Light Up Gold by Parquet Courts came out 10 years ago today! Stereogum and Brooklyn Vegan both ran features to celebrate the anniversary, as the band continues to tour the world behind their seventh record Sympathy For Life. Making this record with them was like capturing lighting in a bottle… we recorded everything in three days onto a Tascam 388 in their old practice space, and mixed & mastered it in my old apartment in even less time. “Stoned and Starving” was the first song we tracked, and I still remember getting chills as I heard them bash it out in the room around me, crossing my fingers that everything was actually recording correctly. Needless to say, it did work, and in ways we never could have expected. Light Up Gold is out on What’s Your Rupture.
My group P.E. is back with the new single “Tears In The Rain”, co-written and featuring A. Savage of Parquet Courts. Rolling Stone premiered the track, calling it “the perfect soundtrack for a neo-noir”, and it was featured in Stereogum, Under The Radar, and Brooklyn Vegan. Andrew’s been a part of the P.E. family since before the band began – he put out records by both Pill and Eaters on his label Dull Tools, both bands played with Parquet Courts, and I’ve worked on many Parquet Courts records over the years. This song – built around a sample of Jonny Campolo at the piano, and featuring a gorgeous one-take sax solo by Ben Jaffe – was special to us from the beginning, and it was Andrew that helped see it through by writing lyrics for Veronica (and she for him). This is honestly one of my favorite pieces of music I’ve ever worked on, and it was made with some of my closest & long-running collaborators… I hope you enjoy it too. The Leather Lemon is out March 25 via Wharf Cat Records.
Protomartyr – who just released the excellent Ultimate Success Today earlier this year – have announced the live album Security By Shadows. The set is from a show in 2014 that I recorded at Sugar Hill Supper Club, along with Parquet Courts (who were celebrating the release of Sunbathing Animal), Future Punx (who also released an excellent new album earlier this year), and Xerox. I mixed and mastered the performance this summer at Studio Windows, and the limited-edition vinyl-only release is available now for pre-order directly from the band.
Parquet Courts are celebrating their 10-year anniversary this December with the concert film On Time, and along with the announcement came the previously-unreleased song “Hey Bug”. I found the song in my archives from the Tally All The Things That Broke/Sunbathing Animal sessions – it was recorded at Seaside Lounge in spring 2013 (the same sessions featuring the tape-machine shootout) and mixed that fall at Doctor Wu’s. I always liked this song, but it never made the cut for Sunbathing Animal, ContentNausea, or any of the 7″s fromthattime…. I’m happy to finally see it out in the world! You can pre-order a limited-edition flexi 7″ at their Bandcamp, and purchase tickets for the December 10th stream of On Time, which features a live performance at Pioneer Works and other archival footage.
It is a supreme pleasure to have Person, the debut LP from my group P.E., out in the world! I loved putting together this record with my band mates and how the band has evolved since – genuinely one of the most fun and liberating creative experiences of my career – and it’s humbling to receive such praise for something so out there.
P.E. is playing our record release show tonight at Trans Pecos before heading down to SXSW in a couple weeks. We’re also doing two tours in the northeast this May – one with Pottery, and the other with Parquet Courts. Check out the dates below, stream the record on a platform of your choosing, and order the special edition while their are still tapes available! Person is out now on Wharf Cat Records.
Of the dozens of albums & singles I worked on that came out in 2019, Phantom Rhythm by Gong Gong Gong is particularly near & dear to my heart. I produced/recorded/mixed the record (and earlier singles) with the group starting back in 2017, and played the works-in-progress for friends & colleagues, leading to tours with Parquet Courts, Bodega, and Flasher and a relationship with the always-interesting Wharf Cat Records. Unsurprisingly, this fresh take on “multinational blues” made its way onto a number of Best Of 2019 lists, including Loud and Quiet, Aquarium Drunkard, and Raven Sings the Blues, as well as writers’ lists in The Wire and The Guardian.
Phantom Rhythm also made its way onto Post Trash‘s Best of 2019 list, where it shares space alongside Duo Duo by electro-rock whiz kids Operator Music Band (another personal fave that I co-produced/recorded/mixed), and two records that I mastered: noise-punks Weeping Icon’s self-titled debut and Dehd’s stellar breakup-pop LP Water.
