Chris Brokaw is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, drummer and film composer based in Boston. Perhaps best known for his pioneering work with the bands Codeine and Come, since 2002 Chris has released over a dozen solo albums of instrumental and vocal musics, composed music for film and dance, and worked as an accompanist to Thurston Moore, Steve Wynn, Evan Dando, Christina Rosenvinge, Rhys Chatham, Johnny Depp and GG Allin.
He currently plays in The New Year, The Martha´s Vineyard Ferries, The Empty House Cooperative and The Lemonheads, and in duos with Geoff Farina and Lori Goldston. Chris performed with 200 guitarists under the tutelage of Rhys Chatham at Lincoln Center; one of 77 drummers in the Boredoms’ epic "77BOADRUM" in Brooklyn; and with Dirtmusic at the "Festival In The Desert" in Essakane, Mali.
HOLLY ANDERSON was an American artist, poet and playwright. In addition to her own collections of poetry and plays, she wrote lyrics for Mission Of Burma and designed their albums "Signals, Calls and Marches" and "Vs". For three months she put her life on hold and worked at Respite 1, an emergency relief center for workers sifting through what locals called “the Pile” after the terrorist attack. As a result, she fell ill with cancer and died in December 2017. She was married to Jonathan Kane, one of the founders of the Swans.
Guitarrist and Songwriter GEOFF FARINA has spent the last 30 years performing original music in the USA, Europe and Japan and has recorded a large and varied discography as a solo artist and with his bands Glorytellers, Karate and the Secret Stars. He has performed with Thalia Zedek and Alan Sparhawk. Together with guitarist Chris Brokaw he has recorded three albums with Blues and Country Obscurities. He is currently teaching the history of Blues and Bluegrass at the DePaul School of Music in Chicago.
CHRIS BROKAW & HOLLY ANDERSON: THE NIGHT SHE SLEPT WITH A BEAR
(LP * JellyFant 2017 * cat# jayf 41) * file under OST / Experimental
The Theory Of Everything / Ice Cave / Signe / Boilermakers / Bliss Frag. / Honeymoon / Mesostic 1 / Boys On Ponies / Mesostic 2 / A Piee Of Pie / Mesositc 3 / Born Swallow Ballet / Recipe For Returning / Blue Story / Red Story / Ranch House Redux / 4am Wonder Room / Maiden Fish / Black Story / Black Bear / Deadfish Pension / Time To Drive / 1927 / O Holy Night / The Night She Slept With A Bear / Mesostic 4 / Mesostic 5 / Mesostic 6 / Mesostic 7 / Mesostic 8 / Mesostic 7+8 / Black Bear Mesostic / Popcorn Chicken Snack Boxes / Mother And Daughter / Sheherazade v. 2
Holly Anderson may be a writer and poet in the first place, but the American has always had a close relationship with music. After all, the Boston post-punk heroes Mission Of Burma set their lyrics "Mica" to music 35 years ago, and another Boston jack-of-all-trades, Chris Brokaw (Codeine, Come etc.), also interpreted one of her lyrics on his EP "My Confidante" 15 years ago.
For the book of poems "The Night She Slept With A Bear" she recently got together with Brokaw again, because the book also came out with a soundtrack that is similarly free-spirited as the lyrics. With 35 often emphatically short instrumental pieces, which are sometimes more atmosphere than music in the true sense of the word, Brokaw congenially accompanies Anderson's "collection of flash fictions and mesostic poems" and carries the listener off into a hallucinogenic other-world between dream and reality, with which in the most exciting moments he almost seems to dock to Cabaret Voltaire's legendary film music for "Johnny Yesno" and yet effortlessly manages to swerve to bluegrass infected banjo numbers. Now available on vinyl for the first time, this soundtrack is a feast for all friends of Brokaw's experimental streak.
Comes with six double sided prints of poems and artwork by Susan Archie (Grammy winner for Charlie Patton´s "Screamin' & Hollerin' the Blues" and "Goodbye, Babylon: Gospel, Sacred Music and Sermons")
ROAD (OST) (LP * JellyFant 2011 * cat# jayf 11cd) * file under OST
Road Theme (Cape Breton) / Camera / Dating (Early Beats) Booze / Bloody Grass / Road Punk/Dub Theme / Looking For Margaret 2 / Chinatown / Road Opening Theme / Banjo Haiku / Walking For Gas / Hotel Noise / Very Andromeda Strain / Road Indie Theme / Cleaning The River / Dating (Short) / Looking For Margaret 1 / Oswald Suite / Road Closing Theme
In 2005 Brokaw worked together with filmmaker Leslie McCleave for "Road", and to coincide with the release of the strip on www.roadthemovie.com the Oberhausen connoisseur label Jellyfant released Brokaw's instrumental soundtrack in a really nice vinyl-only edition.
"Some of it sounds like 'rock music' (with a complete band), the rest is less richly orchestrated," Brokaw reveals. "There's a 'theme song' (in different versions) and some attempts at 'regional music', including my attempt to simulate a hurdy gurdy with a bowed guitar.
Brokaw sees the fact that the film music was awarded a prize at the Brooklyn International Film Festival above all as an incentive to continue working in this field:
"It showed me that my ideas and my choice of means were not idiotic and that I could possibly add something new to this art form. I have the feeling that there is a lot of competition in this field, yet I would like to do more as long as Danny DeVito doesn't lean over my shoulder and tell me to make it sound a little more like Madonna. I probably wouldn't be any good at that."
CHRIS BROKAW & GEOFF FARINA - THE ANGEL´S MESSAGE TO ME
(LP *JellyFant 2010 * cat# jayf 10) * file under Blues
The Angel's Message To Me / Ginseng Blues / Guitar Chimes / In The Evening / Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor / Oh Death / Sitting On Top Of The World
/ St. James Infirmary Blues / Stagger Lee / Poor Wayfaring Stranger / That'll Never Happen No More / Trouble In Mind
"All the songs on this record are pre-World War II country blues songs; some -- like "Stagger Lee" and "Oh Death" -- are well-known standards, while others are a bit more obscure. It's an interesting idea, of course, to take songs from the Depression era and bring them back to life in our own depressed (or depressing) times. But what is refreshing about Brokaw and Farina's work here is that they don't bring some sort of savvy modern twist to these songs. They play them straight. They play them with a hushed intimacy. And they play them awfully well."