The cosmic wavelengths are definitely all synchronized tonight. I checked my snail mail and found a promo of the insanely catchy album The Trolleyvox present The Karaoke Meltdowns. I figured I’d update our playlist and toss one of their songs on it before contacting the president of their record label and letting him know I received it (and plugging the fact I added the song, naturally). I noticed an e-mail in my inbox was patiently awaiting my devoted attention…it was from The Trolleyvox’s very own Andrew Chalfen. Trippy.

The best advice anyone will give you today is to check out The Trolleyvox. If audio is your preferred method, “Just You Wait” is the first song in our player. If you prefer visuals to accompany the sounds that vibrate your hammer and anvil, click play below:

If you were making a mix for our readers, what would be the first three songs you’d select?
I like to kick off a set of tunes with something rocking and fun. Lately a good opener has been Billy Preston’s “Let the Music Play”, which starts off with this crazy funky Hammond B-3 organ fanfare. The second tune would probably be some 60’s psych-pop, maybe something from the Nazz, the Move, or the Small Faces. Let’s go with Nazz’s “Forget All About It”. The third tune would keep up the energy, but would be something more in the modern pop vein, like Persephonee’s Bees’ “Nice Day”, a tune that I’ve been grooving to lately.

Name any musical influence(s).
For me, it would have to start off with UK’s finest: Beatles, Who, Kinks, Stones, and all those great bands that followed in their wake through the decades. 70’s power pop, then the original punk/new wave blast. Then the Replacements and REM in the 80’s, along with New Zealand groups like the Verlaines, the Clean, and the Chills. Sometime in the early 90’s I got into Nick Drake and quieter music, probably via Robyn Hitchcock. He was a gateway into the folkier sounds. Tommy Keene was an early influence on my guitar playing. Him and Pete Buck.

What new music are you currently listening to?
My listening habits have become quite inverted as of late. I used to be big on listening to albums. I’ve bought a few recent releases that I’ve really liked, the best of which are the new Neko Case, the latest Stephen Basho Jungans (a John Fahey-esque guitarist), the new Yo La Tengo, an older Four Tet disc called “Pause”, and the Congotronics comp. Mostly, though, I’ve been collecting individual songs that I find from trolling around music blogs. I’ve discovered some cool artists that way, folks like Bonobo, Greg Davis, Juana Molina, The Books, Loscil, Nils Okland, Eluvium, Bibio, Air King Sound. Surprisingly, most of this stuff is not guitar pop. I haven’t heard a non-Trolleyvox guitar pop record lately that’s knocked me off my feet, and that’s an unfamiliar state for me. Usually there’s something to trigger that particular wow. Most of the above-mentioned artists are more instrumental and meditative than my listening from, say five years ago. Have you heard Rose Polenzani’s tune “How Shall I Love Thee”? Now there’s a song I just stumbled upon that has me totally floored right now. Definitely search that one out.

Name a band (current of defunct) that would be your dream act to open for on a major tour.
I have no idea! Probably a band that is known for being fun to be around, that would make touring be a happy adventure and not a numbing slog. A group that wouldn’t feel that hanging out with the opening act was beneath them. A group that would share their deli tray. Maybe the Dead Milkmen?

Who, if anyone, would you like to collaborate with?
Man, I’d love to collaborate with any number of folks. As far as producers are concerned, I’d love to work with Brian Eno (who wouldn’t) and get ambient and experimental with him. Mitch Easter, too, for his whole guitar pop and recording aesthetic. I wouldn’t mind having a bash at writing tunes with Paul Westerberg, or Bob Pollard, or hell, even Tom Petty! I’ve got some tunes in various states of disrepair that would be perfect for them to contribute their own special thing.

Tell us something about you that we can’t find on Google.
Well, I just learned the other day that our singer Beth swears up and down that her singing style comes directly from Mel Torme. Who knew that the Velvet Fog played such an instrumental part in the Trolleyvox sound?