An important message from Celeste (bottom right) of The Goldberg Sisters (a website so current it’s missing nearly all the videos and any mention of the last album). 
Hello fair readers, lookers, and browsers all - 
It has come to our attention….well, my attention, as Adam is too busy “editing” his movie (if in fact that’s what’s going on behind that closed door) — that there has been a negligible uptick in merch and CDs sales from our Shoppe recently. I can only attribute this to an also negligible,  and no doubt ephemeral,  uptick in exposure Adam has received concurrently due to that Fargo soap he played in. While it pleases me that “our” music might be gaining more exposure, let me be perfectly clear: If Adam wants to prance about waving a gun and recycling that tired scowl, it is all very well with me, but I have little interest in trading on such banalities, if even it shifts the spotlight in the general direction of familial justice. 
Indeed I would like to thank those of you who have recently patronized our humble Shoppe,  and invite you to it if you’ve never been. The first record we made, under the LANDy moniker (I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT AFFRONT TO TYPOGRAPHY) was recently digitally reissued under The Goldberg Sisters moniker, but you can still find the original album at our store. Unlike Stranger’s Morning, for which “Adam” played all the instruments, the LANDy record features some wonderful guests, including Steven Drozd (and even Wayne briefly in a choir section) of The Flaming Lips. Okay, this is getting unseemly, this hawking of wares. But Adam is at a birthday party of some old friend of ours, well, of his, by appearances — and if we don’t make a little scratch, and right quick, there won’t be a 4th record to produce this year, most of which I’ve already written. 
Well, adieu, for some long while I imagine, as he’ll be changing the password once this posts. 
xoC. 

An important message from Celeste (bottom right) of The Goldberg Sisters (a website so current it’s missing nearly all the videos and any mention of the last album). 

Hello fair readers, lookers, and browsers all - 

It has come to our attention….well, my attention, as Adam is too busy “editing” his movie (if in fact that’s what’s going on behind that closed door) — that there has been a negligible uptick in merch and CDs sales from our Shoppe recently. I can only attribute this to an also negligible,  and no doubt ephemeral,  uptick in exposure Adam has received concurrently due to that Fargo soap he played in. While it pleases me that “our” music might be gaining more exposure, let me be perfectly clear: If Adam wants to prance about waving a gun and recycling that tired scowl, it is all very well with me, but I have little interest in trading on such banalities, if even it shifts the spotlight in the general direction of familial justice. 

Indeed I would like to thank those of you who have recently patronized our humble Shoppe,  and invite you to it if you’ve never been. The first record we made, under the LANDy moniker (I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT AFFRONT TO TYPOGRAPHY) was recently digitally reissued under The Goldberg Sisters moniker, but you can still find the original album at our store. Unlike Stranger’s Morning, for which “Adam” played all the instruments, the LANDy record features some wonderful guests, including Steven Drozd (and even Wayne briefly in a choir section) of The Flaming Lips. Okay, this is getting unseemly, this hawking of wares. But Adam is at a birthday party of some old friend of ours, well, of his, by appearances — and if we don’t make a little scratch, and right quick, there won’t be a 4th record to produce this year, most of which I’ve already written. 

Well, adieu, for some long while I imagine, as he’ll be changing the password once this posts. 

xoC. 

i’ve uploaded a lot of my tunes over the years. Often very personal, some were demos that became songs that made it on to albums. Others just scratch tracks, ideas, compulsory musical journal entries…

BUT THIS, BASED ON MY WEEKEND IN NYACK, NY, FROM WHICH I JUST ARRIVED HOME, IS EASILY THE MOST WRENCHINGLY CATHARTIC AND ESSENTIAL. IF YOU LISTEN TO ONLY ONE OF MY UPLOADS, MAKE THIS THE ONE.

yesterday/today//rockland/nyack. 

i guess i do weddings ii. 

today at Camp Cassar-O-Hara. 

i guess i do weddings.

today at Camp Cassar-O-Hara/niamh & dan’s rehearsal dinner. 

Agnes Obel - Brother Sparrow 

Made of Polaroid and other instant films.

Occasionally I direct a music video of music which is not my own. And occasionally I post this one because, while I’m rather fond of it, the artist chose never to post it. The finished product was such as I pitched it to her and the label month before — a video consisting almost entirely  of still photographs, shot on instant film. The video would feature a woman, played by the artist, alone in her apartment — but without the trappings of many music videos — namely lip synching or anything performance related to the song, which neither she or I was  a fan. She would in essence play the character, the protagonist, about which she sings. Although it took some months to win the bid, the artist chose my concept and, I was told, was enthusiastic about it and a fan of my recent Goldberg Sisters video for “The Room.”

