I finally got some frames for the set of Lance Mountain prints that I purchased at the Nose Pick show. Thankyou UNIV, Heel Bruise and Mr Lance Mountain. Screened after the original Suicidal T-shirt drawings done by Lance Mountain for Glen E. Friedman in 1983.
Point of Departure Studio in North Park made the perfect setting for a warm night outing in an unusually chilly June in San Diego (That was a mouthful!). Here are some photos that I took from last night’s Homework Show. Congrats to Steph and Juliana for an awesome night!
Gary Benzel’s Ratz Attak Zine. Aside from printing this awesome zine, Gary had a pretty big week as well, releasing a line of Incase goods along with co-HunterGatherer Todd St. John.
No Hawk Scott Massey made it out.
A music video by one of my favorite bands of all time. The Broken Social Scene’s 7/4 Shoreline; off their 2005 self-titled album.
My nephew Owynn. By Nema Photography.
Spent the night at Influx Cafe interviewing Steph Walker for our next Segue feature. The site will be going through a few minor changes so please be patient with us. :)
Tonight’s the Homework Show that she’s been working on for the last couple months. Notice how stressed out she looks.
Arik Acosta, The Eternal Ruler/Igloo consultant will be showing at The Homework Show.
This is artist/painter Neill Orje… err the back of him.
Steve Aldana from Objects USA once found an Eames Leg Splint at Koby’s Swap Meet.
Some of us ended up at El Zarape for some Mexican Seafood. Down below is Vince and Neill. Not to be confused with Vince Neil of Motley Crue.
Steph Walker is awesome. Click the image above for the full flyer.
The Homework Show
June 27th 7-11pm
Point of Departure 3712 30th St 92104
This Homework Show will be a massive zine swap, including a large variety of artists and designers. A zine is an “inexpensively produced, self-published, underground publication usually reproduced via photocopier on a variety of colored paper stock” (thanks Wikipedia). Some zines are sold, and some are given away for free.
In this case, all of our zines will be free. But, the zines in this show will be displayed, then followed by a period where artists can trade each of their zines for another artist’s zine. Similar to swapping baseball cards, we hope to make this a fun (and most importantly, free) event where artists can gain exposure, meet with each other (in person!), and be inspired by our barter economy. After the bartering there will be music and a party, as must follow any art show.
Like the last Homework, everyone will be expected to bring a little food or beverages to contribute.
The Lovewright Company’s Recession Sessions Art show was held last Saturday at UNIV shop in Encinitas. Work by Rob Benavides (Flying Panther) and Len (O2 Motorworks) kept eyes busy for show goers throughout the night. Great show! Good times!
Julz of Mindz Alike played the opening set before Wale took stage.
Cros1 of the Armory.
And the cronies I came with.
This is an interview that I did in 2006 for a photocopy zine called the Local Hero. The Album Leaf has been a staple within my ‘ambient’ iPod playlist for quite some time. Such a great band. Some of you may have heard their music from the Hummer commercial that they scored. From San Diego, I coincidentally found out about them while searching online for Sigur Rós tour dates. Jimmy had just finished recording Into The Blue Again and I was honored to have him take time off his busy schedule for this interview. And here it goes:
On his fourth full-length record as The Album Leaf, Jimmy Lavalle takes us on another journey through his musical psyche with Into the Blue Again. Following the success of In a Safe Place, the impressionist style of The Album Leaf finds itself to once again evoke its audience into an audio transfixion. Into the Blue Again is out now via Sup Pop Records.
Where are you at this exact moment and what were you doing 30 minutes ago?
I am sitting in my house doing this interview.. 30 mins ago, I was playing piano. Relearning all my old classical numbers again for fun!
You derived the name The Album Leaf from the Polish born pianist Frédéric Chopin . What was it about Chopin that had influenced you as an artist? Was he an artist that you grew up listening to?
Well, he was my favorite of the romantic classical era.. I don’t really like much classical music, although I grew up playing it.. I didn’t really connect with anything until I started learning Chopin. it seems to me the moods he expresses in his compositions are much like mine.. maybe we were the same kind of guy??? who knows!!
What was it like growing up in San Diego?
I grew up in Lemon Grove.. about 10 min from downtown.. it was nice I guess, I don’t know anything different!!! I played little league baseball for 10yrs, played music since I was 4.. got made fun of for being a band nerd… you know.. it was a nice neighborhood to grow up in though.. very safe, although I somehow managed to get into trouble through middle school.
You started playing the piano at the age of four, did you come from a family of musicians?
Not so much.. my father played guitar, my brother played guitar and piano, he was older, so he influenced me to want to start playing.. then my parents went with it and put me into lessons..
During your early years as a musician in San Diego, who were some of the local artists that have influenced/helped you along the way? Do you remember where you first played as The Album Leaf?
My first show as Album Leaf was at the Che Cafe.. probably 1998 or something like that.. I played solo for a couple songs, then had a bunch of friends come up and play with me to round out some of the songs on the very first record.. a lot of people influenced me back in the day.. as I was in high school and started learning more about local music, I would go to a lot of shows.. more all age options back then it seemed like.. I saw Drive Like Jehu a handful of times, Three Mile Pilot a bunch… those bands were a big influence on me.. and now they are great friends of mine.. Pall is one of my close collaborators and the last 2 Album Leaf records. I spent sometime playing in Black Heart Procession as well.. I somehow got into playing hardcore when I was about 16 or so.. did that for a couple years, then realized I was more of a sissy at heart than a hardcore kid! so we started Tristeza, which I left a couple years back, and ever since, I have been doing what I’m doing now..
What other aspirations did you have growing up? Did you always want to become a musician?
