Friday, January 04, 2008

Ends in the Beginnings.

Happy New Year!

In accordance with the obligatory champagne, polar swims in the nude, and new years resolutions, we offer you these announcements:

As of today, there will be no further updates on Just to clear any confusion, all news & other pertinent info will now be featured here or (less frequently) here. The reason why there is no longer a is mostly for utility, hence the birth of, which is, (you guessed it!) the home of White Hinterland.

What is White Hinterland? We can’t say, you’ll have to be the judge. For the present and foreseeable future, there won’t be any more Casey Dienel, unless you run into her while she’s ordering a coffee or seeing a friend’s show. If it’s that Casey that you glimpse out there on the street, feel free to say hi. The other Casey has gone somewhere else, has been gone for awhile now. But all this is quite boring newstuff, compared to what else is to come!

The big news is that White Hinterland has recently decided to shack up with the good people of Dead Oceans, who since their recent naissance this past summer have already brought so much good new music into the world. To say that we are excited about working with them wouldn’t nearly do it justice! We are very honored to be a part of their family tree, and that is why on March 4th of this year, we will issue our newest effort, entitled PHYLACTERY FACTORY.

The record was recorded in Portland, OR with Adam Selzer at Type Foundry Studios. Shawn Creeden created the wonderful artwork to accompany it. We like it very much, and can’t wait to share it with you when the time comes! To hear snippets of demos for the new record, head to White Hinterland’s myspace page. But caveat emptor! The quality's quite rough, but worth a listen anyhow.

To read a much more eloquent explanation of PHYLACTERY FACTORY (LP) than we could ever hope to proffer, please read Sean Michael’s take on the Dead Oceans website.

Stay tuned.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Bleating Hearts

hello to you all,

things have been kicking into gear in these parts. i have just completed a new record (!!!) and there's a lot that's going to drastically change over the course of a few months, so bear with me. i can't tell you all of the details on the record just yet, but i can say i think it is my best effort yet.

one thing that hasn't changed much is my schedule--i have two shows on the horizon--one in boston and one in montreal. some of you have inquired about the details of the PopMontreal show, as it is a festival. I have posted as much as I know on here...but lucky for you, there is an additional website from The Bleating Heart Shows. Here it is below:

I'll be playing first, at 8PM. I am bringing a full boat of comrades to support me, and we'll be playing at McGill's own Birks Chapel. don't miss out on this show, my antennae tell me it will be a good one.


p.s. there is an additionally special show in Cambridge, MA on September 30 with my dear friend Cuddle Magic, who (insiders already know) feature members of my own band. they're wonderful!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Banner Year

Last night, my apartment erupted into a chocolate cake fight, thus I write you from the kitchen which is colorfully splotched here & there with chocolate ganache and buttermilk crumbs. Cake on my feet, and I wouldn't be surprised to find some in my hair.

This summer has been about a few things:

1. Learning to play both with and without a band--which may sound a little crazy to those of you who've seen me play solo so often in the past, but I do have a habit of nerves. Ask any of the boys onstage with me! I think I've just been searching, searching, searching for new sounds, to stretch out the ends of my ears and reacquaint myself with the unfamiliar. Very Freddy Krueger at the moment, but at one point the fear begins to settle down and then we're somewhere new? I would really hate to hear a string of records I've recorded ten years from now and come to find there was no growth between them. Sometimes I wish I could just sit down and be content with myself, but it's not so. Instead I often end up toying with the songs, twisting them around like little voodoo dolls. I wouldn't say I feel much power over them when I'm writing them, but once they're done I go through a touch-and-go period where all I want to do is turn them upside down on their heads. I change their keys, their melodies, their instrumentation. I sing them loudly or quietly, I subsitute out words. I play them more slowly or speed them up to a rakish pace that my fingers have difficulty keeping up with. At what point are they still the same song? I am not sure, only to say that I like thinking of songs as folklore, which is always being passed on and reincarnated, yet still more or less the same old thing underneath all of the embroidery. I like thinking that songs have a bigger life than the thing I intended for them--that they're not just a bunch of chords and words, waiting in a closet for me to summon them. I like thinking that all of the colors and textures and sounds are constantly moving through the air, and when I play them, all I'm doing is picking up on where they're shifting to at that very moment.

