Tuesday, December 15, 2009
2010 coming up soon. wasn't "2010" the sequel to "2001" (speaking of films here)? Kubrick wasn't involved in the sequel. I heard it wasn't too great, but I always had a soft spot in my heart for Roy Scheider. How could it get any better than 2001 though? for the love of zoroaster, why don't people make sequels to terrible movies so that they can avoid the inevitable lame-ass sequel syndrome?
Anyhow, if next year is the sequel to 2001, let me recall what I was doing in 2001? Oh yeah. I was starting my old band Sound Team, living in Portland Oregon, recording on the 4track and scraping by. Didn't see the sun for about 5 months.
A film crew followed me around for a few months and asked me about being on a major label and starting over as an independent artist. The film is called "Echotone." It's a play off the word "Ecotone," which Wikipedia describes as:
"from a combination of eco(logy) plus -tone, from the Greek tonos or tension – in other words, a place where ecologies are in tension."
The film deals with Austin's transitional phase right now (from mid-size to super-ultra city of the future) and the effect it's having on musicians.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Full set here. I will soon post the entire neon wake video.
check us out on World Cafe on NPR, or listen to hear it on air.
Monday, November 23, 2009
My small world has been a bombardment of late. Everything came down at once. A beautiful thing... maybe. In the course of three weeks, I toured the east coast, composed and performed a live film score, flew back up to Philly with the band for the end-of-the-year Weathervane bash at Johnny Brenda's, then created the TV organ installation at Baby Blue. Also played host for E.A.S.T. studio tour. Oh yeah, did I mention I ran a marathon? Yeah, that too.
here are a few tour photos I took! :
sunrise over the days inn, in the vacant lot in Kentucky where we slept:
Breezy Point, NYC:
NYC language school:
4track recording at Quentin's house:
Birch Office, Smith Hill Farm:
Giant Colored Balls, Smith Hill Farm:
You can look at the whole set HERE.
We've all been busy of late..... John flew to the Czech Republic to re-unite with his Czech family members, Will has been recording his amazing new music as Sleep Good and filming a mini-documentary about analog tape, and Willis has been writing some incredible songs. He and Austin Jones recorded a sweet cover of John Cale's "Paris 1919," our officially "most played song" for the last tour.
So moving on to some big news.... our album, "Gold Dissolves to Gray," just got released on vinyl! Self-released mind you. You can hear the whole thing on bandcamp:
It's a distributed item, so you can request it at your local awesome independent record store. If you have to go to Best Buy, you might have to special order it. But who wants to go to Best Buy. Parking lots that large make me feel like an insect.
I never mentioned it before, but the new album has lots of awesome collaborators, from Mazarin, Danielson, LAKE, Jesse Woods, Bitter Bitter Weeks, Coffee Jamie, Nick Hennies, Joey Koehl, and more. Lots of random names, I know, but look them up... very talented people.
Bandcamp is also streaming "Bright Blue Dream" and "The Glowing City." It's a really great website with a kind-of dumb name. What's in a name, though? Not much. Seems bandcamp has emerged as an alternative to myspace. Thank zoroaster. There is ordering info for most of our releases up on the site, plus high-quality downloads.
Did I mention it makes a fantastic holiday present? No? What? What was I talking about?
Originally I just wanted to release the record on vinyl, but thought better of it. Now all the records have c.d.s enclosed. Plus we did a run of 500 c.d.s with special screen-printed covers from Stumptown printers in Portland. They use all recycled paper and vegetable inks and all that super-cool next-level enviro stuff.
"Gold Dissolves to Gray" is a slight detour into a rough green field where monkeys are playing saxophones (not very successfully) and wearing astronaut suits and dreaming of the distant evolutionary future when they will be able to synthesize perfect french fries from glue paste and food flavoring.
The next album will be out next year and will be the sound of two different constellations, Andromeda and Orion, having a nervous breakdown and a break-up. Yes, that's the sound. The subject matter is the emergence of a soul from darkness into light and back again, like a little human yo-yo. Which brings me to this:
We are still raising money using Kickstarter... whatever extra money we can bring in will be put towards paying for the next release. Please consider making a donation here:
No shows coming up yet, but stay tuned. We will no doubt be having some fun times again at the studio, and hopefully hitting the road in early 2010.
here's a picture of the band in Philly:
stay tuned for more updates!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
* Our fundraising effort to play in Philadelphia.
