The Skating Club is the band of Aubrey Anderson, who was one of my old partners and the first CTO of The Barbarian Group, where I work. He currently owns a company called Particle Labs out in SF. But my past with Aubrey goes much much further back.
Aubrey was the producer of the second album by my old band, Rockets Burst from the Streetlamps. He recorded it and engineered it, and produced it as much as our dysfunctional band would let him. He did a phenomenal job, and I still love listening to that album. That was 1999 or so. But I met Aubrey even earlier, in 1991 or so. A band called His Name is Alive was playing their first, to our knowledge anyway, show in New York. It’d be a while before they got around to playing Boston, so down to New York we went, to see His Name is Alive play at Brownie’s (which is now Hi Fi on Avenue A). This very interesting shoegaze-meets-goth band called Difference Engine opened up for them, and I really liked them. I bought a 7” single from them. Me and my girlfriend Beth were staying in New York at a friend’s house in the East Village (not sure exactly where - also, this may have been my first visit to New York? No, I had already been down for a Peter Murphy show at the Limelight ha). Anyway, the next morning we woke up and were leaving the apartment, when I ran into a man in the stairwell coming out of the apartment opposite ours on the landing.
“Hey, you’re the guy from Difference Engine. I saw you guys last night. You were really good.”
“Thanks,” he said, in that shuffling, shy quiet style Aubrey has perfected.
I always find it funny that something like 10 years later, I went into business with that guy.
Anyway, Aubrey had these friends Colin and Brian and they all played in each other’s bands . The other main band was called The Clairvoyants. They probably deserve their own post. I loved those guys. We all hung out all the time. Colin helped Aubrey engineer our album. Colin’s an academic now. We all drank a lot of maker’s. We worked in at least three different studios - one in Allston, one in Cambridgeport and one out in Porter Square. I think we also laid down some drums at Q Division. Yep, we did.
That period of recording that album was overly dramatic, stressful, broke, crazy. And one of the happiest of my life.
This song really captures the Skating Club for me, though they have so many great songs across their albums. The first time I went to Stockholm I left my hotel, put my headphones on, started listening to “Stockholm” and started walking. “Albatross” came on yesterday and I totally loved it. There are so many great songs. But this one’s from the first album, so I think of it most often, and “Denver” also captures the rock, touring life we were all doing and trying to do more of. Meeting bands you opened for. Meeting bands who opened for you. I have a theory who the song is about, but I always imagine it to be Au Revoir Simone, if it were me.