First/Last-‘The Essentials’ Apex Manor

April 19, 2013

“Ross Flournoy founded Apex Manor after the 2009 demise of The Broken West. Named after his Los Angeles ‘zen place’, Apex Manor was the idyllic apartment of his close friend and long-time collaborator Adam Vine.

Having relocated from the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles to Pasadena, Flournoy was enjoying suburban tranquility, but his car wouldn’t start and he found himself isolated. He whiled away the days cleaning the house, sitting on the porch, and splitting tallboys with the gardeners who worked nearby. And battling a case of writer’s block.
Enter an unlikely source of inspiration: an online songwriting contest. NPR’s Monitor Mix was soliciting original songs from readers, giving the prospective songwriter one weekend to write, record, and submit. Flournoy decided to give it a go and set about writing and recording at home. At least he would be doing something with his time. The song, ‘Under the Gun’, turned out to be about the process itself.”

Check out the band at their official Website, Facebook, and Twitter. Ross Flournoy is Apex Manor, the band he formed after a favorite of mine, The Broken West, dissolved. I was so lucky to be able to see them perform soon before they disbanded. He has released a total of three fantastic records, all on Merge and I highly suggest you get them all in a convenient and economical bundle here. You won’t be sorry at all, I promise. This is some of the best modern power-pop/rock you will hear. As I and other fans patiently wait for new music, I sincerely want to thank Ross for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • Hmmm…that’s a really good question. I honestly can’t remember. Probably a cassette single…I really loved those when I was a kid. Possibly Robert Palmer’s ‘Simply Irresistible’.
  • Your last album bought?
  • Another good question…honestly, I mostly listen to stuff on Spotify these days. I’m a bad record buyer. But the last CD I remember purchasing was Nick Lowe’s “The Old Magic”.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • Probably “Exile”…that might be a bit clichéd, but pound for pound that’s gotta be my favorite record.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • Anything by The Doors.
  • First concert attended?
  • The Beach Boys at Mud Island in Memphis, TN when I was probably six years old.
  • Last concert?
  • I think the last show attended (other than one of mine) was Wilco at Mud Island in Memphis last year. (May 2012).
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • Lambchop at Merge XX in 2009. American Music Club at Merge XX. Pipe at Merge XX. Buddy Guy at the Ventura Theatre in the mid-90s. Jon Brion at Largo. Nick Lowe & Robyn Hitchcock at the El Rey in Los Angeles in 2008. Lou Barlow at Largo during summer 2000.
  • Least favorite concert?
  • Man, I don’t know…having a hard time thinking of one.
  • Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • I’ve only been/played there once — with the Broken West, opening for A.C. Newman in 2009. It was a lot prettier than I expected — those palisades along the river. We played the Warhol Museum which was pretty awesome.

Thanks, Ross. Just love your music, man. Looking forward to more in the future and please keep Pittsburgh in mind if you tour.