Quinn DeVeaux covers Ray Charles

Last summer Quinn came by my office to record two songs. The first one – a cover of Ray Charles’ What Would I Do Without You. The second – an original Weight. Here they are.

In September released an album of duets by Quinn DeVeaux and Meklit Hadero. It’s titled simply Meklit & Quinn. They recorded three originals and nine covers of Lou Reed, Stevie Wonder, Patti Smith, MGMT, Arcade Fire and The Talking Heads.

Karina Denike with Lily Taylor and Melody Ferris

Karina Denike at Porto FrancoI first heard Karina’s singing on the Aaron Novik record Floating World Vol. 1. Soon after I saw her group at their monthly Sunday show at Rite Spot Cafe in San Francisco and was floored. That was a few years ago. In the summer 2012 we finally got to record a couple of songs with Karina, Lily and Melody for this video series. The Beachboys cover also features James Frazier on guitar. Big thanks to James for helping record and mix these tracks.

Beth Custer Ensemble

We shot this episode featuring composer, clarinetist and singer Beth Custer in March 2012. It turned out to be one of the biggest productions in the history of The Files with six musicians and a production team of four. Photographed and recorded at Beth Custer’s Red House Speak Easy, this video features the Beth Custer Ensemble with Diana Mangano, Chris Grady, David James, Vicky Grossi, Jan Jackson. Big thanks to Jeff Cressman for recording and mixing and to Adam Willumsen and Federico Cusigch for helping shoot. At the end of the video I put together a few links to other videos with Beth Custer for you to check out. Continue reading

Quinn & Meklit backstage at Yoshi’s

Last week at Meklit & Quinn’s CD release show at Yoshi’s Oakland we organized a little jam session in the green room and I shot two videos. This is the first – a Mary J. Blige cover. Meklit says this CD was the first she ever bought with her own money. Check back next week for the green room version of This Must Be The Place – M&Q’s talking heads cover.

Michael Coleman & Jacob Zimmerman

In late February I saw Michael and Jacob play a set of old tunes at a house show in Oakland. They were scheduled to record the set a few days later at Tiny Telephone and I asked if I could tag along with a couple of cameras. To my knowledge they haven’t yet released this album, but you can find more of their music at michaelcolemanmusic.com and jacobrexzimmerman.com

Meklit, Quinn and shadow master Christine Marie make an Arcade Fire cover video

…and the first video for the first single from the most likely last Porto Franco album is here. It was designed and directed by Christine Marie. It was a blast to be part of the production team and help see it through to completion.

There is very little layered editing in this video. The multi-layered shadows were done the old-fashioned lo-fi way using handheld lights, props, gobos and a big screen screen at the Intersection for the Arts space.

Sudanese folk song by Alsarah and Nahid in the Mission District

I first heard Alsarah sing in a video posted by Meklit Hadero (a friend and PFR recording artist) on the Nile Project blog. I asked if Meklit could connect us, and it just so turned out that Alsarah was visiting San Francisco the following week and was available for a quick video shoot with her sister Nahid who lives in San Francisco. Continue reading