Category: new music


Wolf Navarro Custom Guitars, Anaheim, CA, NAMM 2016

Wolf Navarro Custom Guitars, Anaheim, CA, NAMM 2016

Huge shout out to Wolf Navarro, who graciously got me into NAMM this year. If

surprise performance and yuck it up, Ultracase, Anaheim, NAMM 2016

Got to play and share music with these two extraordinary koa instruments, made 1929, Sam Kamaka, Hawaii

you can, next year and you’re into music in some way, shape, or form—GO TO NAMM. Mind blowing and inspiring in every way. I had but one day, not enough to see, do, hear, meet, and play all that there is to experience.

Next year!

Pics and fun below.

 

Tonight, I’m back in San Luis Obispo where I headline Songwriter’s at Play Monday evening soiree at Bang the Drum Brewery.

 

Stephen Sukop builds beautiful basses

Stephen Sukop builds beautiful basses

Hey!

I’m getting ready for the tour.

And SoCal sunshine.

It’s still there, right, sunshine?

Here’s a quick vid – enjoy!

(stay dry)

 

 

Hey! Kosuke and I get to do the House of Blues again—the Parish Room. Tickets are just $15.  I can get them to you, or we can e-ticket. Holla. I’ll hook you up!

 

 

 

Yup, we'll be there again---this time the Parish Room ;)

Yup, we’ll be there again—this time the Parish Room 😉

stars that rock

 

Josephine Johnson returns to Humboldt County for an evening of music, art, and poetry at the Arcata Playhouse, Saturday, February 21, 2015.

 

Piet Dalmolen (guitar), Dan Davis (bass), and Jay Forbes (drums) join her to create a smooth sonic force to be reckoned with.

 

Featuring:

 

Therese Keslin

poet, wordsmith, the night’s MC

 

Electro Saloon

acid coutry, gloomgrass duo

(Colin Begell, Alanna Jane Powell)

 

Matt Beard

surfer, painter, all ‘round rad guy

live paints during the performance

 

Doors open at 7:30

 

Show starts 8:00

 

Tickets available Wildberries, Peoples Records, and The Works

$12 pre-show

$15 at the door

 

A portion of the proceeds from the evening goes to support Food for People, Humboldt’s primary food bank. Just before Christmas 2014 a big rig bound for Eureka was destroyed in a fiery crash south of Benbow. Thankfully, the driver sustained only minor injuries, but the entire shipment of food was destroyed. Concert-goers are asked to bring a canned food item. Artist Matt Beard will auction his creation to the highest bidder at the end of the night. Mr. Beard is graciously donating half the final bid to Food for People.

 

 

Bring a can of food.

 

And get ready to rock

Gabe Pressure designs, Matt Beard Art:

because we can. rock. like stars

because we can. rock. like stars

by Josephine Johnson

What a month.

crossing the desert

me & the droids

What a year.

What a life.

It’s that time. Because less light. Because reflection. Because gratitude. Because introspection. Because warm hugs. Because friends. Because family. Because the light begins to return. Because holidaze. And I will do my best not to make this one of those cringe-worthy year in review posts tinged with melancholia. Or braggadocio. Mostly, I’m really thankful for all the people I’ve met on the journey this year and thankful for friends and family who keep on with me. Because spirits. Because guidance. Because all this love we have to share. Share it!

Let’s kick this off with a track the guys and I worked on just before Christmas. I’m a sucker for the obscure, weird, uncool and off the beaten path. Pink Floyd’s “On the Turning Away” is one of those underdog songs, well-written with an uplifting, egalitarian message. Piet and Jay liked the track, too, so we hit it, tracked it, and then Piet mixed and made it radio-ready—all in a few short hours. I think the recording captures the friendly, easy ethos typical of our interactions—we don’t get to see each other much these days, and when we do, our company is golden. I think that feeling comes through.

The Guys: sound art cool like that * yo no matter the idea * always got my back

 

Hope you like it:

I’m blessed and lucky to get to write, sing, and perform music with a lot of great folks that I love.

I do. Love. I am.

Lucky. Not only have I gotten to work with some of Humboldt’s finest and kindest musicians (Piet, Dan & Jay!), but also this year I’ve gotten to meet a whole new crew of awesome, talented, and keen players. Like Kosuke Yoshitome.  We played some super fun spots—El Cid, House of Blues, Viper Room, concerts for our housemates, house parties and anywhere we could find/create an audience. I’m grateful for his friendship and encouragement, and I am in awe of his talent and generosity.

