Friday, December 25, 2009

Joyeux Noël

Merry Christmas!

I added a page of sounds on my website.

Recorded today, The Carol of the Cherry Tree, an old 15th century English ballad. I know it from Jean Ritchie's version, and sing it every year at our friend Neil Martinson's SMiLE Christmas extravaganza. This year was no exception, and a very fun evening indeed. I also did Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, and John Cale's A Child's Christmas in Wales.

Here is what my windows look like in the afternoon sunlight:

Sometimes I dream of being snowed in around this time of year and this would be the place for it:

(From the very fine blog Fine Little Day)

Best Wishes to all!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Funsch Solos Volume II: Water Solos

Please join us for this free outdoor performance, a collaboration with dancer/choreographer Christy Funsch. It will take place on two different Sundays in December, 12/6 and 12/13, at 4pm in the courtyard of the Legion of Honor. I will sing, they will dance, it will be beautiful!

Funsch Dance Experience


Sunday, December 6th & 13th, 2009 at 4:00 PM:

The Legion of Honor, 34th Avenue and Clement Street,
Lincoln Park, San Francisco
Performances take place outside around the water fountain

Admission is free; for information, call 415.902.5371
or visit

more New York

My friend Linn Edwards took this photo at the Pete's Candy Store show, which went really well.

She and her boyfriend Brian keep a great a photo journal, look here.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

a long overdue account of New York

It's been almost a month since I've been back, but I never got around to this. Was visited by this charming flu we have this year, and busy preparing for the elementary music show coming up for the here's a small glimpse and some impressions.


First of all, unlike in California where we were having temperatures in the 70s when I left, it was Fall:

I stayed some of the time in the outer Brooklyn, near some beautiful streets:

Where the little guys are not afraid of the big ones.

I took the train into Manhattan:

...straight to the museum mile.

This one was closed the first time I went, but the second time I saw the amazing Kandinsky exhibit there right now. So impressive, Kandinskys everywhere, Kandinsky paintings all down and up the ramp, Kandinsky drawings in the adjacent room, and a group of huge canvases at the bottom of the spiral. Truly a feast for the eyes and mind.
Some of my favorites that I remember: Moscow, the Riding Couple, Black Grid.
Also look at this one. I think I liked the room of drawings and watercolors the best - at least some pieces there, even though we raced through it.

The day the Guggenheim was closed the Met was open. I visited The Art of the Samurai, got lost in the 18th century French paintings and ended up at Robert Frank's The Americans, which had moved there from San Francisco. On the roof there was a sculpture by Roxy Paine:

And a glorious view of Central Park:

...with Fith Avenue rooftops. Then I commenced my descent through the looking glass:
I love museums.

The day of the open Guggenheim we came back to the Met and almost ran through the impressionists but they were delicious nonetheless. I got acquainted with this painting.


And back in Brooklyn, some pumpkins:

- Halloween, of course.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


A cool review of the Seasonal Sevens single on Dusted !! (scroll all the way down once you're there...)
"Hélène Renaut sets this one on fire with “Bumblebee,” providing all the intangibles that make French chanteuse-age so righteous when it works. She’s backed by Skygreen Leopard Jasmyn Wong and set up by Papercuts’ Jason Quever for maximum results – a clean, full recording, simple and effective arrangements, and a voice to die for. 300 copies, yellow vinyl in a clear plastic sleeve."

Monday, October 5, 2009

'Seasonal Sevens' in local shops!

So very pleased to announce that the amazing ladies of Gravel and Gold and the kind gents of aQuarius Records now carry a few copies of the Seasonal Sevens: Summer 7". Get them while they last!

Both shops are in the sunny Mission District, about a block from each other. Gravel and Gold is run by a triad of stellar ladies, Cassie, Nile and Lisa. Their shop is a feast for the eyes, they carry so many unusual old and new items. Whether vintage, locally crafted or from across the pond, each object has its own story and the shopkeepers will be happy to tell you about it. Right now their walls are covered in gorgeous North American Indian and Central American woven textiles. Well worth the visit, and you can lounge on the day bed by the window...
aQuarius Records might not need an introduction, being the Mission institution that they are. Rare new and old music, a knowledgeable and opinionated staff and a listening station...also peruse the small collection of (well chosen) new and used LPs. You can order online too!

Sunday, September 27, 2009


The Invisible Ocean Festival was a blast.
I had too much fun and so didn't take very many much talent, kids playing around, sweet folks lying on the grass...there were flowers in little vases everywhere, and coffee in the morning, and delicious lamb sausages and goat stew for lunch.

Words fail me.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Morning Feather Bounty

From misty Ocean Beach, when the fog just starts lifting and the shore opens like a shell.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


A few photos from my trip south a few weeks ago...I've been teaching, the reason why it took so long. A heat wave in L.A. Two nice shows, one at the Hyperion Tavern, one at the Echo Curio. Friends. I stayed with my good friend Ruthann, who wrote a famous song but has some new ones that are astounding. She's very inspiring and I love to stay with her. So below: a common reassuring sight, Ruthann practicing in the office; the blooms in her yard; at the Echo Curio we played amidst rainbows; and when I came home I found this pin in my suitcase- I suspect a small furry creature must have put it there...

Soon I'll post some of the *very few* photos I took North (I had too much fun).

