This is one hell of a collection. Sleepyhead are releasing a record entitled Future Exhibit Goes Here that is remastered versions of Sleepyhead’s wonderful records Starduster Communist Love Songs. The trio’s unique styling of noise rock that blends beautifully with pop sensible hooks is best shown on these two records, but has been a highlight of the band’s entire career. The trio of Michael Galinsky, Rachael McNally, and Chris O’Rourke helped bring to live a 90’s scene that still influences the thousands of records released every year.

New Noise Magazine is extremely excited to be bringing forth the exclusive premiere of the remastered versions of Starduster Communist Love Songs. Listen to Future Exhibit Goes Here below and read an extensive and in depth look on each song from Sleepyhead themselves. This collection is out on April 13th via Drawing Room Records.

Pre-Order Future Exhibit Goes Here here


What’s Gonna Set You Free?

I remember this one came to us pretty easily in practice one night. These were days when we trekked out from our East Village apartments to Hoboken three times a week to practice for hours on end, almost always after a stop at Cafe Carmelita for rice and beans. Sometimes a song would come really quickly and by the time we went home, we had an entire new tune, save for some work on the lyrics. This was one of those times. I think we knew right away it would be the first song on our second album.  – Chris


When we wrote songs back then, we didn’t really follow any songwriting “rules.” For instance, none of our new songs have 40 seconds without any vocals right in the middle of the song, but somehow it worked for us back then!  -Chris

One of my favorite memories as a young teacher at Hunter College High School in was heading over to a student at the start of history class to remind him to take off his headphones before we started a lesson and realizing that he was on another plane listening to “Cake.” -Rachael


Inspired by the main character, Cebe, played by Linda Manz in Dennis Hopper’s 1980 film Out of the Blue. It’s a dark film and the song has some dark lyrics. This remained in our sets for a long time after this album came out. Comes with a Yo La Tengo inspired guitar solo. – Chris

I’m Melting

At a certain point years later we realized that Rachael sang this one better than me, and if we play it at any upcoming shows, you will hear her on lead vocals. One of my favorites from the album. – Chris

Solid Gold

Another dark one, about the grittiness that was still clinging to Manhattan’s East Village in the early nineties, though it wouldn’t for long. One of two Sleepyhead songs on this reissue with a key change in the middle of the song. – Chris

The Mood Swing

Chris and I are simultaneously singing totally different melodies in the chorus. I always wondered which words people heard as they listened. – Rachael

Punk Rock City U.S.A.

Of course, this song is not on our debut album Punk Rock City U.S.A., released on Slumberland in 1992. Always keep ‘em guessing. Mike played the bass line in practice one night and the song was done by the end of the rehearsal. We had a friend who used to time us at shows to see how fast we would play it live. Shambolic and exciting. -Chris

If a drumstick went flying in our set, chances are it was during this song! – Rachael

Sick of Heaven

A downer, but in a good way, I think. -Chris

Yup. -Rachael


Rachael’s first lead vocal on a Sleepyhead album. Once we played this live with Rachael’s sister Missy singing lead, dancing around and sprinkling glitter all over the audience. We’ve been talking about adding this one to our set for our next show. -Chris

And it might be played at a very different tempo. I just need to match the song to the new sound in my head!  -Rachael

Gun to a Knife Fight

Listening back to this one, I think I was starting to figure out how to write more efficiently, and realizing that a good vocal melody can make a song as much as a cool guitar riff. I like the simple, melodic guitar solo at the end. – Chris

Hot Stuff

I thought this was gonna be a hit! Definitely a Sonic Youth influence in the bridge, I would say. I adored them, and they rehearsed next door to us, so I guess that’s not a surprise. – Chris

At Least, At Last

With this title, I suppose it had to close out the album. – Chris

Communist Love Songs

Go West!

