Get the Newsletter

The Days Are Filled With Years >>> CD [ Chris Ballew (ex-Presidents of The USA) ]

Click Here to Purchase Vinyl/CD
$9 [ plus shipping & handling ]
[ We will ship the retail CD to your door ]

orange recordings mother hips the giraffes cash money free stickers vinyl cds chicago record label orange white hassle railroad jerkChris Ballew has been making music since he was 4 years old and had his first band together at the age of 10. He achieved international success with "The Presidents of the United States of America" as lead singer and songwriter in 1995 until he quit the band in 1998. The major reasoning behind the change was to develop songs that didn't fit the Presidents mold and have the freedom to release them on small indie labels. The giraffes is that outlet. Chris has always made "Giraffes" music but it typically got shelved because he tends to go with music that is easily translated to a band in a rehersal setting. "The high energy music I write is easier to pull off and execute live" he says "but quiet more subtle and drumless songs are just as fun for me to create. I just feel more at ease doing these kinds of songs alone in my basement." This album is dedicated to the memory of Chris' close friend Mark Sandman who gave Chris his first 2-string guitar and along with it the confidence to let his freak flag fly. There will be more Giraffes music in the future and the albums will reflect whatever musical mood happens to be flowing at that time. The whole album was recorded on a cassette 8-track machine with a couple of mics and simple home studio setup. So the giraffes are here to wipe away your tears and sooth you through a rainy afternoon on the couch. Enjoy.......
If you dig The Giraffes... You might want to check out Chris and Tad, a side project of Chris' with Tad from the Young Fresh Fellows. Here.
MTV Article from 8.29.00...

Just in time for Election Day, The Presidents Of The United States Of America are resurfacing.

The "Lump"-lovin' group, which will send its album "Freaked Out And Small" to stores in September, still remains a side project for its three members: guitarists-bassists Chris Ballew and Dave Dederer and drummer Jason Finn.

The off-hours nature of the band will be readily apparent at the North By Northwest music convention in Portland, Ore. The September 21 event, sponsored by Orange Recordings, will include a showcase performance by The Gentlemen, a duo featuring Dederer and former Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan, who also appears on a track on the new PUSA CD. Also appearing that night is Ballew with his current project, The Giraffes, which an Orange rep said should be the musician's main focus in the foreseeable future. Rounding out the bill is Ballew-produced man-about-Seattle Jason Trachtenburg and his Trachtenburg Family Slide Show Players.

The Presidents Of The United States Of America announced their plans to disband in late 1997 (see "Presidents Of The U.S.A. End Their Term") after selling 4 million albums with their self-titled major label debut in 1995, a late 1996 follow-up, "II," and a postmortem compilation in 1998.

At the time, Ballew cited his need for family time and his interest in other musical ventures. Soon after, he released a solo album under the name The Giraffes, while Dederer formed The Uptights, among other bands. Ballew also hooked up with Tad Hutchinson of Young Fresh Fellows for a project called The Chris And Tad Show, which is releasing a record for the San Diego-based Orange label this fall. Drummer Finn, formerly of Love Battery, went on to play with The Nevada Bachelors, The Pin-Ups, The Congratulators, and more.

In 1999, the three PUSA members hooked up with Seattle rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot for a collaboration called SUbSET. PUSA then surprised fans by getting back together earlier this year to release a Net-only single, "Jupiter," under the alias The Quitters, which later became The Presidents. The band only recently won back the right to use the full PUSA moniker from its former label.

In late April, the band started recording a full-length album, which became "Freaked Out And Small." A special "fan edition" of the LP was shipped in July to those who pre-ordered it through indie label MusicBlitz, and the disc is now slated for wide release on September 12.

The album, which uses more straightforward instrumentation in place of previous PUSA trademarks such as "basitar" and "guitbass," includes a dozen songs, half from Dederer and half from Ballew. A video for the song "Tiny Explosions" has already been shot in Seattle. The band is not expected to tour, especially in light of the July 31 birth of Ballew's second child.

The Giraffes, meanwhile, have become a full-time band with Ballew, drummer Mike Musburger (Fastbacks, Posies, Uptights), and multi-instrumentalist Jason Staczek. A third Giraffes album should be out in late October on Orange, and the band is already well into recording a fourth, which should be out early next year and might just entice the home-loving Ballew to go out on the road, albeit briefly.

As for The Gentlemen, the pair will be getting their collective feet wet at the Orange showcase, the duo's first "official" performance. A CD release is expected in the future, although the sessions have yet to be recorded.

-- Sorelle Saidman