Tag Archives: music

Video about The Flaming Lips’ The Soft Bulletin

I usually find “making of” documentaries to be either depressing, annoying, or both. But this documentary (embedded below) about The Flaming Lips’ The Soft Bulletin is enjoyable and inspiring.

They neatly avoid the temptations of describing the blow-by-blow trivialities, and of putting themselves under halos of “making history.” They more focus on the mystery that the music came together, and that they were able to be there and make it!

My 2009 Favorites List

in London (photo by Chris Dent)
in London (photo by Chris Dent)

On this eve of a new decade / year, here’s a retrospective of 2009 with some of my favorite things. (This is a personal post; check out this blog post for our 2009 biz/Juxtaprose thanks!)

places visited:

  • Myvatn Nature Baths, Myvatn, Iceland
  • the chocolate stores, galleries, and museums of Paris, France
  • wandering through London on a beautiful fall day

concerts / live performances:

  • Leonard Cohen (Coachella)
  • The Flaming Lips (Marymoor Park)
  • Akron/Family (Bumbershoot)

album(s) (in no particular order):

  • The Avett Brothers: I and Love and You
  • Bill Callahan: Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle
  • Amadou & Miriam: Welcome to Mali
  • Built to Spill: There Is No Enemy
  • Yo La Tengo: Popular Songs
  • Wilco: Wilco
  • The Flaming Lips: Embryonic
  • St. Vincent: Actor
  • Rodrigo y Gabriel: 11:11
  • Mr. Smolin: Bring Back the Real Don Steele
  • Akron/Family: Set ‘em Wild, Set ‘em Free
  • Taken By Trees: East of Eden
  • Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion
  • Neko Case: Middle Cyclone
  • Grizzly Bear: Veckatimest
  • Leonard Cohen: Live in London

movies (note: I didn’t check the dates; I think these were all 2009; or at least I saw them in 2009):

  • Inglorious Basterds
  • Man on Wire
  • Up
  • The Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • Extract (just saw this last night; so funny!)

tv (basically didn’t watch any live tv this year; all tv shows were via web streaming / DVD; we’re still 1-2 seasons behind on some of these; shhh):

  • Dollhouse
  • Damages
  • Mad Men
  • Battlestar Gallactica (maybe not the ending, but the rest of it was very enjoyable)

books I read this year (not all from 2009; I rarely read books when they first come out):

  • Revenge of the Spellmans: Lisa Lutz (the exception to the 2009 pub date; I also read the first draft of The Spellmans Strike Again (coming March 2010!)
  • The Girl who Fell from the Sky: Heidi W. Durrow (one of our clients, I got a manuscript version of her book, coming February 2010—definitely keep an eye out)
  • What the Dead Know: Laura Lippman
  • The Maisie Dobbs series: Jacqueline Winspear
  • Innocent Blood: P.D. James (I picked this up at an “English Pub” in Paris, where they had a wall full of English language books)
  • The Road: Cormac McCarthy (I don’t think I’m going to ruin the book by seeing the movie)

food / dining:

  • Chez Omar, Paris
  • all the fresh food from our garden!
  • weekly fresh salmon from the Farmer’s Market during the summer, grilled on our grill with freshly picked corn, and a bottle of wine
  • John Henry’s, Palm Springs

chocolate (yes, it gets its own category):

  • La Chocolaterie de Jacques Genin, Paris (no website, but check out this article)
  • Chocolate Mussy, Paris (8 rue du Bourg Tibourg, Marais)


chance meeting:

  • meeting and talking with the fine art photographer Tim Rudman and his wife, Ingrid Rudman, at Lake Myvatn in Iceland; then running into them again, two days later, in a totally different part of Iceland and having another great conversation

spa experience(s):

  • Olympus Spa (Lynnwood, WA) – where I spent 6 hours of my 38th birthday!
  • all the hot pools of Iceland: Myvatn Nature Baths and the “swimming pools” of Husavik and Reykjavik

None of these things would have been the same had I not shared them with friends, family, a cranky cat, and “strangers” met along the way. Mostly none would have been the same without Jay (I love you!). Looking forward to more adventures in 2010 and beyond.

A little road music

We’ve been driving a lot the past few days, and the car has a CD player, but no input jack. We’ve got iPods, but no CDs.

Last night, we remembered to burn a CD with some mp3s, starting from a very small collection that’s on Anastasia’s laptop. This worked out great today, as we had music for our whole drive.

