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Ridgewood band Real Estate returns with new album


Ridgewood band Real Estate returns with new album

MARCH 8, 2014, 12:53 AM


WHO: Real Estate.

WHAT: Indie rock.

WHEN: 7 p.m. April 5.

WHERE: Webster Hall, 125 E. 11th St., Manhattan; Ticketmaster or

HOW MUCH: $20.

LISTEN: realestatethe

If the cover artwork for “Atlas,” the new album by indie popsters Real Estate, looks strangely familiar, you probably grew up in North Jersey – as the band’s founding members did, in Ridgewood – or spent more time than you care to remember, at least before 1998, driving past the intersection of Routes 4 and 17 in Paramus.

“Atlas,” which was released Tuesday, features 15 separate sections from artist Stefan Knapp’s mammoth abstract mural that graced the southerly façade of Alexander’s department store for decades, even after the store shut for good in 1992.

“I just randomly remembered it one day,” Martin Courtney, Real Estate’s songwriter and lead singer, said during a recent lunch with bassist Alex Bleeker in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

“It was so alien,” Bleeker said, recalling the 200-foot-long, 50-foot-high mural set against the backdrop of an “ocean of a parking lot, totally empty and overgrown with weeds.” He added, “The funny part is, we don’t have any memory in our lifetime of the store being open.”

“Apparently my dad used to work there, which is kind of interesting,” Courtney said.

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