The LP for Michael Pitt’s Band Pagoda Finally Sees the Light of Day

So I’ve been writing about Michael Pitt’s band, Pagoda, since 2005 and last year it was mentioned that he and the band were working on a full length album on Thurston Moore’s label, Ecstatic Peace.

Well the time has come–the release is coming on FEBRUARY 27th (pre-order here for $7.96) and here’s your first listen:

DOWNLOAD: “Lesson Learned” by Pagoda (MP3)

Here’s the band bio, written by Thurston himself:


I had first encountered Michael Pitt in 2000 while composing music for Larry Clark’s film Bully. Of the ensemble of young and crazy actors, it was Pitt who made the most resonant impression on me. His character was of a teenager I had remembered from the recesses of High School USA; giddy, feral and recklessly alluring. Two years later I was introduced to him through filmmaker Gus van Sant when Gus was developing the film concept which became Last Days. Michael arrived at my New York apartment and we immediately hit it off. He was very anxious to work with Gus on the character of Blake, based on Gus’ impressionistic take on Kurt Kobain’s final hours. Michael talked about his band PAGODA which prompted Gus to ask him to play me a song. All I had lying around the apartment was a crummy electric guitar and after some hesitation Michael took it and began to belt out a solo rendition of Lesson Learned, the first track off the Pagoda CD. I was taken aback. Not only by his rag-tag confidence in playing to an audience of two but by the song which was hook driven and emotionally genuine. It was at that moment that I said, “dude let’s do a record.”

After the release of Last Days Michael brought Pagoda to Italy to spend a solid month in Luca Amendolara’s studio to record most of what has become their premier CD. Over 40 songs were recorded as well as a handful more back in Pagoda’s hometown of Brooklyn. By the end of 2004 we had whittled our initial selection down to the tracks which exist on this first disc. Since this time Pagoda has changed radically as a band with almost all new members in place of the recording unit but the intense musical mind of Michael Pitt remains constant.

From what I glean from Michael, he was young kid from New Jersey who migrated to New York City to play rock n’ roll. He fell into a drama workshop of some sort and was cast in a few television programs, and then theatrical film. His star has always been on the rise though his ambitions do not lie in the Hollywood meat market. Pagoda is not a part time job for Pitt; he is not an actor out on vacation here. He is an artist with living expression as his goal and music is where he thrives. And Pagoda as a live band kicks much ass.

The end

Thurston Moore
Ecstatic Peace records + tapes

Oh and in the beloved tradition of “crazy musician ranting” (Holla Ryan Adams), Michael Pitt has taken it to THE NEXT LEVEL. Posting a crazy post on your website is SO 2006. If you want to be all retro awesome, do an ANALOG CRAZY RANT like Michael just posted on the band’s MySpace. (Holla Pete Doherty Babyshambles!) Click on the photo below to see the full-sized glory of the ratty piece of paper.

Go ahead, analyze that handwriting, let me know what you find out. And if anyone knows why there’s duct tape attached, or why it looks to be written on the back side of a milk carton, let me know about that too.

7 Replies to “The LP for Michael Pitt’s Band Pagoda Finally Sees the Light of Day”

  1. Hey i love Pagoda too but I’m severely upset that Dyan Donowho is no longer in the band, do you know why he left?

  2. Hey man, I’ve been keeping tabs on and updating about Pagoda since 2003/04… where’s my shout-out?! Haha… I’m kidding. Kevin and Drew do a great job.

  3. MIke was really cool to drop that note on the myspace site and to namecheck yours truly. (Yeah, and that other guy… Drew, I think his name is… too hahaha) I’m just glad that the band is appreciative and as down to earth as I heard they were. The single is great.

  4. I feel so sad that Michael Pitt is not my friend. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. I’m pretty sad over it. And it is doubtful that he will ever answer my fan mail because even if the letters ever got to him, they are sort of pathetic and in some parts inappropriate as well.

    I love you, Michael Pitt. I listened to my Pagoda CD all morning. I played Lesson Learned seven times in a row. That one is my favorite.

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