* Live film score w/ free admission and whiskey
* How to order our new album, "Gold Dissolves to Gray"
* EAST Studio tour
Earlier this year, we were asked by Weathervane, a Philly-based non-profit, to record for a few days at the amazing Miner Street studio. Our session, produced by the esteemed Quentin Stolzfus (formerly of Mazarin), resulted in the semi-hummable tune "Fishtown."
We are going back to Philly on November 12th to play Weathervane's end of the year celebratory free-for-all at Johnny Brenda's. It gonna be pretty sweet. Also playing are Danielson, BC Camplight, and East Hundred.
Thing is, it's expensive to get up to Philly. We bought our plane tickets on a credit card, but we need some help to actually pay the bill when it arrives in a month or so.
To this end, we set up an account at Kickstarter, the fundraising website used by everyone from Polyvinyl records to our friends Weathervane. The lowdown: we are trying to raise $500 to help offset our flight costs. Please consider making a donation. Every single bit helps. Literally every dollar gets us closer to our goal.
You can donate
If you donate certain amounts, you get certain things in return. A little tit for tat. $100 will earn you a private living room concert and pizza delivery. $15 earns you a c.d. Etc. And if we do not meet our $500 goal, you will not be charged a thing.
If this fundraising effort is successful, we might try it again to fund all sorts of crazy tours and projects.
On Friday, November 13th, we will be playing a special original score along to some early experimental films.
It is a free event, with free whiskey! You only need to RSVP, and you do so
And here is the Facebook page with much more relevant info:
The score has me indulging my long dormant keyboard fantasies alongside bowed bass and a master percussionist, playing along with two films (one 6 mins, the other 23 mins). I am very much looking forward to it. Did I mention it's at a super sweet photography studio?
Also please keep in mind Sam Sanford's art opening the following night. For those unaware, Sam was a guitarist in Sunset for two years. He is a fantastic painter and this is his first solo show. Facebook invite here.
Also, we have a new album coming out November 24th! "Gold Dissolves to Gray," which was just called a "beauty of an album" (Some Velvet Blog), is available on 180gram lp with c.d. inserted. Also available as a c.d. with special screen-printed cover. Both the c.d. and l.p. are available in a limited edition of 500. Did I mention the c.d. looks really cool under a black light? Yes, it does.
Pre-order information here.
Also available in your local independent record shop soon.
It's somewhat of a departure for me. Less psychedelic, maybe. Bringing forth certain folk and country elements that had previously remained under the surface. Safe to say, this record will be unique in the Sunset catalog. The next release, fairly near completion, takes things in a whole other direction.
The EAST studio tour is a chance for folks to ride their bikes to all the artist's studios on the East Side and see where the magic happens. Last year, I rode my bike all across town and saw some amazing art and had lots of free beer and chips.
Josh Duke and I have decided to take part in this year's festivities. Josh will be running a portrait studio and selling prints of his photography. He takes very cool, old-timey photographs using large-format cameras and develops the pictures at Baby Blue, using his own darkroom. A really cool operation he's got going.
I will be presenting a special interactive version of the TV Matrix, entitled "TV Organ." Each of the thirty screens will show a loop of an instrument playing in a certain key. The screens will all be based in the same key, but screens will be playing the 5th, others the 3rd, and perhaps a 7th thrown in too. In front of the grid, I will have my large mixing board and participants can change the shape of the drone. Around the mixing board, there will be 8 monitor speakers providing surround sound. It will be trippy and bizarre, but also very graspable and concrete. I think it's going to be awesome. The installation will be fully open during EAST's second weekend, and during the previous week by appointment only.
Friday, October 30, 2009
At 4am, pulled off the road just north of Nashville. Willis and I slept in a vacant lot next to the freeway, sort of sandwiched between a Days Inn and Comfort Inn. It was fairly sketchy, as you might imagine. We just rolled out our bags and laid down for awhile, probably got at least a few hours sleep. I watched the sunrise over the back of the Days Inn. It was really really beautiful. Then this lady walking her dog stumbled upon us and made eye contact with me and it was awkward. So my sunrise viewing session was cut short as we jumped back in the car, so as to avoid the police and a potential vagrancy fine.
Willis and I look like we slept in a vacant lot. But we feel great.
Now at Fido's in Nashville, about to hit the final home stretch home. 13 hours or something similar. Playing tonight at BainStock 2009. Then finally back home.
