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Hey, folks, it's December and it's time to join Comedy Central for thirty one more days of being home for the holidays hosted by Roy Wood Jr., Comedy Central's playing all of your favorite movies, including Stepbrother's Wedding Crashers. We're the Millers 50 first dates and more. Plus, don't miss marathons of South Park, the Office and Schitt's Creek. OK, so pour yourself a frothy cup of nog and get cozy because who are we kidding? You're not leaving the house, let alone the couch.


It's thirty one more days of being home for the holidays all month long on Comedy Central. Also, are you one of those people who thinks it's OK to drive stoned? What's the worst that could happen? You could end up driving below the speed limit. It's no big deal, right? Wrong. The truth is your reaction time slow way down. When you're high, you're not only put yourself in danger, but everyone around you talk about a buzz kill.


Stop kidding yourself. It's not OK to drive high. If you've been using marijuana in any form, do not get behind the wheel. If you feel different, you drive different, drive high, get a DUI, dig. All right, let's do the show. Lock the gate.


All right, let's do this, how are you? What the fuck is what the fuck buddies? What the fuck? And here's what's happening. I'm Marc Maron. This is my podcast. Welcome to it. How's it going? Everybody OK? Are you OK? Maybe you're not OK. You're probably not. Fuck, I'm sorry. I'm not great. I'm nervous and scared and lonely and crazy and aggravated and full of sorrow a lot of the time.


But I have my moments. How about you? How's everything? How's everything with the kid. The kid. OK, has the other kid. Alright. How's that third kid doing. Are they going crazy. Are they ready to get out of the house. How about you. Are you alright. Don't hurt yourself. Don't hurt anybody. How's the cooking coming along. Is that going pretty well. Did you get that thing fixed. I think you should go to the doctor.


I know it's scary, but you should go if you got to go. It's pretty safe at a doctor's office, I believe. Yeah. I mean, look, man, if you're not happy and it seems irreconcilable, you got to do what you gotta do. It's a bad time to do it, really. But but if you've got to do it, you've got to do it. This is the time, you know, these kind of things.


I'm so happy you renewed your vows. What, did you do it at home? I mean, who did it?


Who led the ceremony? Does that cover it? How are you guys, everybody all right, guys, gals, those who identify differently today on the show, I talked to Andrew Bird.


He's he's a musician, a singer songwriter. He's kind of a musical renaissance man, a savant of sorts. He has 16 solo albums out.


Plus he's worked with the Squirrel Nut Zippers, the handsome family and his own group, Andrew Bird's Ball of Fire. He just scores for film and television like Basket's and Lynn Shelton's outside in her movie before the movie I was in. His new album is called Haack. And I got to be honest with you, I did not know a lot about him. I didn't know his music. I certainly didn't know he'd been around this long. I kind of knew this girl nut zippers.


I just was not I didn't know him. But the way I came to him was I knew that Lynn.


The woman I was in love with and seeing when she passed away in May, I was living here at the house, she loved Andrew Bird, she loved him.


And she was so thrilled. That he scored her film outside in which a do and Edie Falco, which is a great movie, but I just knew she had this reverence for this guy and I'd listen to a little bit of it, but I never got sunk in. I never really dug in.


And oddly, because I did not know how close he and Lynne were sort of the sat.


This intro starts in a sad way because when when you were there, when somebody passes away. It's sort of on you to do that first wave of informing people. You know, you can delegate that to family members and stuff, you know, which you do, but you do want to reach out to a few people to begin spreading the word that that someone they loved or knew or as has passed away.


And, you know, I put together an email. And and I had access at that time to some of her her email lists or to to her friends. And I sent out this email and he was one of the people that received that initial dispatch. The day, I guess, the morning after she passed away. And I talk to you a bit about it. He didn't they didn't know each other that well, but she was so thrilled that he agreed to do her.


Her movie, and since then, I've sort of dug in a bit because I got the opportunity to talk to him. I wanted to talk to him about that, obviously, but I wanted to talk to him about, you know, a lot of stuff I didn't even know about.


And as I got into it, I realized, like, this guy's a fucking wizard and a truly gifted person.


And I had no idea about him until, you know, a month or weeks before I talked to him.


And it was kind of a thrill to talk to him because I was told after the fact. Flanagan from Largo Fame. He he was like, you know, did he talk with Lee Flanagan to do that, of that because he knows all the musicians, because they all come through there where they used to when we could do that.


And and I didn't realize he was one of those people.


That might be difficult, but he he talked so so I did I was in I was able to engage Andrew Bird in a nice, broad discussion about things himself, music, stuff.


Lynn So that's who's on the show today.


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So wtf, talk to a therapist online and get help. I was feeling very good for maybe a week or two, I thought I was coming through something, I felt like I was integrating whatever's been happening over the last year of eight, seven, eight months. Since locked down, since Lynn's death, you know, and I thought that the spiritual and psychological and emotional abacus, that the beads were lining up, things were leveling off, the equations were coming out OK.


I was coming out whole. I thought that was happening.


And I'm sure it was, but you always hear about the waves, you know, the waves of grief and I don't know what it was, but the other night I was driving out to set for a night shoot.


It was just me in the car. You know, listening to music and driving out to the set. And I just was overwhelmed with this sadness and I guess I don't remember who I was talking to. Is that the sort of difference between sadness and sorrow and the manifestations of grief are what they are, you know, comes in waves. And obviously, I'm far away from that day when I sent Andrew Bird that email and the trauma of that and the shock of that.


And I know loss is part of everyone's life after a certain point, but you know how that sorrow informs you and your being from that point on or how you see life from that point on or how you see loss.


All of it I it defines redefines you somehow. It makes you more whole in a way that the loss actually makes you more whole as a person for having experienced it. I don't know if that makes sense. But then when you get right down to it, you just I just miss her and. I miss everything about her, and when your brain gets into that place. You know, you just got to. Let it happen. I don't need to push those memories aside, all of it, you know, and I just want to see this happen.


It's OK and I use it.


I'll I'll I'll I'll use it. I can live in it when I want to, but there's no reason to turn it off. There's no reason to turn it off. Those are the feelings, that is what life is. Joy. Sorrow. Fear. So I got to act. The other day with Stephen Root and Allison Janney powerhouses and Andrea Riseborough, I was right there, this is like a little triangle is for me, Andrea and Allison Janney in this one very intense scene.


And Allison was full tilt man and Andrea was full tilt.


And I was like, oh, my God, it's like hanging on for dear life in the acting zone. But it's pretty great, it's pretty great, scary day, lot of extras, but everyone was tested and I guess we'll see. But it is I'm I'm excited to see this fucking movie.


I don't I think I'm doing good work. I think I am I'm definitely not being self-conscious, I'll tell you that right now.


So I was going to get Buster a cat because I was thinking about getting a kitten. And I don't know I don't know if I really want to deal with a kitten because I think me and Buster, because it was me and the old cats and Buster for so long and he was sort of on the outside, we're still sort of bonding and he's sort of becoming a different cat. And we're getting along in a different way. And I know this sounds ridiculous, but the relationship is deepening.


