I’m performing this Tuesday, March 28 at Gold Sounds in Bushwick. Here is the Facebook event and the flyer I made using imagery from a pretty bold and imaginative horror movie I saw recently called Antibirth. The film stars Natasha Lyonne whose personality, artistry, talent, and humanity make her in my view, a major filmmaking icon of our time. She is not dissimilar from Bill Murray in the way her comedic genius resides in deep wells of melancholic introspection. Her performances possess complete candor (the antithesis of preening) which can be hilarious in one context and tragic in another. As with Murray’s best work, the comedy is never at the expense of the dramatic gravity and vice versa; they are mutually reinforcing and consistent. I am glad to be alive at the same time that she is making art.
-New show added: 3/26 Sofar Sounds NYC (Location TBA) with friends Radclyffe Hall and RAINE.
-Check out this photo from the Sounds of Action series at Starr Bar last night
Photo by Gina Cimmelli
-My cover of Zayn’s Pillow Talk is up at Soundcloud. Why cover Zayn, one may ask? Pretty simple: LYDIAN. ALL DAY EV’RY DAY.(see post below regarding my cover of Hooray for Earth’s True Loves for context on my Lydian love)
-My discography is now for sale on Bandcamp! Check out the link here: https://stuntcasting.bandcamp.com/
-Check out this cover I did of the gorgeous song, “True Loves” by Hooray for Earth.
I discovered the song over the summer while researching the music videos of Addison Post. Addison did a music video that I love for the song, “Postal” by Boytoy whose lead singer Saara I’ve known for a couple of years. In exploring Addison’s portfolio , I came upon his videos for Mass Gothic, the project of Noel Heroux, a NYC-based musician from Boston. Checking out the video for “Nice Night”, I was struck by the song’s synthesis of melancholy and sublime melodic prettiness.
I then checked out his prior project, Hooray for Earth and it became clear to me that he hears music much the same way I hear music. Rooted in in The Beatles, songs like “True Loves”, “Keys”, and “No Loves” are accessible but elide triteness. They also have maximalist symphonic gestures that recall Of Montreal, delivering an onslaught of melodicism that preempts skepticism or boredom.
“True Loves” is a song about love that is both tender and galvanizing, cerebral and primitively euphoric. Its extraordinary music video which seems influenced by The Fountain, follows a medieval time-traveler pursuing singular love through past, present, and future. It is the rare music video that not only successfully provides visual accompaniment to the song but transmutes its ineffable emotions into narrative and visual themes that render it part of a total artistic piece.
Since I first started writing songs in elementary school, I have been drawn to songs in the Lydian mode; that is, songs whose tonal center is on the fourth chord of a major scale. For example, the chord progression of “True Loves” moves from G to A as the melody remains in D major. By cycling through the fourth and fifth but never resolving to the 1 (D), this chord progression conveys a feeling of constant, surging rising tension. In the hands of a master craftsman like Heroux, it is the chord progression of butterflies in the stomach, the heart in the throat, or in the piquant oxymoron of “True Loves”, a “quiet heart like a car alarm.”
I recorded the cover in my bedroom using several instruments lying around the house. These include ukulele which I have recently discovered to be a surprisingly versatile instrument, at times capable of approximating the delicateness and elegance of a violin’s timbre. I also recorded finger-picked acoustic guitar and double bass. The latter is an instrument I reacquired after many years of having left it in others’ custody while dealing with space constraints in NYC, and for which I am rediscovering my passion. The bridge section features my roommate’s Casio MT-68, a charming battery-powered little instrument that achieves sounds of surprising complexity and character for its size.
Other anthemic synth-pop songs that I would also like to record similarly stripped-down, lo-fi versions of include Metric’s “Synthetica”, Blank Paper’s “Ambien”, The Gossip’s “Move in the Right Direction”, and Bat for Lashes “Sunday Love”. Stay tuned for those!
My friend, neighbor, and frequent protest buddy, Lisa and I have started to write and record resistance ditties under the name Idiopathy.
Here is our first song, ‘No! (It’s Not That Complicated)’ which urges the Senate Democrats to ‘grow a spine/hold the line’ and reject (d)DT’s (our term for you-know-who) Swamp Cabinet of incompetents, criminals, and ideologues.
You can stream it at Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/idiopathymusic/no-its-not-that-complicated
It’s also available on Bandcamp here:
- I’m playing 1/19 at The Gutter. Here is the Facebook event.
- Check out these photos by Griffin Shapiro from my gig on 12/6 in Bed-Stuy for Sofar Sounds NYC.
- Here’s a photo of me performing with Lisa Hickox and Shay Spence at Kava Shteeble in Bed-Stuy on 1/12. It was a fun, cozy acoustic gig! And turns out I was inadvertently channeling the coiffure of the late James Traficant.