The tour was incredible. Thanksss: LAURA!, bandmates John and Will who could not be there, Paul Sisler, Dash in Chapel Hill, Quentin and Dana and Brian in Philly, Elizabeth and Joel in NYC, Leon and Elaine Smith and Willis' Aunt Mimi in Akrondale NY, Fred and Ryan from City Center, all the nice toll booth workers, Dwight Eisenhauer (for starting the federal interstate system), Tommy back at home, Sam and Jack for helping me make screens, Josh holding it down at Baby Blue, and Thor god of thunder.
A few details overlooked in past posts: our 2nd day in NYC, Willis Joel and I went out to Breezy Point, ostensibly to surf. It was pouring rain, pouring pouring down. We got soaked but saw a side of NYC I had not seen before. Amazing. Later that day, Willis and I went back to the Russian Baths and had a long discussion with an old semi-mystic. He had a beard about a foot long and this weird type of skull cap, not a yarmulke. He said the future is now, that tai chi allows your body to move in every direction simultaneously, and that the baths were better than "16 grams of psylocybin." I am pretty sure, in his case, given his yelling and jumping and wild gesticulations, he was experiencing both the baths AND the 16 grams of pscylocibin (sp?).
Later that night, after Death by Audio, Willis and I made a mockery of some uber-hipster Williamsburg karaoke bar. It was legendary and the details are best left undocumented.
Also, while I was in Philly, Quentin, Dana and I hung out with Pete Bauer from the Walkmen and his pregnant wife. Congrats guys. Turns out Pete makes his living doing astrological readings, which I found bizarre and completely unexpected and quite interesting. So interesting, in fact, that I had to include it in this post.
Til next time, America. It was an amazing tour. Next time perhaps the West coast.
and now some last thoughts from Willis:
I was sleeping in the car, then I was sleeping on the ground. West Virginia public radio had some interesting programming. Insights into the textbook wars during the early 70's. Russian baths at 10th and ave. A are unforgettable. Leon, Elaine, Elizabeth and Joel are very special folks.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Sitting right now in a Dunkin Donuts in Lancaster County, western Pennsylvania. We were driving our of Philly this morning, dreaming dreams of massive crowds and adulation in Louisville. But these dreams got splashed by a large bucket of sludgy lardy donut grease. MMmmm.
All the power in the vehicle turned off. Couldn't roll up or down the windows, no car stereo, and all the gauges froze in place. Engine started making funny sounds.
Pulled over in Denver, PA. Stopped at Al's Exxon. While we waited in the mechanic's waiting room, Willis flossed his teeth while reading ads for motor oil. Yep.
Turns out we have a bad alternator. So we wandered along the side of the highway. Seems we've landed in the antique warehouse capital of the freaking world. Never much been a fan of "bric-a-brac" myself. I swear, most of this stuff is old tins of baby powder.
Ate breakfast at a diner next door to the garage. Heard muzak versions of Neil Young, Beatles, and more. I ordered my omellete without sausage. They brought out my omellete and it was stuffed with ham. Turns out their omellete was stuffed with sausage AND ham. My mistake, perhaps, but I swear I've never heard of such an omellete. Didn't occur to me that 2 types of swine would spice up the "Down Home Omellette."
So now in Dunkin' Donuts, sipping an iced tea and eating some munchkins. These things are pretty great, I gotta admit. I only wish they sold them individually. You gotta buy in increments of 5. What a crock of shit.
Last night, we played in Philly at the Khyber and our gig was in direct conflict with the Phillies' first game of the world series. The Phillies had a great night, us maybe not so much. Although I really did have a great time. Played to 2 very enthusiastic people, both members of the Philly band BC Camplight. They were really great singers.
When we arrived at the Khyber, I asked the sound guy if we could push the gig back at all to perhaps not conflict directly with the game. He advised, "You should play soon to get the pain over with." Heartening words, truly.
So we sat in the bar and fended off crackheads and frat boyz outside. The bartender brought us a massive plate of fruit. I mean, this thing was ridiculously huge. Not sure if they treat all their bands this way. It was quite the spread. I offered some fruit to the other band, but the sound guy thought I was talking to him and grabbed all the watermelon. Not that I care, I hate watermelon. But it was funny. First he tells me to end the show quickly to "get the pain over with" then he grabs all the watermelon and starts chewing it with his mouth open. I was laughing, though. I thought the dude was pretty awesome in his own way.
