Monday, April 30, 2012

austin day 3


 tobie and huckleberry, her 5-month old australian shepherd. he is crazy cute.
 south congress agave.

upon waking on saturday, rachel and i went to thunderbird coffee just up the street from our little house to meet tobie and catch up. rachel and tobie studied abroad together in aix and she lives in austin, doing a Ph.D program at university of texas. she brought along her new dog, huckleberry, who is super cute and wiggly. he was really excited to be in the coffeeshop and around a legion of adoring customers and kept bark-yelping to express his utter happiness. amanda eventually joined us and the four of us crossed the street to get breakfast tacos at el chilito, which were bangin. post-tacos, we all walked back down 22nd and relaxed in the house for a while, enjoying the sleepy warmth.

after some naps and laziness, chris and i went for a ride down to the atm that turned into a neighborhood tour of the area just north of campus. there are some totally gorgeous places all over this city, and the particular neighborhood we were in was lush, dense southwestern forest. 

after we got back, the four of us piled into the bus and headed to south congress street to walk around, people watch, and eventually eat more food. we stopped at a little food truck park and everyone (save me) ate at a thai truck called "coat and thai." i went to short bus subs and got an amazing hummus and veggie sub that i destroyed only moments after unwrapping it. we walked back down to riverside and caught the 20 back to the venues and saw another night of incredible music.

highlights from the saturday night shows include: prince rama destroying beauty ballroom with some incredibly loud psychedelic dance jams, then coming out on the floor to perform a choreographed dance number. both of them grinded on me and amanda, about which we were really stoked. mmoss played 3 songs, one of which was a 17 minute freakout that was totally hypnotizing. singapore sling was super off-putting at first, then they became incredible, doing jesus and mary chain/velvet underground drone jams while standing completely still. they were super druggy. pure x didn't play any of the songs i wanted to hear, but what they did play was gorgeous. and quilt closed out my night with the best set i've seen them play, totally using the energy of the fest to jam the fuck out. they were spectacular.

more highlights: jamming on a homemade thumb piano while someone i didn't know messed with a bunch of pedals. we created a huge wave of delaying drone in the middle of the vendors area. riding in the taxi back to the house was also fun, as i attempted to have a conversation with an incredibly drunk man that went from fun and pleasant to hilarious and obnoxious. we started out talking about the festival and bands we'd enjoyed. dude mentioned that he was playing, so i asked him what band. he replied, "have you ever heard of this little band called the brian jonestown massacre?" obviously, he was not in that band. over the course of the next ten minutes, we learned that he was not playing the fest, but he once played tambourine for a band that opened for brian jonestown maybe a couple of years ago. "people weren't into it, so i got up and left. and now i resent this WHOOOOLE town, man."

 the sign.
 rachel's in the shot.
 nutrients are illegal.
 a band (?) that did not play psych fest, but plastered their stickers everywhere.
 america's gonna get ~crazy~.
bathroom graffiti.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

monday night in austin

i'm playing this sweet free show here on monday night. i'm pretty stoked. i don't know sean renner, but jesse, luke, and kellie all write really great songs. i'm so stoked. if any of my austin friends are reading this, i'd love to see and hug you and sing songs to you.

austin day 2

we all woke up in good spirits, excited to see what the day would bring. after a lengthy time of getting ready, fixing bikes, and misreading directions, we all ended up at cafe medici on west lynn to visit jesse and get caffeinated. after kicking it for a bit in the cafe, we walked across the street and ate at zocalo, which had the most mindblowing queso. we stuffed ourselves significantly, hopped back on the bikes, and headed through downtown to check out the capital building.

i was really stoked to see the architecture of the building and get a (small) sense of texan history, but i really wanted to check out the basement. on day 1 when rachel and i were reposing at jesse's house, he played us a song that he and his band holy boats recorded in that space. the natural reverb was heavenly (there's like an 8 second decay), so i really wanted to hear my own voice drowned in all that echo. we stayed down there for a good ten minutes, singing songs and trying to remember other songs, marveling at how beautiful it sounds. i really wanted to record something, but a voicemail would not have done it justice.