By the time we started making our third album, I was slowly starting to become a better singer, and we were all becoming more competent musicians. The songs from Communist Love Songs are much easier on my ears for that reason. The album still has the energy of the tunes from Starduster, but we sound more like we’re in control of that energy. This is another tune that popped out one night at rehearsal, pretty much fully formed. We played it at rehearsal a few weeks ago, and somehow I remembered pretty much the whole song even though I hadn’t played it in decades. -Chris

Hurray for the slide whistle!!! -Rachael

The Communist Love Song

I learned many things about music from Yo La Tengo, with whom we shared a practice space for many years. One of them was that you can get a great drone by using duct tape to tape down a few keys on an organ. Das Damen were our other practice space compatriots for a lot of this time. On the recording, it was Das Damen drummer and dear friend Lyle Hysen’s Acetone that we used here – the blue one that Yo La Tengo has taken all over the world. Live, I had to tape down the two keys of our Farfisa when the drop d tuned guitar kicks in. In the studio, I probably just held them down for the rest of the song. Clever lyrics, if I do say so myself. -Chris

What’s the title of the musical this song could be in? -Rachael

The Coronation

This is one of my favorite Sleepyhead songs from any of our released albums. (Just wait ‘til you hear the one we’re working on now with Jon Lupfer at Q Division!) Great second guitar by our pal Chris Seeds. This is one that has popped up in many sets over the years. Our Belgian tour manager Herman Hulsens (on an incredibly fun Communist Love Songs European tour in 1996) always thought this should have been a huge 90’s single. – Chris

Ice Cream Cone

A super fun song to play live, and for years it was quite often the last song in the set. The genius of Mike Galinsky’s bass playing comes through big time on this one. Another one you might hear if you come see us live some time in the future. The fabulous Chris Seeds on second guitar again. Not really about ice cream, but you knew that. -Chris

This song is long and it took many takes in the studio to get to the end and play it right. In my mind now my hands were bleeding by the end of that day, but I probably just lost some callouses. (Thank God for duct tape!).  -Rachael

My Blooz

Trying out a more “classic” kind of songwriting here and there on Communist Love Songs. Chris Seeds plays a very groovy organ throughout this one. -Chris

I remember spending lots of time in the studio struggling to match my backup vocals to Chris’ lead vocals. -Rachael

I Love You The Rain

A slightly faster, cleaned-up version of the 7” version. A good pop tune, and always fun to play live. Another key change! -Chris

And we learned the hard way on tour on some local TV show (somewhere…) that it does not translate well as a stripped down number with no drums. We stood in a row if I remember correctly.  -Rachael


This was a time when we started listening to the Rolling Stones a lot, and in my mind at the time, this one had a bit of a stonesy feel in parts. Nowadays I think I understand the Stones a bit better, and it just sounds to me like a good Sleepyhead song. The big loud guitar parts are still pretty cathartic. There is nothing is quite like a 100 Watt Marshall half-stack recorded so loud we couldn’t be anywhere near it while the tape was rolling. – Chris

Is the drum part for the verses weird? I go back and forth, always have.  -Rachael

Rolling Rita

More cowbell! Rachael’s second lead vocal, and she wrote a lot of the lyrics to this one, too. Inspired by her grandmother Gert, who had a job as a messenger on roller skates in a Manhattan office building. For those of you wondering, we have finally realized that Rachael should sing more lead vocals. On the album we’re working on now, she sings lead on at least half the tunes. Also, more cowbell. -Chris

Chris, I think I forget how to play the cowbell… -Rachael

Forensic Studies Show

A woman’s liberation. – Chris

Born to Loose

Title inspired by a misspelled tattoo I saw a picture of somewhere in the days before internet memes existed. -Chris

All three toms were my friends for this one! -Rachael

Yer Excellence

For a long time we had this very cool Realistic MG-1, which is a little synth that Moog made for Radio Shack. We borrowed it from our pal Otis Ball, and never actually gave it back to him until a few years ago! It sounded incredibly cool cranked up through the Marshall. Fooling around with it at rehearsal one night led to this song. Another tune that would often be the last song in a set, and an appropriate vibe for the last tune on this album. – Chris

When we were playing this song a lot my favorite part of the set was often hearing that single note when Mike came back in before the outro. -Rachael

Two great producers, Fred Brockman and Martin Bisi, put up with us on these two albums, and brought out the best in us at the time. And Lyle Hysen, who produced our first album, did so much to help our band function during these days. Much gratitude to all three of them!! – Chris


This is a rock n' roll takeover.

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