Philly Band Gets Tired of Waiting for New Pell Mell Album and Records One

When Andrew Chalfen of the Philly power pop band Trollyvox decided to hit the studio in 2012 to record some tracks with his friends Dean Sabatino (aka “Dean Clean” from the Dead Milkmen) and J. Robert “John” Lennon he wanted to use a more loose approach than his usual. In his interview with the blog 53rd and 3rd, he says, “I wanted to try something different, leave more to chance and the input of others. Sort of a nod to Eno’s Oblique Strategies. I just brought some rough ideas into the studio really with few preconceived notions of the final outcome.”

The resulting album Warm Seclusion Structure under the moniker I Think Like Midnight would become a kind of tribute to Pell Mell. He continues, “Pell Mell are our spirit animal band. I’ve been obsessed with them for years, and I got Dean and John into them as well. Especially the last 3 albums. I love Pell Mell’s whole sonic and compositional approach. There’s something very architectural about their sound. They’re good with tension and release and drone. All the elements fit together in a kind of rarified balance, with either a sort of call-and-response to the various parts, or a really seamless weaving of parts. All highly melodic, rhythmic, and super-efficient. There’s no wankery. Everything sound is discrete and has a purpose. Kind of like many Beatles recordings that way. It’s a bit emotionally flat, with a kind of wryness, a raised eyebrow. I kind of joke that I wanted to make a Pell Mell record since there are no new Pell Mell records, and though that’s probably not even remotely possible, they do definitely figure heavily in ITLM’s aesthetic.

Indeed, the album carries the spirit of the later albums from Pell Mell, and anyone who is a fan of Pell Mell would love this record. Bob and Steve from the band exchanged comments on Facebook about the band and are into it, too!

While we all wait for the promise of any kind of news from the band, we can use Warm Seclusion Structure as the soundtrack of hope. You can download the album from Bandcamp, or purchase the physical CD from CDBaby or Bandcamp or from the band’s website.

Click Here for the I Think Like Midnight website.
Click Here for the I Think Like Midnight Facebook Page
Click Here for the I Think Like Midnight Bandcamp Page
Click Here for the I Think Like Midnight Soundcloud Page
Click Here for the I Think Like Midnight CDBaby Page


A number of things are happening in the splintered Pell Mell camp. The project that Bob mentioned to me last year is slowly working on an LP worth of tracks. It is called Grimspex and is a collaboration with Gary Waleik from Big Dipper. Take a listen to the tracks on the MySpace page.

Greg Freeman has a project called Checksum with Jeff Palmer that is worth checking out. They have a new album called Grey Ghost that came out on Box Kite Records in 2006.

Bob also said that Dave Spalding has been playing around New York City lately.


A couple of things just to keep things fresh– Bob contacted me last year to tell me he was working a new side project. I don’t have the details on it yet. I’ll see if I can track him down for an update. Also, I have spun up another website to host my blogs called Time To Play B-Sides. This is a site where I journal all of the research and discovery I encounter while trying to stay on top of music.

Cut-Out Album Released

After almost two years (see June 18, 2001 News entry below) the long-awaited (at least by me) Interlude With Fun Machine by Fisk/Beerman side project Cut-Out. I have been listening to it in my regular rotation of CD’s, and I think it is really good– although I wish it was longer. It has a very distinctive sound, but fits nicely with some of the so-called “post rock” music in my regular rotation like older Trans Am, Tortoise, Fridge, Couch, etc. The ironic thing is that bands like Pell Mell are part of the reason I listen to these bands in the first place. The limited palate of instrumentation gives this album a nicely consistent sound. As much as I try not to be cliche, I will say it works as the soundtrack to my day-to-day activities. While we all wait patiently for the promise of another Pell Mell album, we can listen to Interlude With Fun Machine.

Dave Spalding Live

Dave will be playing Lolita Bar (266 Broom St., NYC) on September 16th. It will be a solo show– most likely Dave and his drummer Tony Leone. Call 212-966-7223 for more information. Dave will also be supporting singer/songwriter Liz Tormez on September 27th at the Living Room. Go out and show your support! Tell ’em sent ya!

Dave Spalding News

Dave Spalding has just completed recording a thirteen-track album. Bob Beerman plays on a couple of the tracks. I have had the opportunity to hear this recording and am happy to report that it is very much in the Pell Mell spirit. Quite a bit of the Pell Mell characteristic guitar sound permeates the album. Dave sings on the album as well. His laid-back vocal style fits well with the music. Dave wanted me to tell you all that he is performing these songs and others on a regular basis in New York City. If you are fortunate enough to be able to see him, please go out an show your support! Dave can be contacted at

Spalding to Appear on New Love Tractor Album

According to the February 9th Goldmine Magazine in their New Release News section, seminal Athens, GA band Love Tractor is releasing their first new album since a decade hiatus from recording and touring on March 6th. The Sky at Night
on Razor & Tie features Pell Mell axeman Dave Spalding as well as former R.E.M. drummer and onetime Love Tractor member Bill Berry. I was a fan of Love Tractor for their first three mostly-instrumental albums Love Tractor, Around the Bend, and ‘Til the Cows Come Home. The new album features singing and from what I’ve heard from the audio snippets on CDNOW, it sounds really good!