MMM's blog

All Ages Movement Project

I just discovered this organization and I think it's worth checking out and supporting. I've just purchased my copy of "In Every Town" and I'll try to follow up with a little review soon. In the mean time, I lifted this blurb from their website:

“Music scene” is another word for “music community”, and every young person is a participant in some music community somewhere. Just like a religious community or a literary community or any community, music communities have within them the potential to create change. Unlike other communities, music communities are exceptional at reaching young people, because they are essentially created by young people. Read more »

Berlin Venue & Cultural Center: Schokoladen in danger of being shut down.


One of my favorite Berlin venues is in danger of being shut down. This would be a horrible loss to the Berlin Artist community. If you live in Berlin please show your support for keeping this wonderful place alive. If you don't live in Berlin please show your support for your favorite local independent music venue or art space. You'll miss it when it's gone. The following link features an audio piece including comments by Phoebe Kreutz.!/193763/Living_in_Germany/Program=3071

Schwervon! performing "Cut It Down" live at Schokoladen. Read more »

Hallo. Warten. Danke. - CD "NOW ON OJ DISTRO!"


Hallo! OJ would like to welcome the group Containerhead from Regensburg, Germany to the distro. family. They follow in the musical footsteps of Explostion in the sky, Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor or Logh. Guitars, trumpets, distorted lapsteels solos, intertwining bass melodies, glockenspiels all play hide and seek with each other in songs that must have been recorded live. One's first impression might be of seven people who had got really fucked off pop music and wanted to just make music and noise. It grooved and flowed and rocked. And yet for all their endeavors, they just couldn‘t shake off their tenderness and charm.

Green Mind and Winter Family


They bombed our apartment for roaches yesterday so Nan and I had to box up the Gummo and chill out in the community garden on our block for a few hours yesterday. It was a nice excuse to take a little break and soak in some green. I managed to get some decent snaps. I was going for the ant perspective on a lot of these.


P1010664 Read more »

Major Matt asks Daoud Tyler Ameen (Art Sorority For Girls, Urban Barnyard, Daouets) 5 questions (#23)


1. How did we originally meet?
I first saw you play at an outdoor event in Tompkins Square Park in 2002, my first summer out of high school. I went away to college that the fall, where I took full advantage of the blazing fast internet in the dorms (my mom and I had just gotten connected two years earlier, and it was dial-up at that). was then what MySpace and Bandcamp later became, so I found you and a handful of the other East Village artists I'd discovered that summer, downloaded a handful of songs and rocked them all year. The next summer, I was working an arts internship in the neighborhood. I'd just left work one day in August when the power in most of the city — the great blackout of 2003. I didn't feel like sitting at home in the heat, so I went the only place I could think of: The Sidewalk Café on 6th and A, where I would come to spend most of my summers for the next few years, attending the weekly open mic and making friends. You were there; so was your lady Nan Turner, my future Urban Barnyard bandmate Dibson T. Hoffweiler, and a handful of other folks from the scene. I followed the pack to your place and ended up spending the night on the roof, after a long evening spent chit-chatting and passing a guitar around. I had been waiting a year for an easy way to insinuate myself into your social circle. That night was it. Read more »

Pantsuit back in stock at OJ Distro


Nan Turner (Schwervon!) side project includes fellow former member of Bionic Finger Christine Murray and ex-Danger Giant Ranger drummer Tina Harris "Pantsuit is a plucky all-girl antifolk trio....their cd is full of jangly, ecstatic songs that are as clever as they are whimsical..." -time out ny (2004)
01. Work song
02. Underdog
03. Alaska
04. Elizabeth
05. Scarlet
06. Splinter
07. Texas
08. Sea Legs
09. French Pop

The Victorian English Gentlemans Club cassette Demos available on OJ Distro



Retroactive Trip to Russia Blog: Day 2 (Monday, June 22)


Regarding Day 1, I forgot to say, before turning in, we went for a little walk around the neighborhood of where our hotel was. We came upon this cute little park that had a beautiful little pond where people would gather and talk. I learned later that it's called Patriarch's Pond


The traffic in Moscow is pretty intense. Instead of pesky pedestrian crossings some of the larger main roads have these creepy underground sidewalks that would take you from one side to the other. Read more »

Major Matt asks Yoko Kikuchi (Dream Bitches, Daouets, Tight Little Ship) 5 questions (#22)


1. How did we originally meet?
Here's how I remember the first time I saw you play a solo set. Nan said, "I'm setting up a show with me and my boyfriend and Rachel Lipson, at this place The Stinger. Wanna play?" I said OK. It was during my senior year of college, on winter break. I had never been on Grand Street (in Williamsburg) before. Onstage, you were wearing a red cardigan sweater and said you had quit smoking recently. I bought your CD afterwards.

