Released: May 15, 2001
Original Press Release
Mike Andrews is a busy man.
He didn't plan it that way, but as guitarist for the uber-active San Diego soul-jazz ensemble Greyboy Allstars, Andrews, using the moniker Elgin Park (extrapolated from a bunch of overused childhood nicknames) found himself with little choice.
It all started at Ed's House. When the Allstars came off the road from one of its many protracted stints, Mike found himself at the door of a strange home down near the airport. His mission at the time was to purchase yet another piece of vintage gear to add to his already burgeoning collection of guitars, dinosaur synths, gadgets and toys. But he found so much more. A generous, albeit intoxicated man (Ed) came to the door and later offered to rent Mike his basement as a studio space for dirt-cheap. Andrews moved his entire operation in soon after.
Elgin Park (the band) actually started as a passive reaction to the ongoing grind of the Greyboy Allstars, not to mention something worthwhile to do at Ed's place, which was incidentally, once a notorious flophouse. Mike, a prolific and talented songwriter had already slapped some paint onto the aural canvas and was ready to pull his friends down for a party. There was Robert (Walter), a fellow Greyboy, on various keyboards and noises, Matt Lynott, Andrew's childhood pal on drums, another gradeschool bud, bassist John Krylow and ultradeft guitarist Eric Hinojosa.
So, recording got underway in February of '98 at Ed's, with Andrews' basement studio in full swing after nearly 5 years of messing about with ideas and weaving in and out of other obligations. "It's sort of a miracle that it ever got made," says Andrews of the process, considering interruptions from everything from touring to Ed's drunken rants outside the studio door. The palpable tumult, not to mention Andrew's fragile state-of-heart at the time, had its unavoidable and unmistakable effect on what was to become the Elgin Park LP. Andrews says, "It's a real polar record," discussing how it was pulled from the wreckage of a personal relationship, "...being angry, then sad, then feeling liberated, then sad again." Elgin Park is the soundtrack to a shitty breakup and all of its expected debris.
For Greyboy Allstars fans, Elgin Park will no doubt, prove to be a surprise. Rife with melodic chops, the self-titled LP is multi-timbre, polyrhythmic with moods that swing from bright to dark blue. You are, at once, reminded of the Beatles (particularly the neat stuff from Magical Mystery Tour- "Blue Jay Way," "Flying," etc.), the Left Banke, the Zombies and punk-era notables like Television and, oddly enough, Stewart Copeland's genius, albeit shortlived sidejob Klark Kent. The record kicks off with the upbeat, almost skanking rave-up of "What I Can't Do," countered by the drenched melancholia of "Waterback Hill" and "Crush '78" then onto wonderful '60s nods like "Guess I Missed The Party," sporting classic lines like, "You'll be sittin' around/face down/in a puddle of bile."
In addition to the matter-at-hand, Mike Andrews has also composed a number of scores for film and television. Most recently, NBC's Freaks And Geaks, Out Cold for Disney and Donnie Darko, starring Drew Barrymore and Noah Wiley. His approach to scoring is organic. "When I'm writing, I'm not a traditional score composer. It's more like me in my lab experimenting with my influences and experience." For Andrews, the scoring work is simply another extension of his entire musical platter. It has a different face than Elgin Park or his work with DJ Greyboy, the latest of which- Mastered The Art, is due out sometime in May, but it's altogether part of Mike's far-reaching aesthetic voice and personality.
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