Friday, January 28, 2011

Where in the world - Sydney, Australia

Good morning! Or afternoon, or evening or whatever it is for you.



I'm in Sydney, Australia, sitting in a living room in a house filled with international surfers who are speaking Portuguese and German. The view from this house is incredible, it reminds me that being next to the ocean makes me a better person. Waves and rocks and ocean wind. Horizon without obstruction. Nature being itself; powerful, ever changing, intense.




I came here on Wednesday to rap with Amanda Palmer at the Sydney Opera House.


This is what I look like while waiting for a suitcase.


I had some very sparkly ladies on stage with me, they worked out a whole dance to 'Map of Tasmania' and included some special moves for my rap.




My very favorite part of the evening is that Neil Gaiman paid me a compliment. It isn't the first compliment Neil has ever paid me, but this one was special. As a writer, and a lover of language, Neil is someone who knows the value of words. He is not given to hyperbole the way that most of us are. He does not describe everything as "epic" or "amazing" or "fantastic" (I describe things that way all the time  - I have become stuck in the tantalizing honey of the hyperbole trap of our modern culture.) Neil says things are 'nice' or 'rather nice' or 'lovely.' He talks the same way he reads, in a very deliberate way. He uses words the way they are meant to be used, to mean the things they actually mean and he is very easy to understand.

But after our gig at the Sydney opera House Neil said,

"I really enjoyed your rap tonight. You killed it."

And I was so flattered and flustered that I said something like, "Thank you. I had fun killing it. Killing is fun. I like killing..."


***

Last night Amanda and I played a very special house show for about 40 people. It as intimate and rare and great. Before we played we ate and everyone went around the table and introduced themselves. Amanda said we should all state our deepest fear as well. And that was brilliant, it made us all vulnerable and powerful at the same time.

The concept of a 'deepest fear' is interesting. There are so many to choose from: visceral, physical, animal instinct kind of fears, like the fear of spiders or being eaten alive by lions (one of mine.)
Or emotional, philosophical, modern day fears, like being mediocre, getting stuck in a dead end job and never reaching the dream. And they are all real, all deep, all scary.

I said I was afraid of performing solo - which is true. And then I sang. And then Amanda sang. And then we took this picture with the group:






***

Sydney is a very beautiful city. I'm having a great time. I rapped (I RAPPED!) at the SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE - probably the world's most recognizable venue. I'm palling around with wonderful, kind, creative, intelligent people. I just released an album. I have a really wonderful partner who matches me intellectually, creatively, intuitively, emotionally, physically. And he's SO cute:



And sometimes I look like this:



I have to list these things for myself. To remind myself to look at the wonderful things I have. Because one of my deepest fears is that nothing will ever be enough, that I will be too busy reaching for the next shiny red apple to notice the juicy ripe peach that's in my mouth. I always want more. And striving is a wonderful thing, reaching for the stars is grand, but not if you miss the life while you're living it.

And sometimes I move too fast, reach too far, want too much to see that HOLY HELL: my life is fantastic.

Sure, things can always be better. Truth is, album sales are slow, I am COMPLETELY out of money - in the super scary, pit of nausea, heart aching anxiety, way. My computer is on its last legs and hardly ever concedes to connect to the internet for long enough to post photos or write blogs. And I may never be able to afford touring again.

But those things are all part of my job. Because I consider it the job of the artist to live on the edge. The edge of sanity, the too scary, too much, too close, too hard edge. Sometimes it's money, sometimes it's loneliness, sometimes it's the art itself. And being out of money and scared and still moving forward even if it means not eating, or losing everything, is the edge that I am on.

And the view from here is AMAZINGLY EPIC and rather nice, as well:







***

All photos by Jim Batt (except the BBQ photo. And the photo of him, which I took.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Best Birthday (UNICORNS!)

