New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Guster

Posted by Amoebite, June 4, 2019 05:13pm | Post a Comment

Guster - What's In My Bag? - Amoeba Music

Boston band Guster visited Amoeba Hollywood recently for an in-store performance to celebrate their new album, Look Alive. While they were here, Ryan Miller and Luke Reynolds did a little shopping and shared their eclectic selections, which ranged from experimental and pop to solo piano and Samba. A number of their choices also had sentimental significance to them, making for a sincere, interesting, and intimate What's In My Bag? episode.

In 1991, American alternative rock band Guster was formed in Boston by Tufts University classmates Adam Gardner, Ryan Miller, and Brian Rosenworcel. Within a few months of formation, the Guster - Look Alive - Amoeba Musicband played their first gig at a campus coffee house. Guster's first two albums, Parachute (1995) and Goldfly (1997), were independently released. On their third LP, Lost and Gone Forever (1999), they broke into the Adult Top 40 charts with the single "Fa Fa."  The trend would continue with their fourth album, 2003's Keep It Together, which saw two singles ("Careful" and "Amsterdam") chart on the Top 40. Their next album, 2006's Ganging Up on the Sun climbed to #25 on the Billboard Top 200. 

Ever prolific and often on the road, Guster released their sixth LP, Easy Wonderful, in 2010. Before embarking on their fall tour in support of the LP, the band was joined by new member Luke Reynolds. Five years later, Guster recorded their seventh album, Evermotion, with production assistance from producer/solo artist/The Shins keyboardist Richard Swift. Known for their sense of humor and dedication to fans, when the band was stranded in Pittsburgh due to a blizzard, they invited their local fanbase to show up for an improptu concert in front of a nearby dumpster. Guster's 2019 album, Look Alive, reached #1 on the US Independent Albums chart, #7 on the Alternative Albums chart, #6 on the Top Rock Albums chart, and #49 on the Top 200. 

Ryan Miller's first pick was Peter Bjorn and John's 2006 breakout album Writer's Block, which he called "an amazing pop record." Luke Reynolds went in a decidedly un-pop direction with his first selection -- a compilation of early electronic and tape music by avant-garde composer John Cage. He had just finished reading Cage's book of essays, Silence, and wanted to dive in deeper to explore the forward-thinking artist.

One artist they both loved was Canadian classical pianist and record producer Chilly Gonzales. In fact, his first solo piano album has become a "go to record" for Miller's kids. For Reynolds, Chilly Gonzales satisfied a love of new age music he'd developed as a child listening to George Winston albums.

They also talked about their friend and collaborator Richard Swift, who died last year. "He's the first friend and peer that's passed away," Reynolds said. Miller picked up Swfit's posthumous record, The Hex, although he wasn't sure if he was ready to listen to it. "It's such an emotional thing," Miller said of Swift's final musical statement. "I feel like I'm gonna buy this and I don't know when I'm ready to listen to it." 

But what band does Ryan Miller think Guster would sound like "if we were cool?" And which artist does Luke Reynolds describe as "an electronic musician (who's) making a bunch of sophisticated music?" You'll have to watch the full video below to find out!

Guster - What's In My Bag?
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Guster (1), John Cage (15), Peter Bjorn And John (3), Richard Swift (2), Amoeba Hollywood (867), What's In My Bag (375), Chilly Gonzales (2), Ryan Miller (1), Luke Reynolds (1)