November 8, 2013

“townsppl” is Alexander Stanton, or part of him anyway. Mostly the part that makes slightly honest fuzzy folk pop on the computer with poorly constructed 60’s Sears harmony guitars. It’s also the part that says a song can be whatever it wants to be, that a song neither carries nor respects preconceived notions. It’s the part that thinks CDs should come as Venus fly traps and music itself should be immediate and free. It’s the part that likes bars and likes music in them but not always. townsppl is the part of Alex that does things for the sake of the things themselves, and could just as well never leave the bedroom (the kitchen actually-the acoustics are much better). There are other parts. ‘Care and Feeding’, the first record from townsppl was created with the help of Jake Hanner of Donora. It was conceived and crafted over the course of 2011-12 and self-deployed for free at on March 2, 2013. The 9 person live counterpart to townsppl is also fun.”

Check out the band at their official Website. This Pittsburgh musician seemingly band came out of nowhere recently and dropped this fantastic album (available for free, no less). The band is the studio moniker of songwriter Alexander Stanton (Guitar/Vocals) and I want to thank him for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?

On the same day: Green Day “Dookie” & MC Hammer “Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em”.

Your last album bought?

This is kind of sad as I guess I don’t really buy albums that much… Pretty messed up for someone that makes albums with the hope that people will buy them. Right now “buying an album” to me is listening to it a whole bunch on Rhapsody and really getting into it, then using Wikipedia as the liner notes.

Favorite album of all time?

Obviously an impossible question. Its Tom Waits but I can’t decide if its “Rain Dogs” or “Mule Variations”. I guess it could also be the Weezer “Blue Album”.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?

This is more fun. I was really hurt by the adult contemporary Starbucks counter turn that The Avett Brothers took a few years ago (and are still taking). Additionally, I don’t think a band has ever been quite as disappointing outside of its hits as MGMT.

First concert attended?

Was actually Bob Dylan and Paul Simon at Coca-Cola Starlake Amphitheater around 1999.

Last concert?

Peering over the railing for Queens of the Stone Age at Stage AE, they sounded awesome and the people who actually went looked like they were having a great time.

Favorite concert ever?

I have to say that my heaviest and most precious in concert music moments came listening to Phish. Probably 12-30-03, I tried to listen to it a bunch of times afterwards and show it to other people and it just didn’t translate, but at the time it totally blew my mind. Honorable mention to Jeff Mangum sitting down by himself at Carnegie in Oakland and shouting out perfect versions of all of the Neutral Milk Hotel songs after a decade of nothing. He also had a great sweater on.

Least favorite concert?

I really try to find something that I can like about anything, I’m having a hard time thinking of a concert that I intentionally went to that I didn’t enjoy for one reason or another. I will say that last year’s Springsteen concert at Consol Energy Center went from the previous list to this one when instead of hearing ‘Jungleland’ or ‘Thunder Road’ for the encore we got ‘Glory Day’s sung by Joe Grushecky. We may have to drive to Cleveland next time.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh has the best attributes of a small town and a big city, except when it comes to soul food delivery on a Sunday after 7pm.

Thanks, Alex. I have to say how much I love this album, man. Looking forward to seeing you play out soon. Also, I second that Jeff Mangum show. Really stunning what he pulled off.