The Archives: Star City's "Inside the Other Days" (2001)

This new so-called "feature" tentatively entitled The Archives will look at records that never got their due praise. Perhaps they only sold 10,000 copies, but in most cases, I'd imagine that these selections had a tough time exceeding 2,500 in sales. There's a good chance that many of the bands may not ring a bell, and a good portion were making records in the mid-to-late 90s, which still stands as the greatest music period of my life.

Star City was founded by West Virginia native Jason Lewis. The band gained a solid following in New York City in the late 90s and early 00s, playing regularly at The Mercury Lounge, The Rodeo Bar, and just about any place that'd book them. They weren't a fantastic live band, but their shows were always about the fans as much as they were about the band. Most Star City shows were full-night events, often carrying on to the Lakeside Lounge until the wee hours of the morning. Guitarist David Chernis (now in The Damnwells) was the Nils Lofgren of the scene, and keyboardist Kevin Karg was always there for a laugh or an ice cream onstage.

Jason Lewis at the Lakeside Lounge, NYC

Star City had aspirations but never caught enough steam to grab a foothold outside of Manhattan. After only two records, members started to explore other opportunities and a "hiatus" soon become the end of Star City. Lewis has moved to Iowa to study, write a novel and teach. I believe Chernis is still in The Damnwells, while bassist Scott Yoder, keyboardist Kevin Karg and drummer Nancy Polstein appear to have moved on to other things.

Despite their short time together, 2001's Inside the Other Days remains one of my favorite records of that period. And here it is in its entirety:

Star City


jlew said...

Hey Chris, thanks for the shout out. Glad the record still resonates. I too remember those days fondly.

Still working on the book. Pretty much done. Working on novel 2 right now. Still teaching. But also working on the first solo record entitled "Sad Iron Songs". Should be out sometime by the Spring.

I'm also recording the new record for Mattew Grimm (ex-Hangdogs) songsmith and his band the Red Smear.

Gone, but not forgotten, JTL

Campbell said...

Not sure if you'll see this reply, but I just read this note. Yes, this record, as well as your first, still get regular spins out here. Those few years will never be forgotten...some of the best fun of my life.