Barbes – Tuesday, Feb 1 – 7pm / David Wax Museum Tour

I’ll be performing a bunch of songs from Airplane Mode on Feb 1, in the cozy Park Slope listening room at Barbes. And I’ll be joined by the wonderful guitarist Wendy Eisenberg!

Also – a northeast tour commences soon with the David Wax Museum. David & Suz and I will be playing as a trio all around the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic late February and into March. (go to their website for the dates and the deets!) We’ll play songs from the two (2!) wild&weird David Wax Museum albums I produced & mixed in the last couple years. If you haven’t heard them yet – do please take a listen to Euphoric Ouroboric and Remember My Future (available on all the normal streaming platforms)

More touring, with other wonderful musical associates, is on the books for the Spring (can you believe it?!) Details to come!

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Live this November

I’ve got shows upcoming!

I’ll be doing a set of my own songs (including a bunch from Airplane Mode, out last Fall) on Nov 19, in Hartford, CT, opening for the fine fellas in Parsonsfield. And I’ll get to join them for their own gloriously unplugged set! Tickets available now, here.

In NYC, I’ll be joining Taylor Ashton at twice at Rockwood Music Hall (Nov 2 & 21), proudly rounding out a crack quartet with Julia Easterlin and Sean Trischka. We’ll be opening both those evenings for pals Rachael & Vilray.

And … important news … the wonderful album I produced for Zoe Guigueno is available now on CD, AND I will join Zoe herself (as well as Michelle Willis and Jason Burger) to play songs from that album (and newer songs) at Pete’s Candy Store on Nov 22

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A show in Brooklyn – July 24

I have a show, indoors & before a live audience, coming up in Brooklyn, on Saturday July 24, at 7pm!

Julia Easterlin and I will play sets at the Green Lung Studio, at the base of Park Slope by the Gowanus canal.

I will sing songs from my recent album Airplane Mode, and newer songs. And, we’ll be getting together in advance to work out some collaborations.

What a year-and-a-half it’s been, and what a surprising world in which to mark a numerologically significant birthday. I am 40 now! The pandemic seems to have neatly divided my life: I’m hoping I have at least roughly as many decades to come, and I’m happy to face them with a little more wisdom, won via all the hours of Covid-enforced self-examination.

Physical isolation aside, I’m thankful to have spent the pandemic time still busy with music, and engaged with inspiring and challenging collaborators. David Wax, Zoe Guigueno, Taylor Ashton, Sadie Gustafson-Zook, Andrew Dimola, Anna Tivel, Caroline Cotter, Dallas Ugly, Joseph DeCosimo, Kenniston, and others invited me into their work, and it’s been a great privilege to craft sounds with them all. Not all of our most recent creations are yet released to the world, but ALL of the music made by those folks is good and I encourage you to give it a listen.

Also of great comfort this year, the six of us in Cuddle Magic have been writing an album’s worth of songs together. We’ll record them this coming fall, in the same small bathroom where we recorded Bath, our pandemic-Spring offering, once again breathing and listening to the shared air in that tiny space!

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Spiel with Watt

I have a delightful time talking with a true musical mensch, the ever-inspiring Mr. Mike Watt, on today’s episode of The Watt from Pedro Show. We cover: my Dad’s record collection, my Mom’s guitar, my high school swing-revival band, Little Joe Cook, and Cuddle Magic, among many other topics. And, in between our brief chats, Watt plays some very good music, a bunch of which I made. And, like every episode of this wonderful show, it starts with a track by John Coltrane!

Not a bad three hours of radio, at all!

You can listen here, or find the show wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Conversation with Cindy Howes

I had a delightfully rambling chat with Cindy Howes for her podcast, Basic Folk. (Listen at the link!)

I seem to remember we talk about music I’ve made (like my album Airplane Mode, and the latest from Cuddle Magic, and great stuff from Ana Egge, Taylor Ashton, Sadie Gustafson-Zook, Zoe Guigueno, and The David Wax Museum), places I’ve played (weddings, comedy clubs …) and some of the deep wisdom I got from Ran Blake.

