* Strategies

Formed remotely in 2020, this is an ongoing recording project with old pals Neil Hennessy and Brian Moss. As I turn 40 it is also my first foray into social media, an at times bracing and often silly aspect of a project I’ve come to care deeply about. Thanks gents for signing onto this. Hoping to play live in ’23 🙂

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My brother was lead actor in this Aesop Rock & TOBACCO video (December, 2019). Well done, Matty.

*Tributary (Spring 2015). Chris McCaughan’s music has inspired me since the late 90’s. Making these tunes with him was a fun dive into electronica.

*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. Thanks to Mrs. Anna and Colin Peden for lending voices and suggestions.

*Caught (2013). 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. Annie and I departing San Francisco ended this short but sweet musical moment. Shocking no punk band we knew of was named 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 am happy to have been a part of Silk Prison, a double LP made in the Phantom Manor Studio (the link here is to a nice oral history of the Manor published by the Chicago Reader). Mike Lust 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…

*The Ghost (2002-2005). The band moved from the Bay Area to Chicago around the time I graduated high school. Their guitarist left, and I joined, moving away from my hometown to venture out into the world.

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 when PJ suddenly 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 in Rockford for putting up with our shenanigans in the late nineties.

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