Gimme Tinitus‘s Best of 2019 also featured Gong Gong Gong, Operator Music Band, and Weeping Icon, as well as Brooklyn noise-rock duo ESSi and their mind-bending debut Vital Creatures (which I co-produced/recorded/mixed/mastered).
Perhaps the most touching was seeing Parquet Courts in a number of Best of the Decade lists. The albums I produced with them (and Light Up Gold in particular) launched the band’s career, and were massively important for me and my trajectory as a producer/engineer. In the seven years since Light Up Gold was first released, I’ve watched their popularity and stature steadily rise, as their name became a short-hand comparison for literate, catchy punk bands. Nevertheless, it was humbling and exciting to see Light Up Gold rank #16 in Rolling Stone (and #2 in writer Rob Sheffield’s personal list), #37 in BrooklynVegan (and #7 in writer Bill Pearis’ personal list), #39 in AV Club, #41 in Treble, #78 in Vice, and #80 in Stereogum; Sunbathing Animal rank #140 in Pitchfork; and their break-out single “Stoned and Starving” rank #16 in Rolling Stone and #89 in Stereogum.
Snail Mail’s Lush also graced a number of these Best of 2010s lists. I helped to record the album, which was produced & mixed by my studio partner Jake Aron. Lush was undoubtedly important not just to the music culture of the last couple years, but also to our work: it was the first album tracked in the new Outlier Inn (where I’ve recorded many albums since Sunbathing Animal in the studio’s previous setup), and the first album mixed in our own Studio Windows. Lush ranked #48 in Stereogum and #122 in Pitchfork, and its lead-single “Pristine” ranked #87 in Stereogum and #97 in Pitchfork.
One last thing I almost missed: Catherine – the short film & web series by Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp (the minds behind Marcel The Shell With Shoes On) was featured in Vulture’s Favorite Comedy Moments of the Decade. I don’t do much for sound-for-film these days, but this was certainly a highlight for me, and I’m happy to see it still getting some (admittedly confused) love.
I’m looking forward to 2020, with the debut album Person by my new group P.E. scheduled in March, alongside albums I’ve produced for Pottery, Public Practice, Dougie Poole, and Brandy also arriving this spring. Regardless of how arbitrary Best Of lists can seem, it does feel like a great way to start off the new year & decade…. thanks for reading & listening.
Beijing-based “transnational blues” duo Gong Gong Gong have released their newest 7″ “Siren” b/w “Something’s Happening”. I produced this single (along with their upcoming full-length record), recording at October 2017 at Seaside Lounge and Doctor Wu’s, and mixed/mastered at Studio Windows this spring. The duo recently wrapped up a tour with Parquet Courts, will be touring with Flasher and Public Practice this winter, and with Bodega in February 2019. If you haven’t already, check out the amazing video for “Siren” below, and pick up their single now via Wharf Cat Records.
Beijing-based psychedelic blues duo Gong Gong Gong have announced their American debut single “Siren” (out November 9 via Wharf Cat). I produced/recorded/mixed/mastered this along with their upcoming full-length Phantom Rhythm in fall 2017 – winter 2018 at Seaside Lounge, Doctor Wu’s (RIP), and Studio Windows. “Siren” is perhaps my favorite of the songs we tracked, and a wonderful introduction to this unique band. Check it out via Stereogum, along with their upcoming tour dates supporting Parquet Courts, Flasher, and Bodega.
Wide Awake!, the new album by Parquet Courts, is out now via Rough Trade. The LP was produced by Dangermouse (at Electric Lady in NYC and Sonic Ranch in TX), mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer, and mastered by Joe LaPorta at Sterling Sound. I spent a couple days working on additional recording and arrangements at Doctor Wu’s, including field-recording the children’s choir on “Death Will Bring Change”. Wide Awake! has already received rave reviews from a range of publications including Rolling Stone, NME, NPR, and many more. Buy and/or stream it now.
NYC’s post-punk quintet Bodega premiered “How Did This Happen?!”, which was featured on Brooklyn Vegan, Northern Transmissions, DIY Mag, and Clash. “How?!” is the first single from their debut album Endless Scroll, produced and recorded by Austin Brown (of Parquet Courts), and mixed/mastered by me at Doctor Wu’s. Endless Scroll is out June 1 on What’s Your Rupture; in the meantime, catch the band at SXSW, around NYC, and in Europe this spring.