Tuesday, December 22, 2015

this week at the end of the year roundup

merry holiday: it's a blog.
chiming back in here are the end of the year to say: holy crap. what a year that was! good stuff and bad stuff and medium stuff and weird stuff and stuff and stuff!

let's watch tv:

today i watched this video and was inspired to be grateful!

the other day i watched this video and missed some friends!

a couple months ago i watched this video for a song from what, as it turns out, is my favorite record this year. it makes me sad and happy at the same time like good art is supposed to do.

i had this idea of a big year end round up of all the good stuff but maybe that's too much pressure.
let me just ease back in
like a toe in a hot tub
like bite of a burrito
like a sniff of the spray

i hope you all sniffed it and rolled around in it this year even if you didn't want to.
it's good for us!


Thursday, July 30, 2015

hard fire

it's hard. because i feel so scattered and un-care-free to be on the blog like i used to be.
and that is life and it's ok. really. but every now and again i feel the need to chime in because it's not quite time to close the book on it. i've been working hard and been able to do some fun things that are meaningful to me. to make things that people see and then do more is truly a gift.
but right now i'm thinking of music and thinking of these things:
i have a lot of records and used to get caught up in the object and then trying to get more records. all the records. but what is it that made me want the thing? the object? it is because the music. the music that made us want to do things and be more than what we were. or to remember the thing that was. or to be in the thing that is happening. and that is not contained in an object so maybe let's chill out on the object collection and remember that what is important is the thing that is un-grasp-able. it is the feeling and the sound.
speaking of:

holy crap, bruce. bruce reminds me (us) to not think i know so much. i remember being in college and having the feeling that bruce springsteen was terrible. and some guy i just met told me that nebraska was good and i thought "you are a maniac". but he was right. and i thought to myself maybe this whole idea that these musicians that everyone loves are terrible is wrong. why do i think i know so much? and it turns out that bruce has some things that did something for me. not everything, but some things. like this thing. thanks, bruce. zen boss. boss zen.


i feel a tortoise chicago whatever phase coming on. dear family, i apologize in advance but not really. more on this later but maybe this is the jazz for me right now. maybe i felt some things before that need re-feeling.

and now i am going to go do the wii fit because that is what i do now. because i want to feel good and sometimes it's nice to play a dumb game while the kid sleeps and then watch a movie and go to bed early. it's another gift, really.

Monday, June 22, 2015

notes on

take this pinecone, child

-so if you organize your books by color, how do you find the book you're looking for? do i have to remember that "the year of magical thinking" has a green spine if  i want to read it? i went into that installation at adobe and it was really incredible, but i couldn't find anything. which was fine because it was art. but i don't get it, man. do i have too many books? do people not really read their books?

-yesterday was father's day. it was my second as a dad. the kid went ahead and walked his first long solo steps. he wasn't doing it for me or even walking towards me (he was going to somebody he just emt and wanted to go down the stairs) but it was incredible. there was a brand new joyful and proud feeling i'd never had before. something truly outside of myself (but in?). what a thing!

-yesterday was also Go Skateboarding Day so i went to the local park to solo shred. when i began to shred i was reminded that i don't get out skating as much as i want to ever since the kid was born and that i am even more terrible at skateboarding than i have been in a very long time. that felt terrible. so i made the most of some cruising and carving and scratched out a few things. i'd love to blame it on the pretty crappy park (it is crappy) but really, i felt kind of old and embarrassed. i hereby resolve to not feel like that anymore by making time to shred regularly! seen!

-i am still trying to get the hang of all this parenthood and creative-hood and be-hood. man it's hard sometimes!

