Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spain Opening For Tindersticks March 13

Earlier today I got confirmation that Spain is opening for Tindersticks on Friday, March 13, 2009 at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Hollywood.

Info and tickets can be obtained from Goldenvoice and Ticketmaster.

Tindersticks haven't played in L.A. in over 5 years. I know because I was at their last show here! Its gonna be a full band complete with strings and the inimitable Stuart Staples on vocals. Please come help celebrate the return of Tindersticks and hear them play songs from their new album, and hear Spain play some of your favorites and debut some new material.

Please come and support if you're able to! It would be great to see you there!

Friday March 13, 2009
Henry Fonda Theatre
6126 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA
All Ages - $28

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Man Calls For War

A Man Calls For War

A man calls for war
A man calls for peace

A man calls for death
A man calls for life

A man calls for hate
A man calls for love

A man calls for fate
A man calls for chance

A man calls for finitude
A man calls for eternity

A man calls for pragmatism
A man calls for justice

A man calls for sound
A man calls for silence

A man calls for reality
A man calls for beauty

A man calls for violence
A man calls for pacifism

A man calls for intelligence
A man calls for enlightenment

A man speaks up
A man speaks down

There they can be found
From the beginning of time

A man calls for war

© 2009 Josh Haden

Monday, February 23, 2009

Lost Classics: Spain “The Blue Moods Of Spain”

From Magnet Magazine

The Blue Moods Of Spain // Restless, 1995
The Blue Moods Of Spain demonstrated what happened when the son of a jazzbo set forth to create a downcast, West Coast take on pure atmosphere. The cover art’s Blue Note quotation and Spain bandleader/bassist Josh Haden’s kinship to Ornette Coleman bassist Charlie Haden put the preconception of “jazz” on the tip of many listeners’ tongues. But Blue Moods was less about improvisational flair than it was about evoking a smoky, confessional vibe. Thankfully, all that ambience was backed up by considerable chops and Haden’s bottom-of-the-bottle baritone. Despite its immersion in the hipster Silverlake scene of the early ’90s (which included That Dog, featuring Haden’s sisters, Petra and Rachel), Spain had little patience for indie-rock preciousness.

Catching Up: Spain released two more albums before disbanding in 2001. In addition to various solo projects, Haden has collaborated with the Blue Man Group, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Donovan and others. Guitarist Merlo Podlewski has appeared on albums by Jack Johnson and Handsome Boy Modeling School. Haden has resurrected the Spain moniker and has plans for a new album and tour.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Spain - Only One - 1 Dec 1995 Rockamadour, Dour, Belgium

Spain performing the song "Only One" 1 Dec 1995 at Rockamadour, Dour, Belgium.

Download the entire show for free from

This was the second European show Spain ever played.

The first was at Les Inrockuptibles 1995 festival in Rennes, France in front of about 1500 people.

The show at Rockamadour was in a basement in front of about thirty people (if my memory serves me right).

It was so cold we had to wear all our winter gear on stage, and we could still see the frost from our breath.

Spain never made a proper recording of "Only One", enjoy it here.

"Only One" written by Josh Haden.

Josh Haden - bass/vocals
Ken Boudakian - guitar
Merlo Podlewski - guitar
Evan Hartzell - drums

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Short Distance - Tanned Tin Documentary

"A Short Distance", the documentary film chronicling the 2007 edition of the Tanned Tin music festival in Castellón, Spain, is now available on DVD.

Included in the film is live footage of my band Spain from the festival along with parts of an interview.

Other artists included are Mia Doi Todd, The Sea And Cake, Dolorean, Xiu Xiu, For Against, and several others.

Clips from the documentary can be found on the A Short Distance Myspace page.

Those interested in purchasing a copy should contact The cost is 5€ (plus shipping costs).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Terrorism & Faith In A Post-Bush World

I could criticize until I'm blue in the face the word "terrorism" as it is used to describe a supposed statement of fact.

For example, the word "terrorism" is entirely subjective, that what is to us an evil act requiring a just response on our part is to the recipients of our just response an act of terrorism that requires a just response on their part, eg. the Palestinians on what they see as the taking of their land by Israel. So the outline defining "terrorism" is not so easy to draw.

Or that the word "terrorism" is just a word used to scare people into forgetting, or not seeing, that the "war on terrorism" is not a "new kind of war" we're fighting, but a war in the most traditional sense, with the same money being spent, the same pockets being lined, and the same lives being lost.

However, all of these arguments have been made before by people much more practiced on the subject than I.

One of the predictable results of the "dumbing down" of political discourse practiced by the Bush administration is that people became, well, dumber when it came to analyzing truth from fiction in world affairs.

I swear I can sometimes see President Obama bristle when using the term "Homeland" (as opposed to "national", or "our nation's", cf. "Homeland Security"), a euphemism created by Bush and his advisers to better characterize our nation post 911. To any Jew (such as myself) the use of the term holds too many echoes of the concept of the "heimat" of Nazi Germany and everything that word implies (nationalism, rejection of foreign people and culture, rejection of foreign ideas, etc...). The word "Homeland" then smacks of manipulation and propaganda and was utilized by Bush exactly for that purpose (and, unfortunately, I fear the word is here to stay).

But what I can't understand is Obama's embracing of the "faith-based" initiative, a notion interpreted by even some religious people, such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson, as a way for certain members of government to justify lessening government support of education and health care. As the Chicago Tribune noted last July, even Obama has had mixed results applying these initiatives in his home state.