Now I am passing the keyboard to Willis for some more commentary:
Ummm, Errr... Let's see? uhhh well, we're stopped in Denver, PA having the car repaired. It's quaint little town rich with antique malls housing all types of wonders and bric-a-brac. We purchased Ricky Martins smash effort simply titled "Ricky Martin" for one dollar which bill donated 30 cents toward. With hits including "She's all I ever had" and "Livi'n la vida loca", perhaps you've heard it. After tasting the local color we moseyed on over to the Dunkin' Donuts for use of their free Wi-Fi...And here we be. So ,in conclusion, If your ever headed west from Philly on the Penn turnpike be sure to stop off in Denver, PA but fasten your seat belts folks cause it's a wild ride.
here are some lyrics to:
"Shake your Bon-Bon"
By R. Martin featuring Hernan "Teddy" Mullet on brass
Make-up by Maital Sabban
I'm a desperado
underneath your window
I see your silhouette
Are you my Julliet?
I feel a mad connection with your body
Shake your Bon-Bon
shake your Bon-Bon
shake your Bon-Bon
I wanna be your lover
will go around the world in a day
Don't say no, NO
Shake it my way, OH
Shake your bon-bon
Shake your bon-bon
Shake your bon-bon
Shake your bon-bon
Shake your bon-bon
Shake your bon-bon
Shake your bon-bon
Shake your bon-bon
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Next day was an epic day of awesome pleasure. Ate 5 meals, all from different ethnic backgrounds: Cuban sandwich, tacos, Vietnamese sandwich, borscht, and bagels. Also went back to David and Boris' Russian and Turkish bath on East 10th street. This time, I got the oak platza treatment. A big Russian guy whips you with a swatch of oak branches. Rubs you down. It was intense and strange. And of course we sat in the oven room, probably the hottest room in the world. Willis enjoyed his first trip there.
Back at my cousin Elizabeth's apartment she shares with her boyfriend Joel, we bobbed for apples (Elizabeth and Willis said they'd never done it.) the proof:
Later that evening, we played at Death by Audio, a super sweet space 2 blocks from Elizabeth's apartment. played with sam buck rosen and green grocer who were both awesome. Spent a long time talking with the bartender and she bought a tshirt. as at most of the shows thus far, the crowd was not huge but people who were there seemed really into it and I heard lots of kind words afterwards. awesome.
at death by audio (earlier in the day I bought some sweet purple pants and you can see em here. they actually blended in perfectly with the walls!):
Monday, October 26, 2009
willis took a plane flight up to d.c. and took the chinatown bus and we took off north. his aunt mimi had offered us to stay in her cabin in upstate new york, near kingston, and we gladly accepted. arrived late at night and immediately struck by the sculptures laid out all across the grounds. turns out the property is owned by leon and elaine smith, two immensely talented artists who bought a 250 acre farm and turned it into their own private artist retreat... the place seemed designed by Dr Zeuss - massive sculptures of a coat and tie, a floating piece of birthday cake, an outdoor office amidst a birch tree forest... all playful and amazing. we were fortunate enough to stay in a cabin amidst all these sculptural wonders. willis and i drank whiskey late into the night, playing loud music and marvelling at our luck at ending up at such an amazing locale. next morning woke and cooked some soup and wandered the grounds, an extensive trail through the forests of maple turning red and white birch and elm and all sorts of other trees of which i do not know the name. wandered and wondered and stood in awe.
later, leon told us about his indoor racquetball court, conjecturing it might be a nice acoustical space for us to rehearse. and it was. we played loud and without effects and it simply blew me away. here is a video:
later that evening, played at an awesome venue called "goodbye blue monday" in bushwick brooklyn. great space.
here are some photos from the rest of our time at leon and elaine smith's "smith hill farm":
Friday, October 23, 2009
Stopped at Natural Bridge state park in Kentucky and ran to the top, snapped some photos and ran back down. I knew I'd be cutting it close, and indeed I did. Drove all into the evening, through mountains and passes and well past dark, straight on to Chapel Hill and played immediately to a nice crowd. They cheered and seemed excited.