Kosuke: dang such a bass boss * all treble clef and four strings * he gets the funk out

Here’s a recording from our May 2014 performance at the El Cid in Los Angeles:

Another highlight of the year was meeting Juli Crockett and the Evangenitals. The Evangenitals. EVANGENITALS! C’mon, try saying “Evangenitals” out loud without smiling. Go on…TRY it! See? Chortles and grins—you can’t without cracking a smile. And the Evangenitals are a win, too, because, well, they already love YOU. They do. And they loved me so much right away  that in February, I got to be part of their video for Turbulent Flow, a song from their 2014 release “Moby Dick“.  A really great crew of people. Juli, Michael, and I are collaborating to record a few songs for my next album project along with Humboldt’s Piet, Jay, and Dan. More on that in the new year. 🙂 Ready for some rad-ness from the Evan (ha ha!) genitals, Evangenitals— shout out to Sofia Garza-Barba who directed. Oh, I’m the pink-tentacled anemone.

Juli Crockett-Feldman:  renaissance lady * million dollar double fists * dang how you slay me

Enjoy!

I can’t forget Modesto and all the good folks I’ve met there this year— music and art, some of the most generous folks in the universe live in that sleepy agricultural town. Here’s an adventure I won’t forget, that 102 degree July afternoon when Anthony Edwards convinced me to ride bikes with him. And it was a beautiful day of searing blue skies riding along almond groves and irrigation canals. But *dang* that sun was oppressive, full on summer heat so heavy you could feel

droids do it digitally

really, we’re getting down

it in your ears, behind your eyes. Melting. Challenging your ability to breathe, pedal, and think. So I put my head down and gave up thinking. Pedal on! Yeah, it was hot….but we made it. A true bonding experience. 🙂 Or more recently when Steve Nelson and I showed up at Cafe Deva to cheer for Modesto’s most beloved singer-songwriter, Patty Davis Castillo. Patty does this arrangement of Amazing Grace that makes me look up and catch my breath every time, a beautiful way to begin Sunday morning. Thank you, my Modesto family, for taking me in and letting me be one of you. Many thanks to Aaron Rowan for booking me at several of his acoustic events this year!

Here’s this great pic from the Anthony’s annual benefit concert at the State theater in Modesto. The people on this stage are wonderful humans, so humbled to be among their friends. I love these folks!!!

Modesto: almonds cattle trains * singing whispers in the rain * comfort finds me there

Anthony Edward's annual fundraiser

Modesto “Bringing Them Home” Fundraiser

 

Well, for goodness sakes, it’s been a lovely year, and I’m so thankful for the love, good people, and great spirits that have managed to find me. I don’t know how to tie this all up in an elegantly incisive way, so I won’t. Just know that I’m aware of all the love and good thoughts you all send my way. I can feel them and I’m grateful for all the encouragement and support. Thank you! We’re really gonna send it in the new year—you ready? I am!!! Let’s do this.

 

by Josephine Johnson

Howdy. Here are two bright bits of news 🙂 Thursday (tomorrow) I’m kicking off  SHINE, an evening of storytelling at the Westside Santa Monica YWCA. Doors open at 7p. $10 suggested donation. The theme is finding bravery, which, if you’ve been following the Josephine saga, is more than apropos. I’ll be sharing my best and most uplifting tunes along with a story or two from 7:30 to 8p.

And then on Friday, November 21, Stormy Phoenix at KCSS 91.9 is featuring my CD Let It All Out from 4 to to 6p. KCSS is the alternative music voice of CSU Stanislaus. You can stream it and listen live here. (Thank you, Stormy, you are kind and rockin’.)

Ok, this is a quickie. Love and good things to you. ~Jos

 

shine moxie, shine

finding bravery Thursday, November 20, 7:30, pm

Heya! I know, you’re hankerin’ to get those creative juices flowing, maybe a little writing, some instrument playing… you’re getting into the idea of …the ukulele. You really, really want to wow your friends with Somewhere Over the Rainbow but you need a little help, inspiration? Well, check this out, I teach music and I’d sure love to teach YOU 🙂 What, you’re not so into the ukulele and wanna learn some guitar instead? OK, we can do that. Or, maybe you want to transform that shoebox of lyric-littered scrap paper into a song or two?  Yeah, I can help push and pull words together—let’s get started on this and finish a song, or two, or three or four.

What are you (we) waiting for? Let’s get creative and learn!

Right now, I’m doing an introductory special—a free  half hour lesson to get an idea, a feel, for some of the things you’ll learn. We can meet at your home, local park, or other public place. My regular rates are $30 for half hour lesson and $45 for a full hour. An LA bargain, to be sure. Get in touch—email me at josephine.jhnsn@gmail.com. Josephine on Facebook. Josephine songwriting with the kids on YOUTUBE.

Let’s do this!

I will teach you ukulele

For reals, I can teach you, your children, your grandma–perhaps even your pouch–how to play ukulele 🙂

We had a beautiful time last month at the House of Blues.

