Saturday, December 24, 2011

I've got the Xmas Blues MIXTAPE

Merry Xmas everybody, if your not going home for Xmas like me cuz your family is too far away or for whatever reason, let this Xmas Blues mixtape keep you company over those cold holwin' nights.




1)Lightnin' Hopkins - Santa
2)Lightnin' Hopkins - Heavy Snow
3)Manhattans - It's that time of the year
4)Charles Brown - Please come home for christmas
5)Charlie Parker Quintet - White christmas
6)Blind Blake - Lonesome christmas blues
7)Charles Brown - Merry xmas baby
8)Ella Fitzgerald - The secret of christmas
9)Charley Patton - I'm goin' home


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Golden Blonde

An old track from DB's 2007 debut "Old Blood" via Fixture Records, which marked my first release under the moniker Dirty Beaches. Written somewhere between 2006-2007, I've cleaned up the recording digitally the best that I can, and hopefully one day will have the time and resource to re-mix and master the album in its entirety. The mix on this album is horrible as it was the first time I've mixed an album, and it shows. Perhaps only time will tell if this material is worth revisiting someday. But heres the touched up version of Golden Blonde, and I hope you guys will enjoy this little time capsule I dug out from my hard drive.

A Xmas mixtape will follow shortly on this blog...

Golden Blonde (New mix) by Dirty Beaches

Heres the impromptu piano version I pulled out of my ass for Yours Truly earlier this year on the Dum Dum Girls Tour. Thanks again to the Yours Truly crew for shooting this beautiful video.

DB & Lantern LIVE at Glasslands, Brooklyn, NY

Happy Holidays everyone, I'm putting together some FREE downloads over this weekend as a xmas present to all DB fans, so first off the bat we got:

DB & Lantern LIVE at Glasslands

A big thank you to William Chin for recording this bootleg to document this wild one-off idea we came up with 3 days before the actual show. We had a lot of fun that night. Wanna thank Zach and Emily for uploading this on their bandcamp/blog. More info on this collaboration set at zach's blog here: LANTERN BLOG

Monday, December 19, 2011

Man Meets Bear

Soren Brothers, a very dear friend of mine who is a Canadian biologist currently living in Berlin with his wife, on a contract job as a researcher examining samples from various lakes (pretty cool job) but I like to think of him as an incredible musician and the first person I call when I find abandoned architecture that we can explore. As I was packing my belongings getting ready for a move back east to Montreal, I found this old transfer Soren left on my hard drive before he moved to Berlin 2 years ago. I had helped him transfer his 4track recordings into digital format. We forgot about it after the transfer and I made him a copy as well as a duplicate for my own listening pleasure.

Everytime I hear Soren's music, I think of stumbling upon a home movie he has made over the past years of his travels in North America, Japan, and Eastern Europe. It somehow reminded me of the feeling you get when you look through your old photos, some makes you laugh hysterically, some makes you cry, or both. But that feeling of "what's gone is gone" hits home so hard and deep for me on this album. I contacted Soren, and asked for his permission to share this with all of you on this blog.

Let this beautiful music accompany you through this long winter.

Man Meets Bear - Rose Road Revolution SIDE B by Dirty Beaches

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Desert Shore

Road trip across the desert

DB Live instore at Luchador Records, Barcelona


The track is an old B-side that never made it to the Night People Tape I put out in 2009 titled "Valentine". Back in 2007-2009 this was the Dirty Beaches set up, RC-2 loop station pedal, and a holy grail reverb pedal (the only pedal I've kept since 2002 when I was still playing in bands) it was very light to travel with, as sometimes I had to play shows after work, I would bring the 2 pedals and my microphone to work, and take a bus to the venue and borrow other bands amp and guitar. Very economical and compact. Although the stripped down set up is not for everyone. But sometimes you have to work with what you have and play the cards that your dealt with. Luchador is a nice, relatively new record store in Barcelona, for those of you that live in Europe, go check it out if your there for a trip. Scenery: Skaters skating on ultra modern architecture/art gallery entrances, mixed in with an old looking neighborhood where old Spanish ladies dry their laundry and knickers out from their windows and balconies.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Rhyolite, Nevada

There was a think out loud WTF moment when we saw the giant nude blonde 8-bit/lego statue in the middle of the desert; albeit a ghost town.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

DB in GQ

During the end of the last US tour, I modeled for GQ's men Fall fashion while I was in New York. Was really excited to show it to my mom as kind of a proof to her that, "yes mom, I'm working really hard trying to make a career for myself, and NO I'm not working in the kitchen no more."

To which my mother said, "is it really you? I can't really see the face...No, it can't be you because your not that good looking."


Thanks ma.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I am my own country

Ever feel like your being judged by your race or where you come from? Or the fact that it doesn't matter who you are as an individual, people will still apply these pre-conceived notions and stereotypes of who you are and force it onto labeling you?

This video here is a very brave example of a social experiment, in which Ibby (the individual) partakes on a journey w/out the aid of cash, and he has spent 4 months walking in Europe.

