Albany Times Union – A few questions for Chandler Travis

by Michael Janairo, Arts & Entertainment Editor

The Boston Globe calls the Chandler Travis Philharmonic “Dixieland, pop, avant-jazz, rock…and fully over the top.” Around since the fall of 1996, CTP has created something like 3 million albums and more than 20 gazillion songs (OK, I exaggerate, but CTP is definitely prolific). CTP will be coming to WAMC Performing Arts Center on Friday night for a show that is sure to blow your mind.

CTP’s debut album, “Let’s Have a Pancake”, along with 22 other website-only full-length CDs (the improbable and ground-breaking RadioBall series) were released in 2000. In 2007, CTP released a 48 track opus “Tarnation and Alastair Sim.”

We recently caught up with Chandler Travis himself, who answered a few question via e-mail.

Q: What’s new?

A: I have a new solo CD out just this month (my first in more than a decade) called “After She Left”, which is interesting in that it’s rather dark, quiet, and concise (11 tracks), and couldn’t be more different from the last Philharmonic offering, which was bright, noisy, and sprawling (46 tracks.)

Q: What’s your favorite song right now?

A: The first one that comes to mind is an old single by Van and Titus called “Cry Baby Cry” (available on Sir, that Christine Ohlman (known as the beehive queen from the Saturday Night Live band) turned me on to, a beautifully written and performed gospel-ish r’n’b song with a couple of great modulations; what haunts me is that Van and Titus’s entire recorded output seems to have been two singles, and this one is just so stunning, I can’t believe it’s not famous.

Also loving Deerhoof, Jenny Scheinman, Dressy Bessy, Caetano Veloso, Marisa Monte, and many other things Brazilian.

Q: What’s one of your top influences outside of music?

A: You mean, there’s something that isn’t music? OK… Bob & Ray, Christopher Walken, Robert Altman, Mark Helprin, Kurt Vonnegut, and (I’m ashamed to admit) whoever that prick was that invented fantasy sports.

Q: What’s your top influence in music?

A: Just one guy? Man, you’re tough… Ray Davies. No, Duke Ellington. No, wait, Randy Newman. Or Terry Adams Brian Wilson John Lennon Charles Ives Monk you’ve got to be kidding.

Q: How do you like performing in Albany?

A: Last time I did that was a few years ago, in a park, with Brave Combo -liked it just fine, very friendly!

Q: What can audiences expect at the show?

A: Well, if I feel like they’re expecting something, I’ll probably try to do something else. But I guarantee some exceptional musicianship (not so much from me, but from the actual musicians in the band), omnipop, really bad clothes, general surprises and moments of extreme joyfulness

When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: WAMC Performing Arts Center, 339 Central Ave., Albany
Tickets: $17
Contact: 465-5233 ext. 4;

original online version

Albany Times Union – A few questions for Chandler Travis