Wednesday, March 17, 2010

God In The Telephone Book (live)

I had the privelage of sharing the stage with the very lovely Amy Clarke
at Sidewalk Cafe last month for a benefit concert she did for the victims
of the quake in Haiti. Amy is an extremely talented musician friend who used to
live in New York but alas, she left us for the left coast. She is missed.
Here is a clip of an improv version of God in The Telephone book, a yet to be release song of mine. Hope you enjoy.


Lemon Scented in the dark

I randomly stumbled upon this clip of me performing Lemon Scented in Montréal Canada in October of last year. The funny thing is that you can't really see me or the audience. It was a "secret show", so I guess the very obscured nature of this clip is rather appropriate. haha.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Diversions- Mad at the Dirt

This diversion is dedicated to the wonderful Mister Jason S. of D.U.M.B.O. Brooklyn and comes courtesy of the Yeast Radio where it recently was used as the opening song.
In case you are unfamiliar with that filth, Yeast Radio is a very twisted and slightly "racist"-for-"racist"-sake podcast that features True Dooty, the highlarious highjinx of the whorishly nasty Cheryl Merkowski.
I shouldn't admit that I listen to this grum, but I must admit that I'm rather addicted to it and the envelope pushing it employs.

Anyhoo. here's The Joans with Mad at the dirt. enjoy.

Monday, March 15, 2010

God in The Telephone Book- Lyrics

She met buddah on a downtown train
He said baby let me ease our pain
so she crossed her legs and she meditated when she could.

She met a friar with fleeting hair.
He said baby let me take you there so she
spread her legs in an abbey by the wood.
yes she did yes she did.

She found light wherever she looked.
She found light wheverer she looked.

She and lucifer had some tea.
He said baby won't you live with me.
I've got a killer view and the heat is free
no broker's fee.

So she sold her soul and she bought some shoes.
Good things always come in toes. She sang in red
where she used to sing in blue.
yes she did yes she did yes she did.

She found light wherever she looked.
She found light wherever she looked.

She and lucifer said goodbye.
She couldn't live with the heat so high.
She said you'd be surprised.
He's a real nice guy.

So she drove her car through the bible belt.
She thought she might find god there, she felt,
but the more she drove, the more like hell it smelled.
yes it did yes it did yes it did.

She found light wherever she looked.
She found light wherever she looked.
She found god in the telephone book.

The Delicate Butterfly

It is odd for me to think of myself as delicate or fragile, a butterfly that so easily can be squashed by a careless foot or hand. Alas, it is lately how I feel. Last week, after months of doing very well, I found myself once again rushing to see the doctor, thinking I was having a heart attack. They again did an EKG and again told me my vital signs were normal and that I am suffering from panic disorder. The only solution they have for something like that of course is pills...the kind that make you feel like you're walking underwater with a skull full of jello. I have been trying to live in the now and not imagine a vast array of tragic future scenarios that send my mind racing in circles and my heart pounding out of my chest. It is not easy for me. I think I need to be reprogrammed, taken into a room where some very congenial lady in a white coat can show me pictures of smiling people and kittens and sunshine and pumpkin patches and infuse my brain with the imagery it needs to relax and just be ok with everything.
Perhaps it's time for me to finally have that lobotamy I've been saving up for. Perhaps they can reach into my head and scoop out the parts that have me on tip toes balancing on pins and needles like a circus animal, gritting my teeth with every breath.

Friday, March 12, 2010

being visited by the ghosts of the living while wearing JFK Junior's shoes

A few days ago, on our way to the grocery store, Konstantine and I encountered an older Caribbean woman, as is a fairly regular occurance in our neighborhood. The woman was sort of babbling something and staring at the ground and Konstantine thought she was talking to him, so he responded to her. She responded by saying "not you, him" and pointed at my shoes. She went off on an entire rant about John F. Kennedy Junior and how he used to wear shoes just like mine. I just sort of smiled and nodded, responding "yes, they're great shoes. I love them". She said something like "he was really good to us" and then wandered off down the street. Just to be clear, the shoes being mentioned are two toned black and white saddle oxfords, so it's understandable that they might evoke more attention than a tennis shoe or plain black shoe.

