Black Tie Elephant & Michael Brosco

Once upon a time I lived in half of a garage in Champaign. Rent was $260, utilities included and I had a stove, refrigerator and a bathroom with a concrete floor shower. I did stuff like throw boomerangs with Mike and Onur and give myself bad haircuts. When it rained all the ants would try and stay dry by trying to invade my place. I think the entire room was 10x12.

This was the first place I lived by myself after graduating from college and at the time my priority was to save money - mostly because I wanted to hang around Champaign to keep playing music with Black Tie Elephant, a trio made up of myself, Rahul Barua, and Brendan Finucane.

The best thing to happen while I lived in that insane garage space was being contacted by Mike Brosco via myspace. Mike used to part of an avante garde art rock band in the late 80s called Proof of Utah, who were signed to an obscure overseas label and gained a small cult following for their colorful, avante-garde noisy-zappa-esque-yet-insanely-poppy songs (p.s. they are writing new songs!). Mike's solo stuff is mostly ambient, eno-esque material. Anyway, Mike somehow heard some of my tracks on myspace and invited me over to his home studio, trusting me enough to eventually mess with his equipment and rearrange all of his things.

Seriously though, Mike is definitely one of the most generous and sincere guys I've ever met. After letting me tinker in his studio, he even invited the rest of BTE members over and we messed around a bit. However, we never really got a chance to develop much in the studio, as Brendan and Rahul both left town to pursue worldly adventures. Mike and I did end up working on a few ambient pieces for a friend's film project, which was cool.

A few months ago Brendan and Rahul both moved back to Chicago and we started playing again. We've written a few new songs and since Rahul is leaving for Scotland in two weeks we had to get something down on tape. So on a whim we decided to head down to Champaign and do an all day session with Mike Brosco in his studio, aiming to lay down two solid, well developed tracks. We just got back from Champaign a few hours ago and as I listen to the tracks, it was totally worth it - I think they came out fantastic.

Also, BTE is working on putting together a mini-performance before Rahul leaves. I'll be sure to keep ya'll posted...in the meantime check out the new PoU material!

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