In March of 2000 Joel visited New York City for a weekend. Less than one month later he had sold off most of his possessions, quit school and flew back into LaGuardia with two guitars, a 35mm camera and a suitcase(The Vault) of 4-track cassette tapes he had amassed since beginning his recording/writing adventures around 1996. Literally with the clothes on his back and a few hundred dollars he wound up at the Jane St. Hotel, then a hostel, then a couch, then a hammock in a courtyard, then a mattress in a closet at the top of some stairs and after eventually regaining his footing he begin a period of creativity that would become known as the "New York" years.
"Churn of the Century" or as Joel calls it, "the double-album that never was" is a collection of mostly improvised instrumental recordings he was recording during that period in quick takes between looking for a place to live and a a place to work and food to eat. Take them as you will as they were never meant to be anything more than his need to process the chaos of the time and for posterity to lay to tape the sounds in his head.