-i played music with my friend the other night in front of people. it was a show. we opened for a band another friend started. they are great! and popular! i had that thing where stiffened up in my mind and felt self-conscious and sucked into a whirlpool of negative vibrations and whispers. i then reminded myself that this is why it's ahrd to make things and do them in front of people! this is why it is difficult to offer things unto the universe at times! it is our job to push through these moments and continue to contribute! beside nobody remember and nobody cares! except me because i'll probably be thinking about it when i'm 85 years old and about what i wish i would have done differently so that people would like my music and therefore me. just kidding when i'm 85 i'll have it all figured out and be sitting in a lawn chair looking at something in the distance.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

SUNLIGHT episode 6

today is the day:

thanks Luna Music
thanks General Public Collective

thanks for listening

Monday, May 25, 2015

source and flow and real

i've gone off about charles schulz before. truly believe he is one of america's finest artists of the 20th or any century. every now and then i dive back in. his stories that include snoopy's brother spike are my favorite. 

this is comedy gold! or the saddest and truest thing ever drawn.

this particular frame i found very special.

so much so that i used to as the basis for a poster i'm making for an upcoming music show with my friends in Hiss Golden Messenger.

come if you can!

Friday, May 22, 2015

SUNLIGHT episode 5

i recorded these songs in my basement almost two years before they became a record in the physical world. as the time drew near i felt like i wanted to record these songs as i'd been playing them to myself: singing and strumming guitar. my good friend Todd felt the same way and set up a mic and a recorder in his basement and over the course of a few afternoons i played them all again. we drank tea and ate lunch and it was great. this version is available on side B of the SUNLIGHT cassette or for pay whatever digital.

the release show is tonight and i am stoked. thanks for listening.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

SUNLIGHT episode 4

this is what i recorded "SUNLIGHT" on. the old fostex multitracker XR-3. i think this is my 4th machine. i buy one everytime i see one because 1. they break 2. they are cheap 3. you don't see them everyday. the reason i love this machine so much is the  little black bubble in the upper left hand corner. that's a built-in condenser mic. it picks up everything within about 5 feet of it, including the sound of the tape spinning and recording. that's the constant hum and rustle you hear through the entire record: layers of tape rattle like a babbling brook. it's not for everybody but it suits me. i don't really enjoy the mechanical side of the recording process: settting up mic's, checking levels and all that. with this i can just press record and lean in close. 
i typically would sing and play guitar first onto one track. then play drums and sing onto one track. then play drums and sing onto another track. i would bounce the drum tracks down onto the 4th track, freeing up 2 more tracks for a bass (which i would plug in direct) and another vocal. this was how every track on the record was done, with the exception of the two songs with cello on them. for those i dumped the 4-tracks onto and 8-track cassette and did two tracks of cello. maybe a handclap or two to round things out. then i took these tapes down to magnetic south in bloomington, where john dawson put everything in his computer and evened out the levels, fuzzed up the edges a  little and generally worked his mixing and mastering magic. thank you, john. 
when it was all done my friend todd robinson took the mixed files and put them in the sound oven like a fuzzy cake and then we sent it to the record plant. thank you, todd. 
it's just that easy. you should do it!
ps if anyone has a fostex xr-3 in working condition i will buy it from you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

SUNLIGHT episode 3

when i made this record i wasn't thinking of what it would look like. i wanted it to look how it sounded and i didn't know what it sounded like until the end of mixing (which was done by john dawson at magnetic south in bloomington, further edits by todd robinson). i had a big box of photos from my grandmother's house and i found some that looked like a vacation road trip. maybe to visit my dad at the army base. there were a few with a donkey. it looked like how i felt about these songs. 
i chose this one:

the photo was taken by my grandmother or grandfather of my uncle in a car. i think the donkey is saying hello. or telling a secret. or just checking him out. or wanting his sandwich. either way it's another being on earth and it lived and this was a moment of it. 
thanks, burro friend.

this is what the record looks like. i spruced it up and wrote my name and the title small at the top.
thanks, computer and pencil.

this is the back of the record.  i thought about my family a lot when i made these songs up and when i recorded them. my grandmother had not yet passed and my son had not yet been born. i dedicted the record to both of them because they are part of the thing that i am in, the long body in different bodies. do you know about the long body? look it up. warm ratio is the label run by some friends of mine here in indianapolis and i feel very grateful for their help in making this exist in the physical world. 
thanks, dudes.

