Photo by Clayton Cubitt
Head Bitch In Charge hits the web on Friday, June 30th!
Photo by Clayton Cubitt
Head Bitch In Charge hits the web on Friday, June 30th!
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.
Delysia LaChatte (highlight of Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic)
Ford Theatre Reunion
Hank and Cupcakes
Splish (mermaid musical w/ killer live band)
(I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch… will add as I remember.)
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.
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.
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 really did. It was loud and fun and energetic and amazing. We sounded tight and together and … like a real 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.
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.
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!
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
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