Sara Watkins Video For DW Song “When It Pleases You”
Well, the show at Largo was the best ever. Sean said from the stage that it had been more than a year since I’d joined them. Good to be back!
Semisonic at the MN State Fair, Photos, Thoughts
We came, we played, we swooned. John Munson, Jake Slichter, Ken Chastain and I have played most of the Semisonic shows of the last ten years or so as a four-piece, Ken adding his amazing percussion grooves and a sturdy hand with the odd hunt and peck piano riff. But two nights ago we were joined onstage by a flotilla of MN musicians, all of whom added some swoon-factor to the proceedings. First of all, the Laurels String Quartet brought their elegant and dreamy tones to the stage for “Secret Smile,” four songs in, and they stayed with us to the end with only a few breaks. Then the swoonable Jeremy Messersmith, who had rocked the crowd earlier with a great set including soon-to-be-classic new song “It’s Only Dancing,” and his producer/drummer/keyboardist/co-conspirator Andy Thompson came up for an epic vision of Semisonic’s “I Wish.” That’s a song from “All About Chemistry” that I’ve always loved, the majesty of which (in my humble opinion,) we’ve never captured onstage. Until Friday. Took ten people playing at once, but we did it.
“Everyone’s Waiting” by Missy Higgins
Here’s a video for a song Missy and I wrote for her new album. That feeling of being overwhelmed and yet also empowered by the ocean, beautifully captured. We also wrote another one, called “Set Me On Fire,” (more info here.)
DW on MN Public Radio’s “Wits” with Fred Willard, John Moe
I had the good fortune to perform on MPR’s live radio sketch comedy (with music) show, “Wits,” last week. It was nerve-wracking and way outside my comfort zone even to hit my mark and deliver one line in a sketch, not to mention being in the wings in time for my various entrances and exits. (A spacey person such as myself is better-suited to a show with one big entrance – the stage manager only has to hunt you down that one time.) But in the end it was fun, and bantering onstage with the legendary Fred Willard was surreal and wonderful. What a funny dude. The clip above shows a particularly fun segment of the show, where Fred and I are pitted against each other in a blast of faux commercialism. Of course the big draw of “Wits” for me is that John Munson is the musical director of the show and we got the chance to perform several songs together. Here’s a link to Andrea Swensson’s MPR blog about the show, which also includes a sound clip of one of my songs from the show.
Grammys 2012 – Adele’s Clean Sweep!
Harmony with Gabe Dixon on Jimmy Kimmel This Thursday 9/8
Here’s me singing with Gabe Dixon on his new single, “My Favorite,” which we wrote together. We’ll be doing it again on The Jimmy Kimmel Show this Thursday 9/8. Gabe’s fantastic new album, “One Spark,” is streaming here.
ASCAP Interview in Austin
This interview with ASCAP isn’t really about Austin or South By Southwest, in fact it was more about the last ASCAP Songwriter Expo that I spoke at. I remember the Songwriter Expo as the occasion on which I told the audience of several hundred songwriters that if they sent or gave me a CD of their songs, I would likely not listen to the CD, but I would be sure to recycle the jewel case. Anyway, back to this interview, I thought the questions were interesting and they touched on some things about collaborating that I don’t usually get to talk about on camera. The loud and bluesy music in the background is a good emblem of what SXSW is like all the time – usually, though, wherever you go you can hear three or four loud and bluesy bands at the same time. Unfortunately, I find the sound of three or four simultaneous loud bands of any type to be very depressing, so Sixth Street in Austin during SXSW is not the greatest setting for my mental health. Luckily, there’s just the one in the background of this interview.
Lefteris Pantazis, Greek Singer, Covers “Breathless”
How lucky am I? Lucky enough that I get to watch my song “Breathless” being sung on Greek TV, in rolling Greek-accented English, as though it’s an old standard.