Alex Greenwald, Yo



Alex Greenwald has put his solo record out – it is called Yo – and mysteriously not said anything about it. In the event this is because he’s conducting some sort of marketing experiment, I offer my data-point, which is that it took the Tumblr-tide three weeks to bring the news to my door.

Anyway, I have now listened to it four times in a row, and my reaction is: Mmm. Hmm. Interesting. It’s pop music with some echo and wubble-bubble, and for all one of the songs is a love song about a knife, there’s none of the fuzzy rage and jagged aggression that showed up in Phantom Planet’s sound. Lest that make it sound like a weightless, disposable confection, know also that lyrics have razor-sharp edges, sometimes in unexpected places. It is very much the kind of thing that becomes richer with repeated listening.

Simulacre and Still Too Soon: The first two tracks are, in order, a 13 second sample of something I didn’t recognize and a song about … Continue reading

Video: Alex Greenwald and Phriends, Balisong (She Told Me So)

It has been well over a year since this song surfaced as a teaser for Alex Greenwald‘s solo record and I must confess, I was beginning to wonder if the project had been abandoned.

But lo, a video has appeared! Hopefully this means the record will emerge soon too.

Without further chatter, here is Mr. Greenwald (looking very professorial) along with Darren Robinson and Jeff Conrad from Phantom Planet and Stuart Zender from Jamiroquai (?!) with a live version of the song performed at a live variety show put on by The Kennedy Administration in Echo Park, in Los Angeles.

Alex Greenwald & Phriends (Members of Phantom Planet) perform Balisong at The Kennedy Administration

Watch this video on YouTube
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2012: A Year In Pictures, October and December

Johnny Hallyday, Beacon Theater, Oct. 7, 2012
Blake Mills, Terminal 5, New York, NY, Oct. 16, 2012
Fiona Apple, Terminal 5, New York, NY, 0ct. 16, 2012
Fiona Apple, Terminal 5, Oct. 16, 2012
Beast Patrol, The Studio at Webster Hall, October 19, 2012
Alex Greenwald and Z Berg, JJAMZ, The Studio at Webster Hall, Oct. 19, 2012
Alex Greenwald and Michael Runion, JJAMZ, The Studio at Webster Hall, Oct. 19, 2012
Sweatheart, Terminal 5, … Continue reading

2012: A Year In Pictures: July – September

Alex Greenwald and Z Berg, JJAMZ, Webster Hall, New York, NY, July 10, 2012
Michael Runion, JJAMZ, Webster Hall, New York, NY, July 10, 2012
JJAMZ, Webster Hall, New York, NY, July 10, 2012
Lita Ford, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, July 13, 2012
Bret Michaels, Poison, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, July 13, 2012
C.C. DeVille, Poison, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, July 13, 2012
Bobby Dall, Poison, Nikon at Joes Beach Theater, July 13, 2012
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Alex Greenwald: Balisong (She Told Me So)

Balisong (She Told Me So) is a teaser from Alex Greenwald’s as-yet-untitled (and unreleased) solo record, which – and I say this with bemused affection – I have been referring to as “Nessie”, since I do sometimes feel like I’m sitting on the edge of a dark Highland loch with a toy radio, waiting for static-filled fin sightings.

And, too, when (if?) I do ever get to write about it, there will be a certain amount of myth and legend (i.e. out-of-date Wikipedia notes) to untangle.

But until such time as it glides to the surface, there is this song, which is a love song for a knife, and is made of many dark, shimmery layers:


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Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: A Few of My Favorite Things: Nerds and Novelty Songs


This is Jonathan Coulton performing at the High Line this past April. He is the uncrowned king of the nerdy novelty song. My iTunes informs me that his genre is “Unclassifiable” which I think is an unusual misspelling of “Awesome.” My personal favorites are Code Monkey, a love song for J. Alfred Programmer; Skullcrusher Mountain, in which a lovelorn mad scientist asks isn’t it enough that I ruined a pony, making a gift for you?; and Shop Vac, a tale of suburban disaffection and despair with a catchy sing-along chorus. I’m also really very fond of his cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Baby Got Back. Those last two might not be all that nerdy but they are a whole lot of fun.

The next song on my list of favorites, MMO RPG by Alex Greenwald (Mark Ronson and the Business Intl., Phantom Planet) – truly a piece of digital ephemera, as it is, for now, only available on YouTube – explores some of the philosophical complexities of on-line gaming:


I will confess I’m not actually all that … Continue reading