And the only reason I would get a kitten I've decided I would name Mingus is for Buster. But I don't even know if Buster would get that kitten and just beat the shit out of it all day long. So now do I want to deal for months with a frightened kitten until it gets big enough to hold its own with the fucking bruiser in there?


Or do I just want to ride it out for a while and keep getting to know Buster better and letting him relax? I don't know. These aren't these are the big problems, folks. Not getting covid in deciding whether or not Buster needs a friend. Luxury fucking problems.


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All right. OK, so as I said before, Andrew Bird has a lot of stuff done, a lot of stuff.


But he's a he's actually has a holiday album out and it's a holiday album and a very Anjou bird kind of way. It's called Haack. You can get it at Anjou Bird Dot Net and digital media platforms. And this is me talking to Andrew Bird.


Nice to meet you, Andrew. Good to meet you, Mark.


Sorry we couldn't do this in person. I was looking forward to that. I know.


Did you freak out or did I freak out? Who freaked out? What happened? I think I freaked out.


I was just feeling feeling the doom of feeling it, you know, closing in from all sides. I feel that.


I feel that every day. But oddly, I felt that before covid. So, you know, I was ahead of the curve on that.


Yeah. Yeah. You just felt like you didn't want to go out anywhere. I understood it. Yeah.


I just thought like oh for both in the same room together and one of us has it, the chances are the other one would walk out with it too.


That's right. I just got tested today. I'm getting I'm going to be getting tested every other day now because I'm going to do a job.


Do you get tested? How crazy are you about it?


I mean, when I was doing Fargo, I was getting tested every two days. Now I'm like once a week or once every two weeks.


That's right. You were in the last season of Fargo. Mm hmm. I haven't been on a set yet. We were it was one of the first ones because it got shut down in March. And then we came back in September and it was one of the first ones to go back. And yeah, they're like five hundred people.


Oh, my God. Finish like on staff, like trying to finish the show because they're doing multiple episodes at the same time and and then health and safety people.


And did you feel safe? I mean, yeah.


You know, it was the first one. So, you know, a lot of a lot of the actors were pulling the mask down, trying not to mess up the makeup.


Right. And people were improvising like within hours, people figured out to put the face shield upside down. Oh, like this. Yeah.


So that way I can just come the covid could just come in over the top. Yeah. Yeah.


I don't know. I'm about to do a small movie and they've convinced me that that being on their set is safer than me going to the supermarket.


You know, honestly, I feel comfortable hanging around with people that are that are being tested every day on set, it seems safer than other people.


Sure, yeah. And when I go out and I put and 95 on plastic shield, I'm fucking Moretti has a full on PPE, but I go out. I'd go crazy if I didn't go shop and shit.


I know we kind of moved out into the into the country to assume crash position just before the election.


So we were we've been out in Ohio and I came in for this. Of course, I didn't need to be doing it this way. So we've just been out in the middle of nowhere.


So you're not. So you mean in the middle of nowhere? Not Ohio, somewhere other than Ohio, just just a remote part of Ohio.


So. So where are you now?


I'm in L.A. I just came in to do I've got to finish this soundtrack. Oh. And do this and.


OK, so this is your L.A. that's your L.A. house.


Yeah. This is my living room. That's nice. Yeah. It was weird because, you know, I haven't, I don't I didn't really know your stuff before Lynne turned me on to you.


And when Lyn died, you know, I didn't you know, I didn't know how close you guys were, you know, and I was going through because you got one of those emails, you know, like when I when I sent out that first round of contacts when it happened because I didn't know how close you guys were, but I knew that, you know, she talked to you and that she had your email. So I just picked all these people that either I knew that were close to her or I might have been close to her.


So. So I don't know how that made you feel to get that first email.


I don't know how close you were to her, but I didn't know how close you were to her until until this happened. I mean, I remember having lunch with her in Seattle. Yeah. And she was talking about working with you a lot. Right.


And then I heard she was moving to L.A., but I didn't really put it all together right. Until. Well, yeah.


We hadn't been that public for weren't that public for that long. We weren't really together in the world publicly for that long.


I mean, I did not spend that many hours of my life with Lynne, but she made a huge impression on me and.


Both I just watched sort of truth yesterday, sort of trust you to sort of trust. Yeah, and that was that was intense seeing her.


I know. And you and then seeing and then you did the score to that.


And now we've both done Linschoten scores well, for years, I'm sure a lot more engaged in the process of actual scoring. We just used a bunch of bits and pieces of my music that I, I put at the end of the podcast. I just I kind of do these old guitar interludes that have all different kinds. And she thought it fit the tone of the piece.


Well, it did. But we when we did outside in, she sat next to me for every note that I played, she could see such a fad.


Well, it was you think you usually wouldn't, as in scoring a movie, want the director to be sitting next to you for every note you play.


But I really enjoyed it. Yeah, I thought it was great because she would she would make immediate comment, you know, say yea or nay or like that's that's good. Or, you know, yes, we were done in three days.


She loves musicians, you know. Yeah, well, she and she's so happy that you did you did in three days.


Something like that. Like three intense days in my studio.


It's a great score. It's a great little movie, that movie. It is a sweet, interesting movie.


But what do you what is the process of scoring? I don't know if I've ever talked to anybody about it. Like, you know, like because I know how I approach interview. Like, I like talking to you. I yeah.


I have to make certain assumptions by by listening to your music or looking at your face or thinking about the words you say. And then I kind of build a person in my head that isn't you, but it's based on my idea view. And then I kind of chip away at that, you know, when I meet somebody. So I imagine that scoring something you have to there's a similar process where you have to take in the tone and kind of assess what you think is going on and feel it.




Yeah, but ultimately, it's not your child. You know, it's and that's that's my tricky relationship with scoring is like I'm used to total autonomy. Right. Creatively, I'm used to waiting for things to just appear out of nowhere.


And it's not weird how that happens.




Things appearing out of nowhere. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And they just kind of accumulate and the one the ideas that are most to keep coming back because of some sort of sensory trigger, you know, like every time I for a while, every time I get into a taxi in New York City, I would hear the same melody. It's like that terrible air freshener would trigger the same melody real.


And and I just like, well, this keeps coming back.


I got I got to write some lyrics for this, though. With a score score, you're just like you're like no. Much different than the costume designer or the you know what I mean.


Yeah, I guess so. Are you I guess in terms of supporting the collaborative effort, but it's a very different job than costume design. Yeah, I get what you're saying in terms of the job and your place in the collaborative environment. But still you what do you do?


Do you have to watch the whole movie and see how it makes you feel or are there practical elements? I like suspense building. I mean, was there did you have to read a book on it?


No, no, no, no.


I wanted to do it really badly when I was in college because I was studying music and I could I played all these different I was just so restless and going from one style to the next I thought I could be good at.


And I was kind of into the the the cinematic dramatization of what you see around you.


Right. And I thought this is a perfect profession for me. And then instead I, I got a conversion van and started going around the country playing dive bars. And that became more romantic than scoring movies with your old timey when you were doing the old timey music.


Yeah, that was in the bowl of fire days. I went through multiple Dodge conversion vans and just hit the pavement for years. And it was that was a big adventure.


