The vocalist/guitarist of New York City blues-punk noisemakers The Chrome Cranks, Peter Aaron possesses an unceasing, obsessive thirst for musical knowledge. He now lives happily in upstate New York with his cats, Penelope and Kizzy.
Born the year The Beatles laid waste to America, I spent my juvenile delinquent phase in a small New Jersey town, about a half hour from New York City.
A social outcast, I didn't really connect with music until punk rock, which, in the course of a few years and after a move to Cincinnati, Ohio, opened me up to older rock, jazz and all kinds of other sounds: after digging Pere Ubu, Television, and the No New York compilation, stuff like the Art Ensemble of Chicago and Coltrane was a revelation that made perfect sense. From there, my muiscal compass took me forward, reverse and everywhere in between on the jazz timeline. This lead to appreciating and seeing the commonalities in classical, avant-garde, and ethnic music.
While in the Midwest, I served as booking agent and promoter for a series of underground music venues and as a disc jockey on community and college radio stations.
At the tail end of the 80s, versatile guitar genius William G. Weber and I started The Chrome Cranks, a four-piece rock band that blended the blues and punk with all the subtlety of a concrete road saw. Ahead of the curve for Cincinnati, we relocated to New York City, from where we released five albums, along with several EPs, singles, and compilation and movie soundtrack cuts; toured Europe, Canada and the U.S. incessantly; had one of our videos played on primetime MTV; and garnered reams of critical acclaim. But not much money. (Yet another similarity between jazz and punk!) The band broke up in 1998.
I now live in quiet, beautiful upstate New York. In addition to AAJ and my day gig as music
editor at esteemed Hudson Valley arts/culture/living magazine Chronogram, I write for Your Flesh Quarterly, All Music Guide.com, Jazz Improv, Roll magazine, and The Boston Herald. In 2005, my music column for the
(Kingston, N.Y.) Daily Freeman won a 1st place award in the Arts/Entertainment Writing category of the New York State Associated Press Association Writing Contest.
But even more recently, I've begun making music again. Consider yourself warned.