How I spent 4 minutes and 52 seconds of my summer vacation. Recorded yesterday, in the woods. Video YouTube or Vimeo.
I seem unable to cover songs (even those I hate) without making them sound completely earnest.
i put down the phone / left a bag of cookies on the corner / filled my brain with a soft white light / sent all my 8-track tapes / to my cousin down in mississippi / took my foot off the pedal, and gave up the fight... A brand new song, live in Tokyo, May 1, 2011. Video here.
Recorded live at Super Deluxe, Tokyo, April 22, 2011. I'm playing strumstick and stompbox. Video here.
Here's another tune from an earthquake/tsunami disaster relief benefit show that i was part of on April 8, 2011. This one is a traditional gospel number. Video here.
Many of the gigs I'm doing these days here in Tokyo are fundraisers for Tohoku quake/tsunami disaster relief. This tune was from one such concert. The video for it has been added to the Artsts Support Japan YouTube channel, and it can be seen here.
Another tune recorded in a former elementary school classroom on Awaji Island, Japan, during my March exile from Tokyo. Video here.
A song written for a friend going through a bad break-up.
Acoustic guitar cover of the Lady Gaga song. [more inside]
Yet another tune recorded in a classroom at the former elementary school were I was a refugee for a few days. Here I'm playing a berimbau they had lying around. Not playing it in the usual way (caoiera-style, you know), but just kinda strumming it. Your basic one-note accompaniment. Video here.
This is a song I recorded around 2007. Used a digital 4-track; it's not overly polished so we'll call it a demo.
Another tune recorded during my brief exile on Awajima Island. Video here.
Over the last few days, at a former elementary school on the island of Awajishima, I recorded a number of songs. This one is the newest of those: written on the train out of Tokyo on 3/17 and recorded on 3/18, in a rather reverberant hallway/stairwell. Video here.
My girlfriend wanted me to write a simple ukulele song. This is it. Short and sweet. [more inside]
There was once a girl, but that was long ago. A letter to a past love, recorded in one take with four microphones. KOLN • Bandcamp • Lyrics
Live in concert at Barrelhouse, Ikebukuro, Tokyo, on December 12, 2010. Vocal and stick dulcimer. Video here.
Live in deepest Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Accompanying myself on my Hungarian mouth bow. Video here.
Acoustic cover of my favourite song in all the world.
Some kind of folk-ish song with a dash of electric thrown in. It's the beginning of a narrative – not sure what exactly. Includes a way too ambitious lyrical reference to Amazing Grace. [more inside]
AcoustoFolksyCountrySappiness! [more inside]
Improvised song collaboration. I adore the outcome of this moody song. My friend Mark is on vocals, I was on guitar. Bass and piano were added later by me. We literally made this up as we recorded it. Never have made-up, almost gibberish lyrics sounded so meaningful. [more inside]
My acoustic cover of the Mefi favourite by Ke$ha.
Another bedroom-recorded song. [more inside]
My break-up song, written a number of years ago. [more inside]
Another lo-fi acoustic tune about the end of the world. Not too cheerful stuff. [more inside]
As autumn arrives, it always gives me a feeling of glorious sad sentimentality, almost like a chemical reaction. Whether I actually have something to feel sentimental about or not, those chilly sun-filled days create a longing like a chemical reaction. This song is that feeling for me, when you can't get back the past, but flounder to try. Guitar and vox recorded live with a single guitar overdub. [more inside]
A cute little folk song that I wrote for a girl a few years back. [more inside]
Quiet plucked acoustic guitar and vocals. This song completes the lyrical cycle that includes "My Cirripedian Friends" and "A Brand New Fabrication". [more inside]
The lyrical counterpoint to "My Cirripedian Friends". [more inside]
Back in 2007 I posted this same song (a studio version) which eventually made its way onto my 2009 CD release, Roomful of Ghosts. Here's a live version of the tune, recorded June 25, 2010, at Super Deluxe in Tokyo. Video of this same performance here at YouTube, and just for good measure, here's the video for that studio version as well.
This is a song about drowning at sea, denial and adventure. [more inside]
An old-time chestnut on guitar, mandolin, and my new Menzies tackhead banjo [more inside]
I posted a solo version of this tune back in January 2010, but this is the Medicine Bone version, recorded at a gig the other night right here in ol' Tokyo town. Video at YouTube.
A new song, hot off the presses, recorded live in concert just a little more than 24 hours ago, as of this posting. Video of this same performance at YouTube and Vimeo.
Solo, live at CAY in Aoyama, Tokyo, April 14, 2010, accompanying myself on the strumstick. Video of this same performance at YouTube or Vimeo.
Recorded April 7, 2010, in a conference room in Ichikawa, Chiba, Japan. For this tune I'm using one of my sardine can sanzas. Video of this same performance may be seen at YouTube.
The recent announcement of Virginia's "Confederate History Month", and this comment in particular, in a Mefi thread about it, inspired me to write this song. [more inside]
Recorded April 7, 2010, in a conference room in Ichikawa City, Chiba, japan. The instrument is a kind of mouthbow, although it's not actually bow-shaped: it's one of these. Video of this same performance at YouTube.
A brand new song, from a gig I did on March 25, 2010, at Super Deluxe here in Tokyo. Video of this same performance at YouTube here.
A very short little song wherein I take the harshly honest route toward an old friend. [more inside]
This is my other brand new band, the Ghost Steppers. We do old-time, early blues, jug band, mountain music: all traditional stuff, no originals. Here's our rough-and-ready take on an old favorite, originally written and recorded by the Mississippi Sheiks, that's been interpreted by many, many folks over the years. I've changed the lyrics a bit (maybe more than a bit) but that's part of the longstanding folk tradition, of course. Video of this same performance at YouTube here.
An acoustic/alt-country (I suck at picking a genre) song off my album I recorded last year. [more inside]
Tumbalalaika, a traditional Russian Jewish love song. Generally sung in Yiddish, presented here in English. [more inside]
This fast and dirty recording is from the mic on a Sony CyberShot camera. It's no audiophile's dream, for sure, but I just felt like getting some recent jaw harp tunes down to live video the other day, as I had a free hour in a big conference room. The room is definitely present in the recording. Anyway, video of this performance can be seen at YouTube and Vimeo. [more inside]
i keep thinking there's something i need to do - and i keep not doing it... Recorded live in performance at Nana Hari, Hachobori, Tokyo. Here I'm accompanying myself on the strumstick. Video at YouTube and Vimeo. [more inside]
...we're all in Folsom Prison, but there ain't no Johnny Cash... Recorded live in performance at Nana Hari, Tokyo, on January 17, 2010. For this song I'm playing the Vietnamese jaw harp known as the Dan Moi. Video of this performance at YouTube and Vimeo. [more inside]
Recorded live in performance at Nana Hari, Tokyo, on January 17, 2010. Accompanying myself on the strumstick. Video at YouTube and Vimeo. [more inside]
This Borges-inspired track appears on the new Steve Goldberg and the Arch Enemies EP, Labyrinths, available now for streaming and download. The demo was posted here. [more inside]
Traditional old-time fiddle tune in D, instrumental clawhammer banjo & guitar. [more inside]