December, 2011: It was a bleak, very overcast day in late 2011 in Redondo Beach, California. I had just moved across the country from the East Coast and was a bit lost, disconnected from the culture and familiar surroundings I had grown to love. The week I had moved, a few days before Thanksgiving Day of 2011, Washington D.C. label Dischord Records had released a new album from a band called Office of Future Plans. I didn’t know the band’s work — I only knew that it was the latest project of J. Robbins, formerly of Jawbox, Burning Airlines and Channels, all bands I had championed and loved in my late teens, 20s and 30s.
I had found the local train station in Redondo Beach. I was doing manuals on the curbs, and I pressed play on my iPod Shuffle. The first lyrics of the album, (“In the kingdom of the dead/we don’t talk about the weather”) hooked me (see video above). I was new blood in an alien place, listening to music from an artist that had accompanied my life for 20 years, in search of familiarity. J. Robbins and the Office of Future Plans record was unknowingly comforting that cross country transition for me. I needed an old friend on that day. Continue reading J.Robbins: A Return To Channels