Chris Brokaw performing with The Lemonheads in Boston 2014
|Birth name||Christopher Jon Brokaw|
August 1, 1964 |
New York City
|Genres||alternative rock, slowcore, post-rock, folk, experimental|
|Associated acts||Come, Codeine, Dirtmusic, Steve Wynn, Consonant, Pullman, Bedhead, The New Year, Geoff Farina, Martha's Vineyard Ferries, Snares & Kites, 7 Or 8 Worm Hearts, The Lemonheads|
Chris Brokaw (born August 1, 1964) is an American musician, mostly known for his work with the bands Come and Codeine, in addition to his many collaborations and original soundtracks. His outlier, underground status, in addition to his constant touring, abundant collaborative projects, and prolific musical output, have resulted in Brokaw being repeatedly described as 'one of the hardest-working musicians in anti-show-business.'
- 1 Life and career
- 2 Soundtracks and scores
- 3 Collaborations and Session Work
- 4 Discography
- 4.1 Solo
- 4.2 Original soundtracks
- 4.3 With Codeine
- 4.4 With Come
- 4.5 With Pullman
- 4.6 With Snares & Kites
- 4.7 With The New Year
- 4.8 With Empty House Cooperative
- 4.9 With Consonant
- 4.10 With Dirtmusic
- 4.11 With Wrekmeister Harmonies
- 4.12 With Chris Brokaw & Geoff Farina
- 4.13 With Martha's Vineyard Ferries
- 4.14 With Hidden Tooth (w/David Michael Curry)
- 4.15 As Ryley Walker & Chris Brokaw
- 4.16 As Sunset to the Sea (w/Jeff Barsky)
- 4.17 With Charnel Ground (w/James McNew and Kid Millions)
- 5 See also
- 6 External links
- 7 Notes
Life and career
While studying at Oberlin College, Brokaw met many people who became figures on the American indie rock scene of the 1990s, among them Stephen Immerwahr, with whom Brokaw formed Codeine, as well as Sooyoung Park of Bitch Magnet and Seam, John McEntire of Tortoise, and Liz Phair.
Soon after graduating from Oberlin, Brokaw played drums for a number of bands, including 7 Or 8 Worm Hearts and G.G. Allin. He then joined Codeine and played drums on their first two studio albums, as well as helping to kick-start Liz Phair's career. In 1990 he returned to the guitar, one of his two main instruments, and teamed up with Thalia Zedek (Dangerous Birds, Uzi, Live Skull), a well-known figure in New York's post-No Wave scene. The two formed Come, a band that never gained much mainstream popularity, despite the critical praise they garnered throughout their career.
Brokaw and Zedek took a break from Come at the end of the decade, and the band never regrouped in the studio, though the pair has since performed together on many occasions. In November 2008 the band convened for one performance at the Tanned Tin Festival in Spain.
After Come, Brokaw has released several albums in his own name, from the instrumental Post-Rock of Red Cities, through the composition and performance of the musical score for "i was born, but...", to the more straightforward song structure of Incredible Love. Both Brokaw and Zedek were invited to participate in a limited edition series of albums by Normal Records, a German record label. Brokaw recorded his contribution to the series, Wandering As Water, in a single day, playing all instruments on the record.
Additionally, Brokaw has played in the bands Pullman, Rivulets, Consonant, and The New Year and played as accompanist to such artists as Thurston Moore, Evan Dando, Steve Wynn, Fan Modine, Christina Rosenvinge, Alan Licht, and Rhys Chatham. Brokaw also participated as drummer 10 in the Boredoms 77 Boadrum performance which took place on July 7, 2007 at the Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park in Brooklyn, New York. In addition to this, Brokaw was one of the guitarists performing Rhys Chatham's A Crimson Grail at the Lincoln Center, New York, as part of the center's Out of Doors series on September 14, 2010. The performance was a 200-guitar version of Chatham's work, which was commissioned by the city of Paris and premiered at the basilica of Sacré-Coeur in 2005, originally scored for 400 guitars.
Between 2005 and 2006, Brokaw performed with the Chris Brokaw Band, which included Karate's Jeff Goddard on bass and Rodan's Kevin Coultas on drums. Later, in 2011, Brokaw would perform again under the same moniker with Elisha Wiesner and Sal Esposito, both formerly of Kahoots, on bass and drums respectively. In 2007, Brokaw formed Dirtmusic with Chris Eckman (Walkabouts) and Hugo Race (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds). Named after Tim Winton's 2001 novel Dirt Music, the band released their homonymous debut album on Glitterhouse Records in November 2007. In 2008, Dirtmusic performed at The Festival in the Desert, in Essakane, Mali, where they met the Touareg band Tamikrest, in collaboration with whom they would record they following album, BKO. BKO, their second album, was recorded in January 2009 at Ali Farka Touré's old studio in Bamako, Mali, and was released the following year.