Here's when I think the first time you saw me play was. Nan asked me to play her Leg Out CD release party at Sidewalk. This was a couple months before the Stinger gig. I took the bus down from Massachusetts especially for the gig. I don't actually remember you being there but I have written in this notebook that I used to pass around: "My friend Sam thinks you are a better songwriter than me. -MMM" At the time I don't think I knew who you or Sam [Lazzara, of the Leader] were. I liked finding that years later.

2. 3 things that make you happy?
I like transitional times, feeling like I have things under control, and when it stays light really late. Read more »

Retroactive Trip to Russia Blog: Day 1 (Monday, June 20/21)


I met my sister at Kennedy airport. She was connecting there from Orlando. We had a sandwich at the airport. This was going to be the longest flight I'd ever been on. 10 hours. Luckily, we were in the front row of our section so we got lots of leg room. I was kind of bummed that they didn't have the individual movie players. I had to watch a very bad Adam Sandler movie and then an even worse one staring Vince Vaughn. When you think about everything involved in making a movie it must feel crummy to see them turn out so shitty. I guess the millions of dollars they make helps soften the blow. Read more »

Check out "It's Too Late" at Scapegrace this week (before ya know...)


Running all last week and Tues. through Friday this week at Scapegrace (home of the first Juice Box) is one of most unique live theatrical productions I've ever seen. "It's Too Late" is a multimedia site specific art installation dedicated to Jean Eustache's 1973 film "The Mother and the Whore." Designer/Director, Doris Mirescu, creates a unique live action/multimedia experience that blurs the lines between live theater, video, and real life. Throughout the entire play all the actors are radio miced and filmed by 2 cameras which are projected upon 3 large screens. The set, literally a Brooklyn store front, is a character in itself. When actors exit the main space they are followed by video cameras as they act out their scenes to the backdrop of the unsuspecting passing public. Other rooms of the building are used including the back yard, basement and toilet. Read more »

Purple Organ: Amoebaweness - CDR back in stock!


We are delighted to have a few copies of this classic album back in stock on the OJ distro.
The Purple Organ is a one man band. Using all five of his extremities he produces a sound and a live show borne of the dark spaces between subway stations. (2004)

01. Fast Plant to Fish Brain
02. Oli Pope Lie
03. SMOT
04. Fuck
05. Girls With Too Much Yeast
06. Fly as We Fry
07. Squirts
08. secret Medley
09. Eglise Du Shite
10. It Wuz a Bug

Major Matt asks Dan Fishback (Cheese On Bread, Old Hat) 5 questions (#21)


1. How did we originally meet?
I saw you at one of my first anti-hoots in Summer 2003, when I was 21. I think you played acoustic guitar and Nan drummed on the back of a wooden chair. I remember being like, "Wow, these are ADULTS, and they're hanging out at this awesome place with all these weird, awesome kids." I really looked up to you guys for that. Not just you and Nan, but also Mike and Dina from Prewar Yardsale, and Danny Kelly, and anyone who I perceived as significantly older than me. I feel like Cool Adulthood had never really occurred to me before, and it sort of changed my life. Now that I'm about to turn 30, and have been hanging out with 20-year-olds, I've been reflecting on what it means to suddenly be on the other side of that kind of relationship. (I don't remember the moment we actually met, probably because I must have been really nervous, and blocked it out.)

2. 3 things that make you happy? Read more »

Major Matt asks A Brief View of the Hudson 5 questions (#20)


1. How did we (you) originally meet?
drama school. we were learning how to cause trouble in high society

2. 3 things that make you happy?
pizza, guitars, pizza. pizza, cameras, pizza. pizza, netflix, pizza. pizza, free pizza, pizza.

3. 3 things that make you sad?
office buildings, day jobs, broken strings. the way our backpacks smell when we are on tour. not being on tour. not being able to teleport to spain.