You know, that was that kind of took all the time and then creating an album, I thought, in terms of a movie as well, or a novel or something like write creating an arc and a thread through things.


You did that with your own work. Yeah. Yeah. Trying to find well when you're writing, it's just you accumulate twelve songs over, say two years and these characters keep popping up or these ideas keep interesting. Right.


You know, and then you sneak through the artwork or through more consciously to, to tie it all together. Like a like a novel or. Right, right. Yeah, so that became the film for me.


So when you approach a movie, do you sit down and watch it? I watch it with no sound, no music with me.


That's the tricky thing. A lot of times the directors want to give you temp music that is the bane of most composers.


I like songs or think little things that somebody noodled on a piano or no.


It's usually taken from other people's scores or other songs.


And then you're you're like, well, if I don't listen to this, I won't know what the director wants. Right. You know what I mean? Yeah, I know that. If you just kind of. They get attached to these temp temp scores and make it to the point where, like you just why did you hire Andrew Bird to do your score?


If you want this, this is what you if you if you want Vangelis to hire, a lot of times it's someone else kind of doing you my my thing, you know.


And so it's this weird loop. Yeah.


And it can drive you. It's just, you know, you develop a what I call a healthy, bad attitude about about your work.


But do you see that.


So you see though, like not unlike people who do commercial work, you see the soundtrack area of your your your work to be like just sort of a a job that makes you exercising.


Yeah. Exercising an ability I have. Or a certain craft.


You're not looking to be Randy Newman. No, no. I mean, I would I find what he does. If someone wanted me to do the Randy Newman thing, I'd find that way more engaging than just doing an instrumental score, like having to write a song for a movie. That's interesting. And I like I like the challenge of having to write lyrics that somehow fit with the film. But don't comment on it too much.


Right. You know that that would challenge me a lot. But just simply doing the the instrumental music is just is not using what I have enough.


Well, what about what about the whistling gig that seemed like a pretty good gig that the I was doing Caruso like I didn't know, like I was listening to all your records and my friend Cat, she's like she says, oh, he's was like he did the whistling thing in The Muppet Movie. I'm like, What? Yeah, the whistling Caruso that she showed it to me. And she was like, I thought that was on a keyboard, but that's him.




I mean, it was manipulated a little bit to be extra virtuosic, but not very much. I mean, that was fun. I enjoyed that because I was talking to the director, James Bobin, and he was he's trying to nail the exact right comedic tone, which was a self serious of the Wessely self. Serious, right. Like overly virtuosic. You're right.


And he sent me like a YouTube clip of, like a guy in tails, you know, tuks like in front of an orchestra poised, you know, this sort of classical Mozart whistling and completely serious, yet doing this thing that people do when they're doing the dishes.


Why do you think you how you get known as the whistling guy? I do it constantly.


I've been doing it constantly since I was six years old. Like, if I'm not doing it before we started. Before we started what? You were just walking around your house whistling?


Oh, yeah, exactly. It's the most casual, like, unconscious way of making music. And therefore, that's sometimes that's almost always where the good stuff comes from.


From you whistling.


Yeah, because it's not I'm not holding an instrument. There's no physical physical memory. I'm not an office hours. I'm not like now I'm composing. Right. Right. And that's when you write the good stuff. Huh.


And how did they know to ask you to whistle. Do you do it on of the records. I maybe I didn't listen to the later records. There are records where it's all whistling.


I started doing it on swimming on my third fourth album. It didn't occur to me to do something so easy.


The last bowl of fire record.


The last bowl of fire swimming our.


Yeah, I did it for the first time because my hands were busy, you know, it was just to carry the melody.


But that that sort of fit the style. There was a sort of weird crossover. It was almost there some kind of like old timey style that you were playing with, it seems. And it seems like some of that kind of that era of Americana music would have had some yodels and whistles and stuff.


Sure. But I think, you know, it usually it's it would be like, OK, this is where the the violins going to play something. Right. Play the lead melody.


And then sometimes the violin has too much baggage.


Sometimes it's like a century mantic centuries of associations. Yeah. And the whistle just kind of is a placeholder. And then I'm like, well that's.


That cuts right through and it's unique, uniquely human, to like it's so it's so identifiably human, most people can can kind of eke out a whistle, you know, in it.


Yeah, yeah. I mean, it does reveal whether you've got a tin ear right away. What's that mean attitude. Attitude. Yeah. Like. It has there's instances, no frets or keys, you know. Yeah, you can I can hear someone whistling. I'm like, oh, they have no sense of pitch whatsoever.


I'm going to go, okay, go tell that guy at the bus stop, hey, pal, you're ruining that song.


But then when I went solo after a ball of fire, I also was trying to hold the attention of an audience in a crowded bar. Hmm. I was out there just traveling around by myself, setting up my gear. And and I would always start the set by filling my lungs and holding a note until people stopped talking.


Oh, it would grab their attention like. Uh huh.


Whereas, you know, just another band setting up for band night is just not going to stop talking. Right.


So you just whistle until they shut up. Exactly. Do you know how to do that loud whistle at your fingers. Hmm, good, I've only got one one. There's many techniques and I've only got one and mine's just kind of a full operatic whistle, you know, so that was the challenge of doing the whistle.


And Caruso was to make it self-important, to accentuate the funny.


Exactly. And I did a lot of back and forth with him. And I was happy, too, because I totally understood what he was. I appreciated what he was trying to do. It must have been fun. I was. I was yeah.


I was, like, really psyched to try it again, you know, whereas usually when a director wants you to do it over again, you're like, Oh, Jesus.


But I was like, no, we got to get, you know.


So they just reached out to you not because you were known for whistling, but because you're known for I think they heard it on the album and knew that I I did it.


I was working on an album at the time. I think it was break it yourself.


It was, you know, maybe eight, eight or nine years ago. So we actually we actually met sort of met at the Bell House member like Eugene Mirman was doing. Yeah, yeah.


Man, was we on the same show.


Eugene We were on the same I played before you with my friend Teft was I was was an asshole.




Yeah well I did OK.


This is like the first show I was doing with my friend Teft. I'm so glad we're getting kind of more out, more. But going back to doing like country old timey stuff.


Was it a woman teef teef Merritt. Yeah. Yeah. OK, so we're doing these harmonies and it was.


It was. Yeah it was. You were just you came on stage after we went off stage and you said, oh, Jesus, got to follow this like depressing Appalachian bullshit or something like that.


I was like, well, I'm sure it was just it has nothing personal. Oh, it was. But, uh, but yeah.


But it was completely me trying to do my version of whistling to get them to change their attention. Exactly.


Yeah, but we how. Because you're kind of a wizard with the instruments. I mean did that is that something that revealed itself early on, like, like are you a prodigy?


Um, I was brought up in an atmosphere of prodigies and like I grew up in Chicago on the North Shore. And they were I was I studied violin from an early age.


And they were you know, they groomed prodigies from age four. But what does that mean?


But your parents were musical? Well, no, not at all. My my mom's an artist, and she wanted her kids to play classical music. And she's a painter. She's a print artist. Yeah, OK.


