City Museum EP
The four singer/songwriters in City Museum all went to Ithaca College in the late '90s and early '00s, but never considered forming a band until they were all settled in Los Angeles in 2005. At the suggestion of high school English teacher Kevin Flinn, the foursome - which also includes LA rock critic Jeff Miller, film exec Steven Weigle, and TV producer Mark Pedante - began adding parts to each others' songs. Once they started playing together, it became clear that the wildly diverse influences of the band members (which veer from Wilco's noise-folk to Weezer's power-pop to Brian Wilson's orchestral work) made for an eclectic sound, one that falls somewhere in the indie rock realm without residing on the mope shelf. Through a chance encounter with a mutual friend, Miller re-connected with L.A. mainstay drummer Gregg Levinson, whom he'd last seen when the two collaborated on the 1997 record 'Something's Got To Give.' Levinson immediately agreed to play with City Museum, and the lineup was complete. With four singer/songwriter/frontmen in a band, things can get complicated - and complex - quickly. The band's dynamic is centered around this: instruments are passed freely between members depending on the song, so a member playing mandolin on a country-rocker will end up on bass for a noise-jam. In the tradition of other multi-songwriter bands like Gomez, Sebadoh, Sonic Youth, or - yes - The Beatles, this means melodies and music pass through multiple filters, so that even though no song sounds like the last one, they all, inevitably, sound like City Museum.