4. What is your favorite color?
green. no, our favorite color is gray. shut up. no, you shut up.

5. 3 people who inspire you?
Sarah, Jessica & Parker....oh. wait. thats the same person. damn!

Major Matt asks Susan Hwang (The Debutante Hour) 5 questions (#19)


1. How did we originally meet?
It's hard for me to pinpoint... I must have heard of you through Julie Lamendola and Dan Gower. And actually, Tom, who had already been looking at Olive Juice and buying things from you. I remember looking at Olive Juice for the first time and thinking it was the coolest thing ever. And then during the last OJ All Day at Cake Shop, Tom and I dived into that from a gig in Philly with Ching Chong Song and we got to see Johnny play with The Wowz. And I got to see UNDERTHRUST! Which blew me away. And then I think I introduced myself to you, and you were exactly the same as you always are... same friendliness, same deadpan, down-to-earth approachable-ness. But I don't think I got to know you really until we started working on OJ All Day together with Herb at The Lyceum. And now I have dreams where you're explaining life's secrets to me. Thank goodness somebody is. I'm glad it's you.

2. 3 things that make you happy?
Navel oranges
New songs
Not being hungover

3. 3 things that make you sad?
Wishing I was different.
Overcooking the steak. Read more »

Major Matt asks Chris Andersen 5 questions (#18)


1. How did we originally meet?
If I remember right, the first time we had met, Toby brought me over to your place to master our recordings for The Christian Pirate Puppets' first album; White, Man-Like Structure. I had seen Schwervon! play before, but I'm always pretty nervous about meeting people in performance contexts, so I didn't introduce myself or anything at before then, so I remember being pretty amped up to go to your place and meet you and all that. I also remember being impressed that we were just able to bring you a mini-disc that was pretty much just me and Toby goofing around and you were totally down to work on it like it was a real thing.

2. 3 things that make you happy? Read more »

Retro Active Schwervon!/B&S Tour Diary DAY 4


Retro Active Schwervon/B&S Tour Diary continues Day 4: 4/16/11 (Vienna, Austria)
We managed to score the Belle's day rooms again to crash in Munich. We had to hoof it to Vienna and when we got there we were confronted with this.
This venue was located in one of these four huge converted structures that at one time was used to hold gas. Hence the name of the area is called Gasometer.,_Vienna. It took us a little while just to find the front door of this place. But like the night before we somehow manage to arrive just in time for our sound check. Whew! This place was massive. I'm not sure if it was bigger than the venue in Milan but it felt huge.
P1010237 Read more »

Retro Active Schwervon!/B&S Tour Diary DAY 2 & 3


Retro Active B&S Tour Diary continues Day 2: 4/13/11 (Zurich, Switzerland)
I woke up feeling pretty refreshed. Caro had to go to work but she made me a delicious breakfast of oatmeal and fruit. She showed me how to take the tram into the center of town. I found the venue which was part of a hotel called Xtra. I met this really nice guy named Sam who was the production manager there. I would find later that Sam was friends with Ursina, another friend from Switzerland we met through Caro (small world). Anyway Sam said that they had arranged for 2 more hotel rooms than the Belle's needed and that we could sleep in them tonight if we wanted to. This was really great because Klaus was joining us tonight and all three of us were going to have to squeeze into one room at Caro's place. Looks like things are looking up.

I had about 4 hours to kill until Nan's train got in so I decided to go for a walk around Zurich. There is a beautiful river that runs through the center of town so I walked along it. It lead to a big lake appropriately called Lake Zurich. I saw this big wooden mushroom next to the river. Read more »

Major Matt asks Phoebe Kreutz 5 questions (#17)


1. How did we originally meet?
We met because Jenn Lindsay suggested I get you to produce my first album. Which you did. In two days, I think. But I was pretty shy and I didn't feel bonded until the following summer when I hung out on your roof during the blackout.

2. 3 things that make you happy?
1. Dance parties
2. Cooking a big, stupid meal with side-dishes and everything on a weeknight
3. Being off on an adventure when noone knows exactly where you are

3 things that make you sad?
1. The man (and specifically, how powerless I feel to keep him from oppressing everyone and how dumb I feel for feeling powerless.)
2. Change- the way NY and my neighborhood are changing; the way people keep growing up without asking me.
3. Phil Collins's "Against All Odds"- but in a good way.

What is your favorite color?
I'm a big fan of pink. Also blue. I guess I'm like a baby of indeterminate gender that way.