In the meantime, if you're in Berkeley get yourself to the Redwood Grove Amphitheater on Thursday, we'll be singing there starting around 5:30...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

south then north, some summer fun coming

Tomorrow I'm flying to L.A. for some long overdue hanging out with my dear friend and songwriter extraordinaire Ruthann. We're playing a show together on Saturday at the Echo Curio, and tomorrow I'll be at the Hyperion tavern, with sweet Fort King.

Then next week heading north to Mendocino for the Invisible Ocean Festival
A heap of talents, a farm, organic food, the ocean nearby, some homemade brew and friends...what more can one ask for?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

more seaside, seagulls

cloudy but still nice.

with lifted fog. I like the soft lines of the mountains.

bundle of kids jumping up and down in the first waves in Half Moon Bay.


There isn't any time really, but in the midst of a whirlwind of tasks it's quite calming to look at these photos from the past couple of weeks.
And for a soundtrack: it was the first album of hers I ever heard and I think it's still my favorite - the sound & poetry of it...:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Love and Architecture

I usually get a little sad when I finish a book I like. Sometimes I even stall reading towards the end, just so I can stay with it, it can stay with me, a little longer. Last night I finished reading this one, Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. It's a semi-fictional account of the liaison between Frank Lloyd Wright and one of his client's wife (in actuality his client as well), Mamah Borthwick Cheney. I didn't know anything about Wright's life, so it all took the allure of a novel to me, and I got quite attached to the characters - especially Mamah Borthwick. What they had to go through - what she had to go through - in order to live truthfully... quite a lesson in living. The writing is easy going wihtout being too easy, and I was quite delightfully transported to the 00's and 10's of the 20th century. Their story brought to life a lot of issues about feminism, the human condition, the weight of society and the choices we are to make in the course of a lifetime. Not to mention the role of the woman in the creative life of the 'genius'....I was particularly taken by the vigor and scope of the Woman Movement at the time, and by Mamah's remarkable intelligence and humanity. She feels like a dear companion now, thanks to Nancy Horan.


Then today I was in Oakland and walking through Old Oakland after brunch, where they have these neat suspended doorways (although not quite as visionary as Frank Lloyd Wright's work, but a little eerie just the same). We ate some delicious grub at a place called B.
Here's a nice map. I also like this place.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I went to the MOMA yesterday, in search of inspiration and to take my brain on a little vacation. Even though it was crowded (free first Tuesday of the month), I still got something out of it - like this painting with butterflies, "Pray" by Damien Hirst. I'm not sure about the artist persona after reading about him, but I liked the painting.

Then to the Richard Avedon exhibit. The one photo that moved me the most was of a Hiroshima pilot, a Claude Eatherly, taken August 6, 1945. The expression on his face was so intense, with a tear in his eye not quite able to even come out, as if the horror was beyond what a human being can possibly cry about. At least that's what I saw in it.

He (Avedon) can take Marilyn Monroe out of her glamour into pensiveness and vulnerability. And I like how he uses the space around and between his subjects:

The museum has now a rooftop garden, perfect for sitting in the sun with a sense of abandon. I met a nice German lady there, another expatriate. We talked about second hand stores, unfinished projects, and how wherever you go it's always nice to be in Europe.

Other things that caught my attention : Andrea Zittel's travel trailer, so perfectly outfitted with wood panelings and glass jars; and Robert Frank's "The Americans" - I didn't have time to look at the whole thing but what I saw I liked a lot. And Jack Kerouac wrote the introduction to his book, a collection of photographs taken all around the United States over a period of a year and some odd months. Both a renewed inspiration for travel, of which I haven't done enough lately.

Afterwards I sat outside the cafe for some tea and writing. It was still warm outside by 6 o'clock, it felt like summer again. At last.

Some other inspiring items in my life right now:

reading Nabokov's Transparent Things
listening to Colleen in the mornings

I've just added the moon phase lil' gadget on the right. As you can see it's pretty much full. I'm ready to get on a train to somewhere exciting and far away - if only.

But for now: figuring out how to release a full length record, all by myself. Exciting! Intimidating! Scary.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Let's hear it for July

Summer seems to be settling in the Bay- I'm writing in the morning with full sun outside, and I left my house without a sweater...amazing! Let's hear it for July. Here are a few other exciting things this month brings: a show in Fairfax this Tuesday, a KALX appearance on Thursday (4pm), the Mission Creek Music Festival with a show at Cafe du Nord a week from today, and a show in San Jose on the 25th. More detailed info lives within that side bar on the right.
Since there's nothing like keeping busy, I also agreed to accompany Xoel Lopez (from Spain) on violin and vocals on Saturday, July 18th (the Free Concert in MacLaren Park, put together by the festival) Russ is also playing with! We'll go on at 3pm.

The Seasonal Sevens are doing well: our split single was voted record of the week by Norman Records - and it left them 'ecstatic'...Two other nice reviews, one at Losing Today (after a long ramble, but it's fun to read) and another by Psyche von het folk in Belgium.
You can support the lovely Autumn Ferment records by ordering directly from them here. I will have some copies at the Du Nord show, but they might go fast. Did I mention it's yellow?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Yellow Vinyl!

Today, Bumblebee is coming out on a split seven inch. Isn't the yellow vinyl pretty? like the rising sun of summer. And look at that cover...I can't wait to hold one in my hands (very soon!), let alone put it on the record player. You can go and get yourself a copy from the excellent folks at Autumn Ferment Records. I will celebrate in San Francisco on July 20th (an amazing bill at the Cafe du Nord)- and throughout California over the summer. Check the side bar for details - and let me know if you'd like me to play a town near you!