Things are brewing nicely around here. The leaves of album #4 have dropped into the water. It’s ambitious, this record, on pretty much every front; at times I already feel I’m in over my head but in that exhilarating way, like falling in love with someone way out of your league.More on all that later. For now, if it would please you to check out the following:
Ari Hest’s 52. He’s recording and releasing one new song a week for all of 2008; you can
subscribe to the series or get one song at a time. Ari could easily coast on the strength of his voice alone, but the man has a real songwriter’s knack for melody, and you’d be hard pressed to believe he’s producing these beautiful tracks alone in his living room. Did I mention that he doesn’t have any formal music training, and that he’s learning how to engineer and mix as he goes? The Ivy League’s got nothing on the community of overachievers I find myself in these days.The New York Times has launched a
group blog about the songwriting process. Current contributors include Suzanne Vega, Roseanne Cash and Andrew Bird—another one of those okay-either-I-quit-music-or-I-learn-how-to-be-like-THAT artists, for me.>…I’ve come to believe that recording and playing live are two completely different animals. Live shows are adrenaline-fueled and spontaneous: if you want to capture that then you should put out a live show recording. But the kind of record you want to listen to over and over again in your bedroom or car is something else—a carefully carved piece of sound…The only thing that separates a mess of seemingly disparate observations and a song is a moment of excessive confidence. As time goes on words and ideas begin to catch and gather around the original suspiciously arbitrary seeds of inspiration.- Andrew Bird,
“Natural History”Project Vote Smart shows the Congressional voting records of all U.S. presidential candidates.
Open Secrets chronicles their campaign financing.Saw amazing live shows recently:
Kaki King circled home on her world tour to play at Bowery Ballroom, her set veering from crackly (locomotive fingerpicking, German metal) to cloudy (looped lap steel) and back again with ease, her band somehow locked-in and loose at the same time.
Noe Venable played a gorgeous CD release concert at the Zipper Factory, with almost of all the musicians on
The Summer Storm Journals on stage together: trumpet, violin, contrabass, marimba. Noe feels like a songwriter of another age, whether past or future I can’t tell—her lyrics have the weight of myth, and the music sounds like folk songs from an undiscovered country.>I have worn steep heels
and a dress too tight
I have pressed my life
against sharpened things
and bled sentences
and shed innocence
like unwanted skin
in the woods part of when- Noe Venable,
“Woods Part of When”
Though at first I declared that it was about the silliest thing I’d ever seen, right up there with those SuperPoke! and Which Ninja Turtle Are You? apps on Facebook, I confess: I am now on
Twitter. You can
follow me if you like.Finally, here’s the first seed of a new song. Well, “new” in the sense that I’ve never played it in public; this loop has been sitting on my computer since last June. It’s since grown into a five-minute dissertation, which will appear in all its overwrought glory on the next album.no gringo (original loop)
Log in to alivenotdead.com with one of these trusted providers
NOTE: Users of the original website please Click here to reactivate your account.
New users - Join the alivenotdead.comcommunity instantly by confirming your identity with a trusted authentication service.
Returning users - Please use with the same authentication service to login to your alivenotdead.com account.
First time users can create a new account from scratch by authenticate using any of the following trusted services:
WARNING: If you disconnect all your social media accounts your profile will be locked and you will not be able to access it again. If you want to keep your page, please add another social media account and then remove this one.
If you understand the risks, click this box to deauthorize your account.