Musicians on Bikes Getting Beer, E05: Lia Rose


Hey,
This is the fifth installment of posts I am doing with my friends to promote my Kickstarter project. The idea is stolen from Jerry Seinfeld (Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee). Instead, I am riding bikes and drinking with my friends, talking about records. Enjoy, and if feeling supportive, please take a peak at my new record here »

MOBGB E05: Lia Rose

This post will be a bit different. No bar, no beer, no bikes. If you know Lia, you will not be surprised when the theme of the evening turned out to be more about Pink Pearl apples, tea and a living room. I vaguely remember being with Lia when she had a staggering TWO cocktails at the bar, and man, it was hilarious. Anyhow, I respect a true lightweight. I consider myself one.

I remember the day I met her, she walked up to me at a show and said “Oh, Hi! You are my new bass player.” Seriously, that is what she said. And no, we hadn’t talked about it before and, well, she was right. We played in Built for the Sea together for several years, played some huge shows, toured Holland, played South by Southwest, and we have also collaborated on other projects, including a song on my new album! She is an enigma, a force of positivity, and is blessed with one of the most beautifully classic voices ever. I have heard her sing the entire Little Mermaid Soundtrack in the tour van, and she NAILED it.

Lia has an extremely hard time committing to a  “favorite album”, so these are a few records that she mentions loving:

Classic albums

Paul Simon Graceland, Billy Joel An Innocent Man, any Motown from the 50s and 60s.

Contemporary Albums

Bon Iver Self Titled, The Shins Oh, Inverted World, and anything by Dave Bazan or Damien Jurado

Guilty Pleasures

Propagandhi, hah, this still cracks me up!

Local Album

Goodnight, Texas A Long Life of Living

Lia on records

Lia brought up one of the most important things about records that I had not yet thought about. In today’s world of digital music, it’s so easy to just skip a song if you aren’t feeling it at that moment. “It adds to this rapidly increasing pace of life that we are all feeling the pressure of, and sometimes, it’s really nice to just slow things down. Listening to a record demands patience, it means you are going to listen to that strange song that you always skip on an iPod.” In a way, it gives the artist a certain amount of respect.

I can’t tell you how many times I have downloaded an album, and repeatedly skipped a certain song because I am unimpressed with the first few seconds. Then, one day when I not paying attention, the song plays through, and the most beautiful moment is uncovered, right in the middle. This actually just happened with a new Mogwai song yesterday. The first 3 minutes were good, but not really enough to bend the ear, and then at minute 3:00, shit gets real. I love that.

Big thanks to my good friend, Lia Rose! If this post has got you feeling warm and fuzzy about vinyl, please support the newest Parks and Records vinyl release, Identical Homes, Hydrophelia, below:

Musicians on Bikes Getting Beer, E04: Adam Cimino


Hey,
This is the fourth installment of posts I am doing with my friends to promote my Kickstarter project. The idea is stolen from Jerry Seinfeld (Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee). Instead, I am riding bikes and drinking with my friends, talking about records. Enjoy, and if feeling supportive, please take a peak at my new record here »

MOBGB E04: Adam Cimino

I didn’t like Adam at all when I first met him in 1998. He just strolled into my KSUN radio class at Sonoma State and had all the indie girls talking about him, in between rumors of a new Modest Mouse or Elliot Smith album, or why they desperately wanted to move to Olympia. Remember those days?

I first hung out with him when I recorded his band, Desert City Soundtrack, at the Cotati Sound Machine (my recording studio), and I was floored by his style. He hits as hard as hell, but has this gentle jazz-like flow on the drums. It was an engineer’s worse nightmare, but a musician’s dream. Ever since then, he has been one of my favorite people to hang out with. He is freakishly artistic in everything he does, when he rides a skateboard, writes his blog, takes a photo, tells a joke. But the real friend crush came when I heard his solo music, called Namesake. I can say confidently that it’s my favorite music that any of my friends make, period.  The albums come infrequently, but I listen to them always. They are one of the few constants in my collection.

My favorite thing about Adam is that he acknowledges that there are great and beautiful things outside of making music. Our conversation over lunch was 75% about climbing Mt. Shasta this year. At the same time, I am awfully damn excited to see his new band, Male Gaze,  play in San Francisco this February.

