Live Music 2015

These are the musicians I saw play live in 2015. Listed in a random order. Some of them were amazing, some of them were a bit disappointing, mostly they were great. I’m sure I’m forgetting a few shows, I’ll come back and add them as I remember.

I paid to see most of these people even though some of them are friends and/or I have connections to get me free tickets. I chose to pay because I know that at every level ticket sales are important. Some of these people put me on their guest list and I still paid and/or made sure to buy merch. Last year was a more financially stable one for me so I was happy to be in a place where I could afford to support friends and inspirations.

Hope I get to see even more live music in 2016. Hope you do too.

Peaches
PWR BTTM
FKA Twigs
Joanna Newsom
Zola Jesus
Flap!
James Grim
Björk
Zoe Boekbinder
Dev Hynes
The Mast
PicturePlane
tUnE-yArDs
VOWWS
Mary Ocher
Luna
Delysia LaChatte (highlight of Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic)
SQÜRL
Alec Head
Mal Blum
YACHT
St. Vincent
Yaeji
Abbi Press
David Byrne
Ford Theatre Reunion
Hank and Cupcakes
OKA
TENDERFANG
Matt Wicking
Splish (mermaid musical w/ killer live band)
Joelistics
Kira Puru
Agent Cleave
Jen Kingwell
Tanzer
Greg Good
Jaye Bartell
Emilyn Brodsky

(I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch… will add as I remember.)

Sister Magic is out Today

Four new songs with my old band, Vermillion Lies, are out today. Get “Sister Magic” on bandcamp

Alys Arden and THE CASQUETTE GIRLS

I recently met Alys Arden, a native New Orleanian and writer of witchy vampire fiction. We got along famously, in part because both of us have fantastically colored hair and share interests in witchery and being irreverent and witty. Alys is smart and great and when she asked me to make music for her book trailers I said YES! because… Yes!

Her book “The Casquette Girls” comes out today! You can order here on AMAZON.

A Renewal of Excitement

I started recording my next album last week. I wasn’t sure I was ready. Maybe I needed more time? Maybe I was investing too much money too early? Maybe I wouldn’t be able to play my instruments? Maybe my songs suck?

But I put down my deposit and I kept the studio days. Just two of them to start. Two days for two songs.

I’m so glad I kept those days, believed in myself, in my new drummer, in the recording process.

I am excited again. So excited. More excited than I have been for years. Probably since recording my last album.

Creation is exhilarating. I feel so good. I keep listening to the songs on repeat. They’re the best.

These two songs have renewed my faith in art. My art.

My joy to create and play and share is my most precious commodity. That joy gets lost when I spend too much time promoting (an unfortunately necessary process if I want to fund my art) but it’s worth it, for this, for these songs. Yes.

If you also lose your joy when you promote, know you aren’t alone. Art sustains us, advertising drains us. Well… some of us. Others love the inverse.

But those of us who just want to make and make and make and share and share and share — we get lost in the *job* aspects of the independent artist’s life.

Don’t get lost.

Make art.

recording

New Energy

We took the stage, excited, nervous. We’d never played together before. I’d been rehearsing with the drummer, Nick, once or twice a week for a month, and had rehearsed once with Sand, the bass player, but this was our first show together. Nick and Sand shook hands. We set up, we soundchecked, we played.

We rocked.

We really did. It was loud and fun and energetic and amazing. We sounded tight and together and … like a real band.

my band

I love them.

Jim was doing his live projections. The audience, small as it was, went wild.

For our last song – my newest song – I got down off the stage, away from the glaring lights, to dance in the audience and I could see people’s beaming faces.

This energy is what makes my life worthwhile. To play live, to cast the spell, to communicate this ephemeral magic with whoever is in the room. This is the essence of why I do what I do.

After our set the promoter came to hug me – he’s seen me before, backed my Kickstarters, he already loves what I do, but this time he was ecstatic. “Congratulations!” he said “I’m so excited for your new band! You sounded amazing!”

A young man in the audience approached me, “I think your music makes people horny. I made out with two people during your set and saw other people making out,” he thought for a moment and added, “that’s something the indie scene is really missing.”

People of Earth, I am so happy to fill this niche.

My job is to make you feel. Any feels. And if turned-on is what you are missing in your music scene, then I am here for you.

Come to my shows, fall under the spell, make out!

Electronic Music is Folk Music

electronic

Electronic music is folk music.

Before the term “folk music” crystallized into a genre evoking strumming acoustic guitars and sing-a-longs, it meant the music made by the folk, the people, for their own enjoyment, and most often without having studied music.

These days, what we call “folk music,” with the lovely clean vocals and the clear-ringing strums of guitars is quite expensive to produce. Sure, you can buy a decent guitar for a few hundred dollars (less if you get lucky) and singing is free, but recording is not free, and recording acoustic sounds at the world-class, radio-ready levels that we’ve all become accustomed to, requires perfectly matched microphone pairs, absolutely silent sound-proofed rooms, vocal microphones, engineers, and time. Lots of time.

As a genre, “folk music” is quite anachronistic, it’s lovely, but it’s been done.  Which is not to say that it isn’t worth doing more. I love what we call folk music and I’ll be strumming my guitar until you pry it from my cold hands. It’s just that what we call folk music isn’t current. But folk are current and I think whatever we call folk music should be current — very current, very now.