First off, I added a new show – I’ll be performing as an acoustic trio with Shay Spence and Lisa Hickox at Kava Shteeble in Bed-Stuy on January 12.
Secondly, I’ve pasted below some photos from our shows on 12/10 at the Gateway in Bushwick and on 12/16 at the Footlight in Ridgewood.
I feel like these performances are starting to really connect with people, and this brings me great joy. I must give a shout-out of gratitude to Daniel Rote for inviting me to join the bill at Footlight and to Miles Maxwell for having me perform for the launch party of his record label, Colossal Squid Records at Gateway. Both shows were characterized by solid attendance, an extremely positive response, and performances by other bands that blew me away and made me boogie.
As I approach 30, I have been asking myself some serious questions about how to prepare for a decade of greater stability, happiness, and peace than I have experienced in my twenties. The dark omen of the Trump presidency has compounded my ennui and confusion. But I do know that these shows have felt very positive, and I am grateful for the affirmation they have provided, and if nothing else, for the opportunity to dance and connect over music. (I discovered two months ago that I enjoy dancing, and it has felt like a revelation).
I look forward to more performances as well as getting back into the studio over the next month.
Photos by Mia Pakulski
Photo by Jay Sharp
I’ve added two new shows over in the shows section: on 12/6, I’m playing an acoustic house-show in Brooklyn for SoFarNYC, and on 12/16 I’m rocking full band at the Footlight in Ridgewood, Queens.
Check it! A live performance of ‘Underwater’ featuring the talents of Shay Spence, Cory Sterling, and Harry Keithline.
A few news items:
-Check out this video that Linnéa Kviske made for my cover of ‘Everything is Free’ by Gillian Welch.
-Check out the flyer and FB event for my show on 11/9 at Pianos!
Wow, it’s been a really long time since I updated. I apologize for that!
I am performing next Wednesday 10/19 at 6pm with full band at Rockwood Music Hall. Here is the FB event.
Also here is a video of my session for a new song last week at The Creamery studio in Greenpoint, featuring the talents of Jon Smith on drums and engineering, Lenna Pierce on cello, and Zach Green on flute.
Here’s a pic of me performing at the City Reliquary in Williamsburg with Lady Liberty.
Here’s an acoustic demo of a song called ‘Stay Alive’ that I’d love to record properly.
I’m performing a solo set this Friday, 8/26/2016 at the City Reliquary in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with Ben Wigler and Tender Glue. Here is the Facebook event.
From last week, 8/17 at Rough Trade in Williamsburg, Brooklyn with The Can’t Tells, No Swoon, and Makeout Club. (photos by Jeni Magana):
Me and Shay Spence
Cory Sterling, Harry Keithline, me, Shay Spence.
Here’s the FB post I posted that sums up my experience:
Here’s a pic of our show at Sofar Sounds NYC in Tribeca on Saturday, 8/20 (Photo by Aleyah Solomon).
July 27, 2016
After my set, I got my front row seat for Ann’s full band show which was fabulous. Her new songs jump from pop to dark satire to grunge to lush melodic rock. I knew every word to her old tunes, which I used to hear back at TT The Bear’s and Tommy Doyle’s in Cambridge seven years ago.
His website features a number of amusing, witty reflections on music culture and life as a touring musician including a recent live review of Guns ‘N’ Roses in which he waxes rhapsodic about Slash’s guitar playing (I was persuaded) and hilariously ponders Axl Rose’s likely penchant for hoagies.
His reflections on his time performing at Warped Tour with American Authors are worth reading as well; I wrote 7 years ago about that very same band, now internationally famous, playing at Warped Tour under very different circumstances and under their former name, The Blue Pages: The Blue Pages: Vans, Fans, Warped Tour, and Being the Next Berklee Band to Break Out. (Sometimes, I ain’t half bad at prognosticating).
I’m performing on August 17 with The Can’t Tells, No Swoon, and The Makeout Club so put it in your calendar! Here’s the flyer by Jon Murphy.
July 23, 2016
One of my biggest intellectual heroes, David Lowery tweeted about my song. “Canary’s Corpse” was inspired in part by his tenacious, clear-eyed writings and advocacy work on behalf of songwriters and creators. Check out his blog, The Trichordist for news and commentary about the music industry and copyright in the digital age.
July 14, 2016
Billboard did a really nice piece today premiering my song ‘Canary’s Corpse’ which is a critique of ad-based business models. Check out the article here. “My goal was to create a parody of the kind of music you hear in online ads which often consists of the same predictable, formulaic instrumentation: glockenspiel, ukulele, ‘cute’ female vocals, hand-claps. I wanted this song to more or less sound like the background music to a toilet paper ad.”
Here is my friend, Kelley Garrard’s illustration.
I am pretty touched by all of the positive feedback I received on Facebook & Twitter from friends, acquaintances, former colleagues and classmates. I feel really encouraged as I continue the process of promoting the album, which drops Saturday aka tomorrow technically and can be pre-ordered here.
