Joe O’Brien

It was sad to hear the news about Jeff.  He was always generous to our band, and it was nice of him to include us for one of the home editions of Pipeline! Gave me some songs to learn and stuff to do. It was also cool to be able to chat with him for awhile too, which didn’t normally happen when we played down at the station. We talked on the videophone for like 45 mins or an hour. I think I had already realized what a strange and unique person Jeff was. Everything about him was odd to me and that’s exactly what I liked about him. He looked odd, he did odd things like the Typewriter Orchestra and Pipeline! – he was just a really interesting character. Got to show him my old Royal typewriter that I use to write out edits of songs; he showed me his extensive typewriter collection that he makes music on. His name was Jeff Breeze, which was poetry. I stole his name for a song. I can’t say I really knew him that well, but I knew him over a number of years and through music, which we both loved, and that was the connection. Pipeline was an early validation for a little band like ours, and that Jeff continued to show interest in what we were doing always meant a lot to me.

appearance: June 16, 2020

Breeze liner notes (from Bandcamp): When you look at statistics for what we play on Pipeline! each year, you find that we average more than 800 bands that get airtime. It’s easy to confuse bands with that much bouncing around in my skull. When I first encountered Hands and Knees, it was the same week I found Hats and Glasses (Tommy from Babydriver’s old band), and for the longest time I mismatched their sounds and names. More than a decade and four band sets on Pipeline! later, that confusion doesn’t happen.
     With this Pipeline! @ Home series, it’s a challenge asking bands since it’s a supreme challenge to get them to collaborate in anything resembling a live setting without more technology than most mortals have access to. So for this set, Hands and Knees’ songwriter Joe O’Brien nestled into his attic and recorded a live set solo that is longer than last week’s two combined.
     I gave him two requests instead of one, because my favorite song of theirs is a Christmas single and I thought he’d scoff at the idea (but instead started the set with it) and their last album had a song (“Gravity”) that actually name drops me in the lyrics. For a cover tune, Joe took a fun stab at Richard Thompson’s “Read About Love,” a song more about Thompson’s wry lyrical approach than his guitar pyrotechnics, which put it right in Hands and Knees’ wheelhouse.

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