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

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

CopperWire – Stories – acoustic hip hop video

Hey! We made a rap video.

We shot this at an undisclosed location on Valencia and 21st Street in San Francisco two weeks before their album dropped and shot up the top 5 on college radio charts. We kind of messed up the sound recording, but Chris Coniglio (who played the guitar) did an amazing job fixing it up so it sounds as good as it does in the video. Chris co-wrote much of the music and produced the album. Continue reading

Darren Johnston: The making of Songs From Seven Miles

Last weekend I got to sit in on a rehearsal of Darren Johnston’s new project Songs From Seven Miles. For the song cycle Darren interviewed eight immigrants from Peru, South Korea, Burma, Russia, Mexico, Bulgaria and Egypt who now all live in San Francisco. He then wrote a libretto entirely from direct quotes from these interviews. The songs bear the names of the interviewees. The song in this video is Carlos. Carlos is from Peru. Continue reading

Gaucho’s new old video + fundraiser

This video is from Gaucho’s 2010 recording sessions with Tamar Korn and Leon Oakley. The band is now raising $10,000 to independently record and release their fifth album. Gaucho’s fundraiser ends on June 9, and as of June 2 they have almost $5,000 to go. This band is very special to me (watch me wax poetic about it at the end of the video). My father Sergei is matching all the contribution made in the next few days dollar for dollar up to the total of $1000. Continue reading