Fort Worth is the BEST city in America for music.

Period. I live in LA, but Texas is home. My hometown of Fort Worth, TX seems to be bubbling at the surface right now, musically speaking. When it comes to the FW scene, I’m super torn between cherishing the two notions of “wanting the world to notice” or “best kept secret”. Fort Worth has long lived in the shadows of Dallas, Austin, and even Denton…but I think Panther City’s time in the sun is no doubt coming, so BRING IT ON!  I’m back in the Fort for a few weeks producing a few projects for the likes of Skeleton Coast and Quaker City Night Hawks and others, as well as working with my band EPIC RUINS. It’s so motivating to be here. Speaking of motivation, check out some of my current local favorites. So much good stuff. 

FUNGI GIRLS

SKELETON COAST

QUAKER CITY NIGHT HAWKS

PINKISH BLACK

THE ORBANS

BURNING HOTELS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n74npakIDmo

EYES< WINGS< AND MANY OTHER THINGS

NEW FUMES

MADRAS 

EPIC RUINS (i have to, ya know)

 

 

 

My Interview w/ Sarah Negahdari of Happy Hollows and Pisces!!

She sings. She shreds. She dances. Negahdari style. Check out what makes this LA rock and roll madwoman tick…tick…tick…boom dynamite! Look for a new album out from Happy Hollows soon (they are wrapping it up in the studio as I type). And if you’re in LA, be sure to catch Pisces at The Eagle Rock Performing Arts Center on June 22. Watch the music video for ‘Voodoo’ by Pisces.

Learn more about Pisces here!

THE CREATIVE PROCESS
1) Do you have the ability to create on a consistent basis, or do you find that most ideas come in those rare ‘flashes of genius’?

There are times when I am more inspired than usual, and I have inspired “flashes”, but on the whole I am constantly creating. I am totally motivated by the never ending desire to create! All of my friendships usually revolve around creating a project together, too. I’ve never had a close friend, or even a boyfriend, that I didn’t end up working on some sort of creative endeavor with!:)

2) Further, how do you maintain motivation to stay hungry and create? What notion drives you to see an idea through?

The notion that drives me is the pure bliss of it! It is such a blissful feeling when you create something where before there was nothing! I can’t think of anything as joyous! It would be a sad day if I wasn’t on fire with something I wish I could make. This desire inside is like living with a constant mix of passion and sometimes frustration, because I can never keep up with myself!
It’s just the way of life for every artist, I think. You have to live with this energy that pulses through you. Your only job is to try and keep up with it, and not judge the expressions that are trying to make their way through you, and into the world. The world can judge it all they like, but it’s not even entirely yours, really. It just comes through you…you just let it come. It’s just so strange. I sound so strange, but any creator knows this feeling, and that what I’m saying is true! 🙂

Continue reading My Interview w/ Sarah Negahdari of Happy Hollows and Pisces!!

Happy Release Day, Grace Woodroofe!

It thrills me that today is finally upon us. It’s Grace Day in the USA….The incomparable Grace Woodroofe, and more specifically, her album ‘Always Want’ has stormed the American shores with fury today. This is a very special record to me and the family for lots of reasons. Not only is it an absolutely beautiful and whimsically dark experience of an album by the world’s most talented young voice, but it also features myself on drums on and vibraphone, as well as the rest of the Relentless7 brothers (Jason Mozersky and Jesse Ingalls) backing up Grace on their respective glass axes of musical force. Brother Ben Harper was at the helm and produced the furious piece that you’ll call an album, and the aural-wizard Danny Kalb engineered the thing into outerspace….Production help also came from the talented Mr. Justin Meldal-Johnson. And Over the past few months the family has expanded to include other dear brother-colleagues as well, as the incredible Justin Pate (keys), Daniel Marcellus (drums), Aaron Herbster (bass), and Kyle Crusham (all things music) have joined Grace as her live band. As you can see, we definitely kept it in the family.

And The New York Times love Grace too!

Additionally, I co-wrote the tune “Battles” with Grace, which will be released soon as a single.. I think all you grandsons and granddaughters of stan will really like it, I hope.

Here’s a visual taste of the first single “Handled”.

But honestly, this is far too much talk about the album. You just all need to do yourselves a favor and grab the album and give it the olde college listen. and listen. and listen. and listen again. And do it now. Its available everywhere music can be purchased (or enjoyed). like on iTunes here:
Always Want – Grace Woodroofe

 

My Interview with Bill Cardwell, Founder and Builder of C and C Custom Drums and Gladstone Drum Shells. He Hates “Sharped Dressed Man”.