Brokaw formed his own record label, CAPITAN RECORDS, in 2008, through which he has released several solo albums of predominantly instrumental music (Canaris and Gracias, Ghost of the Future), in addition to his collaboration with Wrekmeister Harmonies, Live in NYC. Stemming from Brokaw's many musical projects and his enviable work ethic, DigBoston has called him "one of the most prolific and active artists to call Boston home." Likewise, The Irish News has stated that "Chris Brokaw is one of America's busiest musical talents."
Soundtracks and scores
Brokaw has provided music for productions of two dance companies: the Daghdha Dance Company (Limerick, Ireland), where Nicole Peisl commissioned him to create new pieces, and Kino Dance (Boston), where he collaborated with playwright Rinde Eckert and director Robert Woodruff on Highway Ulysses, which in 2003 The Boston Globe named "the best production of the year." Brokaw has also scored Roddy Bogawa's 2004 documentary "i was born, but..." and Leslie McCleave's 2005 feature film Road, which won him the Best Original Score award at the Brooklyn International Film Festival. Brokaw has also scored Roddy Bogawa's 2011 documentary Taken by Storm: The Art of Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis, for which he is also credited as co-producer. More recently, he has -with Animal Hospital's Kevin Micka- scored Lana Z Caplan's 2011 experimental documentary Sospira and Jason Cortlund's 2012 feature film Now, Forager: A Film About Love & Fungi. Brokaw also contributed a soundtrack to Holly Anderson's collection of flash fiction and mesostic poetry The Night She Slept With a Bear (2012). He has also contributed a song to the original soundtrack to the German sci-fi thriller film Centerland, directed by Enko Landmanns. In 2017, he composed the scores to Julia Halperin and Jason Cortlund's independent film La Barracuda and Nick Frangione's forthcoming film Buck Run, starring James Le Gros. In 2018, he contributed -with Claudia Groom, under the moniker The Fly Aways- the original song "I'm The Only One For You" to the soundtrack for Derek Johnson's forthcoming psychological-thriller Mother's Garden, starring Eryn Rea.
Since 2013, Danish guitar pedal manufacturer Reuss has been developing, with Brokaw's input, prototypes for a pedal named CB-01 Recidivist, after the Come song from their final album Gently, Down the Stream.
Collaborations and Session Work
Brokaw has been a member of several bands over the years, most importantly Come and Codeine, though the list includes The New Year, Empty House Cooperative, Consonant, Dirtmusic, Hidden Tooth, Martha's Vineyard Ferries, Pullman, and GG Allin's solo band. Aside from his collaborations with Geoff Farina, Ryley Walker, Jeff Barsky, Holly Anderson, David Michael Curry, and Kevin Mikka, and split EPs with Bastro during his tenure in Codeine and Viva Las Vegas as a solo artist, Brokaw has worked with a number of bands and recording artists, including Cobra Verde, Dave Derby and the Norfolk Downs, Tamikrest, Evan Dando, Fifty Bucks, Gramercy Arms, Jumbo, Tara Jane O'Neil, Hugo Race, The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project, Kahoots, Karate, Lemonheads, Loog, Manta Ray, Molasses, 7 Or 8 Worm Hearts, Bedhead, Thurston Moore, Rhys Chatham, Rivulets, Christina Rosenvinge, Rosa Chance Well, Snares and Kites, Via Tania/Tania Bowers, The Boredoms, Willard Grant Conspiracy, and Wrekmeister Harmonies, as well as some of Thalia Zedek's and Steve Wynn's respective solo work, to name but a few.
- Chris Brokaw & Viva Las Vegas EP (Kimchee Records/Acuarela Records, 2002) Split release with Viva Las Vegas
- Red Cities (12xu, 2002)
- Wandering As Water (Return to Sender, 2003)
- My Confidante+3 EP (Normal Records, 2004)
- Incredible Love (12xu, 2005)
- Forestry EP (I and Ear, 2007) 7" vinyl only, limited to 500 copies
- Canaris (Capitan Records, 2008) CD only; reissued on vinyl by Omentum Records in 2017
- Gracias, Ghost of the Future (Capitan Records, 2009) Vinyl only, limited to 100 copies
- VDSQ Solo Acoustic Volume 3 (Vin du Select Qualitite, 2010)
- Tundra (Capitan Records, 2010) CD only, limited to 40 numbered copies
- I Ace Sociopathic King (Already Dead Tapes, 2011) Cassette only, limited to 200 copies. Reissued in 2014 for Cassette Store Day.
