I am please to let you know that THE BOTH is announcing our record release and subsequent spring 2014 toooooooouriiiiiing!
Aimee Mann and I have a new thing you may or may not have heard about -THIS IS THAT THING – and now we are bringing it to YOU.
The Both – s/t LP out April 15 on Aimee’s very own Super Ego Records and Tapes!
Tour Dates and links here, but also at this more easily readable and very unassuming page *HERE*!!
Streaming a track called Milwaukee (now with *MORE* Bronze Fonz than ever) at RollingStone.com at some point on what may be today, January 23 but I don’t have the exact link yet and I don’t want to sit around waiting for it but trust me it’ll be there!
WE WILL SEE YOU WHERE YOU LIVE.
(or somewhere hopefully not too far from it)
Quick teaser of a new song of mine and Aimee Mann’s from our Troubador show. The first time we played this live, third time we played it all together EVER. Finished recording it tonight (8/10).
I’ll probably take this down in the AM if I remember because we’re still incubating!
…MOVED TO WEDNESDAY. All tickets will be honored.
As of 10:30 AM, no crazy storm conditions in NYC yet, but every river and canal around is slowly breaching its walls and gradually filling local streets. Ominous. Very spooky.
Thankfully Bowery made the responsible call in canceling tonight’s show. If you live within walking distance and were planning on coming, I’m sorry, and I hope you can make it on Wednesday. If you were planning on waiting to see what the weather was like before driving, I appreciate your commitment, but I’m also glad you won’t be risking your neck to come see Aimee and I play. If you were planning on taking the subway, well you have my sympathy – I was, too, and I don’t think it would have been fair to continue with the show, even if the sun had come out and the storm had completely passed us by, when so many potential ticket holders would’ve been denied access due to the public transportation stoppage.
So, best of a bad situation – hopefully Tuesday at Music Hall will go off without incident, and hopefully you can make it to the Bowery on Wednesday.
Look, I’m not gonna belabor it, but like most of the rest of us who grew up in the shadow of the Twin Towers, there’re still more than a few raw nerves surrounding so many of the many many things one might think about when remembering September 11, 2001. The weird thing is, I had actually just begun a brief summer love-affair with the Battery. I’d never really been moved to spend much time down there, but friends had started DJing at the Windows on the World bar up top, and so I was down there a little more frequently at night, which drove me to want to explore a little more during the day, and I grew to really enjoy the little spaces you could carve out for yourself in the park as it wound around from the World Financial Center to Castle Clinton as I did.
Fast forward a few months: my brother Danny and I were both at my parents’ house not far over the river into NJ at the same time, for some reason (I think he was still living in an old firehouse in what’s now called “East Williamsburg” back then), and I happened to notice in …Time Out (?) that Hugh Masekela was playing at the World Financial Center in, like, 45 minutes. Hugh and his music has been huge in my life since I discovered his funky, political, afro-beat, fuzzy psychedelic, and very very powerful vocal albums (mostly made after he’d already made a name for himself as a trumpeter) in the early 90s (“Mace and Grenades” was a staple of my early solo shows – me playing along with my own backing tracks I’d recorded to a 1/4″ reel to reel that I lugged around the country), and this would’ve been a big deal for me on any day, but as it was SUCH a beautiful day (only a couple of weeks before that other fateful day), it was something I couldn’t miss. So Danny and I jumped in his car, whipped into Hoboken and took the ferry over – both for time and for scenic value.
But instead of walking to the right from the ferry slip and running into the concert, we went a couple of blocks inland first and couldn’t find it. We walked almost all the way down to the Castle Clinton and back, stopping a park ranger, who had no idea what we were talking about, on the way, and could not, for the life of us figure out where the show was. Well, it was already a really lovely New York afternoon, so the only thing to properly cap it off for us at that point was to sit outside at a little bar and share a whiskey on the rocks; but as we clinked glasses, we heard a trumpet peal from somewhere in the distance.
A few dollars: TOSSED!
We ran in the direction of the sound, and found the atrium where the show was happening. And it was perfect. Up there, in his 70s, KILLING IT, as the kids say today, he played almost everything I could’ve wanted to hear, and I was moved to tears.
MAYBE I attach too much significance to this show, in retrospect, because of what happened next and the decade+ that we’ve spent slogging through the mire since, but I don’t think so. I think it remains so intense and amazing to me as much, if not more, because of Hugh, himself, than any of the meta data clogging up the skies in our memory…
So, anyway, when WNYC asked about doing their new version of Soundcheck there, in the same plaza, in front of a live audience, AND announced that we’d be sharing the bill with the great Antibalas, I hatched this idea of asking them to join us on some Hugh Masekela songs. Our various touring schedules prevented this from happening, and it might be biting off more than we can chew, but we’re gonna take the opportunity to try it anyway* – I just thought it’d be a nice thing to do, in tribute to Hugh and to the City.
Just three songs and some chatting, then Antibalas.
So come, or listen live on the radio, or listen later when it’s (presumably) archived:
Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 8:00 PM**
*(assuming practice tonight, Monday, goes well!)
**(The whole show’s over by 9:00, so you can still listen to The Best Show on WFMU after.)
As we’ve taked about here before, for [x] amount of years, and for any number of reasons, I’ve always tried to play some kind of free outdoor show in NYC during the summer. This year, for a lot of reasons, it looked like it wasn’t going to happen. There were a few other ideas that we couldn’t really pull together, the Pharmacists are off in varied and sundry directions, and I’m trying very hard to stay focused and keep writing new stuff while I have the chance, as I do have a couple of solo tours coming up in the fall – one in Europe and one in the States.
