Monday, September 7, 2015

Support The New Album From Josh Haden's Spain

"Through The Low Gate" is my band Spain's sixth studio album and will be released during the first part of 2016. It'll be three hours long and will encompass the history of music, poetry, art, and language since the beginning of time. The album will be released on Dine Alone Records in North America and Australia, and in the U.K. and Europe on Glitterhouse Records.

If you'd like to help support this project I've set up a subscription service on my personal Bandcamp page. Levels of support start at $25.00/year and include subscriber-only demos for the new album and subscriber-only written and video diaries of the making of the album, along with all the other non-Spain Josh Haden releases. Higher levels of support include a CD copy of the album with your name in the acknowledgements, tickets to future Spain shows, and more.

I've already posted the first demo recorded for the album, a song entitled "For You". You can check it out here.

Once again, here's the link to my Bandcamp subscription page: Thanks!

Spain "You And I" Featuring Charlie Haden

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Josh Haden On The Watt From Pedro Show

The first punk rock show I went to was just after I turned 13, April 1981.
It was at the Whiskey A-Go-Go in Hollywood and the bands were Fear and The Minutemen.
I snuck there with my Jr. High friend Dylan Cabaldon and it was a pivotal moment in my life. It also cemented the Minutemen as my favorite band, they still are.
Yesterday I was Mike Watt's guest on The Watt From Pedro Show and I had a lot of fun talking about music and other stuff. You can listen and download free here. It's also available from the TWFPS iTunes page.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Your Music Is Our Music - RIP Ornette Coleman

Ornette Coleman was one of my dad Charlie Haden's oldest and best friends.

They first met in 1957. My dad talks about it here. Without Ornette, Charlie, Don, and Billy jazz would be a lot different today.

I am so happy and grateful to have spoken with and spent time with Ornette on more than one occasion. Just like his music he had his own way of talking, simultaneously abstract and specific, universal and personal.

Once when I was a teenager my dad was on tour with Ornette and gave him a cassette of my punk band Treacherous Jaywalkers to listen to on his Walkman while they were riding in the tour bus. My dad told me he looked back at Ornette listening on the headphones and Ornette had a big smile on his face, nodding his head with the music.

A few years ago Ornette called my dad on his birthday and Ornette and I spent about 20 minutes talking on the phone about music and family, and he invited me to come over and jam next time I was in New York.

I was finally in New York earlier this year while on tour with my band Spain. On a day off I called Ornette's son Denardo and asked if I could come over. My friend and guitarist Kenny Lyon and I spent over two hours with Ornette talking about everything from women and relationships to music as the key to world peace. Ornette was frail and his mind showed the signs of aging but he was lucid and cared about the future of the planet and humankind, often accenting his observations by saying "Nothing wrong with that!" Kenny snapped the pictures below. We easily could have talked all night and into the morning.

Ornette is still ahead of his time. He is a trailblazer and visionary. I literally don't think music will ever catch up with him. Ornette changed jazz and music in general permanently, against great odds and against a great wall of criticism, and he proved that it's OK to think differently and go against the status quo, and to follow and trust your instincts, and to choose freedom over constraint. That is what Ornette means to me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Spain The Band Song To Appear On MTV's "Finding Carter"

Spain's song "The Fighter" will appear in episode 8 of MTV's original program "Finding Carter", debuting August 19, 2014. "The Fighter" is from Spain's 2014album Sargent Place. Spain's MTV Artist page is here

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Charlie Haden Day

Today is my dad's 77th birthday. Someday there should be a national holiday, or worldwide holiday, celebrating my dad's life and legacy, accomplishments and messages to the world.

But until then, you could:

 1. Go to your local record store, or local online digital music marketplace, and purchase a recording of my dad's you'd never heard of before. A few weeks ago I picked up this record at my neighborhood record store. My dad played on literally hundreds and hundreds of records. Each performance is an example of the beauty he brought to all of us. Or.... purchase a copy of Charlie Haden Montreal Tapes - The Liberation Music Orchestra. My dad's laughter on "We Shall Overcome" is infectious and just represents his musical personality and him as a person so well. He was so happy that night.

 2. Google "Charlie Haden Interview" and you'll be rewarded with insightful, inspirational, and revolutionary words, whether you are a musician or not. Especially if you aren't a musician in the strict sense. My dad always said that the path to becoming a great musician is to be a great person first.

3. Music and education went hand in hand for my dad. My dad loved kids and loved imparting his wisdom to them. He founded the jazz program at California Institute of the Arts and travelled the world teaching bass, composing, and improvisational technique. His long-standing class at CalArts was called "The Spirituality of Improvisation". Talk to any of his former students about how meaningful his classes were to them and they will tell you. He was incredulous that music education was so lacking in U.S. schools. Think about making a small donation to the kids' music program of your choice. My dad loved the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, which was founded by his friend and fellow bassist Flea. My dad loved Flea and loved supporting Flea's school. I've seen my dad perform countless times since I was a baby and the solo he played at one of the Conservatory benefits was the most incredible I've ever seen. He inspired the kids, and the kids inspired him.

4. Watch an old film noir movie. My dad loved the noir genre of literature and film. It inspired his music and way of viewing art. He was friends with film noir historian Eddie Muller and I am not bashful to say I was the recipient of many of the duplicate film noir DVDs he gave my dad, many of them not yet officially released. My dad loved Humphrey Bogart and two of his favorite film noir pieces were The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca.

5. Go outside, sit down in a peaceful place and listen to the birds sing. Think about how all of our actions, no matter how small, affect the rest of the world as a whole. Think about how we are all, individually, part of a much larger community. Think about the importance of bringing beauty to the world. And then think about your life as if it were a musical instrument, like a bass, and after you get up and go about your day, play each note as if it were your last.

Photo above by Stefan Malzkorn, Westport Festival July 1994.