this is the design for the labels. side one says hello side two says adios. wave to the record when you listen to it, coming and going. 
thanks, record.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

SUNLIGHT episode 2

playing music has been, at best, relaxing and grounding thing for me. like a meditation if i do it right. if there was a goal for this group of songs it was to be a meditation, a repetition of chords and rhythms and words. i'm trying to keep it simple.
the third song on the record is called "run to a loving one". the song is E to A to E to A the whole way through. when i was playing it and making up words it was nice to get into a trance-like state and feel like  i was vibrating in unison with something. i started playing in my basement with a loop pedal, building a pattern that i could sing and play over.

i think there is beauty in simplicity and repetition. i hope things are revealed. here it is as heard on the LP:

Monday, May 18, 2015

SUNLIGHT episode 1

so it is true. i made a record and it is coming out next week on tuesday may 26th. this week i'm going to make some entries about the record, the process, the songs, etc. and we are beginning with a commercial for the physical releases.

i am not a fan of trying to describe the music i make, i find it really difficult to not sound like a big pretentious jerk so i usually say "it's like folk music" or nothing at all. but i do enjoy writings about music and other people's take on things. i asked a talented writer friend of mine to listen to the record and think on it and maybe we could use what he writes to try sell it to distributors and such. and he came through! this should do the trick:

"Many moments in life, too many probably, skate by with such exacting and forceful speed, that you cannot even take note of their presence before they are gone and forgotten and piled up in the corner like yesterday’s Chic-o-Stix wrappers. One more on the stack. What we look for along this path are moments you can hold in your hand and see in all of their angular multitudes and depth. Like when we hold a crystal duck purchased at a Mendocino gift shop, we want absolute clarity and we want it now. We want to separate the defining lines of imagination from the bone-breaking chore of living life with your feet on the ground.

 Nathaniel Russell navigates his way through a crooked world with an alarmingly exact pinpoint on these moments. Far away from the clatter of humans and their machines, forever fogging up the spaces that lie between our embittered souls, Russell finds solace in pristine moments of clarity and the comedy of mankind drifting alone in the cosmos.

Heavy words? Yes, well, heavy begets heavy. “NR” (as the leaders of leaders have referred to him) has worked in largely visual mediums for what is, day-by-day, turning into a decades-long career. The same sort of simplicity and perceptiveness that creeps into his growing world of lines, color, shapes and words is found here on the first album to be released under his own name.

These are songs recorded direct to tape, from brain to posterity, with few added flavors (note: does the plaintive experience of a man who is, above and beyond, a LIVER of LIFE count as added flavor?). These are the sort of songs you can comb through for glimpses into an arcane knowledge. Or maybe you just let them float by like an ant on a leaf. Take care, little buddy!

Nat draws from the heroes of New Zealand, New York, New Imperial Beach and many other places where an adjective is a proper noun. His clipped phrases and minute melodies come to life in a haze of six-string strumming and slightly narcotic repetition. Close your eyes for a second and it’s like he’s the last sane man on earth calling out for his brothers across the great universal divide. Is it gee-tar magic? Is it the ultimate in “real person” vibes? The first in a series of “unreal person” sessions? Maybe a combo deal? If so, let’s be thankful it doesn’t come with chili fries but instead comes with free glimpse into a blessed mind.
These latest missives are available on one full-length (is there any better kind?) Long-Player.
The cassette version contains all of the LP and one side of the songs performed live and “in the flesh” which, when listened to closely, contain the sounds of ghosts exhaling."

woah i'd listen to that record, right? right.
more to come.
thanks for reading/listening/looking.

i'd be remiss if i didn't say that the record and cassette are available for pre-order HERE

