Thursday, January 21, 2010

January recording Wrap-up and Thank You!

Me in snow!

We wrapped up our recording today, and drove back to Boston. We got quite a bit done - six entire songs, almost ready to go - they just need a few more instruments, then mixing and mastering. Our next recording session is booked for March in Oakland, with my backup band.

Sean and Benny were wonderful to work with, relaxed, yet engaged, professional, yet willing to play and be silly.

Last night Sean and I played piano duet, and then I dropped rice on a cymbal to create shimmery rain sounds for "Song for my Father."

Here is the house we recorded in:

Here is Sean rocking out on the shortwave radio which provides a wonderful accompaniment to my newest song: Open/Avocado

And we all talked about how grateful we were to be in this magical musical space, getting work done, but also with this great space to play and feel, and love the music. And so Sean wrote a note to all who have contributed to my album campaign so far:

From Sean:

"Dearest Contributors!

Huzzah and hats off to you! Your generosity has allowed us to create nine new Kim songs for you; I can't wait for you to dig them!

Luv on ya!

Sean Slade"

Also signed by Benny and Kim (me!)

From Benny's Blog:

"Kim Boekbinder and Sean Slade

Tonight marks the final evening of my all-too-short recording stay with Mr. Sean Slade and Ms. Kim Boekbinder at Slade's lovely Quarry Recording Studio in the gorgeous (and currently very snowy!!) woods of Maine.

We got ourselves a helluva jump-start on Kim's forthcoming solo album(s?) - which promises to be a playful, beautiful, and highly artistic collection of music that pools from an incredibly diverse range of influences while still sounding uniquely Kim - knocking out six tunes; five of which are recorded to an old 8-track Otari machine in glorious mono (!!! [...and you shoulda seen some of the gear we used to get it there!!]).

Kim is one of the most inspiring artists I've met in ages; she's the kind of person whose drive and dedication makes you rethink your own, while somehow encouraging a sense of positivity and optimism (as opposed to a sense of inadequacy) along the way. Particularly inspiring is her approach to funding her new record: it's being paid for entirely by contributions from her fans (patrons can visit for more information, and for fuck's sake, check out her sculpture!!), which, as far as I'm concerned, is an amazing and (hopefully) trendsetting approach to making records in an age of rampant music piracy and the shitstorm of major label mediocrity.

While it's most certainly a drag to be calling this session a wrap, I feel extremely fortunate to have spent time amongst such incredible talent (and good people! [and INSANELY good cooks. Yum!!]), and to be involved in a record that is as sonically, socially, and musically-engaging as this one."

Link to Benny's Myspace Blog


In other news I did a great interview over at

Great quotes include:

"I also like duck a lot, it's like bacon with wings."

"That's the key to my heart, cover it in fat."

"Doing what you love for a living is a great way to stop loving what you do."

There is no satisfaction

"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening
that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one of you in all time,
this expression is unique.

If you block it,
it will never exist through any other medium
and be lost.
The world will not have it.

It is not yours to determine how good it is;
nor how it compares with other expressions.
It is your business to keep the channel open.
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.
You have to keep open and aware directly
to the urges that motivate you.

Keep the channel open.
No artist is ever pleased.
There is no satisfaction whatever at any time.
There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction;
a blessed unrest that keeps us marching
and makes us more alive than the others."

-- Martha Graham

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Atlanta, GA - I Need to Know

Hello Darlings,

I have a date at the Drunken Unicorn on February 26th - I'm very excited to be playing in Atlanta, GA! And at a place called The Drunken Unicorn!!!!

The Unicorn does a lot of 21+ shows but have given me the option of doing an 18+ show. While I love to be inclusive and prefer as few restrictions as possible, making a show 18+ takes $$ out of my pocket.

This is the text from the Unicorn:

"18+ shows production is $140 whereas 21+ is $60, the bands get the rest of the door after production."

This is actually a good deal for an unknown musician in a new market. The reason it costs more for 18+ vs 21+ is that more alcohol is sold at 21+ and the bar makes more money that way. It costs money to put on shows - the bar has to pay the booker, the sound person, the door person, and for any advertising they do.

Now, $80 is a lot for me. Considering I am already buying my plane ticket out there, and I don't think I have any sort of "following" in your fair city as this is my first solo show there.

I really need your feedback here. I need to know what kind of interest there is in a show in general, and certainly what kind of interest in a 18+ show.

The show will cost $5-7 and I'll need about 25 people to come to even get paid at all.

