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Archive for February 2011

Mark Tulin 27 February 2011

Photo credit: Kristin Burns

Mark Tulin was the kind of guy who got off his couch when Hurricane Katrina hit and went down to New Orleans, first to counsel survivors, and then to pull dead bodies out from the deluge. Mark Tulin was deep. He was a great guy.

He was amazing when I was his impromptu room mate. On tour he was a rock, over coffee he was fun, in the studio he was inspiring, and back stage we had vivid, in-depth conversations about music, about technical aspects of composition, geeky stuff, and anecdotes and memories, of which he had many. Kristin‘s photo captures one of these precious moments, like she does.

We shared a huge admiration for William‘s musicianship and songwriting skills. We also shared a love of opera and orchestral music, a source of joy to us both. The Electric Prunes guy was deep into Wagner, and so am I, which was wonderful to discover in a shouted conversation conducted backstage at a super loud psychedelic rock show.

Shouting stuff with him could somehow be intimate. Reading people’s thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, it seems his confidante abilities were pretty universal. He could have written a fairly interesting book himself based on all the people who trusted him so intimately. The fact he wouldn’t dream of it illustrates one of the fundamental characteristics of goodness he embodied.

Trustworthiness. Solidity in a sea of crazy. He was a bass player. He provided that same sense of bass to the lives of his friends and family. A groovy bass line. A trusted friend to many, including me when I needed one. He was like a brother/ surrogate dad/ favorite uncle to a lot of people. His family must be devastated, my prayers are with them. He was so proud of them.

Mark took his job as village elder seriously, gently shining the light of his experience on Mike‘s path as he took his first steps into Pumpkinland. He held Linda‘s hand on the bus, supported William with authenticity, shared with Kerry and Stacey like family, opened to Rachel, and was a friend to everyone in our community. I cannot begin to imagine James’ sense of loss.

The last time I hung with Mark was the KROQ Acoustic Christmas show, which was cool, because we got to share his favorite line in the Smashing Pumpkins song, Freak. Man, he never got bored of the bored line… I can’t listen to that song without seeing his smile.

May he inspire us all with his loyalty, kindness, generosity of spirit, openness to change, and dedication to excellence. I will always love Mark Tulin. May he rest in peace. He was a great guy. I’m so sad he’s gone.

In his own words, from his last tweet:

“It is post show – Thanks to Jeff for the spirit and Mike for the joy. Specially thanks to @Billy for letting me be a part of it all.”

The Owls – DVD release 26 February 2011

I’m excited to announce that The Owls is being released on DVD. It premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, and was subsequently screened at films festivals around the world this year to great critical acclaim, including Seattle, Seoul, Torino, Outfest and Frameline.

I composed the original soundtrack to this movie, and it’s extremely varied in terms of instrumentation, mood, tempo and emotional palette. And intense in terms of the sheer amount of music… there’s a lot of action in this movie, and tons of music.

Add it to your Netflix cue now!

Nude in Wallpaper magazine 22 February 2011

Here’s the main double page spread from the Vanessa Beecroft fashion shoot I was featured in over Thanksgiving in Frankfurt. The photo was styled by Vanessa Beecroft with fashion by Ursula Geisselmann, and the photo is by Sofia Sanchez and Mauro Mangiello.

I am wearing a fabulous leather Gucci Autumn / Winter 2011 jacket, and DKNY jeans customised by Anastasia Fite.

The magazine actually contains three photos of me – this double pager, and two others – one in a fabulous pair of shorts, and the other wearing only a pair of heels and a wig! They said what happened in Germany would stay in Germany, but apparently not it seems!

Anyway, the nudie and shorts shots are exclusively in the print edition, but here you can see more photos online, and there’s video footage of the shoot, including the sound of my playing live for the models to dance to (listen carefully, it’s the gently strummed strings coming through during the hair-tossing bit)

KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic 17 February 2011

Today’s Top Tune on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic show here in Los Angeles is “Salahadeen”, an awesome super heavy, super dub track produced by Dub Gabriel and featuring the Master Musicians of Jajouka, David J on bass, and my multi-layered strings.

It’s named Salahadeen after Jajouka front man Bachir Attar’s baby boy, who was born the day we were in the studio recording this gem. A pretty monumental back drop to the session, it was an emotional night.

Download this track for free at KCRW

For what expresses love as keenly as a voice backed by strings??! 12 February 2011

Free download/ streaming audio for the Valentine Strings Special radio show I did for KXLU.

Listen here

Three hours of songs devoted to love in all its myriad, multi-faceted forms…

Songs of adoration, songs of yearning, songs of heartbreak, from the past 100 years, many of them obscure, overlooked, delicious and probably new to your ears.

Brand new unreleased songs, 60′s and 70′s tracks, and super vintage recordings from way back when records were hi-tech, and tape machines were positively sci-fi.

Tender, cruel, sophisticated, funny, romantic, heart-wrenching, erotic, despairing, passionate, vicious, mellow, cool, dark… and downright cheeky!

Peter Ludwig interviewed me, and as well as spinning records I sang and played a new song live in the studio, and also played violin for my friend Eric Lindley.

The show was on Sunday February 13th from 11 p.m. until 2 a.m. PST.
For UK listeners, it was on Monday 14th February from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.

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