JEFF TOBIAS HAS A WEBSITE.
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"Welcome... to Jurassic Park."

9/13/2017

"Coffee time!"

Regardless of when or where you’ll be reading this, the fact will remain that I am writing to you from the front stoop of my apartment on a day that is admirably striking a balance between summer and fall. I’ve been back in New York for just over a week, following a season spent more-or-less in transit or elsewhere, visiting Athens, Los Angeles, and the distant northern city of Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec. I’m genuinely grateful to be back in the city that extracts years off yr life in return for its kinetic frenzy.

Whether it's from years spent within institutional education or my familial roots in the Old Testament’s calendar, it always feels like September brings the true new year. I’ve got my riot gear on and I’m hoping to make 2017-2018 cool and weird. For all that was cool and weird in my musical life as of late, read on:

• I spent time with some really lovely people in Los Angeles, and I also spent some time in “the shed.” In an effort to document what I’ve been working on/working towards, I was fortunate to be permitted some airtime on Dublab, LA’s finest free-form radio station. You can find the audio (streaming or downloadable) of my hour-plus improvisatory set for reeds and tapes here or in the Sounds section. Special thanks to Ale Cohen for having me on his show.

• I've updated the Discography section to reflect the bevy of recently-released recordings that, to greater or lesser extent, bear my fingerprints. I'm proud to say that I've crossed the threshold of having contributed to over fifty physically released recordings, by my count. Dig that new President of the Drums record!

• I've added some cool footage of Sunwatchers in the live setting to the Video section. The "Moon Changes" clip isn't embedding but trust me, yr gonna wanna click on that thing. It's real good.

• Writing about one's self and delicately pruning a misshapen tribute to one's goings-on (such as jefftobias.net) feels awfully solipsistic. So when I'm not working on music or This Web Site, I have been getting involved with the Democratic Socialists of America. I think they've got some great ideas about how to fight inequality in America and build a more just, equitable world. When yr done reading about me, read about them!

Thanks, as ever, for yr brain-time.

4/7/16

Hello again for the first or second time.

In a time of clean lines and auto-generated templates, I'm proud of my wonky, D.I.Y. website. I have to boot up an old computer every time I want to update it, which is part of why this is only the second of such refurbishings. There's some new material here - what is otherwise called "content." I dislike the word "content." If anything, I'd prefer the phrase "creative labor." I like to think I stand in resistance to the vocabulary of the business class. That's some boilerplate digression right there, I guess. But here's what's up:

• Earlier this spring, Sunwatchers released our first full-length album on Castle Face Records. Sunwatchers is the band I play in with Peter Kerlin, Jim McHugh, and Jason Robira. The record is a pretty accurate snapshot of this band's alternating modes of savagery and tenderness, and we're psyched to have it unleashed globally. This album is also the first serious document of my recent pivot towards the saxophone as my main musical instrument.

During my decade-plus as a multi-instrumentalist (playing bass guitar, keyboards, or whatever was in arm's reach), I'd felt that any time spent in the process of performing or practicing on any instrument would lead to musical growth. I wasn't wrong (I don't think), but I never had the capacity for focus required to really investigate a single instrument. I was denying myself the information to be garnered from serious discipline, information that I am now just beginning to receive. I say with no humility that I have a very long way to go, but this Sunwatchers record shows my first steps. You can hear additional steps (and mis-steps) courtesy of NYCTaper, who were kind enough to document a few other recent Sunwatcher shows, to be found here and here. Or if yr really looking to get poked in the eye, come see us live. All told, Sunwatchers is an ideal vehicle for musical growth, as my bandmates are all pushing themselves in similar ways, making for a mutually inspiring collaboration.

• My friends Rachel Barnhart and Kerry Santullo have started a new tape label called Soap Library, and they've just released a cassette of my compositions. It's called "Some" and it's available from their website or in-person at Commend and ARTBOOK @ MoMA PS1. The tape features two pieces that were written towards the end of my time as a resident of Athens, Georgia, and two pieces that were written shortly after becoming a resident of Brooklyn, New York. These pieces - avowedly minimalist, scrappily recorded - really lend themselves to the cassette format and I'm thrilled to be able to put them in the hands of those who are interested. Additionally, Julian Bozeman, my former bandmate in quiet hooves, constructed a beautiful video for the tape's second track, "Serene Clientele."

• At the end of 2015, Sunwatchers cannonballed into the world of cinema. Yup - we've contributed the original score to a feature film. It's called "The Fixer." It was directed by Ian Olds, and it stars Dominic Rains, James Franco, Melissa Leo and Rachel Brosnahan. Our score is comprised of lo-fi gnarled guitar, ominous synth drone, and more. "The Fixer" will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday, April 16th at SVA Theater. Look for a wider release later this year.

• There's always more, of course. I've got a long-simmering but seriously exciting band going with Dave Ruder, Cory Bracken, Sam Morrison and Karen Waltuch called Reps. I played bass and saxophone on the forthcoming full-length from my longtime friend Scott Smith, also known as President of the Drums. The KATIEE LP is coming out this summer, and I'm all over that as well. This is beginning to feel a little long-winded. All in the interest of communication, though. At the bottom of this website you can find my email address. If you have anything you want to talk to me about, use it. Thanks everyone.

-JT