- Live At Porchlight (Capitan Records, March 2011) CDR, limited to 22 copies
- Stories EP (Limited Appeal Records, 2012)
- Gambler's Ecstasy (12xu/Damnably, 2012)
- Tidal Mud (Robert & Leopold, 2012) CD, limited to 20 copies; cassette, limited to 100 copies
- The Coyote of Deadhorse Canyon (Capitan Records, 2013) Cassette only, limited to 49 copies
- With My Little Eye EP (Fear of Speed, 2013) CD only, limited to 150 copies
- Avalanche EP (Mouca, 2013) Cassette only
- Chambers of Light (Capitan Records, 2013) Cassette only, limited to 25 copies
- Macanudo Avenues (Capitan Records, 2013) Cassette only, limited to 25 copies
- Jukers Junction (Capitan Records, 2013) Cassette only, limited to 25 copies
- Solo (Capitan Records, 2013) Cassette only, limited to 20 copies
- Wages of Fear (Capitan Records, 2014) Cassette only, limited to 12 copies, each with handmade collages
- The Periscope Twins (12XU, 2015) Vinyl only, double LP
- The Hand That Wrote This Letter (Capitan Records, 2017) CD only, featuring classical guitar renditions of David Bowie and Prince songs
- End of The Night (VDSQ Records, forthcoming 2018) LP
- Four Kings (Jellyfant Records, forthcoming 2018) Double LP, includes Tundra EP, Tidal Mud and the previously unreleased "Central District Blues"
- Title TK (Crack'd Rabbit, forthcoming 2018) CD only, limited edition, ambient music
- "i was born, but..." - Original Film Score (Atavistic/12xu, 2004)
- Road Original Film Score (Jellyfant Records, 2011) Vinyl only, limited to 300 copies
- Sospira Original Film Score [with Kevin Micka] (Capitan Records, 2011) Limited to 100 copies
- The Night She Slept With a Bear [with Holly Anderson] (Jank Editions, 2012 on CD; Jellyfant, 2017 on vinyl) Book with soundtrack
- Now, Forager Original Film Score (Dais Records, 2014) LP only
- Music For Peter Hutton (Capitan Records, forthcoming 2018) Cassette only, containing live film scores
- 11:11 (Matador Records/Placebo, 1992)
- Don't Ask, Don't Tell (Matador Records/Beggars Banquet Records, 1994)
- Near-Life Experience (Matador Records/Domino Records, 1996)
- Gently, Down The Stream (Matador Records/Domino Records, 1998)
With Snares & Kites
- Tricks of Trapping (Inbetweens Records, 1999)
With The New Year
- Newness Ends (Touch & Go Records, 2001)
- The End Is Near (Touch & Go Records, 2004)
- The New Year (Touch & Go Records, 2008)
- Snow (Undertow Music, 2017)
With Empty House Cooperative
- Improvisational Preparation For Church Studio Recording (Self-released, 2001)
- Half the Mixes from Nine Rectory Lane (Self-released, 2001)
- Improvisational Dinner Music at Middle East Restaurant (Hinah, 2001)
- Improvisational Music (Hinah, 2001)
- Painted Plane (Sedimental, 2004)
- Dirtmusic (Glitterhouse Records, 2007)
- In the Desert (Glitterhouse Records, 2008)
- BKO [with Tamikrest] (Glitterhouse Records, 2010)
- The Tent Sessions [with Tamikrest] (Glitterhouse Records, 2010) Limited to 1000 copies
- Bu Bir Ruya (Glitterhouse Records, 2018)
With Wrekmeister Harmonies
- Live in NYC (Capitan Records, May 2009) LP only, limited to 100 copies
With Chris Brokaw & Geoff Farina
- The Angel's Message to Me (Capitan Records/Damnably/Jellyfant, 2010)
- The Boarder's Door (Damnably, 2010)
- All Out & Down (Landland ≠ Record Label, 2016) Vinyl with digital download card. Also limited tour pressing in numbered edition of 125
With Martha's Vineyard Ferries
- In the Pond 12" EP (Sick Room Records, 2010) 4-song, one-sided 12" vinyl w/ an etching by Rosemary Hoeft on side B, limited to 500 copies
- MASS. GRAVE (Kiam Records, 2013)
With Hidden Tooth (w/David Michael Curry)
- Lost Records (Capitan Records, 2010) CD only, limited to 100 copies
- Hidden Tooth EP (Robert & Leopold, 2012) 3-inch CD only, limited to 52 copies
- Break the House (Capitan Records, 2013) Cassette only, limited to 25 copies
- Bicoastal Arsonistas (Fear of Speed, 2013) CD only, limited to 100 copies
