Esopus Close Calls at National Sawdust

You can now stream my song "In July," commissioned by Esopus Magazine for issue 23. And, on top of that, I'll be performing it live, with a backing band of other Esopus contributors at National Sawdust on Wednesday the 8th. Read more about the event HERE and stream below.

Also, much gratitude to Noah Rubin of SKATERS for helping me mix this tune. 

Debo Band Record Release Shows!

Debo Band has a new album in the pipeline. Its name is Ere Gobez, and you can read more about it here. We'll be doing some release shows in the next few weeks, and would love to see you there! Click on the dates below to be redirected to the Debo website for more info! 

More frequent updates coming soon, including info on the new Wilder Maker LP, a solo Gabriel Birnbaum LP, and many future collaborations!

January vibes

Hello! I have been terrible at updating this. 

  • Wilder Maker plays Union Pool on Thursday 1.14!
  • Debo Band plays the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on Friday 1.15
  • Debo Band plays Drom on Saturday 1.16
  • I've been asked to contribute a song to the new issue of ESOPUS, the coolest art magazine and inspiration for Genius Loci. On top of that, a new essay by one of my favorite writers, Karl Ove Knausgaard will be in the same issue.
  • I'll be playing saxophone w Jonah Furman of Krill on Jan 29 at Palisades.
  • Wilder Maker is going into the studio in February to start work on one of two LPs we're aiming to complete this year.

ok, I don't have time for much flowery language, but I am still alive and scheming! happy 2016. 

Announcing: Genius Loci

Super stoked to announce a brand new project featuring many of my favorite songwriters writing songs generated by prompts I mail out to them. It's called Genius Loci, and you can read more about it on the link at the bottom of the page, or check out Stereogum's premiere of the first two songs from the first volume by clicking the image below: 

August News

yo! trying to keep up with this more regularly. 

Wilder Maker had a fantastically busy July, playing a sold out Bowery Ballroom show with Natalie Prass, a great Union Pool hit w/new friend band Big Thief, a fun show for the pre-college kids at Pratt, and the last of the tracking on Everyday Crimes Vol III. Currently 99.9% mixed and drifting into my ears. Soon to be in yours! This is the first time in about 5 years something I recorded in my bedroom is going to be made public. It's nervewracking and scary, but the game has changed a lot since then. New gear, new skills, new collaborators, but most importantly, a new comfort in embracing play.

The songs are still serious, but I had an epiphany about two years ago, working on the original version of Hope Springs. I had built the chorus out of digital instruments and samples (wrote the verses after) for no particular reason, just messing around, and it had a bouncy, happy air to it that felt cheesy to me and made me nervous. But I also loved it. I listened to it on a loop for a very long time, grinning like an idiot. Then, paging through the samples I'd culled from previous WM studio recordings, I added one of us all singing the word "DIE" very somberly and put it through a delay so it would repeat on every downbeat. It was impulsive, and the effect was hilarious. I burst out laughing, and kept it looping for a long time once again. Something about it was like scratching an itch. It was simultaneously silly and serious (which, so am I). We resampled it (direct from the 16 track tape) for the studio version we did at the Soul Shop for vol 1:

That sampled sound is one of the anchors of the song to me now, but the way it came about was pure accident, pure goofiness and impulse, trying to exaggerate the mismatch of tones in the original track that was tickling me so much. It was a huge lesson, to just RELAX and follow impulses and not spend any of my hard earned energy thinking about how other people might perceive them. This lesson is something I've known intellectually for a long time. Yet it took this epiphanic moment for me to actually incorporate it into my character and get to work. 

Also, when I showed it to people, and remarked nervously on how cheesy it was, no one seemed to agree with me at all. A good reminder that you are never the most accurate evaluator of your own creations, especially when your own insecurities are hanging around. Just make em and set em free. 

Anyway, I can't wait to share this stuff with you, and to make more in this vein. One of my favorite things about WM is the openness. We can be at work charting a horn section for an all-analog 1971-feeling songwriter record the same week as I'm playing sampled drum beats into my laptop on a midi keyboard, or filling an entire cheap composition book with vignettes about one character to turn into a one-track LP. No restrictions. Ever.

