Church door alpsFebruary 11 — Here is “Failed States,” a double entendre of piano, cello and talking drum. Amidst collapse and authoritarian government, what abides?

I’m back from Marrakesh, Morocco and the Global Summit on Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines, hosted by our friends at the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition. Activists, academics and government officials from dozens of countries have gathered to discuss the next steps of a social movement dedicated to providing access to affordable medicine for all. I’m taking some days to see the country, including the Atlas Mountains and Merzouga Desert.

We recently performed a parody of Pharrell’s “Happy” in front of the U.S. Congress for all the tax dodgers benefiting from the GOP tax heist. Here is “Dodging.”

Join Foday Mansaray and the stone mining kids of the Borbor Pain Charity School of Hope as we put Ebola behind and work to provide education for all.

A ring around the Atlantic
CD cover of A Ring Around the Atlantic

By turns a world music album, field recording, and power pop showcase, A Ring Around the Atlantic is thoughtfully written and orchestrated and features the standout production value of The Magpie Cage’s J. Robbins. Maybarduk’s voice, breathy and soft, reminds me of Hey Marseilles’ Matt Bishop and Michael Benjamin Lerner of Telekinesis. His songwriting is thought-provoking without being pedantic, helped by the album’s relentlessly catchy hooks and strong backing musicians.

No Hay Pueblo Vencido
CD cover of No Hay Pueblo Vencido

We released No Hay Pueblo Vencido (No Defeated People) on March 19, 2009.
Vencido features kinetic electronic compositions, political rock and acoustic nueva canción, with the musical talents of producer J. Robbins, drummer Darren Zentek, vocalists Shawna Potter and Linsay Rousseau Burnett, pan flautist Marco Ovando and trumpeter Ronald Rollins.
In part, Vencido is a tale of the Americas; of people standing up for their dignity despite oppression. It’s also a personal story. Vencido tracks a dual narrative of social justice and personal evolution, and explores the relationship between them. In the words of Edward Abbey, Action is the antidote to despair.

Passengers
CD cover of Passengers

Passengers, my first LP, is an introspective and primarily acoustic narrative recorded with J. Goody at Mega sonic in West Oakland, CA.
I made Passengers in 2006 under a routine of moderate solitude near the bay and trains. I recorded soundscapes from around northern California, linking songs together to hint at a unified story. Listeners can draw their own meanings from it, but I think the related themes of impermanence, travel and isolation, as both personal narrative and rising social illness, come through. I’m pleased to say it’s earned the affection of many careful listeners.

New on this site

All of Whom I Love

Here is “All of Whom I Love,” a song I wrote in Hanoi, Viet Nam and have just recorded with Eamonn Aiken at The Bastille Studio in Arlington, Virginia. Kate Rears provides a cello quintet. I play nylon and steel … Continue reading

No One Gets Free

The Elan School taught uncommon insight. But like many institutions of its kind, Elan was frequently accused of abuse.  “No One Gets Free” is a new song about resilience and growth. Listen and read more.

‘Til We Follow that North Star

“’North Star” is a brief acoustic song about finding our place; a community or purpose. Though that kind of certainty often is an illusion. The goal is merely to search. To undertake our journey, despite hardship and indignities, as completely as … Continue reading

Notaries Public @ Fireflies April 8