April 2002 • Rockbites Alternative Daily

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East River Pipe reissues classic LP, reveals next one
3 April 2002
New Jersey singer/songwriter/survivor Fred 'F.M.' Cornog, aka East River Pipe, last month released an expanded edition of his fragile and breathtaking 1994 album Shining Hours In A Can. Created with essentially zero budget at Cornog’s home (then in Queens) on a Tascam 388 mini-studio, Shining Hours In A Can stands as an undiscovered ’90s lo-fi treasure, there for the taking by anyone who’s loved the best moments from Galaxie 500, Grant McLennan, The Bats, and ’70s era Rolling Stones... and for anyone who could use a hopeful, been-there sort of soundtrack to help them slog through a sad spell.
    Shining Hours In A Can was ERP’s first full length to appear on CD when it came out on Chicago’s Ajax Records back in ’94. It compiled then-new tracks with singles and B-sides previously available on Ajax, on Bristol England’s legendary Sarah Records, and on Hell Gate Records—the label run by Cornog’s partner and 'organizer of chaos,' Barbara Powers. Chapel Hill, North Carolina’s Merge Records re-released the LP two years later. Both those versions are long out of print.
    The new edition, out two weeks ago on Merge, has new artwork and liner notes and features two rare bonus tracks: Hide My Life Away From You (previously available on the Sarah EP Even The Sun Was Afraid) and Miracleland (previously released as a single). Fans who’ve nestled under the wing of Cornog’s emotional purity will want the new disc just for those songs. For the uninitiated, the new edition is a very nicely packaged introduction to this gentle and expressive soul’s musical world.
    Cornog is writing and recording a new full length, whose working title is Garbageheads On Endless Stun. Merge will release that album as soon as it’s ready, which may be as early as this fall... or perhaps spring 2003. You see, F.M. Cornog, who has come through alcohol abuse, homelessness, and hopelessness to see the other side, is now working full time and so the recording is taking a bit longer. In the words of a publicist, no matter how long it takes, “it is bound to be sublime.”
    For comfortably strolling along the wavy border between naive art and sublime sophistication, and for stunningly eloquent expression of hope in the midst of despair, F.M. Cornog’s Shining Hours In A Can earns four bites out of five.

Rockbites ratings  5: life changing, 4: stunning, 3: captivating, 2: amusing, 1: annoying.

You won’t be catching ERP in your town anytime soon, because Cornog rarely performs live, if ever. | East River Pipe fan site (semi-official) | | ERP on Merge Records | | CD from Amazon US | | discography | | top of page |


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