Amtrak perfected border-radius styling way way before instagram did.
And oh hello. I know it’s been a long time since I updated. I’m sometimes deliberate and private, perhaps to a fault. But it’s been a strange and busy 7 months. Anyway, hi. Will be writing more, more often.
Also, it’s been over a year and a half since I last posted this piece (which I basically gush over bi-annually). It’s one of my favorite bits of music, played here in the absolute right context, perhaps. Love. More.
françois couperin via anonymous youtuber:
“les baricades mistérieuses” (1717/2005)
First afternoon back today — walked along the piers on the west side.
And there’s that building, climbing up, marking our past.
And someone was flying a kite. Marking our present?
Turns out those perfectly imperfectly pitched flower pots I’ve been playing with for years can be useful for something besides music. Wait. What.
Finally had a day off (sort of), so I decided to pretend I’ve got a green thumb. [I really can't remember the last time I grew anything from a seed. 6th grade science class? That's terrible.] I filled up these old instruments and planted some tarragon, chives, marjoram, and a dwarf sunflower that seems a little ambitious for a small studio apartment with only north-facing windows…
Backstory — Last October I had about twenty flower pots of various pitches, spread out in constantly-evolving configurations on the floor — while writing this piece for some friends. Then hurricane Sandy hit, and I spent four days without electricity in my apartment. So I started having fun with my little flower pot setup, and I made a new cover song each day. [I'm totally obsessed with the youtube cover song culture... But this was my first, and maybe last, contribution to the genre.]
Anyway, farewell to the flower pots (in a way). New season. Fewer hurricanes.
And I’m going to geek out and share with you my carrot/lamb stew recipe if that marjoram ever emerges.
Want more flower pot music? The first piece involving clay pots that I ever saw/heard was Frederic Rzewski’s To the Earth, and shortly after, David Lang’s so called laws of nature. Then there was Lou Harrison, John Cage, Dan Trueman’s beautiful Five (and a half) Gardens…
Sketch from a January rehearsal with Meshell Ndegeocello at BAM (with John Cale). Her rendition of this Nico song is one of the greatest covers I’ve ever heard/seen. Just her presence there that day reminded me what music should be and should mean.
Note: It’s been a while. And while I haven’t actually fixed my elusive wp-config bug, I’ve found a work-around. In the meantime, I’m digging a bit into chuck. #codeproblems #ihavenoideawhatimdoing #iliketrying #timeforahamburger
And this was one of my favorite moments of last summer, which may serve to summarize the year. Some lovely chords, in the rain, outside, under a tarp, with a grand piano. (This is actually a video I took with my phone — of Dustin O’Halloran, of A Winged Victory for the Sullen, playing through a rained-out moment of our soundcheck at Millenium Park in Chicago.)
Sorry to have been on hiatus a bit here. Tons of things happened over the past few months, and I’ve got some fun [backlogged] photo and audio. Soon!
But biggest reason for not updating — I can’t seem to hack my way through some php problem that’s screwing with my wordpress. I built the theme a few years ago, and now it’s broken (because I just make it up as I go along…). If you’re good with this stuff, drop me a line! We can be coding buddies and I’ll buy you fancy seasonally spiced coffee.
Oh, and hello, ROOMFUL OF TEETH is releasing our album next week! (Except it’s already streaming as album-of-the-week on Q2, and there’s been quite a bit of nice press from NPR about it already.) And many thanks, John Schaefer, for the great show about one of my favorite things in the world, baroque dance…
Recorded some vocals for a friend yesterday in a studio on N. 3rd in Brooklyn. It turned out to be in one of those magical buildings with a nondescript exterior that quietly harbors dozens of little (and big) businesses and artists plugging along, each one having inhabited their rectangular plot of concrete in a completely different way. Musicians, chocolate makers, book printers, costume designers, small magazines — all stuffed together, sharing musty, winding cement hallways that smell like decades of artisanal manufacturing and questionable plumbing. I love these places in New York because they’re as close to my dream of meeting a real elf as I’ll ever get. (My favorite of these is a building on Broadway near Union Sq, where on one floor there was a huge room filled with costumes and dresses hanging from the rafters, hovering above the long tables of old Russian seamsters and seamstresses working away. Sometimes the door would be open as I walked by and I’d get to peek in for a second before someone came.)
Yesterday’s adventure led to the building where the Mast Brothers make their famous chocolate, just around the corner from our recording studio. Cool…
a few days on the appalachian trail last week with family —
around rhododendron gap in sw virginia