Next day hung with Dash and we talked all sorts of far-off philosophy and I bought a few tapes: the "Cats" soundtrack, the "Annie" soundtrack, Ace of Base, and "Mozart's Greatest Hits." The Mozart tape, in addition to that phenomenal title, had a supremely psychedelic cover. Somebody had taken a Mozart bust and painted it in various vibrant splashes of primary color. Whoa, psychedelic.
I woke that morning and saw my Cincinnati gig had not been listed with the club. Oh well, fuck that. So instead drove all the way East, dipping my toes in the frigid Atlantic at North Carolina's phenomenal Outer Banks. Went to the lost colony of Roanoke.
Kept driving, drove all night and hit Philly about midnight. The Phillies had just won their way into the world series and everybody seemed in the mood for screaming. I saw a Wendy's parking lot overflowing with excitement.
Reached Quentin's, drank some beers and passed out. Next morning headed across the river to Camden, New Jersey, the unofficial "shittiest place in America." Seems Walt Whitman had lived his final years there, writing the deathbed draft of "Leaves of Grass." Quentin and I drove there but the place was locked and shuttered. A very sketchy crackhead outside offered to be our tour guide. I refused and he started hugging me in a way that was not just super affectionate. Plus the dude stank. He asked for a dollar, I said no, then he asked for two dollars, I said no, then he asked for five. I always thought that begging negotiations went the opposite way. He started yelling obescenities as we drove away. So we instead went to Walt Whitman's tomb / mausaleum. Impressive. The plaque mentioned something along the lines of, "Don't miss me when I'm gone, you'll be treading your bootheels upon my body." Of course, his body was encased in a huge stone mausaleum, so we climbed on top and stomped our feet around. Just like Walt would've wanted.
Quentin kindly offered to let me stay in the third floor of his home, where he's got all varieties of amazing instruments and books and pictures on the walls and an old Tascam 4track. I wrote and recorded a song called "Til the Sun Burns No More," which might end up alright. Then some aimless bass solos, and a seriously damaged version of Kris Kristofferson's "Help Me Make it Through the Night." I don't think that one'll see the light of day.
Today woke early and wandered along the Deleware River, walked past Penn Treaty Park and some casinos under construction and on into old town with its plaques and heavy history. Philadelphia seems to me such a fine juxtaposition: all the historical sites, with their plaques and history held under glass and fine distinction and stately upkeep, running side by side with modern Philadelphia-- trash strewn streets, folks yelling at each other, urban decay, and the general chaos of 21st century life. Nothing deflates all the high-falutin' history like a little dose of real-life. Perhaps just a reminder that the history is still being written.
Stopped by the studio where Quentin's mixing a record for a Danish band. Marvelled at all the beautiful outboard gear. Kept walking. Just finished listening to Randy Newman's first record. Produced by Van Dyke Parks. Ahhhh.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I'd decided to tour alone just because I really really enjoy alone time and long drives. Plus in order to make the music work alone, I knew I would have to innovate somehow, create something new. So the tour was a deadline for me, a call to action.
I created a 34 minute long super8 film with songs spread throughout. It's worked fairly well thus far.
Thanks thus far to Cley and Ryan Chavez and the Young Mammals in Houston. They let us on the bill at Mango's. Did I mention that's the best venue name ever? I actually ordered a salad from there. Imagine ordering a salad at Emo's. Probably served in an ash tray.
We were originally scheduled to play the aftershow for Widespread Panic, but it fell through in a bizarre twist of fate and bad vibes. So as not to continue the cycle, I will refrain from disclosing details, but let's just say nobody left Last Concert Cafe happy. In the end, it all worked out, so who cares.
Next day I continued on solo, drove all day to New Orleans. Ate a shrimp po-boy. Fried clumps covered in mayo in a massive white bread roll. Richard Simmons is rolling in his grave. Wait, is Richard Simmons dead? I guess he just stopped making info-mercials.
Played a show to a mostly confused crowd at Circle Bar. I was not sure how well it would go over, considering they were jamming Thin Lizzy's "Jailbreak" when I walked in. Not to mention how drunk everyone is in New Orleans. There was this dude at the end of the bar at Buster's (where I ordered my po-boy) who was falling off his stool and yelling obscenities at the bartender. The bartender was coughing something nasty. All in all, a pleasant dining experience.
