Elkhound is a folk rock band from Pittsburgh who’s influence range from Neil Young and Bob Dylan to The Strokes and Death Cab for Cutie. The band is working on new music as I write this and you may be able to catch them out around town sporadically as they do. I want to thank Chris Putt (Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.
The first album you ever bought?
The first album I truly bought was Bob Marley’s Legend greatest hits on cassette. I couldn’t get enough of it riding around in my dad’s car jamming that all day as a kid.
Your last album bought?
Bill Frisell With Dave Holland and Elvin Jones.
Favorite album of all time?
That’s always a loaded question but the album that got me into playing music and writing was Is This It by The Strokes. That albums simplicity and the sheer attitude in which Julian Casablancas sang made me, literally, get up and force my folks to get me a guitar and start singing.
Least favorite/most disappointing album?
I may have some Radiohead fans question this, but King of Limbs was a bit disappointing to me. I even had the chance to see them during that release and enjoyed it a hell of a lot more live than on the album. Something about that driving style of dual drummers hit me harder live. The layers were also much more impressive seeing the band craft and improvise them live.
First concert attended?
Honestly my first ever concert was Don Williams at the Pepsi Roadhouse. I was a young, young boy and only knew my great-uncle Charles Cochran played keyboards with him. This concert didn’t really impact me until more recently where I understood what my Uncle Charles did. He was not only a fantastic piano player, had perfect pitch, toured, recorded incessantly, but also worked with some of my later favorite artists. (Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris) To me it was just hokey country music at the time but listening back I can still find appreciation in Don Williams’s music and tunes knowing my Uncle Chuck was right behind him.
I actually just attended Arc Iris opening up for David Wax Museum. My good friend Zach plays in Arc Iris. Even if we weren’t previous friends and band-mates I’d still go see them. They are doing something bigger and better than most bands out there right now. They fluidly mix genres going from folk to progressive to baroque clarinet stylings all in one show.
Favorite concert ever?
It helps that it was a festival, but Bonnaroo 2011 was it. I had the chance to see The Strokes front row. I could go on but do yourselves a favor and look up the 2011 lineup. Amazing.
Least favorite concert?
Honestly, I can usually find something to enjoy at every show I’ve attended. My least favorite show was actually one that never happened. A few months past the Replacements were supposed to come to the burgh. My brother and I are huge fans and were really hoping this would be the opportunity to see them live. Unfortunately, they had to postpone and subsequently cancel. Needless to say, it was quite a bummer.
Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I grew up in southwestern PA and have only been out of state for my tenure at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. It’s hard to bottle everything up in a concise statement but I would say the extreme amount of pride that people from Pittsburgh have is certainly uplifting. Coming back from college, being in a big city, I really loved grounding myself and appreciating the tight knit community that a city like Pittsburgh lends itself to. Meeting some of my closest friends and watching the city grow in productive and innovative ways keeps me looking forward to the future of this city.
<>Thanks, Chris. I have to say, I never really got into The Strokes. Not because I don’t like them but because I don’t know anything about them. Will have to remedy that on your obvious love for their music.