i was at a party in san francisco recently and a guy approached me. i don’t know him too well. can’t remember his name. i’d seen him around amnesia on valencia a time or two. he pulled me aside. “i just want you to know, i think what you’re doing at your shows is great.” my eyes opened a little wider, my slump straightened out, and i smiled at him. “thanks man,” i replied. “yeah, yeah,” he continued. “i just think it’s so incredible how you get up on stage already KNOWING” (he emphasized that word, then repeated it) “KNOWING that people are gonna hate what you do.” I sat dumbfounded. I didn’t, uh, realize that’s what I was doing. “It’s great man. I respect that so much.” I thought he was insulting me but I guess that was his version of a compliment. I guess he felt strongly about it, because he continued. “I mean, nobody’s into it, and yet you just press ahead.” He patted me on the shoulder. “keep going, man.” I just stared at him.
Framing all my old letterpress posters. This is one I like.
I cut up the score of one of my songs using a ratio called “the golden section”. It was used quite a bit in early book design. Not quite in this way, though.
Hello, all. I recently finished a beautiful phase of this ongoing drama we call “Life.” Drinks consumed, headaches endured, aspirin swallowed, miles traveled, reality questioned, reality re-affirmed, reality questioned yet again, and the cycle keeps continuing in the shape of an ourabouros, the snake eating its tail. To quote myself here, “the snake ate its tail and shat out another snake.” In the end, I usually arrive back at the simple truths that make life enjoyable - fresh air, sunshine, love, truth and honor. Of course, there’s some weird part of my subconscious that will question and even destroy that which is perfectly beautiful and normal. I think my subconscious mind is always creating problems that I am forced to solve, often through song or some other form of creativity. Cake decoration, puff paint t-shirts….
Just got back from Seaview, Washington where I performed as part of the Spaceness festival at the Sou'wester. I performed with the Magnetetractys, my 9 string electro acoustic harp activated using magnetics…. also know as “the triangle thing” for those afraid of made-up words. My friend Ben Salomon did me the honor of electronically manipulating the sound of the instrument, sending it through an 8 speaker surround sound array of salvaged speakers. I sent my sound through an old stove pipe and a transducer attached to a piano sound board, all of which triggers changes in a video synth I programmed in Jitter. Geeky stuff, yes, but I like it, so it ain’t geeky to me.
I thought it was a great performance, the best one yet, which pushed the project forward in a beautiful new way. Opinions varied. My friend John’s assessment – “that was cool but I like it better when you play music.” Ha! Semantics, my friend. Music is where you find it.
Btw. Impose ran an article thing about the Magnetetractys here:
Immediately prior to the Spaceness festival, had an amazing week in London. Recorded 9 songs at ABBEY ROAD. Yes, that one. Which brings us to 14 total songs recorded there. They are of course pristine and clean, which makes them way different than the stuff I record by myself. Because, let’s face it, I don’t really know what I’m doing. I happen to think a constant state of confusion is exactly the right place to be – you’re always learning, I guess, right? Right? Uh. Let me think about that.
I think folk value the DIY lo-fi thing but sometimes they just want clarity. Well, if that’s your thing, wait til you hear these tunes. Ranging from folk to rock to orchestrations with lyrics to soundtrack-y type things. They will be released over the next few records, whatever makes sense. Working at AR with a way cool producer, Rob Cass, who immediately after working with us flew to Memphis to do a record with freaking JERRY LEE LEWIS. What? I expect some good stories, Rob, of which I am sure he will deliver. That last sentence was just as confusing for me to write as it was for you to read. Moving on.
While in London, we played a packed gig at Rough Trade East, which is the center of the universe, a temple to the album, to creative music. What an honor. My latest record, Earth into Aether, was a record of the month, so we got the red carpet treatment, and hopefully shared some new sights and sounds with them London foggy folk.