max''s Kansas City on the same bill as then-unknown Madonna.] After listening to a copy of the Little Brown Bat record Joe and Andy played on in the 90''s with Patti Smith influenced Laurie Tavis, and one rehearsal, Joe completes the line-up and is quickly recognized as a versatile and steady power-house. Plus, he comes with an extended family (and an extended mentality) that''s very fun to hang out with. 

As this group begins to rehearse the nine original songs that will make up Liza''s debut album, they quickly recognize an exceptional chemistry. The idea of being a temporary unit evaporates, and the band takes it''s name from the 100-year-old Coney Island Ferris Wheel "The Wonder Wheel" because like that ride they are fun and exciting and distinctively Brooklyn.


In July 2003, Liza & the WonderWheels'' debut album "And the WonderWheels" is independently released to widespread positive response: 

"A great band... echoing early ''90s "alternative" acts like Liz Phair, Juliana Hatfield and Throwing Muses... Backed by the WonderWheels, Garelik is complete, harnessing the diversity of her band to create a very interesting record... the band''s Pretenders-style stomp [which] adds conviction to the message"
- Dave Madden, https://www.tradebit.com

"Snakeskin boots, glam jackets and political comment rock with equal opportunity... Velvet Underground and Bowie fans will definitely want to listen; "Taking Attendance" is lovely idiosyncrasy, mellow Kristin Hersh; a friend says "Glam Jacket" is reminiscent of the B52s but with Aimee Mann at the mic."
- Cesca Waterfield, Expository Magazine

"Her style is confrontational without insult or abrasion... A standout track is the final one, "Glam Jacket," in which Garelik takes her intellectual approach to songwriting and whirls it into roadtrip rock, leaving glitter on the trail behind her."
- Jennifer Layton, https://www.tradebit.com

"A city intellectual with a guitar, Garelik, like [Paula] Carino, structures her songs with the parallelism and craft of a short-story writer and the occasional wit of a brainy comedienne. Singing in a straightforward, self possessed and unaffected voice and frequently sounding like a precocious teenager, Garelik foregrounds her narratives, favoring the same kind of spare-yet-rocking arrangement aesthetic that Carino has always chosen for herself..."
- Tris McCall, https://www.tradebit.com

"Suzanne Vega calls Liza''s songs "ambitious" combining both driving rhythms and subtle melodies with lyrical complexity, reminiscent of a Regina Spektor."
- Pete Harris, Harris Radio

Track 1: "On the Bridge" spends 12 weeks on the ISON Live Radio Top 10 Charts due to listener requests after being spun on the World Underground Music Show syndicated to 1,600 Pacific Rim and Australian radio stations. Simultaneously, songs from the "And the WonderWheels" album are heard world-wide on both internet radio and select American and European college and independent radio stations. 


Liza & the WonderWheels play shows at venues from The Continental and The Alphabet Lounge in Manhattan and Freddy''s Backroom, Trash and Lillie''s in Brooklyn to backyard, back room and block parties throughout the metro area. The band starts to incorporate a few cover songs into their set, finding unique and well received interpretations of classic rock material. Liza channels her charasmatic, glamour loving tendencies into performing, exploring what it means to be a female front person commanding attention in the style of Johnette Napolitano (Concrete Blonde), David Bowie, and Lou Reed. She begins to draw attention for her fashion style, playing shows in costumes (Space Babe, Devil Bride, Colonial Alien), while together the band can tear it up, drawing comparisons to Jefferson Airplane, the Kinks, the Velvet Underground, Country Joe and the Fish, the MC5, and Katrina and the Waves

You know how every scene has at least one guy who loves rock ''n roll down to his soul? A one-man gang of four who can drum, play bass and guitar and speaks fluently the language of rock? Well, here''s how a man like that described a live WonderWheels show in 2005:

“As for the WWs show, it was great. Super tight and groovy -- a pretty seamless mesh of pop and rock, snarky and sweet presentation, determined passion. There was just enough explorative jamming -- and I usually hate "jamming" -- to make it interesting, but you kept it from descending into full-of-it noodling. The riddim section kicked unholy ass...Andy and Joe really sounded great. Ian''s leads were great as well. And the final greatest thing was your singing -- I love the low, almost demure vocals...makes the audience (well, me at least, but I think I speak for others in the room) lean in to hear what you''re singing about. Then, when the song revs up, you unleash the power vocals...so much so that CrazySoloPunkRockGuy was forced to keep up with you on "Walking On Sunshine," not the other way around. The newish song you did on the media had an all-too appropriate trippy psychadelia that really got the point across. You rocked and I dug being in the room while you were rocking.”
- Scott M.X. Turner, https://www.tradebit.com


Expectations were high for Liza & the WonderWheels to capture their particular band-magic in the studio. Fueled again by Liza''s song writing, the band spent 2 years refining their second record with the help of Ross Bonadonna, owner of Wombat Recording Studios in Brooklyn, and the band''s engineer. 

There are many new developments for this fresh 2006 release: 

- Liza again plays the instrument of her earliest anti-folk days, an electric strat style G&L (sparkle purple with a pearl pick guard)

- Musically her song writing is evolving becoming both more adaptable and more riff- centered as she begins to write with the band in mind

- Lyrically she continues to be inspired by the political and the poetic, influenced by Joan Baez and fascinated by her continuing discoveries in the symbolic relationships between an artist and her environment, place and time. 

The result is an independent release antidote to sarcastic hipster detachment, the opposite of calculated, derivative recycling. This is not the kind of music you hide behind.

Liza & the WonderWheels are propulsive, conceptual and intelligently concerned about all the very real shit going on in the world today. Exploring symbolic relationships through arty songs that happen to be catchy and not labored, they play frequently in order to be both skilled and spontaneous. Their smart, happy, melodic, political music will save you from ennui the same as any type of heartfelt expression, except you won''t feel cheesy because Liza & the WonderWheels will also rock you while they make you think.

These sounds come straight from the underground.

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