Lovin’ this, and the other four parts.
Lovin’ this, and the other four parts.
Video by Sam Falls
Video/Music by Matteah Baim, Julien Langendorff, and Jason Glasser
Be sure to check out Matteah’s website.
Photography by Lauren Dukoff
NATURALISMO: Your life’s journey has taken to the far corners of America and beyond, from Milwaukee to San Francisco to New York to Los Angeles and many points outside our borders. What have learned about yourself and about your art from each of these places?
MATTEAH BAIM: I have been moving since I was 17. The most surprising thing I’ve gotten from moving around so much is an anchor that sort of sits at my creative core. Each place offers a sort of different energy and potential you can tap into if that anchor is in place. Maybe it’s a little like how a surfer feels about waves at different beaches? I’ve never surfed though, so we’d have to ask someone about that.
N: How do you conceptualize a song? Is the song something that is born of the moment or is it a landscape that has been fully explored before any recording takes place?
MB: I try my best to let the songs write themselves. There are times I’m more successful at this then others. I work with a lot of notebooks and demos before I go into the studio to map out the pieces. Fluidity and organization seem to go hand in hand when it comes to recording. At times, you have to throw some of those maps away but for whatever reason they have to be there to throw out.
N: In the past, you have created music with others and by yourself. In what ways have artistic communities and collaborations (or perhaps lack thereof) influenced your work? Do you find creation lubricated or disrupted by outside influence?
MB: No doubt, it has done both those things. I think the important thing is just to keep playing. The inevitable ups, downs, and sideways can be sorted out if the connection to the music remains… if you can keep listening, then you’ll always know what to do.
N: What were the differences between the conception and recording processes of Laughing Boy and Death Of The Sun?
MB: We had just made the Falcons record and I certainly hadn’t planned on making any kind of solo one after that. Death was finished before I knew what had happened. It was some kind of immediate need.. maybe a little bit like a monster has for a slab of beef or something. I just ripped into it, recording most of it on a 4-track in a garage in Venice Beach. With Laughing Boy, I think the monster put on a pair of pants and tried to comb it’s hair a little. I had a couple quiet months before going into the studio to work only on writing, preparing and arranging. That was a real joy that I hope repeats itself for longer and longer bits of time.
N: I’ve read that you’ve been working on creating music for films — which films are these? How have you been enjoying the process?
MB: I’ve been working with a couple different artists on their films, Susanne Winterling for her project, The Circle, The Line, and with Pillars of Fire in Paris. I have really been enjoying it. It’s this whole other kind of collaboration where you have to ‘listen’ to visuals and respond. It’s exciting to see the film sort of breathing with the sounds after it’s all put together.
N: Making music for film requires the musician to both capture and enhance the images that are presented on screen. Describe a scene that you feel your own music, specifically Laughing Boy, would complement?
MB: Hmm… for whatever reason when you ask that I get this scene from Rebel Without a Cause in my head. It’s the one when the three main characters are in the mansion hiding from everyone and the kid falls asleep with Jim’s jacket over him. In the film, it is sort of the eye of the storm when intimacy is possible. I would like to see if one of the songs from the record could fit with that kind of moment.
N: If you could ask everyone who listened to your records to only listen at a certain time of day, what time would that be?
MB: Whatever time of day you can turn the volume up all the way…
=tyler & kevin=
For many years, Lauren Dukoff has photographed close friend and musician Devendra Banhart and an extended, loose-knit international family of artists who share inspiration variously from folk, Tropicalia, and each other, as well as a range of other musical influences.
Family collects 100 of Dukoff’s striking portraits and candid images of Banhart, Joanna Newsom, Entrance, Bat for Lashes, Feathers, Espers, Vetiver, Bert Jansch, Vashti Bunyan, and many others individually and together, in performance and more private spaces.
Complementing the photographs are a foreword by Devendra Banhart, text and artwork by the musicians, biographies, and a digital download of music by artists featured in the book.
Artists in the book:
Bat For Lashes
Benjamin Oak Goodman
Ramblin’ Jack Elliott
Rio en Medio
Chronicle Books will release Family in July 2009. Amazon has it for sale at 34% off. However, if you pre-order from Chronicle Books they will send it out May 20th. Enter “Noise Pop” at checkout, you can get 15% off your order and free shipping.
