In 1996 and 1997, I was living in Chestertown, Maryland, in my first post-college apartments. Oddly, both of them were the top two stories of old houses. I had zero furniture, most of my friends had left town after graduation, and I spent a ton of time by myself reading. What little else I remember of those two years consists of driving back and forth to Annapolis to see one boyfriend play in his cover band, eating my weight in crabs and beer (Eastern Shore of Maryland, people, it’s kind of the best thing ever), grilling out with my roommate Jen and inventing the best summer alcoholic beverage ever (fresh strawberries, vanilla ice cream and amaretto), falling head over heels in love, and most of all, the music. My life for two years was set to a soundtrack of varied and wonderful mid-90s music: Counting Crows. Tonic. Cool for August. Reel Big Fish. Fiona Apple. And anything that WHFS played…
One of those radio acts was a band called Chalk FarM. Not many people remember them – some remember their one single, “Lie on Lie.” That summer, their record Notwithstanding was pretty much all that I listened to. I remember dubbing it from my CD player to a tape so that I could listen to it in my car. I wore that record out. Every song had its place… When I was driving to Annapolis, I would blare “Hey” over and over again while driving over the Bay Bridge, and when I needed to stay awake on the late night drive home, I remember rocking out to “Lily Anne.” When my boyfriend cheated on me, I cried for days with “Don’t Believe You Now” playing in the background. I would still put that record in my top 25 of all time. If you know my love for music, you know this is a huge statement. It’s a shame that the album is actually not available on iTunes these days so that people could easily download it….
Chalk FarM actually did put out a second album before breaking up in 2000 – I’m probably one of a few hundred people who own it. That and Michael Duff’s, the lead singer, solo record. What can I say – when I love a band, I love them all the way… [Side note: Weirdly, my past and present day musical worlds collided one day when Wil Seabrook saw me post something about Michael Duff’s solo record and sent me a “the world is too small” note – turns out, Wil and Michael are friends!]
So, imagine my excitement tonight when I saw this tweet come through:
@michaelduffla: New Chalk FarM music brewing and it feels good. Music is good.
Sure enough, went to their website and it looks like the boys are back together, playing shows in L.A. and planning on releasing a new record later this summer! They’ve got a Twitter account, a Facebook page, a Reverbnation page and – the best part – FOUR NEW SONGS streaming! HELL YES!
Cannot wait to get my hands on these songs….
Seriously, can 2011 get any better?
(And here’s “Lie on Lie” to stoke your memory, kids…)