A couple of shaky IKEA chairs, a dingy couch and a scratched wooden coffee table are all that can be seen in the dim laptop light. Books, a hard guitar case, manila folders, jackets, sweaters lie cluttered about. Still puffy-eyed, Matranga hasn’t had his peppermint tea yet. He gets up and flicks on the more drastic ceiling light and the expanse of the room is revealed. Disorganized bookshelves, heaps of wires, an old organ; a keyboard further down, studio monitors, a windowed isolation booth.
“This is what me in New York City looks like,” Matranga says.
It’s not a new look for the bearded 43-year-old. Since Far released its major-label debut, Tin Cans With Strings To You, in 1996, Matranga has traveled from northern California to New York City on innumerable occasions. The band’s first show here was at the long-gone Coney Island High, on St. Mark’s Place, where they loaded out of an old city of Oakland street tarring truck — a most dubious tour bus. Matranga doesn’t remember much about that first gig, other than it being ear-shatteringly loud.
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