Friday, May 8, 2015


yesterday my scanner melted and it reminded me of this song

also i made a record. it looks like this:

on may 22nd there is a show for it. a lazy lay down show. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015


 i recently participated in a program that is illustrating each week of the year in news and current events. they are collecting them all into a  book at the end of the year. my week was last week and i made this drawing about television interviews, revelaing your inner self, and the weirdness and marketing strategies of selling reality. my take anyway. here it is!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

the colors and the shapes and the big wall and the wood of it

just completed a big old mural deal out in california usa
my buddy chris assisted in the madness and wood work
cut-outs and cosmics
starry eve vs snowy globe
let's take a look:
 day one was all scissor lift classes, finding parking, eating lunch and hoop jumping so it wasn't until day two that i was able to put brush to wall. the beginnings of dudes.
 chris in his element shape-making and wood-smoothing
 shapes come in colors now
 and they wait patiently
 evolutions and the wall hanging begins
 three layers of it
 finishing touches and third coats
 from below the comet scene
 i forgot to take a lot of photos, i hope somebody got some good ones
 starry section
around the corner and down
4 days of busting and hanging and laughing and sleeping
and at the end we have this thing
but better yet on to the next thing

Monday, April 6, 2015


if i could go back in time to 1990-ish i would do a couple things first:
-i would go eat at fast patties, a hamburger place taht used to be over by the mall
-i would go to n-orbit and buy a whole bunch of limpies pants and bring them back to the future, like blue jeans to russia in the reagan 80s

this is kind of making fun of stussy, right? right?

those just look really comfy, man. a guy could really move in those.
i used to see ron allen all the time at the berkeley park and he's still got it, man. is it because of the years he spent in the free-flowing fabric of these stylish pants?
 i would wear these every day. believe it. i just want some leg comfort in my life.

we are all frosty

one time my mom came to pick me up from n-orbit and instead of waiting in the car like she was supposed to she cruised into the shop and started eyeing up the limpies section, and then she bought a pair for herself, and her only, i was both impressed and embarrassed. impressed because she was really going for it, surrounded by a bunch of dumb skate kids. embarrassed because my mom was going to be wearing pants with big stylized wang on the back pocket, which i never had the heart to tell her about. and she wore those things every weekend. 
i wonder if she still has them?

(thanks google image search for the pictures,  thanks to those who scanned and uploaded, i salute you)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

mural times

i have been lagging behind
in more ways than one
but i made a mural with hanging wood things
about 2 months ago
on the campus of facebook
here are two shots for you to look at

this one is of me doing it
5 days of solo painting and installing
i took some sweet epsom salt baths in the hotel room
and drank all the coffee

here's as much as can fit in a camera at once
it goes up about 20 feet or so and wraps around to the right
i'll get some more photos one of these days

thanks for looking

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Shore and Nude

The Shore and its Sand
Nude Beach

lathe-cut 7 inch
edition of 35

i made this record to sell at the printed matter los angeles art book fair. i made 35 copies of the record and it came with a 24 page book that illustrated each song like a story book. they are gone or gone from me in the physical realm but exist anew in the digital sphere.

you can listen or download the songs here

and you can watch a video, animated by my talented friends BrainTwins below:

deep cuts

record reviews of some recent cassettes from the local german cafe/european gift shop:

Goofball synth excursions into deep baguette-style noise/crust. 
The anti-hero of cave-squelch returns with his/her most brutal bagel-disco cuts yet. 

 Wurm's debut album, back in print. Struttin' n' buttin' since 1973. 
Includes all-fretless bass version of Wings' entire "back to the egg" LP as bonus track. 

  Clown punk and birthday cake scrunt, wrapped up in a prosciutto slice of lite funk-jazz.
white face paint smeared on a gong.

tub jams for yours and mine. music to loofa by.
dapper gent seeks sudsbros for playful casiotone and kimono play.
sounds like walter becker solo LP played at 45rpm.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

washington state

handful of seattle bits:

breakfast of champions? anybody?

winner of the "rstoring my faith in bumper stickers in the 21st century" award

catamaran drawing from the art show i did about skateboarding
it is still up at 35th north in capitol hill

we made a board. you can get it at that skateshop above

this was not in the show because i forgot about it under the bed

i made a new friend, felt the weight of it

bag advice

more to come