Chris Brokaw

Chris Brokaw

Chris Brokaw performing with The Lemonheads in Boston 2014

Chris Brokaw performing with The Lemonheads in Boston 2014
Background information
Birth name Christopher Jon Brokaw[1]
Born (1964-08-01) August 1, 1964
New York City
Genres alternative rock, slowcore, post-rock
Occupation(s) musician
Instruments guitar, drums
Years active 1989–present
Associated acts Come, Codeine, Dirtmusic, Steve Wynn, Consonant, Pullman, Bedhead, The New Year, Geoff Farina, Martha's Vineyard Ferries, Snares & Kites, 7 Or 8 Worm Hearts, The Lemonheads

Chris Brokaw (born August 1, 1964[2]) is an American musician, mostly known for his work with the bands Come and Codeine, in addition to his many collaborative projects and original soundtracks.

Life and career

While studying at Oberlin College, Brokaw met many people who became figures on the American indie rock scene of the 1990s, among them Stephen Immerwahr, with whom Brokaw formed Codeine, as well as Sooyoung Park of Bitch Magnet and Seam, John McEntire of Tortoise, and Liz Phair.

Soon after graduating from Oberlin, Brokaw played drums for a number of bands, including 7 Or 8 Worm Hearts[3] and G.G. Allin. He then joined Codeine and played drums on their first two studio albums, as well as helping to kick-start Liz Phair's career.[4][5] In 1990 he returned to the guitar, one of his two main instruments, and teamed up with Thalia Zedek (Dangerous Birds, Uzi, Live Skull), a well-known figure in New York's post-No Wave scene. The two formed Come, a band that never gained much mainstream popularity, despite the critical praise they garnered throughout their career.[6]

Brokaw and Zedek took a break from Come at the end of the decade, and the band never regrouped in the studio, though the pair has since performed together on many occasions. In November 2008 the band convened for one performance at the Tanned Tin Festival in Spain.

After Come, Brokaw has released several albums in his own name, from the instrumental Post-Rock of Red Cities, through the composition and performance of the musical score for "i was born, but...", to the more straightforward song structure of Incredible Love. Both Brokaw and Zedek were invited to participate in a limited edition series of albums by Normal Records, a German record label. Brokaw recorded his contribution to the series, Wandering As Water, in a single day, playing all instruments on the record.

Additionally, Brokaw has played in the bands Pullman, Rivulets, Consonant, and The New Year and played as accompanist to such artists as Thurston Moore, Evan Dando, Steve Wynn, Fan Modine, Christina Rosenvinge, Alan Licht, and Rhys Chatham. Brokaw also participated as drummer 10 in the Boredoms 77 Boadrum performance which took place on July 7, 2007 at the Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park in Brooklyn, New York. In addition to this, Brokaw was one of the guitarists performing Rhys Chatham's A Crimson Grail at the Lincoln Center, New York, as part of the center's Out of Doors series on September 14, 2010.[7] The performance was a 200-guitar version of Chatham's work, which was commissioned by the city of Paris and premiered at the basilica of Sacré-Coeur in 2005, originally scored for 400 guitars.[8]

In 2007, Brokaw formed Dirtmusic with Chris Eckman (Walkabouts) and Hugo Race (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds). Named after Tim Winton's 2001 novel Dirt Music,[9] the band released their homonymous debut album on Glitterhouse Records in November 2007. In 2008, Dirtmusic performed at The Festival in the Desert, in Essakane, Mali, where they met the Touareg band Tamikrest, in collaboration with whom they would record they following album, BKO. BKO, their second album, was recorded in January 2009 at Ali Farka Touré's old studio in Bamako, Mali, and was released the following year.

Brokaw formed his own record label, CAPITAN RECORDS, in 2008, through which he has released several solo albums of predominantly instrumental music (Canaris and Gracias, Ghost of the Future), in addition to his collaboration with Wrekmeister Harmonies, Live in NYC. Stemming from Brokaw's many musical projects and his enviable work ethic, DigBoston has called him "one of the most prolific and active artists to call Boston home."[10] Likewise, The Irish News has stated that "Chris Brokaw is one of America's busiest musical talents."[11]

Soundtracks and scores

Brokaw at the 2014 Pop Conference at the EMP Museum, Seattle, Washington.