Bar

Louie’s Bar, San Francisco. We met for lunch in business casual attire.

Bike

Adam has an old, black Maruishi that he paid $50 to have shipped out from Michigan by a family friend and has been commuting on it since 2002.

Beer

Beer at 11am? Why not, it was Friday. Adam had a Lagunitas and a strange grilled cheese sandwich. I had a Fat Tire and a salad.

Vinyl Releases

Adam has a long list so I’m gonna bullet point this sucker:

  • The Mall Emergency at the Everyday
  • The Mall First, Before & Never Again
  • Family Band Miller’s Path
  • N amesak E Hot & Cold Issue 1 Compilation
  • Male Gaze COMING SOON!

Favorite Classic Records in his collections

Ahmad Jamal Live at the Pershing, Michael Hurley Hi Fi Snock Uptown

Favorite Contemporary Record in his collections

Gonzales Solo Piano, E*Vax Parking Lot Music, Sam Prekop Sam Prekop

Guilty Pleasure Record in his Collection

Jeffrey Osbourne Emotional, he is a really big fan of the “woo woo woo” song, called “You Should Be Mine”. He started singing it, and it got awkward.

Best Record Packaging in his Collection

“No Flashlight” by Mount Eerie LP, it holds the World’s Record for the longest record cover.

Favorite Local Record Store

No question, Aquarius on Valencia.

Adam on records

We didn’t really get to this part of the conversation because we had too much catching up to take care of for an hour lunch break, but we did follow-up by email. That is how I uncovered this gem:

“I’m not really sure why I enjoy listening to records. I feel goofy sometimes getting up from my computer to go put on an album that I have readily available in my iTunes. The poetic reason of why is somewhere in that nonsensical habit. I’m conveying it to you right now with my mind and you are totally understanding me.”

For all of you non-psychics out there, I apologize.

Big thanks to my good friend Adam Cimino! If this post has got you feeling warm and fuzzy about vinyl, please support the newest Parks and Records vinyl release, Identical Homes, Hydrophelia, below:

Musicians on Bikes Getting Beer, E03: Remco Vander Heide


Hey,
This is the third installment of posts I am doing with my friends to promote my Kickstarter project. The idea is stolen from Jerry Seinfeld (Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee). Instead, I am riding bikes and drinking with my friends, talking about records. Enjoy, and if feeling supportive, please take a peak at my new record here »

MOBGB E03: Remco Vander Heide

Remco is Dutch, I mean, seriously. The dude is tall, loves fried foods, always has some gouda to share with his guests, has that strange European taste in clothing and actually owns a pair of wooden shoes, but we both grew up in tiny towns supported by the dairy industry, so there are plenty of commonalities. I remember meeting Remco for the first time at a show. He had just flown here from Holland and I greeted him with a six pack of Grolsch. He showed me how the red rubber seal from the bottle can be used as a lock for a guitar strap and he was instantly one of my favorite people. But I think the bond that keeps us close is our love for the outdoors. We camp, we backpack, we hike together, and it’s always more fun when Remco is there.

I have played music with him in Winterbirds and Shuteye Unison. He joined my old band right when we were writing and recording Our Future Selves, and his parts are still some of my favorites moments on any record I have recorded. He dropped a hint over drinks that he may be working on a new project. There are a lot of people waiting for this day.

Bar

Ben and Nick’s, Rockridge. Also known as Fat Lana’s House of Pain (I don’t know, ask my brother)

Bikes

Remco has a silver Bianchi Pista, and he has totally Dutched it out.

Beer

Remco chooses the Hefeweizen from Mission Brewery (and instantly discards the orange slice, because that is some “American bullshit,” and I go for a greyhound.

Vinyl Releases

Remco shredded on, helped engineer and helped design packaging for Shuteye Unison’s Our Future Selves.

Favorite Classic Records in his collections

Neil Young Harvest

Favorite Contemporary Record in his collections

Tom Waits Blood Money, Brightblack Morning Light Motion to Rejoin

Most Embarrassing Record in his Collection

Breakfast Club Sountrack on white vinyl (but we all know that this is not embarrassing at all)

Remco on records

Imagine this scene; a little Dutch boy with long straight blonde hair getting into this dad’s record collection and blasting Creedence Clearwater Revival, playing on a self-fashioned cardboard drum set and singing at the top of his lungs, but only being able to approximate the lyrics  because they were in English. Daaaaaaarrre’s a bad mooooon on da rieeesse. “I had no idea what they were singing about, but I LOVED it. I have loved vinyl and wanted to make music ever since.