2. Brushing up on my amateur bartending skills, which are very very amateur. Right now I have this Hendrick's Gin, which is made with cucumber along with the standard juniper berries. I like to serve it with crushed mint & cucumber and soda water. Sometimes a little bit of lime. No sugar.

3. Ocean Kayaking. It has a perilous thrill, since you could be cast out to sea at any moment given a nice strong current--but the benefit is that you have plenty of time to sit back and observe how completely quiet it is out there. There's no cars or annoying people. Just water, fish, rocks, and kelp.

4. Paring down my i-pod. There was really a load of shit on it, from too many compilations I'd been picking up this year--too many things I don't listen to. Usually my gateway into newer music is personal and by word-of-mouth. The funny thing is that I get a lot of new music, and then end up playing Curtis Mayfield and Neil Young all summer long anyhow.

5. Ina Garten, who has provided me with plenty of good recipes this summer. Heirloom tomatoes with everything! A Dill & White Wine Potato Salad. Also, a crazy recipe for maple baked beans, which I think is something that the New England WASP in me craves at picnics all summer long. I'm not talking about Heinz baked beans in a can--these baked beans soak overnight before simmering the next day in ketchup, sambal, and maple syrup, and they cook in a dutch oven all day for 8 hours with a bunch of thick-cut bacon before you can dig in. The recipe is from the WASP-friendly Stonewall Kitchen--the purveyor of fancy jams & sauces that you find at Whole Foods, etc. But the the result is rich and incredible, and the whole house smells of maple syrup & bacon all day long, and I feel a little like I'm living on a cloud of pancakes. That brings us to...

6. Owning my inner New England WASP. Break out the croquet and the JCrew wardrobe. Sigh.

7. Deciphering my dreams. This isn't a new activity at all, I've been very prone to this sort of hobby since childhood. Throughout the year I go through cycles where I have vivid, lucid dreams. It is very unusual for me to have them in the summer, which is usually when I'm both the laziest and happiest I've been all year. I wake up certain that they occured--which was a real mess the other night when I dreamt I returned to my apartment in Brooklyn, where there were 8 people residing (previously the apt. was inhabited by only 2 persons). Behind my room there was a new room, an annex that could only be accessed by the closet. There were two people living in each room (including the newly found annex) and everyone was asleep when I came home. The house had three pianos, all fallen to ruin, several pedal organs that were in a similar state of disrepair, and cats everywhere, hissing at me. I woke up convinced I still lived in Brooklyn, and it took a good fifteen minutes and a cup of coffee to remember I was back at home on the coast. Silly.

Not much else to report--except a brief apology that I do not update this website very much. There are a few special shows coming up this fall, and of course the things beneath the surface that I am saving for later. How long have I been saying that now? Oh...well, patience, friends, have patience.

I'm playing this friday, 8/17 at the Lilypad in Cambridge's Inman Square. Nadav Carmel is hosting the show, and also playing will be Darren Hanlon & Don Lennon. The show starts at 8 PM sharp, and I'm first up to bat.


p.s. fall shows are rolling in--look out for a few midwestern dates in early september, and if you'd like me to play somewhere near you, you're only an e-mail away.

Monday, June 25, 2007

It is now, without any doubt, summertime. While driving the mom-mobile this morning to the carwash, I could feel the backs of my legs sticking to the car seats, the canned heat of the car near singeing the skin clear off. I tend to spend my summers making things like this:

blueberry pie!!!

It is blueberry pie that I baked for my sister's graduation. I keep meaning to post the recipe. Suffice to say, it was pretty delicious, and has since spawned a strawberry-rhubarb pie, strawberries w/ ricotta and balsamic vinegar, etc. It just doesn't stop.

My dear friend Angel, however, is spending her summer doing things like this.
She is in a band called Dirty Projectors, which is made up of a lot of folks I know from Brooklyn and have played with myself in the past. They are so incredibly talented and creative, and there's no more need to describe any more of it other than for you to watch their amazing video. I don't much like comparing anyone to anything, but I can give you my whole-hearted espousal of its pleasures!

I am setting a crack in the darling ukelele today, using a technique suggested to me at my show the other night with the National by their violist, Padma. It works lik this: I loosen the strings, insert a single-blade razor, and ply the crack with wood epoxy, then use a gentle painter's tape to set the grain back, good as new. I've been a bit worried about the ukelele, and haven't really had the money to fix it.