September 13 we get to do it again.
Kousuke and I are up at 10p and we have a few surprises in store.
Come hang out with us. In the fun!

Love,
~Jos

Josephine & Kousuke, House of Blues, Saturday, September 13

Josephine & Kousuke, House of Blues, Saturday, September 13

by Josephine Johnson

Susann's Pirate Elixers

Susann’s Pirate Elixers

All that random rockstar ruckus, mayhem, mojo motion last weekend? Hands down, one of the best 48 hours on record. Ever.  For me, anyway, especially given that my weekends are usually more cerebral, computery, outdoors-ical. Or I’m working. Last weekend, though, was a first. But rockstar antics or no, LA remains one hell of an adventure. Every day. Unlike any other—China, Thailand, backpacking got nothing. And I wouldn’t trade this City of Angels for anything right now. Hollywood, Venice, Santa Monica, the Westside, I’m smitten.  AND I’ve shared NOTHING even of the spectacular, warm punch sunsets I’ve ridden my bike through on Venice beach. Or that the sun shines almost everyday.

THE SUN SHINES. EVERY DAY!

*sigh*

This past weekend?

Though much less rock & porn star-y, still wins. Run it down: The Pig ‘n Whistle in Hollywood does open-mic on Tuesday and Wednesday in their back room—it’s sweet, intimate, solo-

Ryder Buck’s avataracoustic friendly.  I did the Wednesday night and landed a Friday 8:30pm opener.(!!!)

But it wasn’t until gig night, Friday, that I got the full picture of the evening. This young man, 23 year old Ryder Buck, a local fave and student at Musician’s Institute, died recently. Early in the morning of October 27, He walked into traffic on the 2 freeway where a car struck him down. He died a few hours later at Huntington Memorial.  The crappiest part? Buck had just been through chemo and beaten cancer. Shitty, huh?

Mike, who books the room, ‘had a hunch’ I’d be a ‘good fit’ to open the night, which was band mates, all their friends and family sharing music and celebrating the young, talented, too short life of Ryder Buck. I played all my spirit songs, you know, the ones about dead people. Emily,

ARTHouse LIVE

ARTHouse LIVE

Edgar, Andrew. All in the house. And then some. I closed the set with Let It All Out. From the audience they asked my name twice. A positive

Billy Stobo

Billy Stobo

sign, I think,  it all went over well.

Then Saturday, Joey invites me to ‘this art thing in Mar Vista’.  He vague-splains, “like there’re musicians, I’m playing a set, and artists, probably paintings, maybe beer, wine…”

Aha! Art, music, booze. I’m there.

The Top Tomato Market. A gallery. Performance venue. A community space across from the post office and smack in the middle of Mar Vista’s Sunday Farmers Market—prime location for local art and music to grow, blossom, unfurl.

And that’s exactly what Katie Boeck intends. Two months ago the business owner formerly occupying the gallery gave Boeck the go ahead to follow her dream,

Katie Boeck

Katie Boeck

Top Tomato Market

Top Tomato Market

provided she can get it to pay for itself. In the two months since, Boeck and co-curator, Mitch Orquiola, have opened two gallery shows (this night being one) and hosted a music relief fundraiser for the Philippines. “We want to create a premiere community art space that caters to a variety of ages and mediums of expression,” says Boeck. In February, Beck and Orquiola plan to introduce their first Buzz Club,  a music-focused night that features “invited musicians along with a few open sign up slots.” Currently, they rent the performance room, with real-deal acoustic tiling and bass traps, to local bands for rehearsal. A music producer teaches kids to make electronic music, and out back there’re benches and picnic tables suited for teaching.  The space is coming together with a music-centric, yet multipurpose, family-friendly sensibility.

Joey Maramba

Joey Maramba

“There’s nothing like this on the block or in this part of town,” says Orquiola, “and I

Mitch Orquiola

Mitch Orquiola

want to be part of creating something special for my community. This has great potential.”

On this night Katie Boeck, Billy Stobo, and Joey Maramba played. Check out these people! You will be inspired.

And then Sunday, I met Julie of the Evangenitals. She’s the brainchild behind the project, and she’s booking a west coast tour.  Their latest release is a bluegrass-tinged concept album revolving around Moby Dick. Yeah, thar she blows, straight outta 10th grade lit. *Erupts Mr. Melville with glee, so smug yet mirthful he!* I got to hear a copy, pre-release, and it’s really,

ARTHouseLive

ARTHouseLive

really good. It has Portland written all over it, a fine synthesis of literature, whimsy, and weird grass (my new genre!). A hit, especially up north.  Best part? They will be coming through Arcata, California, enroute to Portland. Yay! Humboldt. The first week in March, the Evangenitals play the Jambalaya on a Tuesday night. Really, you have to see them to get it, an accessible blend of weird, smart, and smokin’.

