In collaboration with writer/illustrator Molly Crabapple, and filmmaker Jim Batt. We’ve been making these political explainer videos for Fusion.net.
It’s official: I am a professional sound designer. I direct and record the narration and make the music and sounds you hear in the background. And I get to work with two of my favorite collaborators: Molly Crabapple and Jim Batt.
Molly Crabapple explains “Broken Windows” policing in this new time-lapse illustration video. Directed by Jim Batt.
The Washington Post has run a very lovely piece about the animation I did with Molly Crabapple and Jim Batt. The story also includes a bunch of history of how Jim and I fell in love while working on the project. READ IT HERE
A personalized and signed gift-card and pre-order for my album, “The Sky is Calling.”
An early x-mas gift: Tickets to my San Francisco show on Dec. 13th.
T-shirts and DVDs for “I Have Your Heart”, the animation by me, Molly Crabapple, & Jim Batt. SELLING FAST
This amazing silk screen print by Molly Crabapple
Spooky chamber music by Meredith Yayanos. So beautiful.
Vagina Dentata underwear by Melissa Dowell
CAPES! Everyone needs a cape. Or two. Or three.
High-quality, handmade jackets by my gorgeous friend Bex
And last, but certainly not least, the gift of freedom: The Rolling Jubilee purchases defaulted medical debt, and then forgives it, freeing people from the burden of debt. Amazing.
Ladies and gentlemen! The animation we have been working on for over 2 years is done and gorgeous! Be sure to watch it full screen in HD and then share, share, share!
It got premiered on BoingBoing.net yesterday – head over there for some behind the scenes photos. And check out the website here: www.ihaveyourheart.com and if you want some wonderful merchandise related to the film go here: http://bit.ly/TUOtxh
Limited Edition art print by Molly Crabapple here
I came to New York for a show and a visit in January 2010. While hanging out with Molly Crabapple she suggested I move into her apartment in Williamsburg as her roommate was leaving and she had a few months to go on the lease. Since we were doing a webcast while she asked me she put it to an internet vote. NYC came out favorably. The rent was cheap. I was feeling adventurous. I said yes. I was in New York from mid March to June of 2010 and made a conscious decision to be in a “YES” mind frame. I kept myself open to possibilities, stretched myself to go out more, and talked to strangers – two of whom became a life changing friends.
New York is amazing. It is the best city. Rather, it is the best at being a city. I love a lot of places and none so far has been able to keep me for long. But New York is a singular place. A gigantic maelstrom of an organism that eats itself daily. And being in that crazy maw, being consumed by the energy of the city is a feeling like no other. The motion, the grind, the ever present culture, art, music, madness. Whatever you want you can have in New York. And you can have it delivered any time of day or night. The speed of the city is intense, too intense for many, but it was the first place I’d ever been where my ambition, my drive to be constantly DOING, was not out of place. In New York I didn’t have to convince people to do things, or explain why, or pull teeth, or leave people behind as I moved on to do things. New York was ready and willing to DO and make and see and dance and play.
The best of the best come to New York, whether to live or to visit/work for a short time. Every room contains at least one genius, one person pushing their field. Someone who will blow your mind in a simple conversation. I’ve met rockstars, actors, famous authors, ground breaking engineers, nuclear physicists, and amazing artists in the smallest, most unassuming places.
New York pushes people to be their best. And it breaks people too. There is only one speed and if you can’t keep up then you risk being ground into dust. All the glittering lights are run on the blood, sweat, and tears of a population who will never bask in their glow. And the ornate facades are likely to crumble or fade if inspected too closely.
And it’s expensive. New York will suck all of the money out of your wallet. There are certainly cheap things, ways to live inexpensively, but if you want to partake of the best New York has to offer – which is EVERYTHING – then even $3 a pop it will add up quickly.
In New York I learned that I could be happy. I was not in a relationship, I didn’t have any money, my career was at a standstill while I was recording my album. But I was happy. And most importantly I was happy independently of being in love, being financially stable, or having career success. I am not always happy, but remembering the time when I was helps lead me back to that place. I’m not sure how much the city had to do with my small enlightenment but that’s where it happened.
So I started to write a love song for New York City and Molly wanted me to finish it and I didn’t for a long time because I was daunted by writing a song for such a grand place. But Molly is very good at getting what she wants, and poking me, and pushing me to do more and more and more. So I finally finished the song and finally recorded it. Someday I’d like to do a big band version. But I like this stripped down simple version too, because it’s a more honest reflection of my grit and glitter existence in the city of cities. Diamonds and champagne at night, cockroaches and broken glass for breakfast.
In the time that I’ve known Molly Crabapple we have collaborated a lot and I have watched her push herself and watched her art get better and better. She inspires me all the time. Just as this song is a love letter to New York it is a love letter to Molly. One of many I’m sure. She’s a fucking legend and I’m so lucky to know her and work with her.
In addition to that gorgeous print there is a limited edition t-shirt available. Gold ink on a black shirt in men’s and women’s styles. I would LOVE to sell everything by the end of the year. That would help me release the next song.
New York City
I want to live in a shoebox,
at the top of the world,
at the top of the food chain,
with all the beautiful girls.
I want to live in the city,
that never stops,
even when I’m at the bottom,
I’ll be at the top of,
New York, New York City.
It’s big and it’s dirty,
it runs too hot, too cold,
it’ll grind you down so hard
that even the young are old.
If you’ve got the ambition,
you can join the race,
but for every opportunity,
there’s one million others crowding for space in
New York, New York City.
You’ve got myths, you’ve got legends,
you’ve got the Chelsea Hotel,
if you ring the right bell boy,
he might even ring your bell.
When you’re feeling down and out,
and you can’t pay the rent,
there’s nothing a $58 martini,
won’t help you forget in
New York, New York City.
