Songs from the Brill Bedroom
Corin Ashley is a singer/ songwriter from Boston who, for the last 9 years, has been the driving force behind the hyper mod pop band, The Pills. Over the course of three albums, and extensive touring in the U.S., Canada, Spain and the U.K, the Pills have garnered rave reviews and appeared with The Libertines, The B- 52s, Supergrass, Juliana Hatfield, Robyn Hitchcock, Ian Hunter, Edwin McCain, The Smithereens, Jimmy Cliff and others. The band has had their music featured on several TV shows (including Dawson's Creek) and recently taped a video for MTV's Laguna Beach. With the Pills on break, Corin took to recording his first solo album- a stripped down acoustic pop album "halfway between Neil Finn and Neil Young". His approach is organic and homegrown. "I got so sick of technology getting in the way of music", he says, "It's gotten to the point where making music is exactly the same as working in an office: staring a at computer screen all day, just waiting for the bastard to crash and lose all your work. I'm not a complete luddite, but I went and got an old 1/2" 8 track machine and moved it into my kitchen - next to the electric harpsichord - and got back to the idea of recording for fun. I was greatly inspired by the first few McCartney albums, Harry Nilsson and some of the stuff the Pernice Brothers have done on 8 tracks. The basic formula is good song, sung well, acoustic guitar, Hofner bass, off you go... I even did string overdubs in my apartment- wrote the charts, mic'd them up and got it done." "songs from the brill bedroom"- named after the Cambridge home studio it was recorded in- features 14 acoustic pop gems reminiscent of George Harrison's early solo albums. Track 9, "Her Mercury Smile" is a dub- influenced collaboration with Martin Carr- former mastermind behind the UK band Boo Radleys who now does remixes for the likes of Super Furry Animals. "Being Twelve" features a duet with pop chanteuse, Paula Kelley. The album also features a ukulele arrangement of Harry Nilsson's "Daddy's Song" recorded right after the birth of Ashley's first child, Harrison. Corin appears as a solo acoustic act or with his band of musical sympathizers, the Dirty Ticket (MattB on drums and former Shods/Bosstones member Dave Aaronoff on guitar and keys) and Eric "Earache" Schmider of Mollycoddle on guitar). He also writes a regular column for The Big Takeover magazine and has been featured as a pop music commentator on NPR. Corin has worked with famed Dylan cohorts and producers T-Bone Burnett and Al Kooper, as well as Jimi Hendrix/Rolling Stones producer Eddie Kramer.