Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

My 2010 roundup of art/media

It should go without saying that when Duran Duran releases a new album, it's the highlight of the year for me in terms of music. Their new release, "All You Need Is Now," is no exception. I love it even more than I expected to -- it's an instant classic.

The non-Duran music-release high points of 2010 for me are the dreamy-yet-dirty brilliance of "Transit Transit" by Autolux, and "Dark Night of the Soul," an experimental modern blues-rock album by Dangermouse & Sparklehorse (featuring numerous excellent guest musicians, including David Lynch and Nina Persson).

Other notable music releases include the self-titled debut by Chicanery (which I've already written about here), "Metallic Spheres" by The Orb featuring David Gilmour, "Record Collection" by Mark Ronson & The Business Int'l, and self-titled albums by Stone Temple Pilots and Interpol.

In terms of concerts, the unquestionable highlight of the year was seeing Roger Waters perform Pink Floyd's "The Wall" at the Staples Center. Other great shows I saw were unsung rock geniuses Codeseven (opening for Circa Survive), Autolux, Imogen Heap, Spleen United and Thom Yorke (with Autolux as an opener, no less).

I haven't had a whole lot of interest in new movies lately and didn't see many this year. I also missed one or two that I did want to see (notably "Black Swan"). The two worth mentioning that I did catch are "The Social Network," which deserves every accolade it has received and more, and "Inception," which despite its flaws is still an ambitious and fun ride.

The two novels published in 2010 that I'd been highly anticipating -- Jonathan Franzen's "Freedom" and Bret Easton Ellis' "Imperial Bedrooms" -- both turned out to be incredibly enjoyable reads. "Imperial Bedrooms" has its flaws but still has a strong impact, and "Freedom" proves that the big social novel is far from dead.

The true literary highlight of my year, though, was meeting Bret Easton Ellis (my favorite writer) after attending a panel where he was interviewed at the L.A. Times Festival of Books.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Autohypnosis update + art/media I've been consuming

I'm happy to report that the next Autohypnosis album is currently being mixed, and the photography/artwork/design for the CD package is coming together nicely.

I don't have a release date nailed down yet, since the audio has to be completely finished before I can determine that. But one of these days, I really will have some new music out.

To those of you who've been listeners for years, thanks for your patience.


What I've been listening to lately:

-- Transit Transit by Autolux
-- Dark Night of the Soul by Dangermouse and Sparklehorse (featuring many great guest musicians)
-- Miles Fisher by Miles Fisher (which is a free download)
-- Past is Prologue by Tycho
-- Wicker Park soundtrack by Cliff Martinez
-- ( ) by Sigur Ros
-- Stone Temple Pilots by Stone Temple Pilots

What I've been reading lately:

-- Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis (twice, actually)
-- Reunion by Alan Lightman (reread)
-- Jealousy by Alain Robbe-Grillet
-- 60 Stories by Donald Barthleme
-- Pricksongs & Descants by Robert Coover
-- Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis (reread)

What I've been watching lately:

-- World's Greatest Dad
-- The Wire (halfway through Season 3)
-- Stella: Live in Boston
-- Following (an older favorite)
-- Anchorman (an older favorite)
-- Inception (only movie I saw in the theater this summer)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


The adjective that won't leave my mind when trying to describe the music of Chicanery is "swirling." Perhaps it's the blades on the "Solid Gold Helicopter" (the title of one of their tracks) that conjure this circular vision. More likely, though, it's the head-spinning combination of the often heavily effected guitar by former Duran Duran, Missing Persons and Frank Zappa guitarist Warren Cuccurullo and the bizarre (but in a good way) vocals by singer-songwriter Neil Carlill of Delicatessen.

There's a great diversity to Chicanery's self-titled debut album -- a blending of the organic and the synthesized -- yet it feels cohesive. This is modern psychedelia that actually works, the textures and lyrics as wonderfully askew as the house on the album cover.

Like "Medazzaland" (Duran Duran's most experimental -- and in my opinion, best -- album), the 13-track release draws you into a world that's much like our own, but a bit more dark, twisted and unpredictable. What's more, it doesn't shy away from being funny at times, something that's often lacking in even the best pop music.

Standout tracks for me: "Alien Chant," "Gold Pavilions," "Solid Gold Helicopter."

Have a listen with the music player below.

Chicanery @ Facebook:
Chicanery @ MySpace:
Chicanery @ Twitter:
Chicanery @ YouTube:


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

10 great albums you've never heard of

As a much leaner follow-up to my Top 100 Albums of 2000-2009, I present 10 great albums of the 2000s that you’ve never heard of:

Autolux – "Future Perfect"

Brookville – "Wonderfully Nothing"

The Dial. – "The Dial." [EP]

East Hundred – "East Hundred" [EP]

East Hundred – "Passenger"

Elliott – "Song in the Air"

Engine Down – "Engine Down"

Heavens – "Patent Pending"

Lovedrug – "Pretend You’re Alive"

Slipdisk – "Ruckus"

Monday, January 25, 2010

Buy music, help Haiti victims

For two weeks beginning today (Jan. 25), when you purchase my CD (or any CD) through CD Baby, $1 for every CD sold will be donated to relief efforts in Haiti.

This is a great way to support the crucial efforts there and get something for yourself in return.

You can buy the debut Autohypnosis CD, "The Surface," through CD Baby here:

I also recommend the following bands and artists who sell their music through CD Baby:

East Hundred


The Dial.


Morgan McPherson

Tami D'Mar

Warren Cuccurullo

Songs of Water


Viva la Venus!



Mindi Abair

Stan Harrison

Serious Vanity Records (compilations)

You can get the "Glue" Duran Duran tribute album that I contributed a cover of "Girls on Film" to here:

And you can also get my old CD "Shooting the Decoy" (which I released under my own name in good ol' 2002) here:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Autohypnosis news bits

First, happy new year, everyone. I'm excited about the prospects for 2010, namely the (eventual) release of the next Autohypnosis album, which I am working hard to finish up.

In the meantime, here are a few Autohypnosis-related things going on that I wanted to bring to people's attention:
  • For one of the songs on the forthcoming album, I'm inviting fans to literally be a part of the music (although no musical ability is required). It's a spoken word experiment that I'm hoping will add an interesting dimension to my music. I've already received some great submissions from people, but I'd love to have a few more. To get more details about this project and for information on how to be a part of it, read this.
  • Releasing music is, unfortunately, an expensive endeavor. To help fund the release of the next album, I'm having a sale on the first Autohypnosis release, The Surface. Click here to get it at the best prices ever (and the more copies you buy, the better the price gets).
  • With us starting a new decade, it was a good time to look back at the previous decade. To read lists of my top albums, films and books of 2000-2009, check out the three posts on this blog that precede this post.
  • Finally, it's always nice to have fans' help in spreading the word about my music, and that can be done with little time or effort expended. So if you're interested in helping out, here are some quick and easy suggestions:

I wish you all the best for 2010.