My favorite quote about records so far was from Remco. “I don’t know, I’m just gonna say the same thing that everyone else says, buying a record gives you something to hold on to, and I just love dropping the needle.”

Big thanks to my good friend Remco Vander Heide! If this post has got you feeling warm and fuzzy about vinyl, please support the newest Parks and Records vinyl release, Identical Homes, Hydrophelia, below:

Musicians On Bikes Getting Beer, E02: Eric and Erica


Hey,
This is the second installment of posts I am doing with my friends to promote my Kickstarter project. The idea is stolen from Jerry Seinfeld (Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee). Instead, I am riding bikes and drinking with my friends, talking about records. Enjoy, and if feeling supportive, please take a peak at my new record here »

MOBGB E02: Eric and Erica

Eric Kuhn and I met many years ago, maybe 7, when he joined Built for the Sea. Ever since, we keep uncovering these really strange things we have in common. We have bonded over our musical favorites (Superchunk, Melvins, Tortoise), sang songs from the Little Shop of Horrors soundtrack in a tour van, wrote music for Coke commercials, bragged about how cool our dads are for hours and have been taken for $80 by a sneaky Dutch train employee. Suffice to say, we go way back. I can say that he is one of my favorite people to play music with, always open to strange ideas. And it doesn’t hurt that music just flows from the kid like a first language. Anyone who has seen Silian Rail needs no further explanation.

Erica, I met about two years ago at a show. She is the type of person you hope to run into at shows, cause she always has this mischievous smile and something hilarious to say.  I have had the great pleasure of doing some coincidental-midweek grocery shopping with her, and we have also collaborated on a Knife cover song (yet to be finished). If you know her, you know she is constantly making art, painting, singing, crafting, but the cleanliness of her room pays the price for it.

They play together in a band called, wait for it….Ted and Cindy. No, hold on, that’s not right, it’s Eric and Erica. You just can’t deny the charm of this band. You kinda always end up smiling through their whole set. Erica plays that rectangle shaped guitar thing with buttons, I can never remember what it’s called, I have been told several times, but she plays it and sings light and beautiful while Eric tinkers on a piano and triggers some boat rockers (mellow beats), although, my favorite show of theirs was when the drum machine was turned up super loud, and was shaking the whole room. I am a sucker for that. And I like their lyrics; simple, sweet, classic, fitting perfectly with the music.

Ohhhh, and they happen to arrive straight from a recording session with Thao Nguyen at Tiny Telephone. Now THAT is some rockstar bullshit.

Bar

Ye Old Hut, Rockridge. How can I characterize the positive qualities of this bar? Maybe let’s just leave it at “it’s the only place nearby that wasn’t packed.”

Bikes

These guys are on the move, headed to North Carolina, so they are bikeless for the time being. Eric rode my Surly Long Haul Trucker that goes by the name of “Black Bart.” Erica rode my lady’s white and baby blue 1980s Nishiki that she calls “Calliope.”

Beer

I saw a dingy old mini can of grapefruit juice behind the bar and I couldn’t resist! I went with a greyhound, Eric with a Lagunitas IPA, and Erica with a Whiskey Sour.

Vinyl Releases

Eric has released two Silian Rail full length 12″s, one split 7″ with Silian Rail and By Sunlight, and one 7″ with his band from the old days, TNTP (the meaning of this acronym was ever-changing). He also appears on some Michael Musika and Sean Hayes albums. Erica has not yet had the pleasure, but looks forward to the possibility of the next Eric and Erica release being a 7″.

Favorite Classic Records in their collections

Eric: Rolling Stones Let it Bleed, Prince How come U don’t call me anymore/1999 (2 song 7″)
Erica: Melanie Sofka Gather Me

Favorite Contemporary Records in their collections

Eric: D’Angelo Voodoo
Erica: Assateague Good Morning Blues (and I happen to know she has a soft spot for the Dixie Chicks)

Eric and Erica on records

Man, we starting talking about records and couldn’t really stop except to notice the extreme randomness of  the jukebox. Nino Palidino, Macklemore, Journey. We all agree that Thrift Shop is a great song, no matter how overplayed it is.

