On 1999's The Gasoline Age, F. M. Cornog- the man behind East River Pipe- caught his reflection in a shiny pimpmobile paint-job and the glare of store windows lit by garish neon signs. He focused his withdrawal-fueled desires and fears on the gleaming surfaces around him, vividly evoking a rootless urban lifestyle and creating an impossibly absorbing and accidentally amazing album, the kind that springs more from luck than from intention. What Are You On?, his sixth album, lives up to its title: It's full of drug songs, cruel kiss-offs, and oddball robot odes, all awash in his signature synth-heavy sound. That relatively lo-fi aesthetic remains surprisingly durable and idiosyncratic, especially on the doo-wop space anthems "Crystal Queen" and "I'll Walk My Robot Home".
Once upon a time, lo-fi recording was a necessity for anyone on a budget. Cornog, aka East River Pipe, lo-fi has always been a way to capture the intimate immediacy of his particular brand of confessionals, songs of losers and loss tempered by only a taste of wry humor.
Cornog is an American songwriter, singer, self-taught musician, and home-recordist who records under the name East River Pipe. The New York Times describes Cornog as "the Brian Wilson of home recording. Cornog was born in Norfolk, Virginia, and raised in Summit, New Jersey. After high school, Cornog worked a series of menial jobs before succumbing to alcoholism, drug abuse, mental illness, and eventual homelessness, ending up in the Hoboken train station.
There's always a sad undercurrent to FM Cornog's music - it's edgy, to be sure, yet has a wistful innocence that I find very compelling. Cornog, who is East River Pipe, has dealt up another winning batch of homegrown prozac pop with What Are You On? The album seems to mirror Cornog's own personal journey, one which rivals Charles Bukowski's in down and out-ness, self-loathing, and ridiculously pitiful hilarity. If all this sounds like a bummer, it's not.
Album · 2006 · 13 Songs. Cornog, known as the musical entity East River Pipe, was once a self-proclaimed Garbagehead, an alcoholic who would take any mood-altering substance he could find. Those days may be behind him as he took a record company advance and bought a house in the New Jersey suburbs and got a day job working at Home Depot.
Reprinted with permission. Courtesy of Barbara Archer Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia. Mastering SID Code: L385. Mould SID Code: IFPI 6100.
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More by East River Pipe. We Live in Rented Rooms. Garbageheads on Endless Stun. The Gasoline Age. The Gasoline Age (Deluxe Reissue). More East River Pipe. Listen to What Are You On? now. Listen to What Are You On? in full in the this site app. Play on this site.
This song is by East River Pipe and appears on the album What Are You On? (2006). You're messing with my drug lifeYou're messing with my drug life. Dime bags flash up in Union SquarePeople walk in serotonin pairsI remember it was only play Devil's sucking in the proteges.
|1||What Does T.S. Eliot Know About You?||2:29|
|3||What Are You On?||2:02|
|4||I'll Walk My Robot Home||3:10|
|5||The Ultrabright Bitch||2:07|
|9||You Got Played, Little Girl||2:10|
|10||Life Is Landfill||2:58|
|11||Shut Up And Row||2:17|
|13||Some Dreams Can Kill You||5:19|