I just had the best birthday ever. Yesterday I was being miserable. I hate birthdays. And I can be quite miserable. And then, while rolling around in a heap of badness, I had the clarity to ask myself what exact purpose my misery was serving. Unable to come up with an answer I decided to ignore the crappy voices inside my head that tell me I'm not working hard enough/being good enough/taking over the world enough/beautiful enough/skinny enough/lovable enough/sparkly enough and that I would just have a nice time instead.

And I did:

I got breakfast in bed





I got absinthe. And a Zoom audio recorder. I got lots of sparkly things.







I got fish and chips. Friends came over and we talked and laughed and drank absinthe and made stupid videos and kissed. And now I'm writing a totally indulgent blog about NOTHING AT ALL. Except just to say:

I have been drinking absinthe. And I have had a wonderful day.

Not that much absinthe.

But lots and lots of wonderful.

I wish I could figure out how to be happy more often. How to be not so hard on myself for not curing death/inspiring world peace/scoring the most beautiful symphony ever heard by human ears/ having perfect eyelashes. But today it was enough to just be nice to myself - or rather - to tell the inner voices to take a day off and SHUT THE FU*K UP.

*

Also...ohh! Birthday wish: please, pretty please, draw me riding a unicorn. I so so so so SOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSO badly(goodly?) want drawrings of me riding unicorns.

I will be happy FOREVER if you send me a drawing.

Quick sketch or epic masterpiece - all manner of magical unicorn ridingness will be accepted, nay! cherished!

send to: kim - at - kimboekbinder.com

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Birthday Month - Birthday Sale - Kaboom!


It is my birthday month! That's right. In New Orleans you get a birthday week, and people pin dollars to you. I decided to take a birthday month, but don't worry, I'm sharing it with you.

I'm having a birthday month sale. For all of January my album will be a $0 minimum download. The CD will be only $9, the poster sets will be $6, the T-shirts will be $15.






This is my birthday present to you. I don't make much money at these prices, but this is what makes me happy right now, so I'm doing it. This is a chance for people without much money to get my album and my way to give more.

Tell friends that they can download my album for as little as they like and/or get one of the beautiful CDs for only $9.

Copy this link to share it: http://music.kimboekbinder.com

And then watch this video because it makes me happy:



I will be practicing every day because I want my show to be the best possible, I want it to be irresistible. I want to make your heart explode.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Art of The Impossible Girl

I know a lot of amazing artists. And I love to collaborate. So when I started to think about how I would release my album I came up with the idea of having a unique illustration for each song. Some of the pieces were done with songs in mind, others were just various interpretations of, "The Impossible Girl." This is the story of the art, the artists, how I know them, and what their art means to me. I'll start at the beginning.



"Impossible Girl #1"

Travis Louie painted this gorgeous piece for the cover of my album. I met Travis through Molly Crabapple after he watched a webcast that Molly and I did. Travis is a true master, his rendering is astounding. What he calls a sketch others would call a masterpiece. He's also just a wonderful person to be around, very easy to talk to; intelligent and interesting. I was very lucky to meet Travis when I did, to connect with him about art and music, and mostly to have him contribute such a beautiful piece of art for the cover of my album.




***

"Rainbows and Unicorns"

Melissa Dowell is a tall, leggy, whip snapping, gal friday. She works as an illustrator, designer, screenprinter, and personal assistant. She loves tentacles, has purple hair, and brings me fancy chocolate. She knocked it out of the park on this one with a ridiculous two day deadline. Sparkles, sea creatures, pink: what's not to love?






***


"More and More"

Mary Larsen painted me at Dr. Sketchy's the day we met. Her watercolors are deliriously beautiful, haunting, and quite often disturbing. Fantastic stuff! I love her colors and her shapes. This painting was not done with a particular song in mind, but I think it fits well.




***


"Open/Avocado"

Teetering Bulb is the partnership of Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon. I met them at a fancy Easter party in Brooklyn and loved them immediately. And then I saw their art. Every single piece of work I see from Teetering Bulb is mindbendingly gorgeous, from the beautiful line work to the luminescent coloring, the pieces are bursting from the page with a rich and intense life. They chose to illustrate "Open/Avocado" and I'm so glad they did. 