In 2000, when I was still in college, I went to The Ridglea Theater in Fort Worth, TX to see a Vagrant Records tour which featured some of my favorite bands at the time (The Get Up Kids, Hot Rod Circuit and, (ahem) Dashboard Confessional). Having already been a life-long drummer, I couldnt help but be captivated by the dazzling silver sparkle kit that served as house kit for the entire touring lineup. Determined, I elbowed my way through the sea of little league t shirts and horned-rimmed kids up to the stage to try and make out what the killer looking and sounding kit was. I noticed the two crossed C’s on the kick head and immediately knew that was my future kit. As if seeing my young heroes all bashing the same kit wasn’t cool enough, I also was floored at how amazing the drums sounded. I surely thought it was some old type of Vintage kit I had never heard of. After some initial research, I started learning about the history of CandC drums. I learned that they were from (the then indie-rock hot bed) of Kansas City, I learned that they had been ushered to some success with the help of Ryan Pope, drummer of T.G.U.K. And, being fond of my creative roots handed down to me from my dad, I was stoked to learn that the two C’s symbolized a father and son team of Bill and Jake Cardwell. A few years later, when I was touring through KC with my old band, we had a tour stop at The Record Bar in Kansas City (a fine establishment). After our show and apparently impressed by my drumming, a couple guys (one which I recognized to be Ryan Pope, one of my drumming heroes) started feeding me shots of Chartreuse. Through a lavender tasting haze of spirits only the monks could create, I quickly realized that I was throwing them back, also, with Jake Cardwell, one of the two C’s of CandC drums. A quick and real friendship was quickly born. Long story longer and cut to today, I now am a proud member of the CandC drum family, and have been for 5 years. I’ve got 3 kits with them and a new one on the way.

me and one of my C and C kits...at Letterman

The crafstmanship and attention to detail that the guys put into every single handmade drum, doesnt go unnoticed in visual or aural quality. They are complete pieces of art, handbuilt one at a time, in a shop in Gladstone, MO. They are the Vintage Corvette/Rolls Royce of drums, yet with a cutting edge detail and attention to the future. In every essence, their motto “Modern Vintage” is true. You can hardly turn on a late night Talk show or televised concert without seeing CandC drums adorning the stage, with some of the biggest drummers in music using them. AND EACH DRUM IS HANDMADE!!!

With me this week, is Bill Cardwell, the founder and master builder of C and C Drums, and of the new, built from scratch, Gladstone Drum Shells. He’s also a good pal. Read below and be inspired. I know that I was! I’ve yet to forgive his son, Jake, for the Chartreuse, however.

THE CREATIVE PROCESS
1) Do you have the ability to create on a consistent basis, or do you find that most ideas come in those rare ‘flashes of genius’?

Bill: There are so many things I want to do that time and financial limitation inhibit. Making dreams a reality sometimes can be a frustrating and slow process. At this point in my career, I am able to create some things on a consistent basis. Others are still only dreams and visions. Having the drum shell molds opened up a whole new world of creative desires that thus far have been consistent. Financial limitations keep things from moving more quickly. We (C&C and Gladstone shells) have our own creative desires that have only scratched the surface (in the area of drum shell innovation). Sometimes it gets so hectic just trying to get the next kit out the door that these desires get placed on the back burner. I am still the guy cutting every bearing edge for every drum shell. Doing every snare bed, And about 60% of the paint jobs and all the abalone work. Still…I have a head full of desires.

Continue reading My Interview with Bill Cardwell, Founder and Builder of C and C Custom Drums and Gladstone Drum Shells. He Hates “Sharped Dressed Man”.

The Recipe for Success is not dissimilar to The Recipe for ‘Lean.

Next time you’re headed to a studio session to work on your personal project starting at 10pm, and you want things to head in an even weirder direction than they already are, then try this! It worked for me…

The anticipation on any given day that I’m headed to work in the studio is typically similar to the anticipation that a kid feels when going to Six Flags on his first day of Summer: Maximum Stoke Level Orange. Granted, my career is that of a musician. I’m constantly in and out of the studio. Shit, I have one in my house. But the frequency of being able to be behind the red light and lost inside of a new idea never overshadows my basic juvenile enthusiasm for it.

I’ve been working on a (cringe) “solo project” with my dear friend, Adam Lasus. He’s made things with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Daniel Johnston, PJ Harvey, Helium, Orbans, etc. I know, right?! Anyways, we’ve been starting the sessions pretty late at night, as that’s the most creative time for me personally. Needless to say, I was beyond psyched last night as the ideas were channeling from my brain to my hands to the instrument through the speakers and then back into my ears. Its the Circle of Life and I’m Simba.