Back at the Circle Bar, I played with Bionica, a jazz fusion group with very good musicians but perhaps something of a mismatch with my tunes. Who knows. They were very nice and we talked for a bit afterwards. I had planned on driving on up into Mississippi to camp on Pontchatrain, but a few nice folks offered me their couch and I gladly accepted and when they made me an amazing fresh mozzarella and pesto sandwich later, I accepted that too.
Woke next morning at 7am and hit the road with no haste. 14 hour drive to Lexington, KY. I drank 2 coffees, 2 red bulls, and 3 all natural energy drinks. Arrived in Lexington feeling dead and mostly confused. But played a killer show with City Center at an art gallery. Many people bought merch, many people had awesome compliments. At this moment I knew that this tour, with its unorthodox multi-media approach, was working and would only get better.
Have taken a few photos but I do not have a digital. Will try to pick up a cheap one to upload some photos. Thanks for reading.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Leaving today on a 2 week tour. Tonight playing an afterparty for The Allman Brothers/Widespread Panic show, which I am excited about. Whole new crowd.
Touring mostly by myself, but also playing with the band in Houston. Willis is flying up to meet me in Boston and we're driving down together.
The tour's named after a special edition DVD I just finished. Created a 34 minute long music video using super8 footage and ambient tracks. Then did a live performance on top, me and acoustic guitar. It's pretty special and will be available at shows for a negotiably low price.
I will be performing solo along with the video, projected onto me and through two t.v.s. It will be very special and I hope you can come out if I am passing through your area. I will also have new tshirts that I screenprinted myself. New designs on very nice American Apparel shirts. And also some hoodies to brace yourself against oncoming winter.
I hope to see you on the road. Travelling alone is always interesting. Makes you much more attuned to the kindness of strangers.
I will try to keep the blog updated along the way.
here are the dates:
Oct 17 2009 10:00P -- houston
@ Last Concert Cafe -- Afterparty for Allman Brothers / Widespread Panic ?!?!?!
Oct 18 2009 9:00P -- New Orleans
@ Circle Bar w/ Sun Hotel
Oct 19 2009 8:00P -- Lexington, Kentucky
@ Hop Hop Gallery w/ City Center, Idiot Glee -- ALL AGES
Oct 20 2009 9:00P -- chapel hill, North Carolina
@the nightlight w/ city center
Oct 21 2009 9:00P -- cincinnati
@the comet bar
Oct 24 2009 8:00P -- new haven
Oct 26 2009 9:00P -- Brooklyn
@ Goodbye Blue Mondays
Oct 27 2009 9:00P -- Brooklyn
Death by Audio w/ Green Grocer and Sewing Machines crooklyn
Oct 28 2009 10:00P -- Philadelphia
Oct 29 2009 7:00P -- Louisville, Kentucky
@Skull Alley, w/ Joe Manning, Spirits of the Red City, Elephant Micah
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
I was just in South Padre Island mastering a new album. What a glorious scene... a long drive to the north end of the island takes you far far away from all the strip malls, tourist shops, screeching cars, boogie boards, gas stations. Just you and the beach and some trash and your thoughts. Tommy and I pulled out blankets from the car and hiked up into the dunes. Slept out under the stars and full moon, the waves crashing and the night glittering against the ocean's rippling mass. Whiskey until we could not stay awake longer, then off to the mastering session.
The album itself may or may not turn out properly. And if it does, not sure if it will be released, or how. I suppose if the demand is strong enough, the music will eventually see the light of day.
Lots of other music coming up, though. Finishing up a couple more albums. I suppose similar dilemmas will present themselves as this other music gets finished. Considering some sort of all-encompassing custom-built box for all this material. Again, demand will determine much of what gets produced.
In other news, considering a tour up the East coast this fall. Anybody interested in playing music with us or helping out should get in touch. We enjoy hoedowns, raves, camp-outs, big fancy clubs, large backstage sandwich spreads, and drink tickets.
Here is a copy of our rider, if you'd like to take a look:
Friday, July 31, 2009
insight into the process of attempting to answer interview questions ---
i want to do an interview that's all just grunt responses. and depending on the pitch and length of the grunt, and of course the context, meaning would be conveyed.
daily texan interview
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
much music being made at Baby Blue. Josh is taking lots of photos documenting it all.
Here is the photoset I made to hold Baby Blue photos. These particular photos are stills from a VHS tape.