Here's us at Bunna Cafe. singing ooohs together like a bunch of innocents. 

photo by  Blap Blap Media  

photo by Blap Blap Media 

playing for art students is fun (drawing by IG user  Fengfengfoo )

playing for art students is fun (drawing by IG user Fengfengfoo)

I also had the pleasure of co-producing a song for my friend, the magical CF Watkins, throwing saxophones, finger snaps and all manner of mysterious sounds onto her beautiful song "Stone Mountain," out soon on her I Am New LP. 

other teasers:

• started working on a video game soundtrack w/Craig from Miniboone

• co-writing some with a great songwriter

• compilation vol 1 is not out yet (oops) but vol 2 is about to be begun!

• WM EC3 release and tour in October to be announced very soon

love, g


Was roused out of a post work nap on Sunday by a call from my buddy Noah, drummer for the great NYC champs SKATERS, asking if I wanted to write some horn and string arrangements for their new record. That night I was at his bar talking over the details and furiously texting trumpet players, Monday I was in the studio hearing the songs for the first time and talking over ideas, Tuesday I was on my couch for 8 hours with a keyboard hashing it out, Wednesday we honed the parts and tracked the horn section, and yesterday we knocked out the strings and sax solos. My last act on the SKATERS LP was to blow a skronk bari solo over a song called "suck a fuck." ("When should I come in?" "Now. Whenever." "Ok, anything specific you want me to do?" "I mean, the song's called "suck a fuck") Then I ate some brown rice and chicken and went home to take another nap.

S/O to my pals Adam Dotson (Rubblebucket), Cole Kamen-Green (Cuddle Magic), Andrew McGovern (Underground Horns), Renata Zeiguer (Cantina), & Melody Giron for playing the hell out of those parts. I love working on crazy timelines - so much momentum, no time to overthink, no time to get mired in details, so much energy from the clock pressure and lack of sleep. It's all intuition, which is how arranging on pop music probably ought to be - an idea comes, you flesh it out, feel if it's working or not and if not you throw it over and go for something else. It's a whirlwind. Now when do I get to do it again?


Hey all, 

It's been a minute! Time for bullet points:

• There'll be a fuller announcement soon, but the first volume of a quarterly cassette compilation I'm curating will be coming out in April. Very pleased about issue one so far. A sampling of people who will be on the first few: fellow WMers Katie Von Schleicher and Nick Jost, Jonah Furman (Krill), Peter Broderick, Cassandra Jenkins, Felicia Douglass (Ava Luna), Will Stratton, David Lackner of Galtta Media, Dan Arnes (Leapling), and lots more. 

• Wilder Maker's Everyday Crimes Vol II has been sent off for mastering and will hopefully be in your ears on March 31st. In the meantime, a music video is being concocted for your pleasure.

• Debo Band's Sophomore album is being mixed as we speak and will probably be in your homes on wax before 2015 is over.

• I am going to be playing the saxophone in this Sheila Heti play at The Kitchen theater in Chelsea. Dan Bejar (AKA Destroyer) wrote the music for it. I'll be playing alongside my pal Leah from the band Slothrust. 

• It is currently a slightly quiet period (some call it "winter") but I am writing up a storm on three separate Wilder Maker LPs, all in very different modes, and rest assured you will reap the benefits. 

• I am also producing and engineering a very exciting full length for mr Sean McMahon, AKA Workman Song

• I'm also just starting to work on a collaborative score for a new documentary by my pal Nathan Reich

* Wilder Maker will be taking the 4 piece on the road to the midwest, hitting Chicago, Milwaukee, Cinci, and lots of other fun places, including Founders Brewing Co, one of my favorite breweries in the whole wide world. 

• in an effort to battle winter doldrums (and because it's valentine's day and my gf is out of town) I shall be writing short essays on songs I love and posting them every few days until I get bored. You can find them HERE.

ok, back to the salt mines, amigos.