After some weeks of email exchanges, through the label, she was flown from Europe and we’d  meet for the first time in person at my DUMBO apartment, where most of the video takes place.  We would have this one meeting,  then only one shooting day together, the following day.  I was acting in a television show and she would commence a European tour two days later — and so this one day was literally the only one we could both find that would work.  When we finally met, much to some surprise, she expressed ambivalence  about  being in it — about  playing a character in her own song. It was becoming clear that perhaps the label was forcing her hand a bit, in this regard? I told her I understood, which I did. I could relate to the uneasiness of trying to balance the expectation of an audience who wanted to see the performer of a certain song, with the priority of making an artistic statement that didn’t undercut or simply commodify it. But, I assured her it would not come off as Narcissistic, that it was common of course to see the singer in their own video, and furthermore these were hardly glamour shots, so much as, I don’t know, Cindy Sherman-esque, film stills. Still, I could relate; I had just directed a music video for one of my songs in which I play no role, nor is there anything related to performance of the song. I could relate — up to a point.  In my case, it never really much mattered; relatively few people have any expectation of my musical output and therefore I’ve felt few constrains about how I’ve presented it in video form. In her case, even an upload of one of her songs to youtube was getting nearly a million hits (which I must admit was an incentive to do the gig.) But again, it was a little late in the day to swap her out with a model and this was a project, that had been explicitly pitched, illustrated, and signed off on by label and artist weeks prior.

And once we began, the following day, it was a bit magical really. She was a fantastic collaborator. Our sensibilities seemed so in synch. It was grueling and seemed impossible at times — the time constraint conjuncted with the limitation of using unruly instant film (and some motion 16mm film) to illustrate a story — but with a dedicated crew — consisting of davebias and Anne Bowerman from The Impossible Project (much of whose film I used) and others —  as well as a very game artist, by day’s end I felt like we had created something kind of special. (I also created horrible glutes .) 

The following day, the 10th anniversary of 9/11 actually, while she was in the air, I skulked around my neighborhood in Brooklyn and shot additional still and motion footage — creeping up behind parents holding their children’s hands, stalking a footpath where I grabbed various passersby from a bench, waiting for the dog day summer sun to finally dip so I could capture headlights as they streaked across the cobblestone. It was kind of a lovely weekend.

It took about a week of scanning before I could begin to edit  and when I did it was a bit overwhelming at first. Although I had done some tests, and had fully outlined the video (I can’t draw, so my storyboards are descriptions), I simply wasn’t sure I would be able to find a cutting pattern that would work rhythmically. After a couple hours, however, it began to flow. It was kind of exciting actually. I turned over my first cut, within about a week and the notes I get via the artist, via the label, were that she felt it featured her too much, was too straightforward, not edgy or  not “weird” enough. This was a bit ironic as I had never been accused of not being narratively elliptical enough. But as I finessed I tried to find ways to feature the sole subject of the video more implicitly when I could. And, in truth, like many notes that seem objectionable at their face, one often finds ways to find themselves, an interpretation of those notes that suit themselves and even improve the project. So I felt good. I felt finished anyway, when a couple of weeks later I handed over my final cut. 

And the rest is history. Like actual history.  Like shitcanned.  What remained were a befuddled but grudgingly deferential label; an incommunicado artist; an angry me, but I was angry before, so I just went back to being angry, playing an angry cop on a cop show. And a song — the best for my  money on her album — that was never to have an “official” music video, so far as I know. 

I’ve posted this video and some background, as I’ve said, in the past. The Impossible Project did a blog/interview with me about it. So it’s not as if I’ve kept totally quiet about it. But I genuinely have such a fond recollection of the collaboration and feeling about its result that such does not get completely obscured by any acrimony of its wake. 

The Goldberg Sisters’ “The Room.”

In honor of hep kitten Lana Del Rey’s new music video, and in an act of reverse coattail riding, here is a repost of my 2011 music video,  from my second lp —  featuring mutual muse Mr. Mark Mahoney. Shot on glorious and ass paining 16mm. While it may never go viral, the video has been known to cause fungal itch. 

His trip to heaven is redundant. 

I was lucky enough to know JImmy Scott…

Here’s a clip from my first film in which I recreated the moment I first saw jimmy sing this tune, which ripped my guts four years prior, in 1992. Seven years after Scotch and MIlk, I asked if I could use an old recording of  Jimmy’s  for a scene in my second film,  and he and his wife Jeanie could not have been more lovely and supportive. Jimmy wanted to come down to the editing room so he could see the context in which I was using the source track — and it — as it always was — was deeply humbling. Not just his genius, but his grace, warmth, humor  and own humility was startling. HIs life  story is remarkable, tragic, beautiful. His music is all of that and more. Please discover him. He passed  away yesterday at 88. His days on earth were spent as a celestial creature, so his trip to heaven is a formality at this point. I’m keeping Jeanie and JImmy, and the countless he moved to ineffability, in my heart today and always. xoag