You might think I'm famous, and in a way I am, but that doesn't mean lots of people come to my shows everywhere I go. And while I'm not in this for the money I can't afford to eat $80, or any $ (also I don't think $ should be eaten at all....yuck.)

Oh...this "business" part of music is so tricky.

ATL speak up: pass this to anyone who might be interested in the show.

Comment here, or twitter: @KimBoekbinder, or email me: kim {at}



Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Birthday, Recording, Leafy Sea Dragons

On Sunday I flew to Boston, arrived at midnight, to find myself locked out of the place where I was sleeping. After an hour of feeling sorry for myself I finally got in. This was a bad way to start my birthday. Cold, hungry, tired, alone.

My birthday got a better start the next day when Sean Slade showed up with coffee and a cute engineer and we drove to Sean's house in rural Maine where we have been recording in his attic on an 8 track. In mono.

It sounds great! The limitations of our recording setup has become an integral part of the sound. Benny, the engineer plays drums, and Sean plays piano, sax, and bass clarinet!

In our first two days we've gotten a large chunk of the album done - or at least a good way towards done.

We are eating great food, and just working and working. We record from about 11am to 11pm, with just a few breaks for sanity and food. It's all very natural though, we're just here for music and all so focused. Sean and Benny are great to be around and I feel so very grateful to have this opportunity to work with them.

Sean has produced some wonderful music along his career, some of those albums have even been popular - Sean keeps all his gold records in his bathroom.

Now at the end of day two in the recording, I'm tired and full of music, but wanted to write and say: Thank you.

Thank you for reading this, for paying attention, for giving me feedback, for interacting, for contributing art/thoughts/money, for helping me do this impossible thing.

Because you are awesome, I present you with photos I took with my iphone at the Monterey Aquarium last week - if you can go, then go - it is WONDERFUL! I cried at the leafy sea dragon exhibit.

Nature blows my mind.

And this is me with a dollar pinned to my coat - in the New Orleans tradition of pinning money to the birthday girl.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Totally Hot Abes

Perhaps my next album cover.

p.s. This is what happens when I think.

The Impossible Project

"Don't undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible."
- Edwin Land, Inventor of Instant Photography

I used to be an avid photographer. I sold my photographs, was published even. I have a wonderful vintage camera collection - ranging from a 1901 Kodak panorama pinhole camera, to spy cameras, to 70's polaroids. I was particularly enamored of SX-70 film. And I was heartbroken when Polaroid announced it would no longer make film.

So imagine my compounded pleasure to discover, The Impossible Project:

"[The Impossible Project Impossible] has been founded with the concrete aim to re-invent and re-start production of analog INTEGRAL FILM for vintage Polaroid cameras."

They are from the Netherlands (like my father) and their name is SO perfect.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Longing for Structure

I have always left restrictive situations. Demanding jobs - not just hard, but the ones that expected me to change who I was when I was at work - controlling people, clingy lovers. Once I felt that my freedom was being compromised I would go.

And yet, I yearn for structure. I am drawn to it. I seek out situations that give me structure, and then I leave.

I know that within the framework of a situation I can create something beautiful. Any given relationship, world, fiction, project, endeavor, has its own rules that give it shape, and that shape influences everything that arises within it.

I find my best art is made by my struggle against the limitations of my materials. I push boundaries, explore the outer reaches of where I can go with any given medium, and on the edges of possibility I find a pure beauty. The moment of falling apart that is also the moment of coming together.

The instant when an object or concept begins to shatter, when you see the structure clearly as it gives way. The perfect millisecond of time when you can see something in two phases at once: together, and apart, whole and not whole, there and not there. This is the moment I strive for in my art, my music, my life.

I want the beginning and the end, the becoming and the falling apart. I want it all. At the same time.

Are you going to eat that?

I have a drawer full of impossible creatures.

My penchant for detail, my small agile hands, my ability to attach papery thin, desiccated, and crumbling butterfly wings onto seahorses has led me to the conclusion that I would be a great surgeon.

If you are ever marooned, or deserted, or in a group of starving pilgrims making their way across a mountain range, you better hope I am the one amputating your arm so we can all eat it. Because I would cut your arm off better than anybody else would.

Or if you just want a seahorse with wings you could come to my art show on January 15th.

The Alternative Cafe
1230 Fremont Blvd.
Seaside, CA 93955

Opening from 6-9 (usually goes later) I will play a few uke songs at some point in the evening.

I also have a musical show in Monterey, CA on January 14th.

January 14th
Dakota Belle Witt opens the show!

