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The Wharton Tiers Ensemble

Wharton Tiers is the embodiment of the zany and peculiar musical energy that has characterized East Coast underground rock for the last two decades. He has worked as a producer and engineer in the New York City art rock music scene for more than 20 years, recording such seminal albums as Sonic Youth's Confusion Is Sex and Helmet's Meantime (for which he received a gold record), not to mention releases by Dinosaur Jr., Unsane, the Lunachicks, and others at his New York-based Fun City Studios. Before that, Tiers played in several legendary New York No Wave bands, including Laurie Anderson's group and Theoretical Girls with Glenn Branca, whom he has also produced.

With a rotating supporting cast dubbed The Wharton Tiers Ensemble, Tiers has put it all together on his two 90s releases, 1996's Brighter Than Life and 1999's Twilight of the Computer Age, each of which are loving and sophisticated odes to the almighty power of the electric guitar. Employing Branca's pioneering multiple guitar attack and adding the rich saxophone work of Fletcher Buckley, Tiers achieves a dense, cinematic rock sound that falls somewhere between Branca's somewhat academic formalism and 60s surf guitarist Link Wray's lusty ramblings. It's incredibly lush, wide-ranging music that turns the idea of what rock and roll guitar should sound like completely on its head.

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