5. 3 people who inspire you? Read more »

Retro-active Schwervon!/B&S Tour Diary: DAY 1


Just got back last night from my week in Europe with Schwervon! opening up for Belle and Sebastian. It was nice to see Nan and some old friends. Here's my typical retroactive blog account of the experience.

4/11/11 Read more »

Dangerous Ponies, Major Matt at Neverlands (4_3_11)


I discovered a really cool DIY space in Bushwick last night called Neverlands. I think there a couple of "Straight Edge" type spaces in the same building but this place had a nice relaxed and positive atmosphere. There's a great stage and the people that run it were super sweet and supportive. I also finally got to see Dangrous Ponies from Philadelphia. They were great. I met Chrissy from DP when she put on The 3 Headed Beast tour I did with Toby Goodshank and Barry Bliss about a year back at her house in Philly. This night gave me so much good vibes I'm still buzzing the day after. No pics of me since I was taking the pics. A really great time! The Ponies are on a ginourmous US tour so you should check them out if the're playing anywhere near you!
P1010214 Read more »

This week at OJ Studios


The place has been noticibly quieter and less cozy with the absence of Nan Turner, who has set off on her first solo European tour. If you live in Europe you should check her out.

(w/ SCHWERVON! adventure in the middle)!
March 31 – Berlin (Schokoladen – w/ one nite stand dancers + Scott Rudd)
April 1 – Dresden (Gartenlokal Fortschrit) (w/ buildings + dresden one nite stands!)
April 2- Leipzig (Galerie Kub)
April 4- Regensburg (Akademie Salon – w/ regensburg one nite stands!)
April 5 – Nurnburg (K4 – w/ John Maus)
April 7 – Bern (Cafe Kairo)
April 8 – Martigny (Les Caves Du Manoir – w/ Magnetix + Movie Star Junkies)
April 9 – Zurich (Binz – w/ Damn It Janet & Nora Duster)
April 11 – Darmstadt (Gute Stube) – w/ darmstadt one nite stand dancers!)
April 12- Koln (Haengendegaerten)
Schwervon! opens for Belle & Sebastian!
April 13 – Zurich (Xtra)
April 14 – Milan (Alcatraz)
April 15 – Munich (Muffathalle)
April 16 – Vienna (Gasometer)
nan solo tour continues!
April 18 – Paris (Pop In – w/ Howard Hughes!)
April 19 – Lille (Drugstore Cafe – w/ dan & rachel!) Read more »

Major Matt asks Linda Draper 5 questions (#16)


1. How did we originally meet?
I don't remember ever officially meeting you, but I remember first seeing you around at the Sidewalk Cafe during Lach's Antihoot nights, somewhere back in '99 or 2000. Yeah, we're old school, man.

2. 3 things that make you happy?
1. Sex
2. Hugs
3. And rock-n-roll

3. 3 things that make you sad?
1. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time
2. Being in the right place at the wrong time
3. Being sad makes me sad

4. What is your favorite color?
sky blue

5. 3 people who inspire you?
1. My mom
2. My dad
3. My husband

OJ Show of the Week: March 22nd at The Cake Shop: My Little Poney, Schwervon!, Kung Fu Crimewave


Time: Tue, 03/22/2011
Location: The Cake Shop

9:00 Kung Fu Crimewave
“Kung Fu” Luke Kelly assembled Kung Fu Crime Wave in 2006 after dismantling the Mondays, the band he formed when he was fourteen. KFCWnow contains three fourths of the Brooklyn Kelly family.Preston Spurlock and Deenah Vollmer were added to fill out the band. Matthew Roth of Schwervon! described the band as,“Playful apocalyptic rock that’s kind of psychedelic with a healthy dose of moody.” Using wit, aptitude, virility, and crescendo, Kung Fu Crime Wave plays anthem ballads that tell a story, be it about how a merry-go-round was built on a burial ground, robot warfare, monster combat, or the anxieties of growing up.

10:00 Schwervon! Read more »

Toby Goodshank B-day Interviews


Watch and learn!

