…after writing a lengthy piece about my decision to establish an art studio in Key West vs. New York… I did what I most often do when writing, I decide it’s too near scholarly and opt to summarize the article into more childish terms:
are the duo of Charles Brohawn and Chris Mason, both of whom sing, play
guitar, and percussion instruments (including cigar boxes, spoons, and
other types of junk). Both members are also actively engaged in other
mediums including visual art and books. Although the first Tinklers album did not come out until 1990, the roots of the band are in the mid-‘70s performance art scene in their native Baltimore.
has a weird, spellbinding quality, with half-sung, half-spoken vocals
over sparse and rudimentar instrumentation, and topics covering
everything from James Brown and outer space to advice about not putting your fingers in the fan. Early Tinklers gigs usually took place at art galleries at which Brohawn’s paintings and drawings were on display. An early project was called “The Tinkler’s History of the World”:
Brohawn and Mason constructed a 50-foot-long time line and performed
while walking along it, stopping at various points and performing songs
related to that moment in history.
Longtime admirers and friends Half Japanese sent some tapes to legendary producer Kramer at Shimmy Disc, and soon enough, with Don Fleming on guitar and Kramer on keyboards, ’Casserole’
was recorded in two days. The album featured 38 songs, nearly a third
of them under a minute long and only a handful breaking the two-minute
barrier. The band would release three more records - ’Saplings’, ’Crash’ and ’Slowpoke’. Throughout 2006 and 2007, director Brian J. Averill followed the duo and interviewed their friends creating the documentary “Everybody Loves The Tinklers.”
Charles Brohawn of the Tinklers has recorded a series of Station Id’s for stress.fm.
years ago in Baltimore, the part-hippie, part post-punk Tinklers were
emblematic of the energetic happenings in a town where you did little
things like make art to keep from going crazy.”
Rick Sugden, Chemical Imbalance, 1990
CLICK HERE FOR MORE STRESS.FM JINGLES & STATION ID’S
Heard this song just once, many, many years ago (on John Peel’s BBC radio show). And didn’t forget it. Referred to it as The Future Is Not As Good As It Used to Be. Remembered it was by The Tinklers. And it now seems that I did a pretty good job of remembering how it went, as I hear it again - here in the future.
I hope The Tinklers don’t mind my sharing it, to wish you many happy returns and new years and things to be the way you’d like them to be, and to welcome you to the future.