As Ryley Walker & Chris Brokaw
- AM 982 "Strangled Pairs" Vol. Thirteen (American Tapes, 2014) One-sided LP, vinyl only, limited to 100 copies
As Sunset to the Sea (w/Jeff Barsky)
- Sunset to the Sea (Tape Drift Records, 2016) TD81/C60, cassette only
With Charnel Ground (w/James McNew and Kid Millions)
- Charnel Ground (12XU, forthcoming 2018) LP
- Official website
- Official Bandcamp site
- Chris Brokaw interview Rocker Magazine 2012 - includes video
- Chris Brokaw interview
- Evan Dando & Lemonheads fan site plus forum on Chris Brokaw, Tom Morgan, Nic Dalton, Givegoods, Sneeze, Smudge, Barefoot Bushmen and $talker records[permanent dead link]
- 77 Boadrum Site Profile Viva Radio, Sep 2007. (Flash)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chris Brokaw.|
- Ted Drozdowski (Jan 14–20, 2005). "Review of Chris Brokaw's I Was Born, But... (Atavistic)". Portland Phoenix. Retrieved 4 Dec 2016.
- Neil Kulkarni (January 17, 2013). "A New Nineties Come On My Shirt, Come In My Ear: Neil Kulkarni Interviews Come". The Quietus. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- Cortney Harding (2 October 2010). By the Horns. Billboard. p. 31. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- Chris Smith (9 July 2009). "Exile in Guyville". 101 Albums that Changed Popular Music. Oxford University Press. p. 224. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- The Wire (magazine). The Wire, Issues 263-268. The Wire Magazine Ltd. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- "Rhys Chatham - A Crimson Grail". Nonesuch Records. Retrieved 2013-06-01.
- "Rhys Chatham - A Crimson Grail". Nonesuch Records. Retrieved 2013-06-01.
- "Dirtmusic". Glitterhouse. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- "digBoston: "Chris Brokaw"". Archived from the original on 2013-04-10. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
- Scene - Still Working, Still Wandering. The Irish News. April 22, 2005.
- "Kino Dance, "Collaborators"". Archived from the original on 2013-09-17. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
- "Siegel, Ed, "A strong year on local stages large and small: From classics to premieres, quality abounded", The Boston Glove, December 28, 2003". The Boston Globe. 2003-12-28. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
- "IMDB, "i was born, but..." (2004)". Retrieved 2013-03-24.
- "IMDB, Road (2005)". Retrieved 2013-03-24.
- "Brooklyn International Film Festival, June 2-June 11, 2006". Retrieved 2013-03-24.
- "Full cast and crew for Taken by Storm: The Art of Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis (2011)". Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- "IMDB, Sospira (2010)". Retrieved 2013-03-24.
- "Lana Z. Caplan, Sospira (2010)". Retrieved 2013-03-24.
- "IMDB, Now, Forager (2012)". Retrieved 2013-03-24.
- "The Night She Slept With A Bear by Holly Anderson". Archived from the original on 2013-06-06. Retrieved 2013-06-01.
- "JellyFant Records / CENTERLAND (OST)". Retrieved 2016-04-18.
- "Centerland". Retrieved 2016-04-18.
- Anders Marcuslund-Reuss (2013-07-17). "First Chris Brokaw pedal prototype complete". Retrieved 2016-04-18.
- Allmusic. "Chris Brokaw - Credits". Retrieved 2017-01-24.
- Chris Brokaw. "Discography". Retrieved 2017-01-24.
- Discogs. "Chris Brokaw Discography - All Credits". Retrieved 2017-01-24.
- Robert & Leopold. Out of Print releases. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
- Dais Records. Dais Records - Soon. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
- "Empty House Cooperative's "Improvisational Dinner Music at Middle East Restaurant"". Hinah Records. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
- "Empty House Cooperative's "Improvisational Music"". Hinah Records. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
- Robert & Leopold. Out of Print releases. Retrieved 2013-02-05.