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Chris Brokaw

Chris Brokaw's fluid, melodic, and crisp guitar playing is easily recognizable. That Jaguar/Jazzmaster-meets-Fender Twin has been cutting cleanly through one great album after another. But before he was ever even known for playing the guitar, he spent two years playing drums in the classic Sub Pop band Codeine. He left Codeine in 1992 to join one of the most interesting rock guitar duos of independent rock music, playing with Thalia Zedek in the band Come. Together Brokaw, Zedek, and a varied supporting lineup churned out several powerful and eerie albums on Matador Records during the '90s. The group ran its course after an excellent final album in 1998 entitled Gently Down the Stream. Brokaw was still busy with his Thrill Jockey band Pullman, which also features Bundy K. Brown and Doug McCombs from Tortoise and Curtis Harvey from Rex.

The new millennium has seen Chris Brokaw distinctly contribute to two different new bands. He returned to the drum kit for the Kadane brothers' post-Bedhead work in The New Year. Then he and Matt Kadane both joined former Mission Of Burma member Clint Conley's new band Consonant, this time with Brokaw on guitar, delivering that patented tremolo swagger again. So in 2002, at a time when Brokaw's contributions to indie music have taken on an entirely new identity, amazingly he delivered his first entirely solo album, entitled Red Cities. He had actually done a good number of solo recordings previously, including a split EP with Viva Las Vegas on Kimchee Records, the label that released the vinyl for the Red Cities full-length. With Red Cities, Brokaw offers an entirely instrumental album on which he plays all the instruments. It sounds like a conglomeration of all his past and current projects. His instrumental pieces build, braiding the instruments together wonderfully. Chris Brokaw has consistently proven that he is an extremely talented fellow, providing us with hours and hours of some of the best indie music available.