from DAY 2 of recording in LA: a wee string video

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(public post)


hola comrades….


i’m still collapsed from moderate exhaustion after our epic two day recording session but i am pleased to report THAT THIS SONG IS GOING TO BE FECKING EPIC and the strings sounded incredible…i’ll write a longer post tomorrow or next day…but for now, here’s a teeny instagram video of my soulbrother jherek bischoff conducting part of the session.


so many of you guys already know jherek from his bout with me as opener/bassist/arranger/conductor on the grand theft orchestra / theatre is evil tour. he’s just gotten better. the string part that he whipped up together for this song is just…gorgeous.


if you’re new to my music here (i know some of you are), check out some of jherek’s best work with me on our last album…..”trout heart replica” is one of those songs where the string arrangement just fuckin’ MAKES it. feast your ears:


bandcamp (free download!):



youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r..


i just went back and listened to it for the first time in a while, and had yet another moment of severe jherek appreciation. fuck he’s good.


it also helps that jherek is self-taught, which was something i didn’t know until i’d been playing with him for a while. he played bass in punk bands and had a passion for arranging and just starting DOING IT and one moment led to the next and he passion-ed his way into the gigs and the business. my kind of freak. the family of fuck plan B.


everything he does speaks that language…no pretension, just bucketloads of love and I WANT TO DO THIS.


i met him through jason webley. like everybody else in my life. jason knows good people.


so this time around….your funding went to some pretty bad-ass string players, all los angeles natives hand-picked by jherek who’s been in town for a while getting to know the good ones….and, who knew, all female by sheer coincidence. ROCK.

from left to right:


aniela marie perry  – cello

lauren baba – viola

crystal brooke – violin


it’s a good moment to point out that jherek came with an added bonus this time around, because were local to LA where he’s living: his girlfriend mayumi not only helped babysit, she helped manage the session and ordered food for the musicians and got contracts signed and was generally just awesome.


this is how i like making music, like everything….like family. so huge thanks to mayumi…and jherek. it was his ass-kick and prodding texts that made me finally book this session. it’s amazing, that thing, where a series of coincidences lead to the existence of something in a moment in time that otherwise might not have existed. like babies! babies are like that. i keep thinking that when i look at the baby. i’m like…if neil and i had had sex five minutes later, you’d be a totally different baby.


which baby? i’ll never know.


it’s so strange for me, coming from a mindset where there was only one way to think about recording (in album-chunks, and with a label and a release date and all that) and now the reigns are loose. it’s almost frightening. it makes me feel like i should just build a communal recording studio and just pull a Prince, who according to legend has his paisley park compound in minneapolis tricked out so that there are pianos and microphones and cables in every room leading to a mothership deck, just in case his royal purpleness gets inspired and busts out a groove while he’s like, having his morning tea. does prince have babies? ps did you now prince was a jehovah’s witness and actually went door to door IN HIS LIMO to proselytize for the church? i’m off topic here. but wow. (thanks to cat mihos for arming me with THIS: http://www.antiquatedfuture.com/z..) which is how i learned this stunning facts.


back on topic:

major thanks also go to gracie folds, ben’s daughter, for babysitting. she was awesome.


jherek is going to get to work mixing this bitch and then we’ll be cooking with gas. i can’t wait for you to hear this. i was a little worried it would be bad. i was even worried going into day two. once i laid down the vocals, i stopped worrying.


also: we’re leaving L.A. it’s been real here. really….weird. L.A. is fucking weird.


also: we’re headed to santa fe for a sec. anyone around there?




more soon.





p.s. small rant about people ranting at me about calling neil a “babysitter”, if you want to read a small rant:


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