The Float 2011 into 2012

We didn’t play enough in 2011. It just kind of happened. The shows we did play were great (for us anyway), including a set at the Sasquatch Festival along the Columbia Gorge. Joe Adamik (Califone, Iron and Wine, + all over my new album) joined us for a song, many friends stood in the crowd and when I would look offstage I could see the gorge for miles. In October I played Benaroya Hall in Seattle. Built in 1998, it is the home of the Seattle Symphony and the acoustics are intimate and transcendent. During the show I sang one note off-mic, listened and then heard, from a waaaay back balcony somebody sing the note back to me. Sound check sounded like this:
I spend a lot of time thinking about listening, voice, translation, and sound as sculpture. It was a complete thrill to be able to sing in that room.
At the Northside Festival, I was fortunate enough to help plan the bill and see, start to finish, a great show: Ted Leo, Ida, Spectre Folk and Eleanor Friedberger. There were other nights, other cities, it was a pleasure to play and have you all swing by when you could. This year is shaping up to be much more active. We are playing in Portland and Paris in April, looking forward to SW and West shows in May, and then as much of the country as the country will take during the summer and into the fall, I’ll be playing solo in Spain in June, the band is due to be in Europe late fall. Specific dates announced as they are confirmed.
Big news is that the new album will actually (really) be out May 15. The vinyl is due to be released by 12XU Records and will be available on their website, from us, and in fine stores everywhere. I am releasing the CD and managing digital distribution myself, with the amazing, inspiring folks of Cash Music allowing us to be one of the first releases to showcase their full-fledged, robust, open-source-non-profit-shaking-s**t-up-0s-and-1s coding masterpiece. More on all that later. There is a Kickstarter campaign in the near future. I am hoping to make it interesting for us and others. One good thing about making this album is there’s plenty of demo versions and odds and sods. As we say on twitter: #premiums.
It will be great to have the record out. Then I can get to making the next two, both already partially written.

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Again with the writing

December was spent focused on a project that left little time for anything else. Friends knew I’d be scarce, I knew I wouldn’t play guitar for 6 weeks or spend a minute working on the records or other endeavours close to my heart. Twitter checks, when accessed, provided a nice link in and out of the work at hand, but those moments were rare.
A week ago I started reading the feeds again and was aware of the intensity of the scattered chatter. When working at home, it’s welcome to step into a noisy room, do some tracking, listening, learning and dip back out. But this time I was just tired. I longed for longform. I bought books. I turned off the radio. I borrowed books from the library, pulled pencils out of drawers, wrote letters. I thought about how much I’d like to write short essays, long questions, but try and then don’t and wondered why.
I’ve some ideas I won’t share here, it’s just process…but I think it’s time to try again. If a reader wants more informed, traditional, cunning, snarky, earnest, funny, casual, accomplished, there are plenty of options. Prettier pictures, more illuminating, ok. And plenty of what I want to work through I’ll do offline, privately, or in sound. There’s much in this all everything all the time online world that I prefer to keep in the realm of the corporeal or just keep to myself.
That said, there’s stories from travels and questions at hand, conversations to be explored, the need to learn. So onward, again, for now, until……

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Artist Revenue Streams Pt 1

A big thank you to Casey Jarman for profiling the work I’m doing with the Future of Music Coalition. Here’s the article in Willamette Week’s Swag Rag column. There’s also a nice piece on the effort by Ryan White on Oregon Live.

It’s nice to have the local press be supportive, I don’t take it for granted. There’s many cities where the interest would not exist.

If you are a musician, I encourage you to take the survey and please do forward the link to any musicians you know.

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Carving the Mountains

via the amazing Alabama Chanin: La chicas de Longboard Girls Crew​longboardgc

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Spinanes Roster

From Willamette Week “Scoop”: September 14, 2011

ARMISEN WATCH CONTINUES: We weren’t actually going to mention that Portlandia’s Fred Armisen was hanging out at the Rebecca Gates and the Consortium/Ted Leo show at Backspace on Saturday night. But when he got behind the drums and played a song with Gates during her MFNW set—quite ably, we might add—he kinda left us no choice. It’s not the first time the former Spinanes frontwoman has played alongside the SNL vet: He joined her during a NYC residency five years ago and, according to Gates, actually filled in as a Spinane in the ’90s. Weird? It gets weirder. Ted Leo was also a Spinane.

No offense to WW but I find the concept of Armisen Watch a little creepy. Scoop does make the point that the membership of The Spinanes could use a little reviewing. It’s a mighty talented group. Here’s a list of touring members and their bands since their Spinanes/RG Ruby Series duties:

Scott Plouf: 1991-1996: Built to Spill

John Moen: 1989, 1996: The Jicks, Decemberists, Boston Spaceships, Maroons, Perhapst

Joanna Bolme: 1996-1998: The Jicks, Quasi

Fred Armisen: 1997: SNL, Portlandia

Jerry Busher: 1998-2002: French Toast, Federico Aubele

Ted Leo: 1998-99: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

Kendall Meade: 1998-99: Mascott

Mikael Jorgensen: 2000-2002: Wilco, Pronto

Noel Kupersmith: 2000-2002: Brokeback, Extra Golden





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Stutter step

I’m doing a lousy job at writing here. Not caught by fear much, but I would rather not write stupidly. Also, as much as I like reading what other folks have to say and show, I’m more keen on making things and keeping quiet. Is that the world we live in is it? I think perhaps no. Still trying to figure what to hash out in public. Should I be more trusting? Not give a shit? Be more refined and professional? More abstract and linky? Figuring.


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It’s amazing how quickly the days are passing.
That’s not a revelation I know, but it’s remarkable.

I’ve been quiet here as I finish up the music part of the album and turn towards the business side of things.

Thinking, researching, following up and finishing.
+ a little bit of summer vacation.

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Last mix of The Float

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NE to NW

Tall Firs

Tall Firs ponied up in Hoboken. Their gtr & vox melodies are always a thrill. They post some seriously ace wrecked text about their goings on too. Our week of shows went by too quickly, we were ready to power on, but Ji and Blue Cranes split, by train, clockwise around the country, while we hung in NYC (Cooper-Hewitt Delaunay show blew our minds) and friendly sky-ed back home.

Tomorrow we leave for Central Washington and Sasquatch. We’re back up to four with Rebecca Cole back in the fold for this one.

Will post some pix on twitter I’m sure.

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Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei: Study of Perspective

1001 Fingers for Ai Weiwei has been created in response to the invitation below. Add your study of perspective here. You need to be signed in on flickr to join the group and post.

“On April 3, internationally acclaimed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was detained at the Beijing airport while en route to Hong Kong, and his papers and computers were seized from his studio compound. In addition to this petition calling for his release, we invite you to create your own version of his “Studies of Perspective,” a social project to express support for Ai Weiwei and many others around the world whose human rights are violated every day.

Petition calling for his release:

Extending his favorite medium of “social sculpture,” we invite you to create your own version of his Studies of Perspective, 1995-2003″



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