East River Pipe

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East River Pipe
East River Pipe in home studio
East River Pipe in home studio
Background information
Birth nameFrederick Cornog
BornNorfolk, Virginia, United States
OriginNew York City, New York, United States
Occupation(s)songwriter, singer, home recordist
Years active1989-present
LabelsAjax Records, Sarah, Merge, Hell Gate Productions

F.M. Cornog is an American songwriter, singer, self-taught musician, and home-recordist who records under the name East River Pipe. The New York Times describes Cornog as "the Brian Wilson of home recording."[1]

Cornog was born in Norfolk, Virginia, and raised in Summit, New Jersey.[2] After high school, Cornog worked a series of menial jobs before succumbing to alcoholism, drug abuse, mental illness, and eventual homelessness, ending up in the Hoboken train station.[3]

During this time he met Astoria, Queens-resident Barbara Powers, and with Powers' support and label (Hell Gate), Cornog released some home-recorded cassettes and 7" singles under the name East River Pipe, which he chose after observing a sewage pipe spewing out raw waste into the East River.[4] These initial 7" singles attracted the attention of UK-based Sarah Records who released his records from 1993 to 1996, making Cornog one of the few American artists ever signed to the label.

In the U.S., Cornog released his first LP, Shining Hours In A Can, on the Chicago-based micro-indie Ajax Records in 1994. A year later, he found a more permanent home on Merge Records, the Chapel Hill-based indie run by Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance. Merge released Poor Fricky (1995), Mel (1996), The Gasoline Age (1999), Shining Hours In A Can (2002;reissue), Garbageheads On Endless Stun (2003), What Are You On? (2006), and We Live In Rented Rooms (2011).

Artists who have covered East River Pipe songs include David Byrne, Lambchop, The Mountain Goats, Waxahatchee, Okkervil River, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, For Against, Mary Lou Lord, and others. Rolling Stone called Cornog "the most gifted of the new loners."[5]




  • 1993 Goodbye California (Sarah)
  • 1995 Even the Sun Was Afraid (Sarah)


  • 1991 Axl or Iggy/Helmet On (Hell Gate)
  • 1992 My Life Is Wrong/She's a Real Good Time (Hell Gate)
  • 1992 Make a Deal with the City/Psychic Whore (Hell Gate)
  • 1993 Helmet On (Sarah)
  • 1993 She's a Real Good Time (Sarah)
  • 1993 Firing Room/Hey, Where's Your Girl (Hell Gate)
  • 1994 Ah Dictaphone/Hide My Life Away from You (Hell Gate)
  • 1995 Bring on the Loser (Merge)
  • 1996 Miracleland (Shinkansen)
  • 1996 Kill the Action (Merge)

Cassette-only releases[edit]

  • 1989 East River Pipe (Hell Gate, cassette tape)
  • 1990 Point of Memory (Hell Gate, cassette tape) [7]
  • 1991 I Used To Be Kid Colgate (Hell Gate, cassette tape)

Other media[edit]

Knockaround Guys American feature film directed by Brian Koppelman; East River Pipe's "Make A Deal With The City"[8]

Down To The Bone American feature film Directed by Debra Granik; East River Pipe's "Arrival Pad #19" [9]

Lake City American feature film directed by Hunter Hill and Perry Moore; East River Pipe's "Bring On The Loser" [10]

"Drinking the Kool-Aid" an episode of the American television series Veronica Mars; East River Pipe's "Make A Deal With The City" [11]

World of Jenks American documentary series on MTV; East River Pipe's "Three Ships"

This Summer Feeling French feature film directed by Mikhaël Hers; East River Pipe's "Make A Deal With The City"[12]


  1. ^ Schoemer, Karen (October 24, 1999). "Pop That's Produced Alone at Home Gets Personal". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Lustig, Jay. "Song of the Day: 'Firing Room,' East River Pipe", The Star-Ledger, December 29, 2010. Accessed February 19, 2011. "East River Pipe is the recording name of F.M. Cornog of Summit, who has released six albums and two EPs since 1994 (most recently, What Are You On?, in 2006), and has never performed his material live."
  3. ^ Lindgren, Hugo. "Garbageheads Revisited". New York.
  4. ^ La Gorce, Tammy (May 21, 2006). "Music; In Their Rooms, Shrinking Violets Sing". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Stolder, Steven (February 22, 1996). "Sole Singers". Rolling Stone (728).
  6. ^ Vulture Premieres a New Track From East River Pipe New York Magazine, 22 November 2010. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
  7. ^ [1] Jim Santo's Demo Universe. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Knockaround Guys". IMDb.
  9. ^ "Down To The Bone". IMDb. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
  10. ^ "Lake City".
  11. ^ "Veronica Mars: Drinking the Kool Aid". IMDb. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
  12. ^ "This Summer Feeling". IMDb. Retrieved February 15, 2017.

External links[edit]