Pennhurst and she all of us, my siblings play, but it's stuck with me more than the others. And how many are there? There's four of us total. Huh.


So I played from age for. And she took me twice a week and and there were these like. Teachers that would kind of look for the next prodigy and write classical, you know, and they would take a four year old and by the time they were six, they'd be 70 playing Tchaikovsky.


Oh, my gosh. I think cello one of those freaks, if that's the thing. Yeah. They would have a nervous breakdown by the time they're 10 and.




So this is like an international search. These guys would come poking around looking for the Wizards.


There's probably a similar scene in in Manhattan or. Right.


Of of like I don't know, they were usually a couple that would there was a couple that would take over the kid's life.


And and they wanted to do that with me. And my mom said, no, that's like too too intense.


Thank you. Yeah, no kidding.


So it was all kind of it was all fun, you know, it was I didn't hate it. And I can't say beg to be taken to violin lessons either. I was just kind of a thing I did.


But she had a knack for it. I was reasonably good. I was I was not a model student, but I had a good tone.


They kept saying, oh, you're very musical. Right. Whereas these prodigies are very technical. And to a six or seven year old, that's those are abstract words. I didn't know what that meant.


Like musical versus virtuosic.


What you what do you make of that, though, man? I mean, like like when you because these kids can do this stuff, where the hell does that come from?


I mean, these four year olds that just have a knack for it, like it's like what is it? Just their brains wired a certain way? Oh, no.


I think I think you take any four year old, almost any four year old, and you can turn them into a prodigy. It's like a circus sideshow. It's like their universe is so small.


You fill it all with one thing, they'll master it.


And then they put them up there in front of an orchestra and they're like, look, it's magic, right?


It's the one thing the kid can do and it's all he'll ever do. He'll never live up to this. Much. Pretty much.


I mean, I, I got so into violin at certain points in my life that I became boring in other ways. It's kind of like a jock or like an athlete. Right.


Can you know, in order to be like a gold medalist, you become a little bit atrophied, very atrophied in other ways. Right?


Well, I mean but I mean, unfortunately for a jock, those other ways are what they're living for. Like, you know, when you get active, you know, like if you're a violin jock and I don't have a cheerleaders are going to be hanging around. There's yeah.


I see you. There's a few, I'm sure. But do you have kids. Yeah, I have one nine year old boy, is he musical? He is, but we don't push him. He plays guitar. Oh, and he's really into. Bowie, Lou Reed and John Cale. Wow, how'd that happen? You know, you people are going to think that, like I've I've led him there. And who are we kidding?


He lives in our house. So he's going to hear what right when we listen to.


But it's gone the other way around where he and Flooz influences me, huh? Because he wants to play D.J. around the house. And I don't tend to play music very much on the stereo.


And he's playing it nonstop.


So he was when the pandemic hit, he was playing John Cale nonstop, the old stuff, the old Paris, 1919, and and then a lot of transformer transformer and, you know, and pale blue eyes, you know, like, oh, yeah, yeah.


He he would put these playlists together that were just the best of the best of that stuff and it started influencing me.


Okay, that's great. So it's going the other way. It's funny.


Your mother is your dad a musician or not? No, not in the arts. No, he's he's a numbers guy. Numbers guy.


So your mom gets you off of the prodigy track, but you're good at the violin, but you're playing classical mostly before you go to college. Yeah.


I didn't know really at first how to find anything else.


I mean, I was I went through high school. Right.


Hanging hanging with the goth art.


Damaged kids, you know, right? You know, they're they're playing a bunch of forayed stuff and this mortal coil and all this stuff in the car, you know.


Yeah, and I, I didn't care for that stuff.


And I was playing Dvorchak Violin Concerto, and that was my. Punk rock music has your got the real star? Yeah. I mean, I would like listen to Mozart's Requiem and like light candles in my bedroom and wow. Yeah that was the same thing. Is listening to the cure or whatever, you know.


But but yeah, I get it.


It's like it's so interesting because that music is so much more sophisticated and elaborate and rich, like, you know, it's so surprising to me that it's always been this kind of niche thing because it's so hard for most people to appreciate. But it's like much more interesting music than almost anything else, really. I don't know anything about it, but I know that, yeah, it is.


And it isn't.


You know, it's like I listen to Mozart now and I find it kind of simple, simple, simplistic, because you understand the structure or I don't know, I just I just like rougher music these days. Yeah, yeah, yeah.


But when you're a teenager that it was it was hyper dramatic and.


Well, what was the first kind of contemporary hole that you fell into that changed the way you looked at violin?


The kind of some things happen simultaneously, but like early jazz. Mm.


You know, I was eighteen, seventeen, eighteen and I, I discovered Stephane Grappelli who played with Django Reinhardt.


Right. And I got into the hot hot club jazz stuff. Right.


I was also into like different folk music. Irish music was like I'd be playing in orchestras during the week for. School, that was it, you know, music school at Northwestern, and then on Sundays I'd go play sessions and drink Guinness and sit in a circle and people would share tunes. Right.


And regular folk stuff. Yeah.


Which is the same thing as old timey. It's just the European version of old timey. It's got a little different, a little different. Little different rhythm. Right. Yeah, but it was, you know, in classical music it's all these long phrases. I mean sometimes you play like fast rhythmic stuff, but it's not syncopated.


Right. And Irish music, you have to be your own drummer and with your bow, you know, backbeat.


Oh, really. Do you know, same thing with old time because it's dance music basically. That's the function of it. Yeah.


I had to kind of rewire my brain to figure out how to, you know, be my own drummer and play my own backbeat. And then I played in a I joined a a rock band when I was 19 called Charlie Nobody in College.


And they were like a ska punk band when I joined. So they were.


And then I brought this kind of Irish element to it.


And how that worked out, you know, it was it's one of those college bands that was kind of kitchen sink.


You don't know what not to do. I like the idea of this, a hybrid sky and Riverdance.


Yeah, the covers we do. We did. Come on, Eileen. Sure. And Rio by Duran Duran are too, like. Covers, those were so those are the defining that's and everything in between and a couple of meters, tunes like this just all over the place, but it got you up there doing that.


And they were like I was in bars before I was of age. And there were girls dancing.


Yeah. And I was I was pretty. Pretty sold on that lifestyle. There you go, the violin pays off. So from there. So you grew up in Chicago the whole time, right? Yeah, Northwestern.


So what was the primary focus of the study with the music? I mean, you play what do you play? Guitar, violin and other things.


Um, mostly those two, um, I write songs more on guitar these days. Um, just there's a reason why that's a go to for songwriters. It's not pressed up against my vocal chords. Right.


And I love I love guitars.


I find them sexier than violins. Yeah. I think that's established. I think that's.


Yeah I think it is. You're not going to turn that around.


It's not good and it's pretty ham fisted on guitar. I just taught myself how to play. I can't I can't even play bar chords. I just, I just kind of feel my way around on it and that's mostly it.


When you were studying, was it like was the focus I get Northwestern? What was it? Mostly classical. I mean, when you broke out into the jazz or the. What was that what was what did you call it.


