I’ve been working on several new sound effects and design projects for periscopic.com. One upcoming project is a video and interactive piece being done in collaboration with the Economic Policy Institute. It focuses on growing economic inequality, the financial sector, worker’s rights, and the need for comprehensive economic reform in the U.S. Another has garnered quite a lot of attention over the last two weeks. It’s a striking data visualization of gun violence statistics in the U.S.
I recently performed with Chrysta Bell and her band in
New York, on February 22nd at Le Poisson Rouge and February 23rd at the Standard Hotel. Chrysta’s album “This Train” was produced and co-written by the one and only David Lynch, who has this to say about her: “Chrysta Bell looks like a dream and sings like a dream. And the dream is coming true.”
Twilight of the Idols have been in the studio recording our debut record. T.O.T.I. consists of myself and Doug Gillard (Guided By Voices, Nada Surf, Cobra Verde) on guitars, Dave Derby (The Dambuilders, LLoyd Cole and the Negatives, Gramercy Arms) on bass, and Kevin March (Guided By Voices, Shudder To Think) on drums. This will be an ambitious instrumental record influenced by mid ’70′s groups such as Popol Vuh, Cluster and Harmonium.
“Not Yet Begun To Fight“, for which I co-composed the music, was recently awarded three and a half out of four stars in a February 6th, 2013 Chicago Sun Times review. The documentary film had its New York premiere last October at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at Lincoln Center, and also won the audience award at the Florida Film Festival last fall.
Gotta Groove records has released a vinyl version of Luna’s Bewitched. This is the first time Bewitched has been available on vinyl since its original release! The record features the cover art and photography by Michael Lavine and Laurie Henzel which the band had intended for the release, but which was replaced at the last minute when the original CD version was released. It looks and sounds amazing, and you can find it here.
I performed quite a few Luna songs with Dean and Britta on Saturday, July 21st, at a special benefit show in Wantagh, Long Island. It was part of the Shine A Light Music Festival, presented by the Tommy Brull Foundation. The War On Drugs, one of my favorite current bands, also played. Luna’s last two albums, Romantica and Rendezvous, were recently released on special edition 180-gram vinyl. Unfortunately these limited-edtion versions have already sold out! However, there are also digital downloads, including b-sides and remixes of songs from both these albums available at Luna’s bandcamp site, as well as on iTunes.
“Not Yet Begun To Fight” premiered on March 24th at the Atlanta Film Festival. I co-composed the music for this documentary feature with Matthew Buzzell. An intimate look at the human cost of war, the film follows a retired Marine Colonel who reaches out to five men, a new generation returning from and ravaged by combat. He takes them to the river and shares the secret that saved him: there are places where you can still be consumed by a simple act, find joy in a fight, and be redeemed as you gently release another creature, unharmed, into quiet waters.
Yes, indeed, I confirm that I appeared in a Budweiser commercial that aired earlier this year during football and basketball games on network and cable channels. The spot, called “Upside”, depicts a bar scene wherein one grumpy guy (me) complains about various subjects while the other patrons contradict my grumblings by pointing out positive things, eventually causing me to admit that I at least feel pretty positive about “my cute neighbor Sarah”. The ad was directed by Randy Krallman, and produced by Smuggler and the Anomaly Agency.
I recently created the music, sound design and audio effects for two different interactive visualization tools at Yahoo.com. The first showcases their global email technology, and the second demonstrates the optimization and personalization technology for their more than 700 million users. There will be another interactive data visualization for which I’m creating the music and sound coming soon, and that one will feature some interesting ambient music.
I’ve completed writing and recording the score for the feature-length horror film Hypothermia, written and directed by James Felix McKenney, and produced by Glass Eye Pix. The film is set on a frozen lake in Maine where two groups of ice fishers are terrorized by an aquatic monster. The film stars Michael Rooker, (from “The Walking Dead” and “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer”), Blanche Baker, and Don Wood. A brief trailer for the film screened at the Cannes Film Festival last year, and it can be viewed here.
Quadrangle, directed by Amy Grappell, premiered on HBO on February the 16th, 2011. I produced, arranged, and played on the song “Sad Little Happiness”, by Youth and Valor, which appears in the film. It’s an unconventional documentary about two “conventional” couples who swapped partners and lived in a group marriage in the 1970s. Quadrangle won several festival awards in 2010, including Best Documentary Short at the SXSW Film Festival. “Substantial, serious, compelling, deeply moving and formally beautiful. An outstanding piece of portraiture” – Hamza Walker, Renaissance Society Chicago.
My song “Broken Chair” appears in the feature film Paper Man, starring Jeff Daniels, Ryan Reynolds, and Lisa Kudrow. The film played in theaters in the U.S. last summer and is now available on DVD. It’s a coming-of-middle-age comedy that chronicles the unlikely friendship between failed author Richard Dunne and a Long Island teen who teaches him a thing or two about growing up, all under the disapproving eye of his long-suffering wife and his imaginary Superhero friend.
I created the music and sound design for VoteEasy, an interactive online tool created by Project Vote Smart that converts hours of research time into just seconds. VoteEasy is a featured site in the latest Communication Arts Annual. It allows voters to get an instant visual confirmation on which candidates agree with their own positions on the major issues facing the nation. VoteEasy is a powerful new weapon to counter the refusal of candidates to demonstrate political courage in their campaigns.
I’ve worked with Chipotle and their design partner, Periscopic, for several years. I’ve created well over 200 sound effects for their site, as well as a variety musical pieces and vocal effects. In fact, currently all of the music and sound at Chipotle.com was created by me. The site is actually quite dense, and if you look/click around you will discover several pages and sub-pages that have some interesting sonic details.
Youth and Valor‘s album ”Some Satisfactions are Permanent” is now available on iTunes. Youth and Valor is the singer/songwriter Courtney Saunders, with myself on guitar and other instruments. I also produced and arranged the album, and share co-writing credits on a couple of the songs. The author Katie Crouch recently said this about Youth and Valor in the New York Times: “Her album is absolutely lovely stuff, sort of Mazzy Star meets sexy lounge singer. Absolutely perfect for wistful afternoons”.
Elk City has released a new full-length album, “House of Tongues”, on Friendly Fire Records. The band Night People, featuring Matthew Buzzell on vocals (director of the Luna documentary “Tell Me Do You Miss Me”), Noel Brown on drums and vocals, Eric Kinlaw on bass, keys, and vocals, and myself on guitar, recently played at the 40-Watt Club in Athens, GA, and The Soul Bar in Augusta, GA. A full-length album is nearing completion, and you can listen to some of it here.