photo:Thatcher Keats


Tim Foljahn
is a Midland, Michigan-born singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. After playing in the Kalamazoo hardcore scene in the late 1980’s (in noise bands such as the Spastic Rhythm Tarts with Midland pal,
Steve Shelley) he relocated to Hoboken, New Jersey (via stints in Chicago, New Orleans, and Albuquerque) and formed Two Dollar Guitar in 1992. With Shelley on drums and a revolving cast of band and tour mates, including Dave Motamed, Janet Wygal, Tim Prudhomme, Keith Nealy, Luc Suer, Christina Rosenvinge, Jeremy Wilms, Smokey Hormel and Come’s Chris Brokaw, the group released six albums on Shelley’s Smells Like Records label. The debut album, Let Me Bring You Down (1994), a heavy collection of dark brooding ballads, established Foljahn as a twisted classicist in the vein of Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, and Lee Hazlewood. This mood was pushed further in 1996’s follow-up release, Burned and Buried, recorded at Easley Studios in Memphis. 1998 brought two experimental studies: the instrumental Train Songs, an improvisational meditation on Americana and travel, and the solo Hotel Opera, an intimate collection of lo-fi bedroom recordings released under the moniker La Lengua Asesina. 1999’s fan favorite, Weak Beats and Lame-ass Rhymes, was a moody pop flirtation, with echoes of Brigitte Fontaine and Areski, Astrud Gilberto, and Buffalo Springfield. The final Two Dollar Guitar album, The Wear and Tear of Fear: A Lover’s Discourse (2006), a solo, mostly acoustic affair, was mixed by Television’s Fred Smith, and marked Foljahn’s return to dark troubadour terrain.


 

 

 

During the Two Dollar Guitar run, Foljahn also collaborated and toured extensively with Jad Phair, Half Japanese and Mosquito; with Cat Power; Thurston Moore (Male Slut); Spanish chanteuse, Christina Rosenvinge; and, most notably, with Townes Van Zandt, abandoning a Geffen Records project upon his death. (Foljahn appears in the 2004 Townes documentary, Be Here To Love Me.)  From 2006-2008, he gigged with Pussy Galore’s Bob Bert and Mark C (Live Skull) in the art-psych band Int’l Shades, as well as playing bass and recording in projects with Smells Like Records artist, John Wolfington; Megan Reilly, Jennifer O’Connor, and ex-Int’l Shades band mate, Alexa Wilding (as a producer, Foljahn is currently finishing up Wilding’s full-length debut, Coral Dust). 2011 will see the eventual release of Foljahn’s latest incarnation, a solo effort, Songs for an Age of Extinction, as well as a book of collected lyrics and other writings.


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