Brokaw has provided music for productions of two dance companies: the Daghdha Dance Company (Limerick, Ireland), where Nicole Peisl commissioned him to create new pieces, and Kino Dance[12] (Boston), where he collaborated with playwright Rinde Eckert and director Robert Woodruff on Highway Ulysses, which in 2003 The Boston Globe named "the best production of the year."[13] Brokaw has also scored Roddy Bogawa's 2004 documentary "i was born, but..."[14] and Leslie McCleave's 2005 feature film Road,[15] which won him the Best Original Score award at the Brooklyn International Film Festival.[16] Brokaw has also scored Roddy Bogawa's 2011 documentary Taken by Storm: The Art of Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis, for which he is also credited as co-producer.[17] More recently, he has -with Animal Hospital's Kevin Micka- scored Lana Z Caplan's 2011 experimental documentary Sospira[18][19] and Jason Cortlund's 2012 feature film Now, Forager: A Film About Love & Fungi.[20] Brokaw also contributed a soundtrack to Holly Anderson's collection of flash fiction and mesostic poetry The Night She Slept With a Bear (2012).[21] He has also contributed a song to the original soundtrack to the German sci-fi thriller film Centerland, directed by Enko Landmanns.[22][23] Since 2013, Danish guitar pedal manufacturer Reiss has been developing, with Brokaw's input, prototypes for a pedal named CB-01 Recidivist, after the Come song from their final album Gently, Down the Stream.[24]



Original soundtracks

With Codeine

With Come

Chris Brokaw performing live with Come in at Dingwalls in London, 23rd May 2013

With Pullman

With Snares & Kites

With The New Year

With Empty House Cooperative

With Consonant

With Dirtmusic

With Wrekmeister Harmonies

With Chris Brokaw & Geoff Farina

With Martha's Vineyard Ferries

With Hidden Tooth

As Ryley Walker & Chris Brokaw

As Sunset to the Sea (w/Jeff Barsky)

External links


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chris Brokaw.
  3. Neil Kulkarni (January 17, 2013). "A New Nineties Come On My Shirt, Come In My Ear: Neil Kulkarni Interviews Come". The Quietus. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  4. Cortney Harding (2 October 2010). By the Horns. Billboard. p. 31. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  5. Chris Smith (9 July 2009). "Exile in Guyville". 101 Albums that Changed Popular Music. Oxford University Press. p. 224. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  6. The Wire (magazine). The Wire, Issues 263-268. The Wire Magazine Ltd. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  7. "Rhys Chatham - A Crimson Grail". Nonesuch Records. Retrieved 2013-06-01.
  8. "Rhys Chatham - A Crimson Grail". Nonesuch Records. Retrieved 2013-06-01.
  9. "Dirtmusic". Glitterhouse. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
  10. "digBoston: "Chris Brokaw"". Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  11. Scene - Still Working, Still Wandering. The Irish News. April 22, 2005.
  12. "Kino Dance, "Collaborators"". Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  13. "Siegel, Ed, "A strong year on local stages large and small: From classics to premieres, quality abounded", The Boston Glove, December 28, 2003". The Boston Globe. 2003-12-28. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  14. "IMDB, "i was born, but..." (2004)". Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  15. "IMDB, Road (2005)". Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  16. "Brooklyn International Film Festival, June 2-June 11, 2006". Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  17. "Full cast and crew for Taken by Storm: The Art of Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis (2011)". Retrieved 2013-05-14.
  18. "IMDB, Sospira (2010)". Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  19. "Lana Z. Caplan, Sospira (2010)". Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  20. "IMDB, Now, Forager (2012)". Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  21. "The Night She Slept With A Bear by Holly Anderson". Retrieved 2013-06-01.
  22. "JellyFant Records / CENTERLAND (OST)". Retrieved 2016-04-18.
  23. "Centerland". Retrieved 2016-04-18.
  24. Anders Marcuslund-Reuss (2013-07-17). "First Chris Brokaw pedal prototype complete". Retrieved 2016-04-18.
  25. Robert & Leopold. Out of Print releases. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
  26. Dais Records. Dais Records - Soon. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
  27. "Empty House Cooperative's "Improvisational Dinner Music at Middle East Restaurant"". Hinah Records. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  28. "Empty House Cooperative's "Improvisational Music"". Hinah Records. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  29. Robert & Leopold. Out of Print releases. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
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