But now, thankfully, it turns out that I’ll be playing a solo set in Prospect Park THIS FRIDAY, AUG. 3, before old friends Wild Flag, and Mission of Burma.
It’s all ages, doors are at 6:00, and I play at 7.
Celebrate Brokelyn with free music!
*UPDATE* I received a very kind and heartfelt apology from the producer I’d been working with at Radiolab, and I wanted to acknowledge that publicly and let you all know that there are very few hard feelings. For all intents and purposes, we (meaning all of us, including you, you crazy diamond) should consider this episode as the proverbial WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE!
A producer at Radiolab emailed me asking if I’d contribute two songs dealing with “color” in some way, for a show they were doing on the theme. I spent some time learning and recording the songs I chose and sent them along. I was told they sounded “great,” and then never heard anything else about it. The show aired this past week with many songs from other musicians, but without mine, which I only realized by listening to the show, as I am generally a fan, and listen often. Fan or not, though, I thought this was kind of shabby. So, there – I’ve gotten my annoyed rant out of my system, and, if you’re interested, you can hear my take on Donovan’s “Wear Your Love Like Heaven,” one of the songs I submitted, here instead. And now updated to include my take on Tom Jones’ take on Calude “Curly” Putman Jr.’s “Green Green Grass of Home”!!
Right off the bat, I don’t want this fight to happen. I have absolutely zero desire to see Jamie Kilstien beat the crap out of Jonah Goldberg, and make no mistake – I know Jamie Kilstien, and he WILL beat the crap out of Jonah Goldberg. He’s a buff guy who trains in Muay Thai and possibly any number of other kinds of MMA approved techniques. He’s also very smart and very quick – two thing’s I’m *pretty* sure I couldn’t say about Mr. Goldberg. But I did sign the petition, and I think everyone should because Jonah Goldberg said this:
The fact that young people think socialism is better than capitalism, that’s proof of what social scientists call their stupidity and their ignorance and it’s something that conservatives have to work harder to beat out of them, either literally or figuratively as far as I’m concerned. link.
Yes, “reasonable people” (and I use that term extremely broadly) should be able to distinguish between actual threats and rhetorical flights of fancy/idiocy, and this was obviously the latter, but I’d like Jonah Goldberg to have to better answer the substantive issues about Socialism called up in his statement, and I’d like to engage a conversation about violent rhetoric in the public sphere and its possible ramifications.
It seems like after all was said and done, the extreme use of both buzzwords and explicitly violent sloganeering on the Right during the 2008 campaign, didn’t foment waves of racially or politically motivated beatings or killings, but it MAY actually have contributed to a handful of horrible incidents committed by crack-pots or just plain racist assholes, and it certainly raised the tension level in this country to something that seemed extremely dangerous at the time (and that we haven’t entirely simmered down from).
And no, Jonah Golberg suggesting that young Socialists should have it beaten out of them has probably not, to date, resulted in a rash of beatings of young Socialists, in the home, on college campuses, out in the street… but it does – all of this does – have a cumulative effect that I’m absolutely sure I HAVE seen result in at least emboldening bullies, and at worst, a few incidents of actual fists on faces.
The whole idea of challenging someone to a fight in a public forum is distasteful to me. It makes me uncomfortable for a number of reasons, and the main reason is that we’re talking about ACTUAL VIOLENCE. But I think it’s probably not a bad thing for the punditry in this country to understand just what the real end of these rhetorical flights might lead to – to understand at least what beating something out of someone means when the threat comes at you, if not what it feels like to actually get beaten. Because the thing is, people ARE having things “beaten out of them” all the time – gayness, a lack of faith or religiosity, perceived promiscuousness, skin color, general “otherness,” etc. And o.k., “all the time” might be a rhetorical flight of fancy, if not idiocy, but it’s not a joke – this actually does happen.
And it’s also about something more. Jamie is right when he says:
Tough guy conservatives go on the TV or to their right-wing hate circle jerks and talk a lot of shit… The problem is they are never the ones to do anything tough. They send poor people to fight in wars they helped drum up, and then when those kids come back, they call them socialists for wanting proper mental and health care.
Effin’-A right. And I’m sick of it, too.
So let’s get uncomfortable – let’s get so close to what beating something out of someone actually means that we start to squirm.
And then let’s remember what that feels like.
I’m including myself in this.
I hope they don’t fight, but I’d like to see the discussion between these two taken to the next level.
Here’s the petition: Jamie v. Jonah
NEW PLAN – help us finish out the 10th anniversary year of the release of “The Tyranny of Distance” (released in May 2001) by joining us for a concert at one of our homes away from all our homes, the Black Cat, in the city where the album was made, Washington, DC, on Sunday, April 29th! We will be performing a full set of career-spanning material that will include a final performance of the “Tyranny” LP in its entirety; but THAT’S NOT ALL – original album engineer Brendan Canty (Deadline, Brief Weeds) will be making a PROFESSIONAL CONCERT FILM of the whole thing for us to do something with at some point in the not too distant future. So please come – sing along, clap out of time, get the back of your head (or your front from the waist up) in the film – I don’t think I’m jinxing it when I say this will be a really good night. –TICKETS HERE–