Phew, I think that’s it. No porn stars in this one but still one heck of an LA adventure weekend.

Grateful.

WonderTwins

Activate!

Top Tomato Market

Top Tomato Market

princess frank's guitar

royal glory

by Josephine Johnson

This all started a week ago, the Sunday before New Year’s.

Operation: GET THE MUSIC TO THE PEOPLE

suckyjeans

suck it up

See, I need a day job to keep eating, writing, and performing. This is LA. Unless you’re JT, Katy Perry, Jimmy Iovine, or a trusty, a day job is necessary. A two-fold plan, this GET THE MUSIC  business. Part one: during the day, attack Craigslist—mostly for education, English teaching-type jobs, and some office-y positions—craft cover letters, send resumes. So far, this has yielded three interviews, and from those, I’ve been asked for two second interviews. Both went well, and so now I’m in that hurry-wait-and-see-oh-please-hire-me-now!-limbo land. Since I don’t wait very well, I keep trolling Craigslist, sending resumes…

Gerry & Omar, late night in Silverlake

Gerry & Omar, late night in Silver lake

Part two is the fun: open-mics and music-scene-mix-it-up, a.k.a get acquainted with LA double quick-like.  Thank Google for their maps! For reals, there’s at least one open-mic every night of the week, so I’m getting down the venues, streets, and freeways and how they all link up (or not!) in different parts of the city. I’m getting it, this City of Angles. And it’s fun.

Last Sunday, part two of Operation: GET THE MUSIC TO THE PEOPLE began when I ducked into the Thirsty Crow waiting for the Silverlake Lounge’s open-mic sign up to get rolling. And that’s when I met Princess Frank, a one-man whirlwind of a band who has a

princess frank

princess frank

Sunday residency at the Crow. Princess Frank. Think Prince-meets-Jack-White-meets-Stevie-Nicks for a bar top whiskey-drinking, porn-romp roll ’round. He’s sexy, sassy, kind of gender bender-y, has a great voice and won an award from the adult film industry for a little ditty called Rock and Roll in My Butthole.

princess frank

suzanne & princess frank

I can’t make this up.

There’s a movie, too…

Princess Frank has many friends. Installation artists, musicians, a local, organic hipster chef, actors, a make up artist, and porn stars, who are driven and focused on their passions, which makes this eclectic ensemble all the more real, solid, down to earth, and engaging. His bass player friend, Joey, has been all over the world with some heavy hitters. But I didn’t know any of this. Not yet. Not sitting at the bar in this first Princess Frank encounter, just being my Emily Dickinson-loving, non-pornstar self, enjoying this very new life unfolding. The wanna be open-mic queen, the LA newbie, hanging out and having a hoot with Princess Frank and his entourage.

un-poppables

un-poppables

And then later in the week Joey invites me to an Un-poppables gig in Pasadena.  Addi, the leader of the three piece (drums, bass & Addi), is a balloon artist. A professional balloon twister guy with a show on TLC.  He’s figured out how to get music out of a balloon with a Piezo mic, a gynormous board of pedals, and an electric tooth brush, and actually, it’s way more musical than you’d think. You can definitely move to it, though that a-tonal, avante garde jazziness does figure in. But it’s Joey and his bass that really help keep it together. He’s got pedals, dextrous fingers, a bow, and keen intuition guiding him through the changes and slight onstage hiccups inevitable when rubber and electricity are focal points of music-making. Of course, the drums help, keeping it smooth and toe-tappable.

So, yesterday, Sunday, when I received this text:

not jerk chicken!

jerk pork

ok me and my landlord are going to Hollywood farmers market…and we are gonna put on a cccchicken cccostume and a rabbit costume and terrorize!

I knew I had to be there.

And so I went, and it wasn’t long before I spotted Joey and Suzanne. Suzanne also happens to run a booth at market every Sunday. She makes hand-crafted, organic jerk sauces and pirates elixirs. With acoustic bass in-hand, the rabbit and the chicken were working the

crowd guerrilla marketing-style with a song in favor of jerk pork. Not jerk Chicken! Not jerk rabbit! I’m not sure they understood, but the kids seemed to dig it.

Somewhere in all the market mayhem, Suzanne hollers out, “Princess Frank is shooting a music video this afternoon at the Crow. We should all go!”

There.

And suffice it to say, I spent my Sunday afternoon, evening, and night partying with rockstars.

LA rockstars. Who work really, really hard and are oddly humble and nothin’ but(t) real.

Ooperation: GET THE MUSIC TO THE PEOPLE

Underway.

princess frank thirsty crow silverlake

princess frank thirsty crow silverlake