***

"Gypsy"

Katelan Foisy has gypsy blood and a gypsy soul. She's an artist, a writer, model, and medium (and more...) She is absolutely stunning inside and out. Such a joy to be around and a Grade A snuggler. We like to make mustaches out of cookies (I'll explain when you're older.) I dedicated this song to her the first time she came to my show and we knew that she would have to paint this piece. 




***

"Impossible Girl #4"

Karen Schmidt did a painting project called "Send Me Your Head" where she painted 3 inch portraits of people who sent in photos of themselves. I sent her a photo and loved the result. This piece wasn't created specifically for the album. It is based on a self-portrait I took of myself while I lived in New Orleans. 




***

"Stalker"

Tim Smith lives in a small town in Missouri where he creates wonderful art, runs a print shop, and produces fantastic music shows that host international touring artists in a town that might otherwise be skipped over by hardworking musicians trying to get across the middle of America as quickly as possible. Tim's strong graphic style uses photography as its basis and this piece is based on Heike Schneider-Matzigkit's wonderful photo of me. This piece is still available as a limited edition t-shirt in my store - but not for long. 




***

"Impossible Girl #2"

Kate Rannells has been in my life for at least half of it. She has helped me move about once a year, visited me in countries all over the world, come with me on tour, held me as I cried, laughed until she cried during all night talking sessions, polished of bottles off whiskey by my side, and kissed me under the stars. Kate is intelligent, curious, a fantastic storyteller, and the life of the party (though she considers herself to be shy.) She is an amazing artist, a sculptor and photographer who works with fantastic emotional detail. Sometimes you cannot tell why her work looks and feels so RIGHT, it just does. At art shows I've watched people - good friends - fight over buying her pieces. This song is inspired by her, and the garden she built for the song is a brilliant playground of earthly delights. I wish you could all see it in person.




***

"He Said"

Justin DeVine was drawing a rhinoceros on a napkin the day I met him. He was probably about 17 at the time and it was best piece of napkin art I've ever seen. Justin draws. Always. His line work is beautiful and effortless, he can draw anything you ask, from memory, in about five minutes. He once painted a 30 foot giant squid on the wall in my house, it took him 13 hours to completely paint in the entire thing and it is stunning. He has the best laugh in the world, snuggles like a world champion snuggler, and is my favorite touring partner. He doesn't have a website at this time (Damnit!)




***

"Sex, Drugs, & Nuclear Physics"

Jim Avignon is a painter and electronic musician from Berlin who now lives in Brooklyn, NY. His music and his paintings are produced with great speed as lo-fi as possible. He paints on paper and makes music with crappy old keyboards (some of the finest instruments on earth!) and his work in both mediums has a fresh intensity that only the highly prolific can exude. We recorded a song together for his 2009 album "Say Hi to Your Neighborhood" and we sometimes play my song "More and More" together. He made this painting for "More and More" but I thought it fit much better with "Sex, Drugs, & Nuclear Physics." 




***

"The Organ Donor's March"

Molly Crabapple and I just sort of fell into each other in 2010. I'm not sure how it happened, but it did, and now we are inseparable (even if I am 17,000 miles away.) Molly is absolutely fearless in her art, she attacks the page at once. Without hesitation her lines build upon themselves into piles of curled hair, luscious lips, wide hips, rococo detailing, and dancing legs. Her art is alive, bouncing and spilling out from the page, it is addictive and easy to understand. We are making an animated music video for this song! It is going to be the best animation on the planet. I will tell you more about this soon. 





***

"Slip Away"

Jim Batt is more to me than I can say here. We met because Molly tweeted for an animator for our video together and Jim Batt answered the call. We met on Skype to talk about the animation and then we kept talking for six months. Then I flew to Australia where we shot five music videos, fell in love, and did many photo shoots. Jim is a fantastic film maker, as well as a game designer, writer, and visual artist. This piece is based on a photo of me taken on my last day in Melbourne in July. Jim asked to illustrate this song because it is one of his favorites on the album. I told him I wrote the song for him, before I met him. And we both know it's true.