Me, apparently high on 'lean, recording guitar for the Son of Stan record

Here’s where the extra weird part comes in. Though my mind was racing and I was as happy as a cartoon pig in chocolate pudding jumping from axe to axe following the muse (barf), my body didn’t seem to be joining the party. I mean I was weak. I could barely move, and I knew something was wrong. I started thinking to myself: “Is that last kick ass DI guitar part I just put down actually making me have a stroke? What the fuck is happening?” I started kind of freaking out. And I say ‘kind of’ because it was the most polite, subdued and mellow slow motion freak out that anyone could imagine… mushrooms not included. Ok. Why am I excited? Because I’m making cool things. Ok. Why can I barely move? Um…this one I couldnt figure it out. I was scared. Not really. But kind of.

Then it hit me. Eureka. (note the lack of exclamation after ‘Eureka’). It hit me Like a ton of clay bricks. If clay bricks were made out of pillows. And if a ton were 6. Before I left my house I was feeling a bit ‘run down’ and though I typically dont like pounding medicines, I knew I would need to be cleared up so I could sing my musical numbers into the recording microphone with at least marginal success…So I opened my medicines cabinet, grabbed the multi pack DayQuil/NyQuil box, fussed with the childproof foil mechanism and swallowed two gelcaps as quick as Keanu. But my child, I did not take the DayQuil pills necessary to traverse the next 6 hours of rock and roll philadelhpia-style freedom. I dopeishly took the Beddytime johns. I mean, green means go, right? Nope. Green means later bitch. That shit is strong.

Couch-locked on the same davenport that has also graced Juliana Hatfield’s and PJ Harvey’s rear situations, I realized the error of my ways…Panicked, as to not lose my momentum, I immediately downed a) 1 bottle of orange crystal geyser carbonated water b) 1/2 a bar of 90% cocoa chocolate and c) a giant mug of Trader Joe’s organic Green Tea what-not…As you can imagine my recipe for combatting my failing vitals didnt exactly work like a charm, but rather aided in my already severe case of crazy head. And though my throat was clear, my stomach was now simultaneously as full as my bladder.

I continued to work, fighting the Alice In wonderland dream like scenario, being eternally enthused and grateful but outwardly took the appearance of just shy of Edgar Allen Poe, post opium binge.

Turns out, however, that what transpired after the melee definitely proved to be the coolest musical moment of the session so far.

So, what I’m saying is: Do Drugs! Not really. But whatever. If you want. I’m not a role model.

BUT THIS GUY IS AND HE LOVES FEELING LIKE I FELT LAST NIGHT!!!! AND HE DOESN’T WRITE DOWN HIS LYRICS!! YOU KNOW WHY?? CUZ WEEZ WEEZ AIN’T GOT THAT KIND OF TIME!!! PEACE!!

Happy New Fear!!!

May your 2012 be free of Post-Consumer paranoia and at the same time filled with beautiful melody and harmony! All the love there is…. xo Jorts aka son of stan…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kRnA8BLrCg

MERRY XMAS! – MY DEFINITIVE ‘Best Of Music 2011’ List

Happy Holidays Friends! Family! Planet Animals! Plant Life! As my Secret Santa gift to all of you, may I present my ‘Best Of’ list in Music for 2011. First, I’ll list my favorite albums, then favorite songs, then I’ll list a couple Oldies But Goodies. Lots of killer ladies in the mix this year! I’ll keep the list it to just the audio world here, though I will tell you that the best movie I saw last year was ‘Too Big to Fail’ on HBO, and my favorite TV Show was ‘American Horror Story’. It was the only show I watched. Funny how that works.

LETS GET TO IT!!

ALBUMS OF THE YEAR
1. WYE OAK – CIVILIAN.    

This is my favorite record of the year. I thank my pal Larry Sheffey (aka Chutie Moreno, aka Shandy Randy, aka lil Faust) for turning me on to these Maryland natives.

2. St. Vincent – Strange Mercy

My second favorite record of the year. Annie Clark is a brilliant writer, wields an axe as strong and as tough as Prince (see the ripping direct tone of “Surgeon”) and happens to also be from the North Texas Area. Much Love.

3. Twin Sister – In Heaven

I love these kids from Long Island. Intensely dreamy and smooth. Their song “All Around and Away We Go” was my favorite song of 2010, and this new record is stronger than previous efforts. They can play their instruments pretty well.

KEEP READING FOR SO MANY MORE ON THE NEXT PAGE!!!
Continue reading MERRY XMAS! – MY DEFINITIVE ‘Best Of Music 2011’ List

I am a musician/creator/cuddler.