We listened to 4-5 albums, and I thought a couple were particularly nice with today’s scenes (including: oceans / fjords, rivers, river deltas, lakes, ponds, snow covered hills and mountains, farms with and without snow, sheep, cows, horses, birds, dogs, one cat, and a couple dozen people)–all interesting. These were:

“Salvador Kali,” by Sir Richard Bishop


“Lost Channels,” by the Great Lake Swimmers

I probably should also include the new Rodrigo y Gabriella album we enjoyed today, too. And, then there were another couple good ones, too. But those two above really stood out to me.

New Wrong Note Podcast, with cousin Dean

I’ve just posted my Wrong Notes Podcast #02, which is about The Worst Song Ever. As kids, cousin Dean and I had a band, The Light, which ended its brief career on the historic low note that is “Dark Is the Night.” Hear it in all of its history making malaprop melodies, and hear Dean and I laughing a lot about it :-)

Also, I’ve included a couple new Ear Reverends’ tracks in there too.

P.S. the new Ear Reverends’s album, Err or Man, is in the works—I shall be announcing its release here in a couple months!

Welcome 2007, nostalgia games

Happy new year! I am invoking nostalgia today—working on a new Ear Reverends podcast that features an interview with my cousin Dean Fienberg about the worst song ever written, that we wrote together, circa 1983. (Hope to get that up in the next day or so.)

Going with the nostalgia, since both Bre Pettis and Lee LeFever tagged me in the five things you don’t know about me blog game, I’ve decided to play it here and now in the form of “five things from the 1980s that you don’t know or remember about me.”

  1. The first live music show I saw was the Ramones at the Hollywood Palladium on April 10, 1980. I was still under 5′ tall. I went with my friend Loren Philip. Several people whom I didn’t know at the time, but who were also at the show, would later become my good friends. It was an incredible show.
  2. Popped Oxheart Jay's Garage album coverSo, it’d be fair-enough to categorize me as: one of those kids who saw the Ramones and then went out and started their own bands. My first band was Popped Oxheart, which was led by Bernard Bernard (who also was at that Ramones’ show). Popped Oxheart’s active career spanned from morning to afternoon on November 27, 1981, during which I recorded a 30-minute side of a cassette, labeled “Jay’s Garage.” In 2006, I remastered “Jay’s Garage” for private release on CD. (btw, if any of the other members of Popped Oxheart are reading this: contact me—I’d love to hear from you, and I’ll send you a copy of the CD!!)
  3. SlobotFrom ’81 to the present, Bernard Bernard has been my best friend and musical collaborator. Most recently, we’ve been talking about releasing a CD compilation of Slobot, our band with Eduard Margidan that I recorded on cassette in 1986. In 2006, I finished remastering all of the Slobot tapes for CD—so, maybe we’ll release a Slobot CD in 2007.
  4. Speaking of bands and my friend Loren, when we lived in Santa Cruz, he once (circa 1988) got himself a gig playing a big party at Davenport beach. He didn’t have a band or songs per se, and I don’t remember how it all came together. But, I do remember that we ended up on a makeshift stage on the beach in front of 150+ people, and that I improvised on guitar for two hours or so, up until the police came. Some people came up to me afterwards and said they really liked the music!
  5. Man on FireFrom ’83 to ’87, I gigged a lot in LA, especially with a band called Man on Fire (’85 – ’87). We played pretty much all of the classic Hollywood clubs that were left at the time, plus many of the less-classic West LA / Santa Monica and Valley clubs: the Whiskey, Roxy, Troubador, Central (later called the Viper Room), Palamino, Madame Wongs West (we played there every month), Hop Singhs, and others whose names escape me. We also did a big outdoor show as part of the L.A. Festival in 1987, which apparently made me a famous rock star in many non-English-speaking tourists’ photos.

(Be sure to check out the music on the Popped Oxheart and Slobot pages. Plus, if you don’t own them already, be sure to buy the new CDs of Bernard Bernard music—they’re awesome.)

So, in order to perpetuate the five things game, I should tag five more people. But, pretty much everyone I know with a blog has already been tagged. So, I’ll just change the game: anyone can play, no need for invitations—what are five things from the 1980s that we don’t know or remember about you?

Find fine & full in the pix with Mike Doughty

A couple weeks ago, we went to a great Mike Doughty (of Soul Coughing) show, and also saw him play a few songs on the street beforehand.

Follow the link and check out the pix. Anastasia and I are hidden in several of them. 10 points each time you find us :-)

We’ve been on an autograph roll too. Anastasia saw Mike Doughty play at Amazon the day before, and got him to autograph both his newest CD and LP, Haughty Melodic, and his previous CDs, Skittish & Rockity Roll.

And, earlier this week, we also saw Stephen Malkmus play a great set at Sonic Boom reccords, and came away with autographed copies of his newest CD, Face the Truth, and an autographed promo poster.