Tour starts in the coming week. I've decided to post some demos of newer songs at myspace--they aren't very impressive quality and come from practices I've been having with the Flapjacks. A lot of folks have expressed surprise (some would say "dissatisfaction") with the newer sounds and versions of older songs. To those who are wary of change, I can only reassure you of its honesty & sincerity. I make things for you to pick up at will, and I will not foist them upon your ears, but rather set the down before your feet. I will keep things open & honest--and this is why when we come face-to-face with the panic of changes, we ought to keep calm and have faith. Hopefully this doesn't sound too much like a sermon! I am very excited about what is to come, and hopefully, all of you will be, too.

I begin my tour with Laura Gibson week, and I will be bringing the Flapjacks in tow. Come out and celebrate the summer solstice with us on our excursion! For all of the dates, move along over here.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Summer News & Shows

hello all,

It's been a quiet couple of months here in New England, but I'm currently beginning to gear up for more activity this summer--while the rest of you, I hope, are winding down and drinking lemonades. To summarize this past spring in a neat & concise paragraph would be nearly impossible, but I have been doing a fair amount of traveling and learning, and hopefully this will all culminate into new sounds. I hope in the coming months to share more of these discoveries with you, but until then, the best I can do is begin to share them live.

I'm playing a slew of shows in the coming weeks on the upper half of the East Coast. All Shows except for the first (hence the *) will also be featuring the Flapjacks on my songs. I'll be touring most of the Northeast with one of my favorite songwriters and dearest friends Laura Gibson, who is coming all the way from Oregon. Please come out!

6/22- CAMBRIDGE, MA @ The Middle East Downstairs w/ The National *
6/29 - BALTIMORE, MD @ Charm City Art Space w/ Laura Gibson & These United States
6/30 - SILVER SPRING, MD @ The Rock N Romp (show for kids!) w/ Laura Gibson & These United States
6/30 - LANCASTER, PA @ The Sugar Tank w/ Laura Gibson & These United States
7/2 - BROOKLYN, NY @ Union Hall w/ Laura Gibson & These United States
7/5 - BURLINGTON, VT @ The Skinny Pancake w/ Laura Gibson
7/6 - STANNARD, VT @ The Stannard Hotel w/ Laura Gibson
7/8 - CAMBRIDGE, MA @ The Lilypad w/ Laura Gibson and Christians & Lions
7/9 - PORTSMOUTH, NH @ The Red Door w/ Laura Gibson and The Northern

*= I will be playing solo.

Recently I did a sweet little interview for Fragility Productions, and if you should like to hear what my favorite summertime beverage is or who in the world the Flapjacks really are, then go here:

Hope to see you in the coming weeks!


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

counting sheep.

I moved again--it seems I'm always in between things when I sit down to write on this journal. Well, I moved accidentally, about a month ago to Jamaica Plain in Massachusetts. I say "accidentally" because I wasn't intending to settle in, but more just decided a few weeks stay in my home state would be nice for a little while. But quickly, all of the markings of a home began to materialize--kitchen supplies, coverlet, photos on the wall, yoga classes, a part-time job. Before I knew it, all I had to do was look around and see that I had unintentionally settled into a new (old) home. Funny how our subconscious can subtly lead us where we need to go. We run around like chickens with our heads cut off about what to do, but then all of sudden the dust sifts back down and we've made a decision without even having meant to. Silly, really.

So what does one do without the distractions of New York to entertain them? Sleep! And make new songs, and play music with old friends, and ride bicycles. And cook!!

But really, I'm writing to tell you about a show I have this week. I am in-between with music right now, and so I've enlisted the help of some friends to welcome the transition. I hope you'll come, because we're playing with some of my favorite musicians and I couldn't be more excited.


Friday, May 11 @ P.A.'s Lounge
345 Somerville Ave.
Somerville, MA

Ponies In The Surf
Casey Dienel (featuring the Flapjacks)
Michael Leviton
Scary Mansion

Doors Open: 8:30PM
Ticket Price: $8for21+/$11for18-20

Monday, April 23, 2007

a brief last minute reminder!

Tuesday, April 24, 8pm
@ Union Hall

we will hold a ukelele duel on the patio afterwards (my bets are on michael). however, i will have a posse called the Flapjacks with me, and perhaps this will swing fortune in my favor.

Union hall is located at Union & Fifth Ave. in the Slope.

Please come!