If you haven’t yet, please RSVP to my party on Saturday at firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 3, 2016
June 19, 2016
My EP, Pushpins is now available for pre-order on iTunes! Click here to begin the process of enjoying and financially supporting my music! It comes out on July 16 on iTunes, Bandcamp, Amazon, and Spotify! Exclamation points! I’ll be delivering shows and all sorts of video/music/behind-the-scenes content to you between now and then!
Also, here is a photo that my friend Krystal Kay Cortez took of me yesterday during rehearsal! Orange!!!!!!!
June 6, 2016
Check out the flyer for my show at Pine Box Rock Shop.
Also, I’m continuing my summer tour of Bushwick, performing on July 6 at Alphaville. I’m looking forward to performing A LOT this summer, so come on out to or within Brooklyn ‘n’ see me!
May 16, 2016
Thanks to all for coming out last night to our DIY show in Bushwick!
(Photo by Gina Cimmelli-Spence).
Ben Wigler opened the show with an incandescent, you-had-to-be-there performance, playing material by his bands, Arizona and New Beard – major inspirations of mine from high school to today – as well as material from his new a capella project, Walk Ins Welcome. Embracing the unconventional, DIY nature of the show, he projected his otherworldly falsetto sans microphone into the sky-lit room, embellishing every note of his intricate Baroque-pop melodies with theatrical gestures that conveyed the impish humor and self-confessional pathos of the lyrics. Ben was an utter delight!
Alex Gruenburg, he of Best Behavior, played next with a set of killer British Invasion-style tunes that could have placed on the Rushmore soundtrack had Alex not been around 8 year old when that film came out. The Kinks, The Creation, The Strokes. It’s all there in Alex’s refreshing combination of zippy, compact song structure; lyrics with a scruffy romantic yearning; and melodies and chord progressions that go down so smooth they deceive you into thinking that they aren’t as complex and deliberately crafted as they really are.
Then there was me, baby me. My set was: Underwater // Black Box // Kill Me // Marble Out of Man // Fiasco // Trophy Fuck // Ringmaster // I Wanna Be Your Zombie // Slow Down // Stay Alive. It was the first time I performed Marble out of Man and I’m pleased that it was received well – not that the audience was particularly demanding or skeptical…:)
Major props to literally everyone who came out, especially Kassy for the epic bleached blonde dye job she gave me (is giving me; it’s a process, ya’ll) and which made its musical debut last night + Pat and Jess for the help carrying my shit home afterwards. Props also to Daniel Feels for lending his gorgeous lil Fender Tweed Blues Jr. Man, that thing is both luscious in its tone and beastly in its punch. A beautiful little buddy, which incidentally describes the spirit of the people performing and in attendance last night.
May 12, 2016
- My EP, Pushpins will go live on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify on July 16 and will be available for pre-order on June 19 to coincide with my show at Goldsounds.
- The Pushpins EP release party will be on July 16 at the Creamery – a beautiful studio in Greenpoint that my friends Jeff and Quinn run. There will be a full band live performance as well as listening party. More details forthcoming!
- My show is this Sunday, 5/15. at Hell Phone in Bushwick. Here is the Facebook and here is the flyer:
April 28, 2016
- I’ve added 2 new shows – both in Bushwick, Brooklyn: 5/15 at Hell Phone and 6/19 at Goldsounds.
- Yo I’m on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/ann_driscoll/. I liken my decision to join yet another addictive and unethical (in terms of privacy and intellectual property) social media platform to the scene in Bridesmaids where Maya Rudolph resigns herself to the reality that she’s shitting in the middle of the street: “it’s happening, it’s happening…it happened.” At any rate, follow me!
- Check out this cool promo blurb that was in the Kiel, Germany newspaper. It’s the text and photo I supplied to the venue – Hansa48 – but it’s cool because a) it’s in German and b) it was in an honest-to-God physical newspaper!
April 3, 2016
My show in Flensburg last Friday was quite a lot of fun. I’ve never experienced so much dancing at a solo show of mine! (my little Volca drum machine – a new purchase – came in handy, I think). Shout out to Nora of one million steps for organizing and performing a beautiful set and gluckwunsch to her, Henrik and all the welcoming people at hundert-acht. It was an honor to celebrate the space’s opening and perform for people who are so engaged and kind; their commitment to sustainable food and farming is admirable – and delicious – their home-cooked vegan buffet and array of biological colas satisfied my conscience and palate! Okay, enough kase. It was a great time and I’d perform there again in a heartbeat!
March 30, 2016
Check out the album art for my new EP, Pushpins by Shannon Orcutt.
March 28, 2016
I’m playing at Hansa48 in Kiel, Germany on April 6 at 8:30pm. Facebook event here.
I’m also playing in Flensburg, Germany on April 1 at 7:00pm at Hundertacht.