And other stuff!

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Airplane Mode

Airplane Mode is the new full-length album by me, Alec Spiegelman.

Since yesterday, Oct 23, it has been available on all of the usual digital platforms.

Things got slightly confusing over at Spotify, inside which a second and distinct Alec Spiegelman was created, for this new album and for some guest appearances. Here’s the new me. I’m told that this will only last for a little while, that the new me and the old me are the same, and that they are in the process of being consolidated.

I wrote the songs for this album pretty quickly in the late summer and into the fall of 2018. “Hurt A Little” and “One Decision” were written with Ana Egge.

Ana is my songwriting hero. I got to spend a bunch of time with her on the road, and through the making of two very good albums. Besides just being the most incredible hang, all that time working with Ana was also a graduate education, my theses: the songs we wrote together. Ana happens to sing my favorite version of “Hurt A Little” on her album, “Is It the Kiss”. I sing an entirely different version with my band, Cuddle Magic, on our album “Bath”. And I think that other people should (and will likely) sing it on other albums, and also at home just for themselves. My sense that anybody should, and could, sing that song, is something of which I’m incredibly proud, and which I do not think I could have done without Ana.

Andrew Dimola & Robin MacMillan play the bass & drums, respectively. And Robin engineered the two day-long sessions (Jan 27, 2019 and Aug 10, 2019), with the three of us tracking together at Robin’s amazing old Williamsburg loft studio.

Robin MacMillan is an incredibly talented musician and producer. He is a masterful engineer of his notoriously difficult-to-mic primary instrument: the drum set. He imagines all kinds of driving parts and pockets. He understands some very subtle connections between musical rhythms and dance, and he’s a fine & un-self-conscious dancer. He makes all sorts of beautiful music in collaboration with all of my favorite musicians in town.

I’ve been playing music with Andrew Dimola pretty steadily since we met around 2003 in Cambridge, MA. At this point, I think we have a remarkable amount of shared and specific musical vocabulary. Thankfully, Andrew still breaks rules I would never break, in pursuit of symmetries I would never have seen. Critically, in the context of this album, he can rock un-ironically and aggressively, as this music demands.

Jacob Blumberg made four music videos for four of the shorter songs on the album. Those are all available to watch on my instagram account.

And also, here:

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new album

my new album Airplane Mode will be released on all the usual digital platforms on Friday, Oct 23

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A Video Concert

I always love to play music at the Upper Jay Art Center (way up north of Lake George, overlooking the Ausable river) to an always gracious and appreciative crowd lounging on a strange collection of smartly re-upholstered vintage furniture, hosted by the ever generous impresario, Mr. Scott Renderer. Might be a little while before I travel there next! In the meantime, I have recorded myself at home in Brooklyn, singing a bunch of songs, playing a bunch of instruments. I tried my best to communicate some of the spirit of a performance in the Recovery Lounge at the Upper Jay Art Center. It is up on their youtube channel (link above). I hope you watch it, and if you watch it I hope you like it!

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New Cuddle Magic

I’m very proud of the music I make with Cuddle Magic.

Benjamin, Christopher, Cole, Dave, Kristin and I all spent two weeks together in December of 2018 recording in a bathroom. All of us amidst 23 microphones, crowded into one bathroom: breathing and listening and making music together.

First single is out now. The rest of the album is on the way.

I hope you’ll listen. I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it!

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Taylor Ashton!

I could not be more proud of my buddy Taylor Ashton. He made a grand record, all of which we’ll all get to hear at the end of February thanks to the folks at Signature Sounds. I feel lucky because I got to hear it all already, because I produced the thing! So, 2019 has been good!

Here’s the first single:

Other news in my life:

Cuddle Magic has a show in NYC on Feb. 1, at National Sawdust. This band doesn’t play out too often … and we won’t likely get busy again until our next album is about to drop. But we are playing this gorgeous room in Brooklyn in less than two months. Don’t miss it!

And, I’ve lots more shows coming up, all over the US, with Ana Egge and Iris DeMent. Check out Ana’s website for details.

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