If you are in the bay area, be sure to check out Lauren’s gallery show, Noise Pop Presents Lauren Dukoff- Family, at the Eleanor Harwood Gallery in San Francisco. It opens February 20th at 7 PM.
Since her amazing Carrion EP last year, we’ve been eagerly awaiting to hear more from the enchanting Jana Hunter. She’s embarking on a pretty darn expansive tour of the United States and Canada, so if you haven’t seen her live yet don’t miss this chance. And don’t steal her guitars.
Happy Monday folks! Last night started off like any other night…that is, if every night I went to go see two of contemporary music’s most engaging and promising young musicians, as well as one of folk’s most enduring and idiosyncratic and unwitting legends. So, yeah. It was a special night. As I arrived at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, the aroma of warm cookies and coffee told me that I was in for a treat. I sauntered around for a bit, nibbled on a cookie, and gawked at McCabe’s mind-bogglingly immense collection of folk instruments; everything from banjars (a guitar in banjo’s clothing) to lutes to cellos to harp guitars found their place alongside ethnic percussion and thumb pianos at this mecca of all things acoustic.
By the time Matteah Baim kicked off the night’s music I was already all hopped up on coffee, cigarettes, and cookies: a perfect storm of stimulants. Her set was woefully brief, but the ethereal aural atmosphere she created left me wishing that I had come to McCabe’s hopped up on a lot more than sucrose. I had never seen Matteah perform. The melancholy dance of two electric guitars, drenched in reverb and delay, left my eyes transfixed on the stage until her final song concluded.
While Alela Diane was setting up, the audience was given about fifteen minutes to use the restrooms, buy more food, or step outside to smoke a joint. While I was unfortunately ill-equipped for the latter, I did bump into Devendra Banhart and chatted for a bit before we were called back for Alela’s set. And what a set it was. Alela, joined on stage by her clearly cool, long-haired father, started off her set with “Tired Feet” which is, coincidentally, the first song on her debut LP. Her father’s acoustic accompaniment (nylon string guitar, mandolin) added a dazzling new layer to the songs that I had come to know so well from the record as sparse solo affairs. Her voice knocked me on my ass. After a set that consisted largely of new material (which she told me after her set would probably be released this fall) and a DUET with Michael Hurley, the audience at McCabe’s was abuzz. I don’t think many of the people in attendance had heard Alela’s music before, but afterwards the din of Alela-chatter was impossible to avoid. CD’s were flying off the merch table.
Then, finally, what everyone was waiting for: Doc Snock himself, Michael Hurley. As always, he puttered onto the stage in a state of quasi-bemused aloofness, looking at the rapt crowd as if perpetually surprised that people had come to see him play. When he began playing his songs, it was clear that his dexterity on the fretboard has not diminished whatsoever. It was a beautiful mix of old songs, as well as new: fan favorite Sweedeedee, I Paint a Design, The Tea Song, and You’ll Never Go to Heaven just to name a few. The master was in perfect form: spinning yarns, cracking jokes, and unspooling songs with a carefree insouciance rare in most performers, young or old.
[download] Michael Hurley – Sweedeedee
I know I posted about Arthur’s Sunday Nights at McCabes before, but this event poster was just released, and it’s too cool to let go. C’mon people, it has a wizard holding a mushroom! Wizard! Mushroom!
If you live in the LA area, don’t miss out!
ARTHUR SUNDAY EVENINGS AT MCCABE’S – FEB 3, 10 & 17, 2008
Please join Arthur Magazine as we host three special Sunday evenings of music at the historic McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica in February, 2008. These shows are all-ages, and no alcohol is sold on the premises. There are only 150 seats. Tickets are now on sale exclusively from McCabe’s.
Sunday, Feb 3, 7pm – $12 – buy tix here
THE ENTRANCE BAND
Sunday, Feb 10, 7pm – $15 – buy tix here
Sunday, Feb 17, 7pm – $12 – buy tix here
I’ll be at the Michael Hurley show for sure…maybe I’ll see some of you there!