In completely unrelated news, I have been visited in my sleep twice this week by the ghosts of living canadian musicians. First, it was Patrick Watson and then it was Joni Mitchell. Joni had this really cool guitar pedal in the shape of a high heal shoe and made me do a session of sing-a-long with her. I don't know what this all means, but hey at least it's interesting.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sally (a demo) - sneak sneak peek available for listening til March 16th

In the murky waters of my mind has been a project titled "The Ocean & The Easel".
The best way I can describe it is that it is a soundtrack to a sort of movie musical that is nautically themed. Recently I've been working on a demo for one song from that project in my studio at home. Here is a preview which I will leave up for a week and then it will magically disappear. Yes, it's based on a children's tongue twister. Yes. I may have lost my mind.

***Alas, the time has expired on this sneak peak.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

currently on the turntable- Harry Belafonte sings of the Caribbean

One of the things that I love about vinyl records (besides the sound)
is that many songs that were originally released on vinyl were never transferred
to CD or the digital realm. Typically you can find an artist's greatest hits
and their very popular albums, but when you buy an old record, your ears get treated
to musical gems that many people haven't heard in years if ever at all.

The most recent addition to my vinyl collection falls into that category. It has never been released on itunes.
It is Harry Belafonte sings of the caribbean, released in 1957 and in perfect condition. Here's one of the other things I love about vinyl. I bought the entire album for $3 from a guy selling vinyl out of a paper box on 7th avenue.

In these tough economic times, you can't beat the price.

Robert Recommends: Patty Griffin's Downtown Church

My history with organized Christianity is a sordid one, or rather one littered with guilt and pain. As the great Tori Amos once sang "I've got enough guilt to start my own religion". It has taken me years of healing to separate my issues with organized religion from the power and beauty of gospel music.

Patty Griffin is an incomparable songwriter and has enough soul to be her own church choir. So, it makes sense that she should do a gospel album and let me just say that after listening to it a few times through, I think my soul has been save. hallelujah.

Patty Griffin's Website

Friday, March 05, 2010

The Rant Book Club Selection for March


On Sunday I had the privilege of being part of a group of artists who gathered in Greenpoint Brooklyn to create a local music record store and performance space for one day. It was truly a magical event called Mayfly which was organized in part by a very lovely musician friend of mine by the name of Lara Ewen. Lara and I met a couple years back while I was on tour. We did a show in Worcester Massachusetts and have stayed friends ever since.

The sense of community and love that I felt at the Mayfly event was amazing.
I got such a warm reception from everyone and also got to see some very talented musicians perform as well. We all did short sets so it was like a musical buffet for all to enjoy.

My set was as follows:

1. Walking Song
2. Mister Carpentier
3. God in The Telephone Book (vocal experimental version)
4. Lemon Scented

You can read more about the awesome event called Mayfly
by going to their blog.

Diversions: Joanna Newsom

Lately I have found my fingers tickling the ivories quite a bit, so to speak.
I have no formal training on piano, nor have I ever performed anything live
on any form of keyboard.
I have been quietly working on my third album whilst my second album is still in that
netherworld between completion and release into the world. The third album is an ocean themed soundtrack for a movie musical that only exists in some strange place in my head.

The two tracks that have been holding the majority of my focus are titled "Sally" and "The Seaman's Warf". In the next week, I will try to post a little snippet of Sally for your listening pleasure(hopefully pleasure)....

Until then, keeping with my ocean themed brain, here's an artist who has been starting to seep into my conciousness, a rather unique harpist/songwriter/etc by the name of Joanna Newsom with her song "Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie"

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