Hot jazz. Hot club.


What hot jazz.


The jazz kind of pre-war jazz, that kind of like fast shuffle stuff. Yeah. Like like Django from Django. But also I've got, you know, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong.


OK, the pre preview bop. Yeah. Stuff. Right. Lester Young is my all time favorite and that's still sax for me. He's great. Yeah. I was studying violin performance so yeah it was classical but I would take, you know, and ethnomusicology class where I had to transcribe John Coltrane solos. Oh, because he can do that.


The musicology guy was studying jazz, so that was his area of expertise. Yeah.


And and then I had to play the John Coltrane Blue Train and that kind of expanded my ears. All these things and the Irish music they all like, made my ears grow.


You know, beyond where they would have with classical music, but you never dug into the country fiddle early on, I did a little bit, actually got it's you know, I got into the country thing or the American folk thing through, to tell you the truth, through the Ken Burns Civil War soundtrack.


Oh yeah. Janger in that Ashokan farewell tune. Right. Was like I played so many weddings and funerals and with that tune. Yeah. I mean I thought paid my rent for the first couple of years really.


So that was like a gateway drug into the the darkness of Appalachia huh.


Yeah. In a way that was a modern composition but it was just kind of a beautiful kind of Anglo Irish. Yeah.


In tune. And then I got into, uh, through playing with Jimbo Mathes and the scoring at Zipper's I.


Jimbo is a big Charlie Patton Boll, Weevil Blues.


Yeah, he's he's like he can do that stuff. He can do that those weird ways that Charlie Patton would sort of vamp and turn the beat around. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, that no one really does. Right that I've heard.


It's hard to isolate it when you listen to the records because the records are so, you know, kind of swamp. They're kind of like damaged. It's hard to it's all you can really hear is that weird rhythm. I know.


And he's he's he knows all those little inflections that no one does in blues or anything anymore. And he he kind of writes, I just made a record with Jimbo that's coming out next year, which I'll send to you called these 13. But it's it's just a duo record. Kind of. I wanted to do like a Mississippi Chics Palpatine thing with with him. And it kind of goes from.


From country blues to. Churchie early country music, huh, and we wrote a bunch of these songs together. That sounds great. That yeah, that that was fun to kind of go back and finish that thought, because I really got into in my early 20s that I was living in Chicago, in uptown Edgewater neighborhood and near the Green Mill and this jazz club.


And I was really immersed in it during those in my 20s listening to this radio show called Blues Before Sunrise. Right.


The US and into all there, like the old seventy eight style stuff, he would play 78 from midnight till 4:00 in the morning of like.


You know, Dixie Hummingbirds and and just all this really obscure. Southern music, and I would tape it stay up as late as I could and I would tape them and fall asleep and turn the tape over and keep taping it.


So it's a while to me that, like, you know, because, like, I listen to. Like, there's definitely a point, like I can hear that stuff in the music in the early stuff you did like in the first three or four records, and I could see that it was its own thing, its own time zone, that there was you know, there was it was a thing you were doing a thing.


And I don't know if there was a community around it, but I knew the style of music you were playing. But it was almost felt like, you know, like that period in America where it's like everyone decided it was time to swing dance. I was like, there's a there's a point where, like, the music is great. But I started wondering and I imagine you did as well. How far am I going to go with this?


Oh, my God. So I was sitting there watching sitting a at a bar with, you know, where they're having swing dance lessons.


Oh, no. Smoking cigars and drinking martinis. Right.


It's like, oh, the music is just just another accessory to a lifestyle trend.


Like a novelty. Yeah.


And I, I thought. I was in it because I thought I was fascinated by the music and I was kind of enchanted by the era.


Yeah. And but I did start to see that it was a dead end. First of all, like why listen to me play it when you can listen to Grappelli honestly? Well, but like but like, I don't know that many people are going to make that jump, but just as a young and sort of creative person, to be lumped into a trend becomes sort of problematic, you know, because then it's like a goddamn costume party and nobody's necessarily appreciating the music other than the novelty of, like, time travel.


Exactly. Yeah.


And we would show up to gigs with Ball of Fire and they would say the promoter was trying to get people in the door. So he put out, like a sign says, swing dance lessons to Andrew Bird's Ball of Fire.


And the Martine's has so many twists and turns and stops and starts and tempo changes and everything. People would just stop their lessons and they'd be like, look at us like, what are you doing?


What's happening? Like, yeah, you're like, we're doing the thing that we came here to do, you fucking weirdo.


But I was still I was in my early 20s and I was still in a student. I was still a student. Sure, I understood that and I understood that by listening to it. But like what was fascinating to me in listening to, like, whatever shift you made, it's fairly dramatic, like from after, you know, from swimming hour to weather systems and beyond.


You know, you like you reconfigure your entire approach. I kind of look at it like I was started off in New Orleans with the first couple of records, literally. Yeah.


And also as far as the locus of the music and kind of went up through Memphis or Detroit to Chicago and with with swimming hour. And by the time you get to the end of swimming hour, I'm kind of on the cusp of I'm like. Playing with. You know, more modern. Pop, whatever things. Well, that's right. So like swimming our right, so swimming hours, sort of like it's a little all over the place stylistically, I guess.


There's a rock tune on. There's an old timey tune is like. Right, for sure.


And and then I got a little tired.


I thought I thought, I've got more to say than, hey, isn't this old music cool? Right. I felt that I'm going to write some original. I mean, I was writing original lyrics. There's not much between some of the old songs.


And I got a little better at writing lyrics over the years.


But still, I felt like if I'm got your attention and I'm singing words, I might talk about something interesting instead of like, you know, typical old timey stuff.


But I started stripping away. All the things I saw is like stylistic cinematic references. And I thought I even challenged myself, like how how few chords can I get away with putting in this song?


How few little inflections? Because I, I got I kind of put the band aside playing with other people for a while.


I moved out into the country, into a barn, and so I had to really physically isolate myself to get away from other musicians, record collections in my own.


And I, you know, spent weeks and weeks without talking to anybody was a little extreme.


I don't know if I needed to go that far, but and I didn't bring any records with me. I was just living in this barn. Looping my violin all day long and where was anybody concerned?


You know, I thought my friends are going to come visit me, but I forgot to, you know, I forgot to remember that. They didn't have cars, any of my friends figures are stranded there with your Luper, I was three hours away from Chicago on a farm. My parents lived like six miles down the road. And and I just would get up and make coffee and play till the sun went down.


And that's where you found it. Yeah, I was I was really looking for something, I was I was a little things from my collective experience would bubble up in the sun, you know, in the songs. But otherwise I was trying to strip away all the distractions.


And that's so you and you arrived at the base of your voice.


Yeah, I, I can hear that. And that's when people started calling what I do indie rock. And that was confusing to me.


I saw someone describe it as baroque pop.


Uh, I can see why you I can see why you might might get that from some tunes where there's a slightly, you know, orchestrated nature to it. But it's a lot, I think of it as a lot rougher than that, especially live.


Sure. Well, what do you what do you call it?


God, if you could think of something and tell me he had saved me a lot of trouble.


