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Tributary (Spring 2015)
Chris McCaughan’s approach to art and health has inspired me since meeting him in the late 90’s. Making these tunes was educational in the best sense.
Peppermint Airplane (Spring 2014)
My first released home recording, this is a fuzzy sounding eight track creation. The songs were gathered over about ten years. Thank you Anna Bolm and Colin Peden for lending your voices and suggestions.
This was a band Brian Moss from the Ghost and I started in February of 2013. With Kevin McCracken, founder of the company Social Imprints, and bassist Colin Peden, we started writing an E.P. that spring. We recorded at Louder Studios with Tim Green, perhaps my favorite recording session ever. Thank you Kevin for making that happen. Schedule conflicts, a weird feeling of repeating history, and Anna and my departing San Francisco ended this short but sweet musical moment. Shocking no punk band had ever named itself Caught.
The Tight Phantomz (2005- 2007)
A throwback to big hair high leg kicks, the Phantomz was a revolving door of Chicago musicians. The Chicago Tribune mentioned our disastrous tour when the wheel flew off our van in Kansas. I was driving, with my leg was in an air cast, a result of a bike messenger accident that itself represents the dubious world I lived in at that time.
Despite the surface view of the Phantomz, I am happy to have been a part of Mike Lust’s focused creation of the Silk Prison, a double LP made in his historical Phantom Manor Studio (the link here is to a nice oral history of the Manor published by the Chicago Reader). He taught me the importance of hitting command S throughout a session. He also gave me a firsthand view of how the music industry is changing, and what it might take to keep up with it. Check out Mobile Manor Studios if you are living in the Chicago area.
The Ghost (2002-2005)
This was the band I joined at twenty that got me out of my hometown, took me across North America and Europe, and set a musical high bar I continue pushing myself to maintain.
I enjoyed working with Brian Deck at the now defunct Engine Studios in Wicker Park, Chicago, as well as Sean Johnson at Acme Studios, also now closed, on Belmont Avenue. Being a part of the Thick Oil compilation, where bands were brought into an old oil refinery on the South Side to track in a day, was another highlight of this journey. Our label-mates The Exit and Form of Rocket were our touring partners for much of this time, and made incredible records.
Here is a link to our show at the Fireside bowl shortly after we returned from Europe.
Carly’s Day Out (1999-2001)
RAMI award winning trio that once played in a barn on Halloween dressed as a pirate (Steve) a convict (PJ) and a cowboy (myself). The electricity was not grounded, something we discovered into our second or third song, when PJ fell down. He took a while to get it together. Then we went on to finish the set with PJ screaming vocals far away from the microphone.
This sort of thing was typical in the basements and barns and churches we played every weekend for about three years. The energy we shared was marvelous. Steve went on to drum for the Reputation, and work for Minus the Bear, while PJ fronted the Moment before moving to Seattle and joining Head Honcho. Thanks to Scott Heisel from Alternative Press for recently tossing us a bone in AP’s Throwback Thursday segment. Thank you too to the engineers at the Noise Chamber studio (still around?) in Rockford for putting up with our shenanigans in the late nineties.