I will upload more photos as I get them and update on the progress of our studio work.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
So we returned from a triumphant tour and have returned to the grind of our normal lives. I (Bill) have been prepping a couple of new albums for release. Bought a 1/4" 2track tape machine for mixing and I really like how it sounds. So putting the final touches on a number of songs. Look for a new release in the fall of 2009.
We have a few shows coming up, playing at The Parish on August 14th with Balmoreah and Ume, a studio party at Baby Blue on July 31st, September 4th at Emo's with Mothfight, and probably some more surprises. Working on a quiet show with Bosque Brown, Jesse Woods and Dana Falconberry.
Been sharing the Baby Blue studio with Josh Duke, who has been "producing" / recording the new album by Red Hunter, a.k.a. Peter and the Wolf. Their album is going to be fantastic. Josh is also a great photographer and has set up a darkroom in the studio. He made prints of some tour photos and he also did a blow-up for our next album cover.
The next release will be on cassette - "Decay," our long lost drone album, mastered by the esteemed James Plotkin.. Our friend Tommy scored us a free tape duplicator from the UT A/V library. It's beautiful. So look for that soon. There will only be around 20 copies made, perhaps with a digital release as well, who knows.
For more info, please check our myspace page. Yes, I know, myspace is soooo over, and everyone and their mom is now doing facebook. Now we look on Myspace as "the good old days." Yikes.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
The tour felt so good, like a culmination of all the best aspects of previous tours. A good feeling held out through the whole affair. After playing the East Bay, we drove down to L.A. and played at the excellent all-vinyl shop Origami Records, located right next to the Echo. Great store, great people. We drank a few beers and tried to swallow our delirium. Swallowed some mega-burritos and headed to Noah's co-op over in Highland Park. Great dude doing something very cool. I recommend checking out his operation if you're so inclined.
Next day, we choked down some coffee and choked back our hangovers and drove east into Joshua Tree National Park, for our final mellow evening together. An epic landscape that felt completely foreign. Like we were some strange space travelers or Ray Bradbury characters from "The Martian Chronicles" or maybe just tiny little blips of life. You get out there and feel overwhelmed and insignificant, in the best way possible. The beauty consumes you. The bizarre rolls and undulations of the rock are each perfect in their sharp folds and drops and small pockets of life. We hiked straight into the park, no trail at all, just directly towards the setting sun. Found a perfect campsite, a sunken hole surrounded on all sides by massive granite walls. We built a fire and watched the red play on the walls of our refuge and all felt perfect. Drank an entire bottle of whiskey and relived the beauty of all we'd just done. Cooked another epic batch of hobo hash and drank beers and howled at the moon as it rose above the lips of our rock-rimmed amphitheater.
Woke the next morning to Sam stoking the flames of our previous night's fire. He made us some fine fine dark coffee that seemed to soak into my brain and blood, sponge-like. Hiked back towards the rising sun and, with minimal confusion, arrived back at the van, ready for our final ride home.
Drove all day, drove, drove, drove. Passed by the site where our veggie oil wagon had broken down on the previous tour. Relived old memories. Ah, the pain.
Stopped in Arizona at a cooler-than-normal gas station. The lady sweeping the floor told me they had no microwave. She smiled and seemed like the kindest gas station floor sweeper I'd ever met. I gave her a c.d. Actually, I wimped out and Sam gave it to her, but no matter. It was my intention to give it to her. She invited us to dinner and we accepted; drove to her house and she cooked us tater tots and veggie burgers and we played her a short acoustic concert in her dining room. She'd come to the area to attend a Buddhist meditation "college" called Diamond Mountain and I thought that was about the best name possible for a Buddhist meditation college, or any college at all, or anything really.
Then drove further east, back into Texas, slept the night at Balmoreah State Park. Willis and I downed a bottle of red wine right before bed and he chucked it back up. The road has its perils.
Swam the next morning, cool blue water, a last dip, then a hard drive back to Austin and we all went our separate ways after drinking Lone Star Star tallboys in the mid-day ragin Austin swelter.
We have a few shows coming up and they will be good fun and we hope to see you there.
June 30th at Emo's with Wild Moccasins and The Sour Notes.
July 3rd party at Keith's house
July 4th, playing acoustic folk style out in Wimberley.
August 14th with Balmoreah and Ume at the Parish.
We will no doubt be having some parties at our studio to celebrate life in Austin. Details to come.... hope to see you there.
I started a photo set from our tour... a few images below. You can view the whole set here.
Hippies who hate hippies!