So you got nothing in people's eyes glaze over when I try to.


Well, I mean, but but it's sort of like it's like there's bands like there's something like as you it seems to as you evolved, like I think it's interesting that you had stripped it all the way down because you know, what you kind of end up with when you build up from that is, you know, I think a way of organizing.


Like there's some element of what you do later on. That reminds me a little of Philip Glass, even, you know, and how, you know, the beat and the rhythm is organized. You know, certainly that kind of world of like some, you know, the the American music of David Byrne as well, you know, post talking heads before the Brazilian stuff. Like, I, I don't know what you would call that either. So I don't I think you're in good company.




I got, you know, with the looping kind of pushed it in that minimalist direction and then the the pizzicato I would find these three against to sort of probably rhythmic patterns just from improvising.


And that was the cool thing, is that once you get rid of the band for a minute and the bass, drums and guitar all kind of creating something together and you just it's just me, like creating my own baselines that don't make any sense according to what's been done before.


Right. But makes sense to.


To me at the moment, that's I think that might be where you're getting like the Steve Reich in the Philip Glass and the Yeah.


West West African kora music is another big influence. I love music that doesn't conform to the eight bar phrase. Right.


That'll turn the turn the beat around like Charlie Patton just doesn't care or never, you know, was indoctrinated fully into the whole basically the eight bar phrase, which is you're right, there's no turn around.


Yeah, right. You just John Lee Hooker, it just stay on the one thing until you just stay on the air until you feel an A and don't feel pressured to stay in the air for a very long, if you know what I know.


I love that stuff. That's what, that's what Jimbo does so well. That that. Even the 12 people, the 12 bar blues. Why why is that such a thing?


It's like the really cool stuff doesn't doesn't conform to anything you call it 12 bar blues sounds just like a hymn, but it's just. Yeah, like you said, it doesn't it doesn't go to the fourth quarter, doesn't.


It's all from that gospel stuff. I talked to that, I was talking to Bootsy Collins the other day. It's just like you, you just stay on the one chord state. You can stay there all day long if you want to.


Yeah, but it seems like you kind of landed on some something that's uniquely yours, which is no easy trick, you know.


Yeah. And it did take some extreme measures to get there.


It sounds like it, but they didn't it doesn't sound like you had to destroy yourself. They weren't Dionysian unless you're not telling me something. They were more sort of isolating and repetitive and kind of immersion. But you do you don't have to go out and get all fucked up, did you?


No, no, no. But but, you know, extreme states of mind do tend to get you somewhere. Yeah. Whether it's extreme fatigue or emotional stress even. Yeah. Or just what I did was a deprivation chamber for for a couple of years.


Mm. And. Yeah, but, you know, lately, it's just kind of I did have something to prove after I came out of that phase of like to get away from all that association of the. That swing, whatever lifestyle, took a couple of years to, like, wash my hands of that. So which album do you think it was the first year to record the mysterious production of eggs now swimming?


I mean, not year with the weather system, whether that was right.


But that's where you really feel like it. Like this is what I've been doing. This is what I this is what I yielded from my from my submersion.




That was just before I tried to make mysterious production of eggs out of the farm. But I hadn't you know, I hadn't shed the city yet.


Right. And and I tried to make it and it was a disaster. And I scrapped the whole thing and I went and made weather systems instead. And no one understood what I was doing. The go engineer I was working with was like, this doesn't seem like you or something. He was just confused.


And I stuck with it. And then and I had to do that mostly by myself.


You do you think you were losing your mind? I did when I couldn't make mysterious production of eggs successfully. It took me three tries to get that album.


What's it now like? Only you know, what's going to make that right. And you were made and you made another record. So what was it that was hanging you up?


What could you see the obstacle or were you concerned that, like, maybe I'm making this obstacle up and my brain is like falling into itself, you know, weather systems?


Was this more ambient thing where I was just exploring textures and patterns and stuff and it really had no pressure to it. Like there was no expectation.


I put it out. I didn't even put it out on the label. I just kind of self released it. And mysterious production was way more ambitious. It's all about childhood and it's almost a concept record and.


OK, so you had an outlet? Yeah, I had like a real something I was trying to impart, but I didn't know I didn't have the skills yet to do it, so I.


You know, I get it. And it never works like you make I made where this is. And I think they are trying to make it like. With the band like like my old city life, right work, and I said, I'll try to make it like weather systems and that didn't work. And then I finally went to L.A. to.


Work with this engineer, David Bauscher, and then that finally worked, just need the right collaboration and a little time. Yeah, yeah.


And a little bit of like coming out to L.A.. It was. I was like, oh, this is this I guess people come out here to get paid because they're good at their jobs and they work like, yeah, from ten to six or a normal, somewhat normal hours.


And then you have to pay them a lot more than I'm used to paying.


And but they're good to go, but they're good. You get you get way more shit done. No kidding. I was like, OK, I get it. I get y y people come out here. But I was very suspicious.


Really, really.


Well I thought it was all polished idiots who didn't understand art.


No, I thought there was wasn't enough suffering here. I was hung up on the idea that that that I was still this is a long time. I thought that suffering was essential to adversity like Chicago.


You know, it's like we we do we make art to get through the winter and from keep from going insane or just fighting off with seasonal depression.


Right. And you see you see what you come out with it in the spring.


Right. When the flowers come, you see where your flowers look like.


And I came out to L.A., I was like, these plants aren't indigenous, you know?


So, yeah, no one's indigenous here. What's the you wearing shorts for? Yeah, I get it. There's plenty of stuff out here.


I think you've probably learned. No, it's sometimes you have to manufacture it.


Yeah. Yeah. All different. It's a whole different type of suffering. It's not seasonal. It's just like the sunshine around here. The suffering is real around out here.


But then. OK, but so then you kind of on.


So you take it as the as the album's progressed, do you still I mean outside of the Christmas record or whatever else you're doing, do you still see them all as because they're like, you know, you said something earlier. About, you know, you kind of take in the mind the music and the lyrics and the artwork like all of that, do you still approach all records like that as singular pieces in and of themselves outside of the songs necessarily?


Yes, I now it's just like in this cycle of there's the. The songs that just accumulate over the course of like two years and all the stuff that I'm concerned about during that time, and they just I just wait for them to come.


I don't force anything usually.


How does it happen? What comes first? A melody. The yeah, the melody almost always comes first.


Really, if the lyrics come first. It's a different kind of tune. Really.


Why? Because you got you get why is it. Well, OK, so I got the usual way it happens. It's a melody and this melody is so good it keeps coming back without having to record it or remind myself it just keeps coming back.


And so I know I've got to do something with this.


And I know in order to do the melody, just as the human voice is what needs to carry it. So now I need words and then you're just kind of running the numbers.


This is what I do when I have insomnia at night. Like, I'm just trying to crack the code of the melody, the shape of the melody with words.


And I just sort of point point the melody at a subject that I'm thinking about.


Oh, interesting. Yeah.


This kind of aim it at it and like see if they can eventually fit and try not to let the words compromise the melody too much.