Eric starts off with a really interesting comment regarding his fascination with vinyl. “I have always loved the visual component of a record, how it’s something you can actually see, you hold it up to the light and the music corresponds to the grooves cut into the thing.” This comment resonates with me because I always look at grooves in records. Tiny shallow grooves for mellow parts, big fat grooves for loud parts, like a little map to the album. The science was explained to me once, and it’s fascinating, but I won’t bore you with it here.

“There is a perceptible difference to the sound, vinyl smooths out the rough edges of music.” Eric is referring to the inherent natural compression found in the analogue format. When thinking about that, my inner-engineer-nerd wants to stand up and shout Hallelujah! But I hold it together.

Erica brings up the truth that, as a band, when someone comes up to you after a show to ask if you have any records for sale, you know they are going to listen. “Because listening to records demands a certain level of devotion and participation from the listener.”

I mean, making music is not all about someone “listening,” we all agree on that, just making it is pretty damn fulfilling, but it brings great joy to know that someone appreciates your music enough to buy a record. Find me a musician that will argue with that.

Big thanks to my good friends Eric Kuhn and Erica Fink! If this post has got you feeling warm and fuzzy about vinyl, please support the newest Parks and Records vinyl release, Identical Homes, Hydrophelia, below:

Musicians On Bikes Getting Beer, E01: Benjamin Winter


Hey,
This is the first installment of posts I am doing with my friends to promote my Kickstarter project. The idea is stolen from Jerry Seinfeld (Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee). Instead, I am riding bikes and drinking with my friends, talking about records. Enjoy, and if feeling supportive, please take a peak at my new record here »

MOBGB E01: Benjamin Winter

I had the pleasure of meeting Benjamin while on tour with Built for the Sea in Holland. We instantly hit it off, you see, we share a certain northern California redneck sensibility that is rare in the music world. He played football in college, yes, but this dude is driven by art. He writes and records powerfully sincere folky/alt country jams under the name Benjamin Winter and the Make Believe,
and is a talented photographer as well.

I have always loved hanging out with Benjamin cause he reminds me of people I grew up with, but also because he has this very respectable fatherly side that comes out when you talk to him. He is constantly dropping gems of wisdom
about family life that I tuck away for the future.

Benjamin Winter
Bar

Lucky 13 in Alameda (right around the corner from his photography studio)

Bike

Benjamin shows up with a sturdy GT commuter bike. “It holds a baby seat nicely. I have something a little more hip at home, but when you have a family, safety is primary, and all other considerations are secondary.” (Gem #1)

Benjamin Winter

Beer

I select the Rasputin Imperial Stout. Benjamin goes for the Scrimshaw Pilsner. “I needed something a bit lighter,” he explains,”yesterday me and the wife indulged a bit.

Vinyl Releases

Benjamin has one release on vinyl to date, Diamonds and Dust. The record is beautifully recorded and packaged. The record itself is clear vinyl, one of the coolest records I have seen.

Favorite Classic Records in his collection

Emmylou Harris, The Everly Brothers

Favorite Contemporary Records in his collection

The National, The Middle East

Benjamin on records

I had a record player when I was a kid, we broke up for about 20 years, but our passion has been renewed.” He has collected an all 1970s pioneer stereo system, divides his collection by classic and contemporary (just like me), and listens to records almost every morning with the family.

This is a tradition I want to pass down to my daughters. Listening to records is something we do as a family.” It’s a daily routine, Benjamin and his wife, Saskia, play DJ, their daughters dance, and he lets the oldest daughter, Daisy, flip the record.

I think a record communicates how much work goes into making an album, which mp3s just don’t do. I released my record partly as a kind of resistance to the way music is heading.

On this point, I couldn’t agree with Benjamin more.

Benjamin Winter

Big thanks to my good friend Benjamin Winter. If this post has got you feeling warm and fuzzy about vinyl, please support the newest Parks and Records vinyl release, Identical Homes, Hydrophelia, below (hint: click the “K” at the top to get to the project homepage):