“A cloud fitted with an iron scaffold,” wrote Marc Weidenbaum of disquiet.com on hearing the opening track of my 2013 record transient lines. As Marc speaks in fractals, in describing that song, he captured my songwriting and composing adventure. The “cloud” creates flights of spaced-out fancy; the “iron scaffold” anchors a love and reverence for “turn the radio up” songs. Where meaning and melody meet is my dream state.
“Genre” is for marketing. I believe in style. In a composition, what’s framed out is often more critical than what’s framed. Music, writing, photography – even grilling an asparagus: all adventures in composition.
In the end, you get three chords and three changes in rock ‘n roll. I try to make the most of them.
Soaring melodies and big hooks seduce me – but of late (you know, with ‘maturity’), I’ll try on any hat, styles of the day be damned. So, ambient, dance, shoegaze, field recordings, sound manipulations, and spoken word tracks interweave my rock and pop tracks.
My first official release, Windfall, arrived in 2004 to nano-universal acclaim.
A dozen records later, my music’s scattered across all the usual suspect platforms:
I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to free-form radio station WFMU and their brilliant Free Music Archive, where a few curators invited me to post my recent records a few years ago. My tracks there have garnered thousands of spins and downloads, so it’s now impossible for me to consider I write in a vacuum. Plenty of other creative meta-pitfalls to fall into, of course, but at least that one’s ruled out.
Also want to shout-out to the Disquiet Junto, into which intermittent deep dives over the last five years rejuvenated my love for sound, technology, songwriting, collaboration and, most important, listening. A little more about my experience with the Junto is here.
Time never meditates; rivers never hesitate. My home base of New York City provides endless raw material for lyrical and sonic adventures, but with determined regularity, I leave behind the city’s relentless din, high culture and low squalor – to try to find the other side of the sun, and true starry skies. I do get Orion, Polaris, Venus, Mars and even Jupiter on clear Gotham winter nights, however, so I’m not 100% disoriented and directionless if I can’t escape Brooklyn for a while.
Creativity’s blessing is to bring spirituality through expression.
Enjoy life, put faith in others only after extreme circumspection – and, most important, never lose faith in yourself.
“A cloud fitted with an iron scaffold…”
Marc Weidenbaum / disquiet.com
“A groovy intergalactic beach party…”
Josh Matthews / Blue Man Group, After School Special, The Tell
Drew Barrymore / Whip It, Grey Gardens, E.T.
“✭✭✭✭ …for once [an] artist… backs up the weight [of their bold presence] with lyrical substance.”
“Really really fine…”
Liz Berg / WFMU
“…danceable and feelable…”
Kees de Groot / Roofhare
Kurt Anderson / Studio360, NPR
“Up my alley…”
Ellen Page / Whip It, Juno
“Soaring and atmospheric… I wish I lived in a world where PSAs sounded like this.”
Rob Walker / Unconsumption, New York Times
“So good, I just had to collaborate…”
Lee Rosevere / Happy Puppy Records, CBC
“Download the magic…”
K.L. Sealegs / CFRC
“Beautiful and imaginative tales to absorb.”
Charles Stepczyk / Insomnia Radio
Beat The Indie Drum
Fabien – 2015 Peekamoose Custom M2
Jolie – 2000 Gibson ES-335 DOT reissue
Ursula – 1985 Gibson Les Paul Studio
Uncle – 1934 Gibson L-1
Coyote – 2018 Seagull Entourage Rustic Concert Hall
Ford – 1988 Ovation Custom Balladeer
It’s ridiculous that war is “declared” whereas peace must be “negotiated.”
Los Angeles, USA, 2012
Credit: Cat Thomas