More info in this video on his project

Now to side track a little bit, I talked to my mother recently as she asked about my travels in Europe this past summer and fall, and we landed on the subject of INTERNET. My parents do not own or touch computers, and have no real grasp of what the internet does other than instant messages like Emails, etc. So as she asked me how ideas are shared (youtube) and broadcasted on the internet (social media networks, facebook, twitter, etc) in her optimistic amazement she said: "That's really something. So you can all share information and news and ideas instantly over the internet thing? Thats wonderful, they shut everything down here in China, your sister complains about the lack of news here all the time."

As I try to explain to her not everything is GOOD on the internet, I had an epiphany. And in that moment, it was like a fucking tap on my head: we are what we share with one another. Whether its information, news, ideas, or our creativity, we are sending out these signals, reaching out to others who think alike.

While I struggle to explain to my mother about the spams, scams, the ranting, and spoiled brats bitching and complaining about materialistic stuff that they don't have, music/art/film they hate, whats cool and whats not, in an attempt to construct a virtual identity of vicariously living thru other people's creation, not to appreciate, but to showcase as an fashion accessory of some sort when they could be LIVING their own lives, experiences, and adventures, my mother replied: "son, no one is ever remembered in history for complaining. So stop complaining and appreciate what you have."

Sometimes you become so cynical, you forget what its like to enjoy life.

Thanks, ma.


Note to self:

All this is all talk and no walk. So in order for me to take part of what I say I believe in, I must never take part in abusing the internet for pettiness, or spamming, hatred, or anything that is not constructive. From this moment on, this blog will be dedicated to my adventures in life, my friends and family, music/film/art that I LOVE and wish to share and help promote to other like minded individuals.

Remember the wise words people have given you and aid you in your journey. Do your thing.

Carry on with the walk. Less talk Motherfucker. Get on with it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tonstartssbandht - Hymm Eola

My friend Ed White Jr. is a genius.

And so is his brother Andy White:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Paris 3am

This track started as an improvise exercise Frank and I did on this past European tour after we've exhausted ourselves playing a set list that was more based around BADLANDS, so around the time we were leaving Italy, we started experimenting more with ambient abstract guitar/sax pairing, challenging ourselves every night, taking chances improvising on the spot; this was the result. I owe this to France, as it was very much inspired from walking around Paris and other cities in France late at night whilst everyone was fast asleep in the dead of night during this past summer European tour. Those feelings remained with me long after I left Paris, and upon my return this fall it brought back those empty streets vividly into my mind.

Dedicated to Cedric, Chantal, Sebastien, and DB fans in France. Thank you for giving me this song. I'd like to share this with all DB fans and made it into a free download. Hope you guys like it.




Paris 3am by Dirty Beaches

Friday, November 11, 2011

Post Tour Reflection

Right off the bat, I'd like to thank everyone that has made everything possible this year for me to quit my job and become a full time musician at age 31, I wanna thank all the friends/family and DB fans that have made everything possible for me to do this, sincerely, thank you so much.

The year is coming to an end soon, and now looking back it has been a crazy year. I wanna thank Brandon, Dee Dee, Scott at Zoo music for all the love and support, and from Shawn Reed over at Night People Records to my old friends Tessa and Conor at Fixture Records for supporting me through those dark years of struggle and dead end jobs. Dreams ARE forever. Even if you can't believe in it, please know that you should not doubt yourself in the things you are passionate about in life, whatever it may be.

2011 has been full of fucked up changes (for better or worst): from natural disasters, riots, civil unrest, and revolutions across the globe, its hard not to think of 2012 and all negative thoughts leading towards a hypothetical doomsday scenario but its essential and important to be positive and work for/towards something you believe in. I know I sound like some corny ass soccer mom preacher man oldies station talk show bullshit, but I seriously wanted to off myself when I was washing dishes, doing construction, working for a makeshift craigslist moving company hauling fridges and stoves and shit breaking my back fucking up my knee, and countless other shit ass stupid jobs that makes you want to claw your face off over the past 15 years. Even on tour running into racists and people telling me that I look like Jackie Chan, or being insulted by some people in the crowd being alone on a stage with them throwing things at me, making "ching chong ni how ma china man" sounds, I withstood everything and did my thing.

Perhaps all of this can be traced back to how my father raised me, and the fucked up dark realist values he instilled in me that prepared me for the life of an immigrant and all the fucked up shit life is about. "Life is suffering" he would say, "it is natural for people to cheat you, to hurt you, and to ridicule you. But it is precisely because of this that you must remain thankful to all the good things life has to offer you. When people are nice to you and aid you in your hardship, it is not because they owe it to you, and that is why you must always remain thankful to those who come to your aid in dire times. Cherish your friends. Friends are your family when your a stranger in a new town." (BTW this is all translated from Mandarin to English for your convenience)

Fuck, I should really call my dad right now.


So to the dearest of old friends, new friends, family, and fans of DB who is reading this right now, I give you my greatest thanks from my heart.

To those that hate me, you can't bring me down because you have no idea how much hatred and insults I've endured growing up as an outsider.

You can't break me or my spirit.

You have to really go the extra mile to be a shitty person in order to inflict some damage onto me.

Don't fuck with me. I'll fuck your shit up.


Alex Zhang Hungtai

Nov 11, 2011. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.