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

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