Major Matt asks Jonathan Berger 5 questions (#15)


1. How did we originally meet?
I'd been seeing shows and going to open mics, but I remember the first time I spoke at length to Major Matt (who is you, so maybe I should refer to you in the second person) was going up to an Albany Border Books for what may have been the entirety of the Shanachie Presents: Lach's AntiHoot Tour. I'm guessing it was '96, right when I started writing a lot for AntiMatters, the AntiFolk fanzine, and the Shanachie compilation album came out. Lach had asked me to drive you, Paula Carino and himself to join Michael Eck at a show in Border's books to promote the album. You guys did round robin performances, and we all had chances to talk that hadn't really existed before (until then, I didn't really talk to the talent). I'd built up a pretty strong friendship with Paula for a while after that.
Soon after, you disappeared from the scene for a bit (I think you had a relationship that was heating up), but I'm pretty sure that I told Paula when you were looking for a housemate, thus connecting you two again. Later, I also procured your current girlfriend.

2. 3 things that make you happy? Read more »

Nan and The One Night Stands @ The Cakeshop, February 26, 2011


The air was thick with the smell of humans at work. A strong sense of the feminine filled The Cakeshop on Saturday night, but not in a stereotypical way. Like a seasoned burlesque worker bashing in the heads of her clientele with every squeaky "Okay" and giggle, once again, Nan brought it with her rare combination of guts and flare. From fists to jazz hands, indie rock to "Showgirls" rap, Nan layed it on thick with jazz improv accompanied costume changes and a full on well oiled dance troop. Word has it a video is in the mix. Look out Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, you're are about to get "Stood up!"
P1010071 Read more »

Juice Box #2 / February 22, 2011 / Winter Antifolk Festival


The talent show starts at 7 pm. Come early to get a seat and enter one of the nights several raffles. Juice Box #2 will take place on February 22nd, 2011 as part of the "Winter Antifolk Festival" at Sidewalk Cafe (6th St. and Ave. A) All Ages/No Cover/Tip Jar/2 Beverage Minimum/Happy Hour All Night Long! All night long Raffles! Sam Lazzara (The Leader) will be performing a duet acting expert from the Henry Miller play "The Creation of the World and Other Unfinished Business" as part of the OJ mini talent show kick off. Major Matt will be reading an original poem and rumor has it that Nan Turner will be performing an improvised dance piece.

07:00 - OJ Mini Talent Show! Kickoff Event
07:40 - Leslie Graves
08:20 - Dan Fishback
09:00 - The Happy Rappies
09:40 - The Fools
10:20 - The Leader
11:00 - Schwervon!

Midnight-Chill Out Dance Party with DJ MMM

Jeffrey Lewis & Peter Stampfel @ Shea Stadum, February 15, 2011


It was a chilly night but Lewis and the boys were heating things up in Brooklyn last night. Shea Stadium is a DIY vinue next door to Emandee Studios on the edge of Bushwick just off the Grand Stop on the L train. The sound was surpisingly good for a space like this and the 2 weeks of touring really seemed to have helped the fellas gel. The sold out tour kickoff show at The Cake Shop, back in January, was plagued with sound issues, but last nights show was a delightful mixture of old and new, kooky Stampfel songs and collaborations with the odd Lewis tune and historic video. It was a bit of a super group, including Spencer Chakedis (Deep Sound Diver) on mandolin, John Kessel on bass, Anders Griffen and Lewis' current drummer, Dave Beauchamp, switching back and forth between drum kit and conga/percussion duties. Stampfel switched between banjo and fiddle while Leiws continued to pluck away on his taped together, road weary, acoustic 6 string. The whole evening had a nice loose "Rolling Thunder Review" kind of a vibe. Read more »

It's all about love


I've said it before and I'll say it again. Valentine's Day is not specifically about who you're sleeping with or who you're married to or who you're taking out to dinner tonight. Certainly, that can be a part of it but that's not what it's all about. It's about love. You can love you cat. You can love your grandma. You can love you vibrator. This is the day to get out there and celebrate it. Don't let commercialism force you into a corner on this day and make you feel bad just because you're not sleeping next to another warm blooded thing tonight. That's not all there is to love. And frankly, speaking form a guy that's been in 13 year monogamous relationship, that's not even most of it. Half of what makes any kind of love successful is showing it. And there's million ways to do that that don't involve buying stuff. Love is freedom to feel the way you want to about anything. Love is expression and finding a way to use it to bring peole together and feel good. Even if you love to bitch about how lame Valentine's Day is. Go for it. It's all about love today! And if that works for you. Why not give it a try for the rest of the 364 days of the year?

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