after the capital building, we hopped back on our bikes and cruised back home to get ready for night 1 of the psych fest.

parking the bike on the capital grounds.
 l-r: raerae, amanda, chris.
 texas rotunda. chris: "i think this rotunda is lopsided. it's almost as though texas has a lack of perspective." 
excellent art in our little house. 
excellent art at the bus stop. 

we finally met our other north carolinian friends, ben and genevieve, during holy wave's set in the early evening. i didn't take that many photos (that looked remotely cool) during the music, but i'll try tonight. it was really awesome seeing ben and gen again without the context of chapel hill or north carolina. it's nice to know when you have a true friendship with someone.

 lotus plaza at the beauty ballroom.
sun araw from above.

more tomorrow, friends.

austin - day 1

on thursday we landed in austin. bill picked us up and started us on the road to good vibes. we talked about his new baby and how raising a child is beautiful and mindblowing (i don't have a kid, but am fascinated by them) while rolling into town in search of coffee and food. austin was a good 30 degrees hotter than our fair mountain city of asheville, so my flannel and boots were a  bit inappropriate.

after coffee we went to drop our stuff at our little rental house, then bill took us over to wheatsville coop where we bought some groceries and had the most bangin vegan mac and cheese of life.

we got ourselves settled for a spell at the house, decompressing from travel and then decided to bike over to baby blue (bill's studio) and jesse's house over on cotton street. we were too early to catch bill, but jesse's proved to be an excellent time.

i told the cat to "put em on the glass." 

texas bugs

east side pies. amanda and chris got in shortly after we made it to jesse's, so they biked over and met us. we walked down to the corner store and got beers, then walked another block up to east side pies to chill and swill. while we munched on pizza, thor harris (swans, shearwater, bill callahan) sat with some friends and played clarinet. it was weird and awesome. the pizza was good.

art at cotton house.

explanation of art.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


here's a couple songs my brother and i made together back in 2007 when i was still making weird rap music. finn made the beats, i did the raps.

march madness
this was an attempt to write a protest song about the iraq war. we recorded the lyrics in finn's little studio at his house in durham. i remember getting really flustered about certain parts of the first verse and staring intently at the urge overkill poster above the door in order to keep calm.

cut in half
this features robert biggers on some seriously clipse-sounding drums (circa hell hath no fury).
we recorded this song in my parents' kitchen, using the pantry as the vocal booth and whiskey as fuel. i was deep in a horror movie phase, so the song was about a killer of some sort. i love how the song just falls apart, especially when finn exclaims right at the end when i just stop rapping altogether. also, title is a reference to this hilarious beck song called "cut in half blues."

hopefully soon we'll be able to release the collaborative record we recorded last year as curtains & chuvaque entitled "the brothers krunkamazov." it's a good record.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

forget the physical

the wonderful folks at residual stacks are putting out my first record, forget on cassette! i'm really stoked to finally have physical copies of this jam. ordering info and everything will be posted soon.

in other news:

-the newest record is totally close to completion. i have a couple more songs to finalize, and then plans will be made to share it with all of you. i think this may be the best thing i've worked on thus far.

-my live setup has changed significantly with the addition of a sampler, a synth, and this amazing piece of gear:

it fucking rules. i'm spending a lot of time re-learning arrangements and songs i couldn't play before, so the curtains live show will become a completely new beast.

-rachel and i are performing a piece entitled "gardening" next weekend as part of the asheville fringe festival. it's an audio/visual combination that is meant to explore the relationship between the organic and the technological. our performances will be jan. 20 and 21st at the black mountain college museum in downtown asheville. if you're in the area, please stop in and zone out!

Monday, January 2, 2012

also, here's a video

a film student at western kentucky university emailed me saying that she'd heard my first record, forget, and was immediately inspired by the song "lawnmower in the garden." she made this video and sent it to me. it's pretty rad.

i present to you the first curtains music video.

countdown from Danielle Elise Bartley on Vimeo.

for those who don't know, this particular song is a cover of a song written by my brother and his band,

the nein.

as per usual, it sounds best on headphones or a bigger system, not laptop speakers.

still of the night