And this Sunday, at 6pm PST, I will play songs for you on the internet. I will not archive this show, you will have to watch it to see it. I will play guitar, I will sing, I will dance.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a date with a scalpel and a tube of superglue.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Dear friends,

Today we met the first goal in my album pre-order/fundraiser: $5,000

In two weeks, on my birthday, I begin to record my album. This is amazing.

In a feat (or fit) of comedic irony, I had to coerce a friend to buy me a celebratory drink, because I have no dollars to spend (only my album has money.) We drank Mai Tais in a Tiki bar, and played pool - VERY BADLY - and climbed a wall into a graveyard where it was quiet and lovely, and we were happy.

I am so grateful, and happy, and full. And loved. And love. Love.

I think we should do a webcast of my new songs - not just ukulele and stories, but an actual web concert, just for you. Sunday? Maybe?

I love you darlings. Be happy, be daring, be free.

p.s. The "CHIP IN" widget does not say $5,000 because it has a glitch - rest assured we have actually made it!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Art, music, make, more, time, slips. Away.

The music gets better, the art more fulfilling, the days get colder, I long to go south. Thinking Mardi Gras this year, thinking Atlanta, maybe Florida. I want to be not cold. I want to be in the swamp. I want a new tattoo. I want to dance, dance.

Also I want to tour. Love being in a home, but need to roam. Hitch me up a wagon and let's hit the trail. In two weeks it will be my birthday and I will start to record my first full solo album. In Maine. In the snow.

Then I migrate southerly for your fabled hospitality. Dear friends, get ready. I'm coming.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Making Things, Breaking Other Things

I have an art show opening on January, 15th in Monterey, CA. I also have a music show in Monterey on January, 14th. Busy bee.

It feels great to be making things again, to be alone in a house, to be jamming out with my loop pedal and LOVE LOVING the new songs and arrangements. Some of the new stuff is danceable (!?!) In fact, my back is really sore from jumping up and down while I play my new songs.

I'm going to my brother's house for dinner now. It's lovely to be close to family and friends. I'm soaking it up as much as I can before I leave in two weeks for an undetermined length of time.

Happy Palindrome Day: Enjoy Al Yankovic being witty with the backwardsforwards words:

Friday, January 1, 2010

You Probably Will Not be Burned at the Stake

2010 is The Year of the Rhinestone Mustache!

First, I should tell you: I am not a good correspondent. Sure I can string letters together to form pleasing sentences (we'll call this one, Exhibit A) but I run hot and cold, on again, off again with the frequency of my writing (we'll call my blogging history, Exhibit B.) I do read everything that people write to me, but I don't necessarily respond, even if I really like the letter, and the person.

I only explain this because I am about to divulge the contents of a message I wrote today in response to someone, and I don't want you think I don't love you just because I haven't responded to your letter(s).....It's not you, it's me.

In regards to last night's blog I got several responses about how I have inspired people to be more creative, or rather to allow their creativity to take a more central position in their lives. One man wrote to say that he had just decided to radically change his life and attempt to make a living from his writing. He explained that his friends have not been supportive.

Here is my response:

Thank you for writing, I'm happy for you and your decision.

Friends are good to have, but not always supportive when you need it most - or in the ways you need it. All you can do is learn from that experience to be a better friend yourself when the time arises.

Our history books are filled with stories of revolution and persecution. Even the "successful" revolutionaries were punished: Jesus, Joan of Arc, Martin Luther King.

We learn from a young age to follow the line, keep our heads down. Even if we aren't changing the world, even if all we want is to live a fulfilled life - a quiet revolution is the most powerful, and the most terrifying to people around us.

Your friends think they are being good friends. And they are, in their way. They are protecting you from your own decision to revolutionize your life. They have learned that retribution must be the next step, and as friends they do not want to see you hurt.

Luckily for us the quiet revolution has already begun, there are resources and communities in existence of people letting go of the the status quo to create a life of deeper meaning and creative fulfillment.

So you probably will not be burned at the stake.

Go team!



So as much as I like that people have jobs because it is convenient for me to be able to go to the grocery store, have my garbage picked up, and have things to wear, I also know that as humans we will adapt to every situation. Make less money, be an artist, use less stuff. Yeah, I want your money for my album, but I'd rather that you be happy. Seriously. So if your job sucks, quit it. If your job doesn't suck, keep it if you want, but make time for your art. Do it now.

Oh fuck it! Just quit your job! You probably will not be burned at the stake.

p.s. This daily blog is quite entertaining:

p.p.s. If you decide not to follow my advice and actually want to keep your job, might I suggest a small(or large) contribution to my album fundraiser? You get stuff for your dollars!