I pretty much always wanted to play music.. I really don’t remember wanting to do anything else.
About your new record, Into the Blue Again… How did you come up with the title? Is there any reference to the Talking Head’s, “Once in a Lifetime”?
Wow! it is total reference to ‘once in a lifetime’ .. that is exactly where I got it from.. I was watching that movie ‘Rockstar’ with Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston, shitty movie, but funny, anyway, my girlfriend goes to bed earlier than I, so I often watch TV in bed with subtitles on.. that song was playing, the line flashed on the screen, I needed a title.. and there you go… in turn, of course I had to think of what those words mean, to me… Thats where I feel its a reference to going at it again, ie. going through press again, making another record, touring again, flying again, taking boats, Ferrys etc.. just doing everything you do for every record you release, all over again.. in a positive way though!
Before recording this album, you have just gotten off about a year and a half of touring the world. What other activities did you turn to when returning to San Diego outside of writing for Into the Blue Again?
I guess just falling back into the same boring being home routine.. I mean, going to bars, hanging out with my friends, sitting in my house.. watching movies.. its not boring really, just feels boring sometimes! I have plenty of all day amusement with my dog now though.. we got him about 4 months ago and he’s about 7 months old so he’s fun and a pain in the ass at the same time.. I watch a lot of baseball too!! Probably too much..
This is your fourth full-length record. For the most part of the preceding 3, your time as a musician wasn’t exclusive to that of The Album Leaf. With the recording of Into the Blue Again, would it now be safe to say that you are a solo artist?
Well, I have always been a solo artist.. my previous records were all played by me still.. this one is as well.. I am solo on record with a little help here and there with different people I collaborate with, and then live, we are a band…
With the success of In a Safe Place, released on Sub Pop, how has working with a major label been an advantage?
Sub Pop is in no way a major label!!! they have resources, they have marketing plans, fly me up for meetings, they have money.. but they are a bigger indie with a good back catalog and a lot of cred.. they have helped immensely in the success of me now.. they push my records and give them a lot of attention.. everyone there is really nice, on the ball, and fun and easy to work and have a relationship with..
What have you enjoyed the most on your SOLO venture as The Album Leaf as opposed to working within a band? Do you feel that the creative process runs a lot smoother this way?
In the beginning of writing, it is better for me to be solo, for this project.. when it comes to recording, mixing, mastering, production etc.. I like to work with other people.. I don’t like the idea of me having complete control over how my records are produced.. I like to have an outside set of ears up in the mix.. and to work with other people with different idea’s to get that outside opinion.. it is more healthy for me!!!
Have you taken a different approach when creating this record versus ones in the past?
Well, I tried to first, get into a mind frame of not writing music.. so that it would come naturally when it was suppose to.. I then tried to separate the idea of making a follow up record to ‘in a safe place’.. I wanted to just be natural.. in the studio, I was totally ready for it, and tracked the whole record in 10 days because I had spent the better part of 6 months writing and demoing…. so it was a lot smoother for me this time around..
Environment seems to play a big role when recording your album. Do you find it hard to make music in a city that’s sunny about 360 days a year? Do you prefer the melancholy settings of Woodinville and/or Mosfellsbaer?
It doesn’t really matter to me.. I like to go away from San Diego when recording a record for the sole purpose of being away from everyday life.. turning my phone off, not having surprise visits from friends, and getting away from everyday distraction.. things like that.. just concentrating solely on making a record.
As mainly an instrumental artist, do you convey a certain feeling with each song, or do you leave it up to the listener to find the significance of each song?
I mean, I have my own meanings.. but I like to keep those personal to me.. I think its nice to have a listener develop there own story or meaning to songs.. it may be more exciting to them that what it may mean to me!!
You worked with Josh Eutis of Telefon Tel Aviv, Pall Jenkins of the Black Heart Procession, and in the past, members of Sigur Ros, what determines the decision to work with such artists? How do you narrow down such a wide array of possible collaborations?
Just good friends having a good time basically.. Josh was around, wanting to hang a bit.. so we started working together, then he came out to Iceland to help mix for the fun of it and to work on a record with me.. Pall and I both live in SD, we hang out a lot, are good friends, help each other out things.. Sigur Ros are great friends of mine through all the touring we did together.. I sat in with them on stage, and they sat in with me.. they invited me to record at their studio.. so they came by sometimes to check in on me, then would sit in on the recording a bit.. the song Jonsi sang on, I sent to him a long time ago as a part of the collaboration series I do, and it just ended up on the record… there are other people I would like to collaborate with.. they’ll came around when the time is right…
Are there any future collaborative projects that you would like to let us readers know about?
Yeah.. the single series which sadly, people have lost faith in because it has been so long since to first 2 came out, but I will be doing one with Roger O’donnell who played keyboards for the cure for a number of years as well as the psychedelic furs.. Pall and I got some tracks we are working on.. I will be doing one with Kjarri from Sigur Ros.. there are more to come, they just will take a while to get around to doing them because we are all so busy!
Any last words you’d like to say?
Thanks for the interview.. I hope people will come out and see us play while we are on tour!! and Buy the new record!! if you download it, buy the vinyl!!! support the indies!
1) Tony Gwynn or Junior Seau.
Tony Gwynn easy..
2) Your Favorite place in San Diego to get coffee.
Don’t drink coffee, but I get tea from Krakatoa and Urban Grind.
3) Favorite Place to buy vinyl.
Thirsty Moon and M-theory’s Annex
4) Your Favorite Movie
not sure about that one.. too many good and bad movies i love.
5) An album that everyone should own?
Steely Dan w/ Michael McDonald, anyone of them.. Aja as a starter though. Brilliant records.
A minidocu by Holiday Matinee