Strumming guitars? Not so now. Computer music? Very now.

Electronic music is the music made by the masses, for their own enjoyment. Electronic music is the cheapest music to make, record, and distribute in our current culture.

Billions of people in our world have access to computers and anyone with a smart phone or computer can make, record, and distribute their own music, for free, right now. All day, every day. No studio, no rehearsing, no help. With electronic music there is no need to buy a specialized tool (a guitar, or even a keyboard). The only thing you need is what you already have — your multi-tool (computer) and your creativity (abundant).

Folk is current, folk is urgent, folk is free.

Not that I’m actually calling for a re-interpretation of a genre. Lordy would that be a pointless battle. I just like to think about things. I also like to make music, lots of it.

So I’ll grab my guitar or my computer and make some folk music.

The Infinite Minute is Complete

The Infinite Minute

Last week I wrote song #169 on The Infinite Minute Album. This has been a great process. It’s been done for a week and I still wake up every morning thinking, I have to write more one-minute songs today! And while I’m happy to be done, I’m also missing the process. Luckily I have many more projects to work on.

You can listen for free here:

The album can be downloaded on bandcamp – free for those who backed the Kickstarter – $169 for everyone else.

At some point the album will disappear from the internet. Ephemera is an important part of my process. Some things are made to last and some things are made to come and go, to fade away. So listen now, and keep your download safe.

And now I’m on to the next project!

xx

Girl in The Strikezone

On Wednesday October 16th I will be presenting my new project “Girl in The Strikezone” at the #Artstech Demo Day in NYC.

Click here to get tickets: http://www.meetup.com

GIRL IN THE STRIKEZONE: a hallucination by writer Warren Ellis and musician Kim Boekbinder, tells of a near future in which every citizen is the subject of a drone’s devotions.

Warren Ellis is providing original narrative. Kim Boekbinder is composing songs and instrumentals using data-bent text and images relating to drone warfare and surveillance.

 

Text by Warren Ellis  http://www.warrenellis.com

Music by Kim Boekbinder  http://www.theimpossiblegirl.com

I Have Your Heart

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!

 


 
I’m very proud and happy and thankful to have worked with the incredibly talented Molly Crabapple and Jim Batt.
 

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

My First Comic!

 

 

Download it now. It is free (or pay what you want.) And it is really really really really good.

Collaborations unfold in surprising ways. I’ve always been interested in comics. When I was a teenager I wrote and drew several and if I ever dig them out of storage I will share them with you. My main character was called Super Vague, she was a punk goth bad ass who did, you know… stuff. I’ve read many comics and befriended several (very talented) comics makers though I don’t call myself a comics nerd because I don’t have a collection of my own or follow any comics or creators in particular. But last year Jim Batt pointed me towards The Secret Knots which is a really wonderful webcomic by Chilean author/artist named Juan Santapau.

In June I wrote to Juan. I told him how much I enjoyed his work and that if he ever needed music for a story he was working on I’d be happy to write something for his story. Juan thought that was pretty interesting and wrote me back the next day saying that he liked my album and we should stay in touch. Later that day he sent me the outline of the story which was to become “Music for Stray Days.”

When I originally contacted him I thought I might write some instrumental music, something that went along in the background. I never expected him to write a story about a song but I loved the story and set to work on the song right away. The challenge was to write something catchy, something that would get stuck the heads of an entire population. But also something beautiful, ethereal, and compelling. And catchy is not always all of those things.

I finished writing the song on September 16th and began the recording process a few weeks later. The guitar and voice tracks were laid down in October. I then asked Meredith Yayanos, a wonderful violin and theremin player (and editor of COILHOUSE Blog and Magazine) to add a violin part. Meredith added 17 violin parts! Creating a breathtaking symphony of strings that swell and break like a tide of sound.  She recorded her parts in New Zealand and sent the files through the magical internet.

I also put out the call for people to sing along to the chorus of a secret project and released a 15 second clip of the song for people to sing along to. 16 people sent their parts in.

Chorus voices by:

Alex Marteen, Andrea Kaplan, Carl Salbacka, Caroline “Dirty Carrie” Willis, Daryl Davis, Helen Perris, Holly Caldwell, Ian Gazzoti, Lisa Waters, Lisa Scrivner, Lizzie Westbrook, Myrrh Larsen, Nate Chambers, Serpa Sas, Viki Ostrovsky, and  Wayne Watrach.

As the song unfolded and I became involved and enraptured by the Occupy Wall Street movement I began to feel that the song, written one day before OWS began, was a wonderful soundtrack – not to the movement, but to the feeling of compassion and awakening that I was seeing in the world. This feeling ebbs and flows now in the difficult times, but I still feel hope.

In November I finished mixing and mastering the song as Juan was finishing up the final art for the comic.

I love this collaboration. Meredith did such a fantastic job making the song cinematic and extra magicalicious. Juan’s work is really inspiring, be sure to read his other stories:  www.thesecretknots.com

The title to this blog is “My FIRST Webcomic” because now I want to make more. This is just the first. I love storytelling and I want to keep doing it with pictures and words and music and drawings and well, any way I can. Forever.