***

"Song For My Father"

Chris Worfold created a character called, The Impossible Girl. I discovered this fact while I was staying in an artists' residency in Brooklyn. Chris and his partner, Nikki Curtis, had just released Chapter One of their graphic novel and I had just released Chapter One of my album - The Impossible Girl. Chris is from Australia, I am from everywhere, and we just both happened to be staying in the same house, in the same city, at the same time, while releasing things with the same title. My brain did kind of explode that day. And I had to use his art. The song was written in the aftermath of my father's massive heart attack (he survived and is doing well after several surgeries and the installation of a pacemaker.) I felt that the skull mask on Chris's Impossible Girl was fitting. I do not perform this song very often because it makes me cry.




***

"Impossible Girl #3"

Rita Burkholder (a.k.a. Helen Keller's Ukulele) lives in Huntsville, Alabama which is full of rocket scientists and artists. Rita is the single mother of two wonderful teenage daughters, and supports her family working as an artist. She sings in a heartbreakingly beautiful voice, plays ukulele, makes glass sculptures, puts on lovely house concerts, and paints surreal self-portraits while traveling the world. Basically: she is awesome. You should know her music and her heart. She helps me believe that art is possible anywhere, at any time. 





***


"Big Easy"

Dax Tran Caffee is one of my favorite living artists. He can draw and paint with breathtaking skill, he sculpts kinetic, storytelling devices, makes his own musical instruments, and does giant puppet street theatre. He is in one of my favorite bands, Corpus Callosum, and he sings and plays accordion. AND he has a very fancy moustache.  I didn't tell Dax which song I would be using his piece for, I just asked him for art. To me this piece is a wonderful allegory for the song and the city of New Orleans; a beautiful, impossible creature: a tragedy that cannot be understood: and a light that draws me in again and again.






***




"Lick My Love Pump"

I met Ryan St. Germain (18+ NSFW) in New Orleans in June. He plays bass in my upcoming music video for "Big Easy" and we got along really well.  I had a crush on him almost immediately. He looks really good in a suit and is very open and engaging. Turns out he's a professional photographer, of the pornographic kind, so when I needed art for this song I turned to him. The delicious, Bella Blue, models. 


EXPLICIT!


***




"Anyone at All"

The illustrious, Fred Harper, drew this for me. He lives in a great big loft in Manhattan with Molly Crabapple, he has long hair and an octopus tattoo, he's one of the nicest people I've ever met, and he's fun to be around. I asked him for a black and white piece after seeing beautiful work he did for Herm├Ęs. Fred said he would like to draw me floating or flying. It seems to be a theme among the illustrators. And, I must admit, I like to fly. 



***



"Tinkerbell"

Tinkberbell is actually the bonus track. I vacillated back and forth about whether I should include this piece in the blog post, thinking that maybe I should keep the song as secret as it can be. In the end I decided to include it because I like this art a lot and want to tell the story.

Adrien van Viersen is a storyboard artist, illustrator, and film maker living in Vancouver, British Columbia (that's in Canadia.) He works on big budget Hollywood films and dresses very well. He always has fancy shoes and nice hair. Once, while illustrating, he stabbed himself in the hand with a pencil - don't let anyone tell you art is safe. We dated briefly and intensely years ago and have just reconnected. I've always loved his work and am so happy to have his art in my album. I think it goes with the song perfectly, something about the look on my face just evokes how the song makes me feel.


You can only hear this song by purchasing the entire album.




***

And there you have it. The story of the art of The Impossible Girl. I am so grateful and happy to know all these people and to have their art as part of mine. Thank you.





Bandcamp.com embeds the track art with the song, so when you play the song on your ipod you see the art. If you already bought the CD and need a download code please contact: impossiblemerch (at) gmail.com