Chime School is the project of San Francisco musician Andy Pastalaniec. Endlessly charmed by 80s indie and its 60s forbearers (and any record with a 12-string guitar), Andy cut his teeth as a drummer with Slumberland labelmate Odd Hope in their early group Pink Films; later with shoegazers Cruel Summer, and currently with indiepop outfit Seablite. But it wasn’t until he was gifted a cassette 4-track portastudio “almost as a dare” that he came out from behind the kit to write and record his own material.
Aptly named for its autodidact roots, Chime School pays homage to the formative jangle of The Byrds by way of early Primal Scream and The Springfields; the production and pop sensibility of the Biff Bang Pow and The Razorcuts; and the spirit of great singles labels like Creation, Postcard and Sarah. His self-titled debut album, featuring singles It’s True and Taking Time To Tell You, will be out on Slumberland on November 5th.
What Andy Says: “I‘ve been involved in music one way or another since my teens, always in a support role or in the background: dj, engineer, drummer, etc. I love it but I always wanted my own project. It wasn’t until my partner gifted me a cassette 4-track that I had no excuse but to start fumbling my way through the songwriting process. Chime School is the culmination of some of that.“
His Mixtape: “Here’s a few all-time favorites mixed in with some stuff I’m encouraged by and really into right now“
Rainy Day – I’ll Keep It With Mine
I heard about the Rainy Day project during my college radio days at KDVS in Davis CA, when I got to sit in as engineer for a Steve Wynn interview/performance; about as fortuitous an introduction to the Paisley Underground as anything. This collaboration between a Rain Parade and a Bangle is a great cut of mid-60s folk-pop.
The Siddeleys – My Favourite Wet Wednesday Afternoon
This recording is from a John Peel Session and it feels like some great robbery to me that these live radio sessions are (as far as I’ve heard) the best recorded material that exists of this group.
My Bloody Valentine – You’re Safe in Your Sleep from This Girl
Pre-shoegaze is my favorite MBV, post-shoegaze is my favorite Lilys. I’m an easy target.
The Mantles – Don’t Lie
Favorite SF band hands down? I first saw them in early 2008. They were very loose, and very fun. I bought the Burden 7” and had it on repeat for much of the year. I got my hands on the Don’t Lie 7” right away and I always laugh that initially I wasn’t as impressed, which is really funny in hindsight! My partner Jessica is a bay area native and aside from having one of the coolest, most highly curated record collections I’ve seen (with basically all of the Chime School references if we’re being honest), she was here for most of the cycles of SF indie pop since the 1990s. As such, she’s always compiling the “All Time San Francisco Compilation.” We both agree Don’t Lie is high on the list. Also I used this song in one of the first super 8 videos I made with some friends about a decade ago, I think it’s still on youtube somewhere.
April Magazine – Parade
Speaking of SF staples and super 8, April Magazine just debuted this video for the song Parade, from their upcoming record on Tough Love. Filmed by bassist Kati during the groups’ 2019 trip to Japan, it perfectly suits the song and the medium is pure magic! Peter contributed the cover art for the Chime School LP and has been a big supporter over the years. I’ve seen this band maybe a hundred times, but the recent introduction of drum machines along with Mike’s always tasteful percussion and the addition of David on guitar, has totally blown my mind. I can’t wait to see where they take it.
Flowertown – RCP
Mike from Flowertown (and April Mag) is a longtime friend, and we are both huge cat lovers. This video is about a secret land of feral cats. If I’m being critical Flowertown is probably my favorite Flowertown song, but if I’m being sincere RCP puts the biggest smile on my face. Occasionally they ask me to sit in on drums, and it’s always a treat.
Henry’s Dress – Target Practice
“Three great kids, three great chords” or so I heard they used to say. A tongue-in-cheek song about broken scooters that’s inspired at least one of mine. Gotta love the feeling of pushing home a beautiful broken old thing that never seems to run but you’re compelled to try and fix. “The timing’s off and I can’t fix it, but it’s mine;” I literally know how that feels!
The Springfields – Tomorrow Ends Today
A confluence of two major influences! I learned the origin of this cover in the liner notes of a recent SLR compilation. As the story reads, Ric Menck wrote to Bobby asking if he could cover a Primal Scream song. Bobby basically responded “No, you can’t. But here; you can cover this song we haven’t released” and he included precise instructions for how to play and record it, which Ric says he “promptly ignored.” I’m no completist but the only Primal Scream version I’ve heard is a Peel Session, and I have to say I think Ric was right with this one!
The Wake – Pale Spectre
Love everything about this song, and it has the best bridge ever.
East Village – Back Between Places
I’m not exaggerating when I say that I once listened to this song 20 times in a row.