Reid Genauer admitted this was "an interesting transition."
He later amended that: "It was a bizarre transition." Genauer, who co-founded and sang for the
popular Vermont tie-dye band Strangefolk, quit in 2000 after 10 years of the grind and found
himself in Cornell University's Johnson School of Management.
And this interview took place last week from the car phone as he was leaving his job in
White Plains, N.Y., in the marketing department of Snapple. "I was living a pretty
non-traditional life," he said. "As a performer, the greatest service you provide is an
alternate reality, like a book does. As a musician, part of the appeal is that you live
in that world. I started to feel a bit numb to it. That alternate reality was mine every day,
so it started to lose its freshness and vitality. It's like eating your favorite meal every day.
I just wanted to broaden myself and have different experiences."
Besides, the farther you get from the working class, the farther you get from your audience.
"It's refreshing to be able, from an artistic point of view, to summarize the common experiences
people have," he explained, saying he left Strangefolk because he "lost sight of the dream.
"It's boring to hear about musicians life on the road because it's not exciting to you as a civilian.
I think it's better to speak to a more common experience."
So now, Genauer, 30, has the best of
both worlds. Batteries recharged, he formed a new group, Reid Genauer & the Assembly of Dust,
with keyboardist Nate Wilson (from Percy Hill), bassist John Leccese, guitarist Adam Terrell
(from Groovechild) and drummer Andy Herrick (from Moon Boot Lover); their rather eclectic debut,
"The Assembly of Dust," will be out March 18. He works during the week; he plays mostly on weekends.
"It affords me a fresh perspective on the civilian process of my life, just to have lived in sort
of the other world," he said. He'll bring the band to Toad's Thursday (300 York St.; all ages;
8:30 p.m.; Fuzz and Stephen Kellogg opening; $12 advance/ $15 door; 203-562-5694)