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43 Presidents Archives - CHRISTIAN KIEFER


I tell you now: there are no epiphanies.

Category: 43 Presidents (page 1 of 2)

Presidents to Chicago

We’ll be bringing the Songs for Presidents show to Chicago for July 3 (the Hideout) and 4 (Grant Park for Taste of Chicago) with a horde of special guests.  E-mail for more information.



We three Presidential songwriters, along with about 10 other musicians, played a gig a few weeks ago in Sacramento–a kind of local celebration of the release of Of Great and Mortal Men.  I took some of the proceeds of that gig and joined the National Organization for Women (NOW if you dig acronyms).

There are numerous reasons to do this–it’s an important organization for forwarding the rights of over half of the people on this planet: geniuses, scientists, writers, mothers, poets, wives, doctors, etc.  But more immediate for me is the knowledge that Jefferson, Matthew and I collected over 50 musicians together to put together Of Great and Mortal Men and I think there are only four women on the entire project.  That seems embarrassing to me.  (Not to mention that to my immediately knowledge there are no people of color whatsoever.)  One could make the argument, I suppose, that we wrote a bunch of songs about white men and hence the “casting” makes sense, but I still don’t like it, and I’d guess my co-writers have similar feelings on the issue.

In any case, there’s much a man can to do help, and this is just one way.  Apologies to women everywhere for our phallocentric representation of a phallocentric history.

If you’re interested in NOW, just click here.

American River College

American River College
Sacramento, CA
Tuesday, November 18, 12:15pm – 1:15pm
Location: Raef 160

Facilitator: Michael Spurgeon

Of Great and Mortal Men: 43 Songs for 43 U.S. Presidencies

Hosted by ARC English Professor Michael Spurgeon, Christian Kiefer and J. Matthew Gerken will discuss their new triple CD project: Of Great and Mortal Men: 43 Songs for 43 U.S. Presidencies, an indie rock romp through American history. They’ll also perform a few of songs from this project live with help from drummer (and Presidential trivia maniac) Chip Conrad. Nick Miller, in a feature article on the group in the September 4, 2008, Sacramento News and Review writes the project is “dynamic, both stylistically and thematically, exploring ambient, prog and funk while portending a darker view of U.S. history.”

This activity meets ARC goals 1, 4 and state PD guideline B.

On Insight

Hey!  Jefferson, Matthew, & I spoke on Capitol Public Radio (Sacramento) show Insight today with the great David Watts Barton at the helm.  Listen in as we talk about all manner of Presidential songwriting madness (including clips and discussion of Ford, Jackson, L.B. Johnson, and Washington). 

Here’s the link for the archive.  We’re on second, after the super smart scientists discussing the Hadron Collider.  Yeow.

Link to Insight’s homepage here, in the advent that the link above is not working.  Thanks to Mark Jones, Jen Picard, and David Watts Barton (and the absent Jeffrey Callison) for having us on air.  Go team!

9/13 in Sacramento…

What’s this?  There’s actually a tour date?  Indeed, and what a tour date:

For one night only in the wee town of Sacramento, CA, I’ll be joined by Jefferson Pitcher (all the way from NY via Ontario) and J. Matthew Gerken for an evening of songs from Of Great and Mortal Men: 43 Songs for 43 U.S. Presidencies.  & we’ll have copies of the thing for sale.  FINALLY.

September 13, 2008 + 9:00pm + $3 (but bring $33 so you can buy the thing too)
Fox & Goose Pub + 1001 R Street + Sacramento, CA 95811
Christian Kiefer + Jefferson Pitcher + J. Matthew Gerken

I’m on first (on account of Chip, my drummer, having a double booking), then Jefferson (who you may never see again in Sacramento as he’s moved to Flesherton, Ontario, where he will likely live forever), and then Matthew with his crack team of sonic beasts Nice Monster.  Oh!  Hell yes!  Get there at 9pm if you want to hear the CK experience.  I’m starting with Washington and moving on from there.

‘Fork 8.5

Pitchfork ran their review of From the Great American Songbook today and gave it a staggering 8.5 (which in ‘Fork terms is really really great).

Dig it.  It’s a good record too.

Meanwhile, I’m fomenting a new music/art project, albeit somewhat hesitantly as I wonder if I’m biting off more than I can actually complete.  The Presidents project was fun and the end result is staggeringly beautiful, but it really took a lot out of me getting that thing done.  I’m thinking that I might not want to take on something like that again for a while.

Like I just told a friend on the phone: It’s a bit like giving birth; one has to forget the pain before one wants to birth more babies (or at least that’s what my wife tells me).

New from BLURT

I’ve been writing some reviews for BLURT, a new on-line mag from the guys who used to run Harp, a magazine that I liked quite a bit.  In any case, here are a couple that have recently appeared, with more in the queue and waiting to arrive in cyber-print:

Richie Havens, Nobody Left to Crown

Milton Cross, Light in the West

Incidentally, if you’re wondering why this is all so quiet in Crowtown, take a quick walk over to the Of Great and Mortal Men site as that’s where all the action is happening these days.

Silver Darling

I’ve spent the last week or so working on the Silver Darling album.  It really turned out to be a great record.  I’m at the Hangar now (the studio I use for such projects) and am working on the mixing.  If you’ve not heard the band before, do check them out.

Meanwhile, as you likely already know, the Presidents project is doing it’s big roll out and around thing.  Coolness there for all parties involved.

Apparently I’m having an inarticulate day.  Best stop whilst ahead.

News of the Presidents

In Pitchfork today…

Of Great and Mortal Men

New Word Press site up for the upcoming/ongoing/killing me slowly Presidents project.  Find it here.

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