Like, I mean, I'm right in the thick of that as we speak, and because I take the words out and the melody sings and I put the words in and they kind of cramps the melody style a little bit, drags it down the words dragging your melody down.


But I love I love work, I mean, I love words, too, and sometimes there is. I can have a motive, some kind of. Thing that's something gets under my skin, a melody, yeah, sometimes a word gets under my skin or a phrase.


Yeah, I'm working on this song right now about, uh, moult like human moulting, you know, like how animals molt.


They shed their skin or their feathers or their fur.


Like, I feel like every season I kind of emotionally, physically moltz in a way, like I could go into this hibernating weird, like low grade fever. Hmm.


And it happens with such regularity that they start to think like maybe I'm moulting, you know, so but I mean, when you malti do you do you emerge a chrysalis or just you.


Yeah. I mean it it's really unpleasant.


It's really unpleasant for two weeks and then I come out like a newborn foal, you know, I'm full of energy and clarity, but I have to go through this, this very unpleasant, really physical physiological experience.


But you don't you know, you've never pathologies you've never thought you were ill in some way.


No. I mean, everyone around me thinks I'm depressed, but I'm like, I swear to God, I've got some stuff I'm just moulting.


Do you tell them that? I'm just.


Yeah, that's what I tell my wife. And she just rolls her eyes.


We go at the moulting again.


So anyway, I'm you know, I'm writing this song where I've got it a melody and I remember I don't know where I heard this, but it was like. I think it was like a New Yorker comic or something where there's a baby in a crib, in an ICU or whatever.


Yeah, not ICU, but, you know, the prenatal thing and maternity ward and the baby says, OMG, I just got born and I, I like that.


I just got born. I was like, OK, that. Let me work that in there somehow, huh, because that's a little more compared to like saying moulting and sheathing and and exoskeleton, like trying to work that into a song.


I just got born is funny, too. It's got a little jokey. Yeah. Yeah. Anyway, it's that that's like a pretty early stage of that song.


Won't be ready for another two years but. Wow. But you know, you just accept that this is going to be in the there's going to be in the hopper for two years.


Yeah. And they're like, you know, I can only maintain because I like I said, I work on these when I can't sleep.


So I pull out a file in my head or when I'm waiting for a plane or whatever, some idle time. You pull out this file and you like hammer at it. Yeah. And I have a pretty good playback system in my head so I can demo things in my head that's going on. Yeah.


And these songs become like my companions for interesting for that period of time for that two or three years until I get it down.


And then what and how is how is it different when you start with words they tend to be more rhythmic.


Hmm. Because that's the melodies, not first. So you can you have a little more freedom, a little more leeway with yourself. Yeah, right.


Like music. Like Sisyphus, you know, Sisyphus peered into the mist a stone's throw from the precipice past.


Right. Like that was not melody driven. Exactly.


So they was like and they tend to be a little more you know, they're not too far though, maybe culturally far away from. But they're not too far away from the process of of a rapper, honestly. Right. Right, right. Right now. Sure.


I think you're just you're you're. Looking for good rhythm and rhyme, and you don't know, they just kind of like the melodies just sort of out of nowhere a few things come together.


Yeah, a few things come together. Uh. I kind of just recede into myself and get that thousand yards there and I'm kind of in in here just sort of. Running numbers, right, running, doing crosswords, it's it's sometimes it's not as. It's creative, but it's not, you know, I mean, it's like, well, yeah, right, right. Well, I imagine that if you're a melody guy, that's a little more enchanting in some way where words are kind of like, yeah, you just like math problems.


Exactly like any melodies. I just I simply cannot tell you where they're coming from right now.


And that's the amazing thing. Like, I like that even when I'm improvising, you know, comedy where ideas are that moment where you your brain needs to get the laugh, but you don't know how it's going to come.


And something comes out of you and you're like, wow, that was exciting. Where did that come from? I don't know.


I yeah, I feel an affinity with with comedians. Honestly, the I feel like when I get up on stage I want to shrug my shoulders.


I don't know if this is just what's it.


Let's see what happens. Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. And I, I like well I'm impressed by comedians, you know, a profession where you're living by your wits.


I think that's that's that seems noble to me. Yeah. Me too, you know. Yeah. And it's and it's, it's very scary. It is like. Yeah.


Getting ready to do this interview I realized like I get I get to play a song. Yeah. That's my security blanket. But otherwise I'm being judged on my personality right now. Yeah. I think you're doing very well. Scary.


I think you know. I'm sorry. No I'm serious. Like it's weird. I mean you're being judged in person.


I didn't know you though, you know, and I thought certain things, but. But it is different, you know, when you have I've always thought that musical music as much is magic in a way where like if you're just doing jokes, I mean, you can do them a few times, they're going to wear out. Whereas like you got music, not only can you hide behind it or whatever you think you're doing or it gives you an assist.


But, you know, a song can he can stay with somebody forever and actually change as time goes on.


Where is a joke? But it's just like you did it, though. It's interesting that I didn't really think about it like that because you remembered that joke. Like sometimes a joke is exactly what you need and sometimes their old jokes and sometimes they're good points of reference, but they're not the same as the song, you know.


Yeah, but I mean, whether whether they're the you've done in a million times to the audience, you're living by the seat of your pants like you're.


Yeah, I try never to do a joke a million times, God forbid. Yeah. Yeah. It would be empty like a nightmare. It's like the worst dream ever.


You'd be stuck on a joke. I mean you just feel like I feel like when I'm playing night after night shows and I and I say the same, a similar banter to what I did the night before.


You're like such a fraud that you do it for a living dude. I know. So how do you choose this?


Like, you know, on the new record. On the record. I mean, some of them are your songs. Some of them are songs you like, correct? Yeah.


I just you know, they were all at arm's reach. They were all sometimes with an album. You just put a bunch of stuff in a room.


Yeah. See if they get along.


I started off just being thinking I'm going to do a Vince Guaraldi cover album, put it put together a great bunch of jazz musicians and just play Vince Guaraldi tunes.


Yeah. And then I get got a little greedy and I want to write some originals and you see that, you see them as holiday music.


Oh the ones that I wrote. Yeah. I thought well that's kind of what gets a songwriter up in the morning is thinking, oh, this morning I could write the song that gets everybody singing the same tune, you know, like. And what better place to do that then. Right. Like what if you could get a song into the holiday canon. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Be set.


But so I thought, you know, try to reinvigorate the the tired canon of holiday music with, you know, some choice covers that I think deserve entry. Yeah.


You know, I set the bar pretty low. You just have to either mention Christmas or snow or something. And as good as long as it's a good piece of music, then let's do it.


But when I wrote the originals like Alabaster, I tried to write the first couple originals I tried to write was too dark.


You know, you ask yourself when you're writing something like The World, The Dark Christmas songs. Yeah.


Does does the world really need this? Is this what people because it's a it's a utilitarian thing like Christmas music.


It's it's like you put it on to create an atmosphere. It's not not being I never say.


Yeah, yeah. Right. When I was listening to it, I thought like, oh, so this is like, you know, the the fire's going families around. Right.


You did it, but you did it.


