Thanks For Coming | The Family Interviews
Meet Thanks For Coming
Rachel Brown’s project Thanks For Coming gifts us with some solid “bummer pop” “living room rock” — two descriptions that really get my gears going. The artist is prolific if only for their immense number of releases (go peep that Bandcamp babies)!
The newest album, No Problem, is lofty lo-fi release that is the perfect blend of dark humor, emotion, and self-awareness. Below, they provide an excellent selfie, and excellent piece of advice, and an excellent musical formula.
Read all about it, listen all the way through it, and go do your laundry. Seriously, it’s time.
Would You Rather…
be able to dispense condiments from your fingertips or every time you sneezed your pockets would fill with quarters? Why?
I would much rather sneeze and have pockets full of quarters. That's sounds great. First of all, I have allergies so that's a whole lot of free money. Secondly, I like the feeling of coins in my pockets. You can run them through your fingers when you get bored, and they jangle when you walk. I'm a little saddened now by the fact that my pockets don't fill up with quarters every time I sneeze. That's the kind of life I want to live.
Some Questions with Thanks For Coming
What is your favorite restaurant in New York City? What do you get there?
There's this restaurant in Chinatown called Shanghai 21 on Mott St. I like the soup dumplings and pan-fried noodles. I wouldn't say this is my favorite restaurant in New York City, but it's the one I go to when people are visiting from out of town. I like it there, but it's definitely not my favorite. I don't think I have a favorite restaurant. Not yet. Maybe someday I will. That's just a big decision to make.
What was the best piece of advice you ever received?
Not advice, but a friend of mine once said "Life is just standing around looking like an idiot" and I find that very comforting since most of my time is spent standing around looking like an idiot.
Having put out music as thanks for coming for four years how do you continue to evolve the sound to stay creatively fulfilled?
Haha. I don't know. I don't really know anything about music, but I try my best to write songs that don't sound like other songs I've written. I think it's working. To be honest, I write songs because I have thoughts that I can't express in any other form, so no matter what I feel creatively fulfilled. Or relieved? Every time I write a song, I feel more relieved about whatever feelings I was trying to let go of. Maybe that's how it feels to be creatively fulfilled? I'm not really sure about anything, in case that wasn't obvious. I guess every time I pick up a guitar, I'm hoping that the sound will evolve as I evolve. At least I hope I'm evolving. I'd like to change.
If you could make one change to the way the music industry is today what would it be?
The music industry makes absolutely no sense to me so I'm not really sure I can speak to making any changes. I guess if I did have any suggestions it would be put artists first instead of profits. But I think that's the general theme for changes I'd like to see in the world, people first, not profits.
Can your music be broken down to a formula?
Me in my feelings + Guitar = Song
What animal would you want to import to the city? Why?
I would not want to import any animals into the city at this point in time. I think that would be a miserable existence for them. I don't think living in an urban environment would be fun for any animal, even the ones that live here already. But I guess if I really had to make a decision like this, it would be cool to bring a bunch of different species of birds here. I don't know which ones specifically, but I think all birds are pretty cool. Seabirds are kind of dumb though, I love them still, but they are definitely dumber than birds that don't live by the sea.
What is the best venue to play in NYC? Why?
The last show at the Glove was on August 31st. It was where the first full band thanks for coming show took place and the last one back in July. That place was the best, I don't know how else to say it. I grew there, as a person and as a musician. I met the best people, saw the best performances, had the best times. I'm so thankful for the people there who let me play there. It was a community, not just a venue, and I feel lucky to have been able to experience it at all.
Do you think NYC is haunted? Have you ever had a supernatural experience?
New York is mad haunted. I'm pretty sure at least one person has died in every single place in the city over the years. Right? I think the math checks out. Also, Massachusetts and New Jersey are incredibly haunted. I mean the entire world is haunted. There's a lot of unresolved pain and trauma. I think that's what being haunted is. Anyway, if I'm ever in a room that I think might be haunted I say "Hello Ghost Friend!" that way the ghost knows I'm just trying to chill and not start anything. Personally, I haven't had any supernatural experiences, mostly because I am afraid and close myself off to that kind of thing, but I believe it 100%. The house I grew up in had a ghost in it when I was a child, but I never interacted with it. It left at some point I think, or moved on? Whatever ghosts do when they decide to leave a place for good. I know a lot of people who have witnessed things that cannot be described as anything but supernatural. I had a phase where I asked almost everyone I knew if they had any ghost stories, and it turns out a lot of people do! Ghosts. I love them, but they spook me.
What is the all-time best toy from your childhood? Why?
My Razor scooter. It had blue wheels. There was nothing more freeing than riding my scooter up and down my block.
Do you show anyone your music to get feedback?
I send most of my songs to Nate, who plays drums in the band and produces the songs. When we lived together I would play them for him after I recorded them. He's always been the person I show my songs to, although I used to just post the songs on Bandcamp right after I finished and post a link for whoever wanted to hear them. I don't do that anymore. I could, but I don't. At a certain point, itt got kind of hard to show Nate my songs, since we were going through a long break up this past year and a lot of songs were about that. He's the best though, he'd listen to the song and tell me what he thought, even though I knew it was painful for him. Maybe that was a cruel thing to do. Maybe I should have kept them to myself. I don't know. Recently, I started sending my demos to other people though, which has been interesting. I'd honestly send my songs to anyone who asked. I don't really know what I'm doing with my music anymore, I have 4 hours worth of songs and they're all just in my Google Drive. It feels strange and almost wrong.
Can you give us your essential items for surviving summer in New York City?
Sunglasses, water bottle, sunscreen, bug spray, weed pen, cigarettes, lighter, notebook, pen, headphones, keys, and wallet. All inside a bag.
Any final comments? (This is your electronic soapbox for one last answer.)
I hope this was okay. Sometimes I talk too much but never actually say anything with substance. I'm trying to stop using self-deprecation as the core of my personality. It's not going that well, but I'm trying. Sorry haha. I'm at a weird point in my life. I could expand on that, but I'm not going to. This was fun. I hope this was fun for you too. Closing Time from Semisonic is playing on my Spotify right now, it feels like a fitting song to end an interview listening to.