I want to live at Ground Zero,
of culture and fame,
I want everything that glitters,
and I want it to spell out my name.
I want to live in the city,
that never sleeps,
where even the shallows are
New York, New York City.
New York, New York City.
I’m not in New York right now though. I’m in Australia. Sneaking up on wombats.
I’ll tell you all about my Australia plans soon.
This is how it goes (or how it went for me) you start a band and you get in a car and you drive around the country many many many times until after a while people start coming to shows. And then more people come. And after a few years of this the empty rooms have become full rooms and you can afford things like food and rent.
Then your band breaks up.
Then you start over as a rocking solo artist and you drive around a little bit but nobody is coming to your shows and you know that you don’t have it in you to drive around the country again for three years. So in Portland Oregon you drink a lot of whiskey and re-invent the concept of touring.
You realize, from your years of experience (and by use of your vast intellect,) that touring is backwards.
Booking a gig and then promoting and hoping people will show up is crazy. CRAZY.
We don’t think of it as crazy because we take it for granted that crazy people (called musicians) all over the world will risk their livelihoods and happiness on the off chance that empty rooms will stop being empty and people will come to shows.
And then you realize that you are one of the crazy people. Have some more whiskey.
At this juncture, out of money and out of whiskey, you realize there are two options:
OPTION A) Quit touring, be a recording artist who never plays live. Or get a day job, nobody likes you anyway.
OPTION 2) Do something you don’t think anybody has ever done before at your level: pre-sell the concerts, the tour, the everything. You’ve got the fans, you know they support you, you raised $20,000 to record your album. SOMEBODY likes you!
You know you’re crazy anyway. Might as well do something crazy about this crazy situation.
Yeah. We know for all your mild mannered cuteness that what you really want to do is change the world.
So do it. One show at a time.
They’ve got your back.
I want to do this in other cities! Contact me to bring the show to your city: kim (at) kimboekbinder.com
I know a lot of amazing artists. And I love to collaborate. So when I started to think about how I would release my album I came up with the idea of having a unique illustration for each song. Some of the pieces were done with songs in mind, others were just various interpretations of, “The Impossible Girl.” This is the story of the art, the artists, how I know them, and what their art means to me. I’ll start at the beginning.
Travis Louie painted this gorgeous piece for the cover of my album. I met Travis through Molly Crabapple after he watched a webcast that Molly and I did. Travis is a true master, his rendering is astounding. What he calls a sketch others would call a masterpiece. He’s also just a wonderful person to be around, very easy to talk to; intelligent and interesting. I was very lucky to meet Travis when I did, to connect with him about art and music, and mostly to have him contribute such a beautiful piece of art for the cover of my album.
Tinkberbell is actually the bonus track. I vacillated back and forth about whether I should include this piece in the blog post, thinking that maybe I should keep the song as secret as it can be. In the end I decided to include it because I like this art a lot and want to tell the story.
Adrien van Viersen is a storyboard artist, illustrator, and film maker living in Vancouver, British Columbia (that’s in Canadia.) He works on big budget Hollywood films and dresses very well. He always has fancy shoes and nice hair. Once, while illustrating, he stabbed himself in the hand with a pencil – don’t let anyone tell you art is safe. We dated briefly and intensely years ago and have just reconnected. I’ve always loved his work and am so happy to have his art in my album. I think it goes with the song perfectly, something about the look on my face just evokes how the song makes me feel.
Bandcamp.com embeds the track art with the song, so when you play the song on your ipod you see the art. If you already bought the CD and need a download code please contact: impossiblemerch (at) gmail.com
Isn’t it strange that numbers are so important to us? The New Year rolls around and we feel a sense of defeat or triumph. We curse the old year and we reach for the promise of renewal that tomorrow offers.
Tomorrow is a new day, a new year. It is important. It will be epic. This will be THE YEAR. We turn our faces into the bright, shining hope that the numbers on the calendar are a spell that can evoke and bring forth a new life – maybe a little like the life we already have only shinier, happier, thinner, less smokey, more creative…
This year, I will be a better me. This year…
It’s silly, I tell myself. But I feel it. Feel the depression of the autumn sloughing off me, the dried snakeskin of last year is ready to fall away. I crouch, tensing muscles in anticipation, flicking a long tail of excitement as I wait for the clock to tell me it is time to pounce!
This year. This year I will be more. A bigger, brighter, incan-fucking-descent, unstoppable, irrepressible, undeniable force.
Just like last year.
I love New Year’s Eve. It doesn’t even matter what I do. I can be out at a party, I can be home alone. New Year’s, for me, is a wrapping up time. I lived last year. I did things. I feel a sense of accomplishment. And I am ready for the next year.
2010 was amazing for me, it brought me so many things, life altering, universe bending things. I worked really hard and got a lot done, met some of the best people of my life, and learned how to be happy.
Here’s a very short tour of “Fantastically Wonderous Things Kim did in 2010.”
Finished my very first solo album which was fully funded by YOU. Thank you!!!! It is so good. Produced by Sean Slade (Radiohead, Dresden Dolls,) engineered by Benny Grotto (Boston’s Producer of the Year,) made musically delicious by a small selection of wonderful musicians. I worked with a dream team, and we made a really dreamy album
Met and fell in friend love/deep collaboration frenzy with Molly Crabapple:
Made art for a sculpture show:
Moved to New York City:
Made amazing videos with BriAnna Olson:
Made amazing music videos with Jim Batt (more to come!) :
Met Peaches at one of my shows in Berlin. She said I was intense. Best compliment ever.
Got an assistant!!! Shannon, you make my life better.
Hugged a trumpet player:
And last, but certainly not least: I fell in love. The best ever love. With the best ever person. Ever. And we love you, too.