Don't Pick It Up
Smart-ass dork rock. Let us explain. New York City, 1998. Bass player/multi-instrumentalist Matt Scharfglass, frustrated with devoting his time and energy to an endless series of bands and projects hurtling toward nowhere, decides to put his dust-covered home recording equipment to use. Mulling over a backlog of three-minute power-pop/alt-rock songs written in his spare time, he pulls 12, hires drummer/vocalist Peter Levin (currently with the Zen Tricksters) and records 'Your Stinky Candy.' The press digs the songwriting. Musicians dig the playing. Now determined to make a record that musicians' *girlfriends* will dig, work on 'Don't Pick It Up' begins in 1999. Pete, having touring commitments with God Street Wine at the time, is replaced with the dashing Paul Vassallo. After recording is finished in the summer of 2000, the computer drive containing all the audio tracks crashes without explanation. Almost all the files are rendered useless. Matt, not being sharpest tool in the drawer, has nothing backed up; Paul gets mad, and the two part ways in early 2001. After several months with another singer, it becomes apparent that things are not working out musically. Paul makes conciliatory gestures, Matt makes conciliatory gestures, and the happy couple hauls ass to complete a re-recorded version of the record, with new songs, in early 2002. In April, with vocal tracks for the record almost complete, someone sets a fire directly above the roof of Matt's top-floor apartment. Having become a much sharper tool, Matt grabs his hard drive as New York's Bravest begin busting down his bedroom door. Both he and his wife manage to put pants on and make it outside safely with the drive. With his bedroom destroyed but his studio intact, tracking on the record is completed by early summer. After a move to a less arson-prone building, Matt completes the mixes with the help of golf coach Rich Mueller by the end of 2002. The result? 14 songs drawing from influences all over the past and present rock map: Stone Temple Pilots, Led Zeppelin, Weezer, Cheap Trick, the Smiths, Elvis Costello, Sponge, Jimmy Eat World, Sugar, even TV commercials - all filtered through Mrs. Grundy's tongue-in-cheek New York City lens and molded into catchy, upbeat power-pop. Mrs. Grundy is not just a two-man studio experiment gone awry. Augmented by drummer Dave Purcell, bassist Ben Loy and guitarist Rich Mueller (the aforementioned golf coach), the guys regularly violate noise ordinances in famed NYC venues such as CBGB, Don Hill's, the Village Underground and Continental. They are flaming heterosexuals, but your girlfriend is safe around them because they are also dorks. 'Don't Pick It Up' features guest performances by Billy Stein (formerly of the Hatters), Jason Crosby (Jason Crosby Band) and George Petropoulos (Blue Saracens).