You did that great John Prine song. Is that John Prine song on there it is. Yeah. Souvenirs. Yeah. Which I've been I've been covering that for years. I didn't really. You know, but then it's like, oh, he's talking about like the post Christmas, you know, crash and it's such an evocative tune that's a little bit of a dark, little dark, little dark.


Yeah, it's talking about memories and nostalgia and and and feeling kind of betrayed by your memories, I guess.


And green wine, that is that is that an old melody. Is that is that that's green sleeve. Green sweets. Right. OK, there you go. Yeah.


We say I've always loved that melody and I mess that up with a handsome family tune about.


You know, mental illness and alcoholism and and Christmas, yeah, the the Hanson family subgenre, alcohol, mental illness, pretty much.


I like I like them.


They live in my hometown. I've I've interviewed them. Oh, you're from Albuquerque. Yeah. Hi. I grew up there. OK. Yeah. Yeah.


So in the movie you say you're from New Mexico. That's that's that's for real. OK, it's for real.


Man. I grounded that improvisation in my own life.


Yeah. And then the whole Lower East Side. Well, yeah.


Well, you know, I always said I lived there for a long time, but like my parents are from Jersey, but I grew up in New Mexico with my dad, settled in the early 70s. So that's where that's what I consider home.


OK, so which one of these original Christmas standards are we? Are you going to play?


Um, I, I was first I was thinking green wine and then I thought maybe Christmas and April Christmas and it's up to you.


I can do either one. That what does that ukulele. It's a violin. Oh, OK. Yeah, since we talked about Greenline, that's OK.


OK. I had nothing to say Christmas Day, when you threw all your clothes in the snow, when you burned your hand, knocked over a chair, so I just tried to stay out of your way when you fell asleep.


Blood on your teeth. I just got in my car and drove away. Listen to me, Butterfly, you know, there's only so much you can drink in one life. But he will never be the same from the bottom of your. We are the state highway, stop, stop my car, I'll get out to stare up at the store and the media goes down and shot across the sky. I just thought about said son. And when I went back for my clothes and the son found the room, you were just passed out on the floor.


Listen to me.


But as you know, there's only so much you can do, and one body will never be enough to save you from the bottom of your.


Yeah, great, I love it, man. Thank you. Sounds great.


It's such a moving melody and the words are great. That's a that's a nice dark Christmas song.


It is quite dark. Yeah. I love to you know, I think part of, uh, my favorite Christmas tunes are minor.


Key. Yeah. Tunes and. I think. You know, part of.


The holiday is because it's somewhat arbitrary, the birth of Christ, I think, actually happened in in May or something like that, you know, I have no idea what it's a pagan holiday about, like, you know, doing something festive to get through a dark time.


And sometimes it's like. Embracing the darknesses is helpful, you know, yeah, that seems to be the theme of our conversation, the moulting seasonal darkness coming out after the darkness, you know, struggling with the darkness.


Yeah, well, I look, I agree with you.


I mean, I it's a very weird thing when I ask you about, you know, like that isolation and stuff, like I know that most of my personality is built around knowing that, you know, it only takes me a couple of steps and I'm in a pretty deep hole, you know.


Yeah. Erdreich. And you just kind of you kind of make your way around that and.


And the more you you create out of that place, the more relief you get in, the more resources you get to not live in that hole, you know?


Yeah, but I think the suffering for your art is a myth. No, you can't do it on purpose.


That's why it's I don't know whether it's a myth or what, but the romanticization of it is, you know, yeah, there's plenty of fucked up artists around that have their own struggles. And inarguably anybody who does original art and commits to that life is a certain special type of person that's willing to engage in a life of struggle. But I don't think you can you can do it on purpose.


No. No, I've found other ways to channel that that impulse, so just to kind of blunt my myself against the world.


Yeah, but it's not not instant. I see my art. If I wake up and I'm happy and energetic, I do better work, you know. Sure. Yeah.


Because you're excited. You're not you're not you're not trying to climb out of a pit. Exactly. Do you do the exercise. Do you biking or something. How did you know.


Yeah I like right. I like writing and I've been doing this more since the pandemic. Yeah. It's my way to cope with it is to do an extreme, you know, exercise to the point of almost nausea.


Yeah. And I think it makes me it makes me dumb enough.




To be able to handle the day and head of the world. Right. Because you're it's my theory because you're fucking exhausted. Yeah. You just can't just I do that to you like at two o'clock you're like why am I need a nap.


Oh yeah. Yeah.


I wrote up a mountain and it's also to get the indoor endorphin hit that I used to get from performing to you I think. Yeah.


I mean I've been doing this I've Instagram's in the morning to engage with a bunch of people and it's a double edged sword, but it does give me the little jolt of being engaged that way, you know. Yeah.


It doesn't take too much to feel like you're just on the hot seat a little bit. Yeah.


To get that to get that fixed. And also talking to people is good, you know, talking to you. I can do. Sure. Well, it was good talking to you, man. It was great talking to you.


I really when you wrote that note about Lynn, I wanted. The sound may sound disingenuous at this point, but I wanted to reach out, yeah, and like I was thinking, maybe bananas, like you don't know me from Adam, like here.


If I if I wrote you and said, hey, let's go, let's go for a walk or something.


Yeah, we could have, but I had that impulse. Well, thanks man. I have to. And I didn't act on it. That's OK.


You know, it was like it's just so it's you know, it's a really it's been a really difficult thing, you know.


Yeah. I don't know.


I don't even know how it's just so it's so like it's so normal, but so like it's not normal in that it's tragic, but it's what happens in life, you know, but it's like a.


It's really hard to to wrap your brain around it, you know, to the absence and whatnot, like there's no way to kind of make it, there's no way to normalize it, you know, but it's like it's as normal as being born in some ways.


I didn't know how it's going to go down, but.


But Jesus, man, it's rough go because she was a special person.


She's an uncommon, uncommon person, I noticed that moment I met her, so, yeah, yeah, but. Thanks for talking and yeah, and I really enjoyed getting into your stuff. More preparing for this. And I like the new holiday record and it was a thanks man is good getting to know you a little bit, man.


Yeah, same here. I'll be in touch someday. Yeah. When we get out of the plague, we'll hang out and play some.


I play some one chord blues with you. I love that. Yeah. OK, man, take it easy. And you see Mark. All right, sing a song for us, the song he played was Green Wine from his new album Hark! You can get that at Andrew Bird Net. And don't forget, if you're feeling depressed, overwhelmed or anxious, Better Health offers a licensed online counselors who are trained to listen and help talk with your counselor in a private online environment at your convenience.


Just fill out a questionnaire to assess your specific needs, then get matched with a counselor in under 48 hours. Better help is an affordable option. And for WTF listeners, you get 10 percent off your first month with the discount code to get started today at Better LPI Dotcom. So I to talk to a therapist online and get help. Also go to WTF pod dotcom slash mirch got too close shirts got all the other stuff. Might be able to squeeze in a quick Christmas gift purchase and probably get there late, but you can still do it.


I'm bad with gifts. I'm good at getting them. All right. I'll play a little guitar.


BOEMRE lives Monkey and the fanda. Cat angels everywhere.