What I wonder about is, is Obama embracing the "faith-based" to appease his radical religious constituents? Or his "fiscally conservative" constituents? Or does he really believe in the ability of such programs to bring a balanced education to people in a way our government should but doesn't?

Before accepting or rejecting (in Obama's case, apparantly, accepting) whether or not faith-based programs do work, one should define what "faith" means, which is exactly what proponents of "faith-based" programs don't want people to do.

Having "faith" implies a connection to the otherworldly, a position or circumstance that the worldly, language, intellect, materialism, cannot help us achieve. Having faith implies that there is something out there that is beyond language, and that a belief in such is dependent not on reasoned thought but on something that cannot be described.

But, as we are humans, we can only reach the otherworldly through the worldly, and that's why any profession of faith, or profession of "faith based" initiatives, must be rooted in intellectual thought.

So, I just hope that when Obama says he supports "faith based initiatives" he is honest with himself about exactly what it is he is supporting, the genuine belief in something greater than us all, or a vial of snake oil passed off as holy water in order to save a couple of pennies.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Charlie Haden - Rambling Boy Documentary Film Premiere At REDCAT

Last Thursday I went to REDCAT to see the premiere of Charlie Haden - Rambling Boy, the new documentary about my father (Charlie Haden) directed by Reto Caduff.

It was a great movie and the premiere was lots of fun. My dad and Reto did a question and answer session after the film.

I'm not sure when it will have a general release but until then clips from the film can be found here.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Los Angeles Municipal Elections March 3, 2009

Tonight (actually last night) I was flipping through my Time Warner-supplied TV channels and thought I had tuned in to the resurrected L.A. Public Access Channel.

It was actually L.A. CityView 35 with their informative yet low budget look at the Mayoral/City Attorney/City Controller candidates for the upcoming L.A. Municipal Election.

I learned on this year's mayoral ticket there are two socialists, a pastor-pro-marijuana legalization guy, and a self-described "entertainer". Everyone's favorite L.A. watchdog and City Council superstar, Zuma Dogg, is running, he appeared minus costume, dressed in suit-and-tie and sounding quite intelligent, and only ranting a little bit. Of course there was the man himself, current defending champion Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, you know, the other politician who cheated on his wife.

Does anyone know if Zuma Dogg ever cheated on his significant other? Who cares? David Saltsburg (Zuma's real name) has my vote.

In the City Attorney category I was impressed with Michael Richard Amerian's professionalism and dedication, but rival Noel Weiss did quote D.H. Lawrence in his speech, and that counts for something.

I liked all of the candidates for Controller, although I was smitten by Nick Patsaouras' genuineness. I wonder if maybe Zuma Dogg might be better off starting his L.A. political career by running for Controller, as both he and current councilperson Wendy Greuel are using the "get rid of Waste, Fraud, and Abuse" platform.

All of the respective candidates' video statements can supposedly be seen on-demand at the L.A. CityView website, although I couldn't find them anywhere.

So, to all my L.A. friends, don't forget to vote March 3!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I CAN drive 55

There was a time in my life when I was addicted to driving fast.

I didn't feel comfortable driving on a freeway unless I was travelling at least 80 mph.

In fact, there was a time when, while attending a school that shall remain nameless, during my nightly drive home on a freeway that shall remain equally nameless, I made it a regular practice to drive almost the entire way at 100 mph.

One late night, while barreling down this aforementioned freeway at my customary high speed, something happened that changed the way I think about driving forever.

A motorcycle cop, travelling at a speed well over my 100 mph, pulled alongside me, looked me in the eyes and yelled "SLOW THE F**K DOWN!!", and then proceeded to pass me and pull over the car driving in front of me, who was going equally as fast.

I immediately slowed down to 80 mph and when I got home decided that this was a sign I needed to change my driving habits.

The solution I came up with was to reduce my freeway driving speed gradually over time. So for a few weeks I kept it at 80mph. For a few weeks after that I limited my speed to 75 mph, and so on, until eventually I was driving the speed limit, usually 65 mph on most Los Angeles-area freeways.

This change in approach to driving crossed over into other areas of my life. I was able to slow down and be more thoughtful in areas where before I had been acting impatiently, usually to my detriment.

It also completely altered the way I drive on surface streets. City streets have different posted speed limits for very good reasons: safety. They are in no way arbitrary. If a posted speed limit reads 25 mph, there's a reason for it, and that's how fast I drive. I don't complain about it.

In Los Angeles there's a freeway called the I-110 Pasadena Freeway. It was constructed in 1940 and was originally called the Arroyo Seco Parkway. The speed limit at the time (as was the speed limit on all U.S. freeways) was 45 mph. Nowadays the speed limit on this freeway is 55 mph, but most drivers insist on going much faster than that. My suggestion to any L.A. driver is, the next time you find yourself on the 110, slow down a little and check out the scenery. The 110 was the first freeway built in California and still has many scenic landmarks surrounding it. You might see something you haven't seen before, and when you eventually get out of your car, as we all must, you might walk a little more slowly, and enjoy your day a little better.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Spain - Her Used-To-Been - Live At T.T. The Bear's, Cambridge, MA, 3 April 1996

Spain performing "Her Used-To-Been", recorded live at T.T. The Bear's, Cambridge, MA, 3 April 1996.

Josh Haden - bass/vocals
Ken Boudakian - guitar
Merlo Podlewski - guitar
David Harte - drums

The entire set can be downloaded for free from the Spain Live Music Archive Page.