KIMOCK ::: Variation


Happy 1st of November & Happy New Music Day here at the Weekly Pick! Today, I'm happy to share a beautiful piece from accomplished guitarist, composer and musician Steve Kimock's (Rat Dog, Phil Lesh & Friends) band project KIMOCK. Their recently released "Satellite City" is a joyful, moody and gorgeous sounding album. Chock full of incredible tones, production & simply tasteful guitar playing... it's exactly the kind of music I love.

"Variation" opens the album with a simple, gorgeous melody and it is just a taste of the type of moody vibe that is to come, ultimately taking us on an instrumental lap steel adventure. Steve Kimock, no stranger to the jam-band world or opening up in a musical context, shines with great musicality within his band, something that's often hard to reach in that particular genre. Leslie Mendelson's vocals lay a precious bed for the rest of the music to rest upon. Lovely music made by great people... what more can you ask for!?

I hope you enjoy this Weekly Pick as much as I did. Talk to you soon!

- M.

Phish ::: Taste


Hello! Today's Weekly Pick is not a new track by any means, in fact it was originally recorded in 1996, but to my ears it feels just as new and exciting as it ever was. I am speaking of Phish's "Taste" -- a time signature bending track that has always held a big spot in this music appreciator's heart. Phish is one of those acts, you either love or hate them but I challenge you --- listen to this bustling piano driven jaunt and try not to enjoy the experience as you float alongside the big rhythms and syncopated melodies.

Phish have always been a part of my musical history and acumen, and "Taste" was the track that got me. Right from the guitar, piano & cowbell intro --- I knew I was hooked. "Billy Breathes" is undoubtedly my favorites release from the Vermont quartet, with "Taste" leading the pack. I hope you enjoy this gem that may have passed under your musical radar. 

Until next time!

Dinah Washington + Max Richter ::: This Bitter Earth ||| On The Nature Of Daylight


Hello friends, today's Weekly Pick is a unique and extremely beautiful piece of music. It is one part touching composition and the other, the essence of a shared consciousness, a synchronicity, with the beauty that's around us always. I'll explain more on that in just a bit... 

"This Bitter Earth / On The Nature Of Daylight" is a remarkable mashup of post-minimalist German composer Max Richter and brilliant and soulful song-bird Dinah Washington. It contains the sweeping and powerful movement of the piece "On The Nature Of Daylight" from Richter and the incredible vocal tracks isolated and inserted from Washington's 1960 version of "This Bitter Earth," creating possibly one of the most powerful pieces of music I've come across in a long while.

Now, to expand on my shared consciousness a bit... I found this beautiful piece of music watching a fantastic documentary A Restless Creature (available on Netflix) based on New York City Ballet principle dancer, Wendy Whelan and her remarkable journey through her final stages of her career. I was so drawn to the music that I had to find what this treasure was. After a bit of research, I found it's actually the two separate songs "mashed-up" for the soundtrack of the Martin Scorsese film "Shutter Island." A venerable surprise to say the least! As I often do, I dug deeper and found that the composition was from Max Richter who created the immensely beautiful theme and soundtrack to the HBO series "The Leftovers." That show and it's music had an enormous impact on me, so much so that I was blown away by the synchronicity of this song being created by the same composer. I was completely drawn to this music set in a completely different genre, text and form --- it was the truest sign that if you listen, the universe will speak. If you're lucky enough to listen often, you'll be able to share in that consciousness that can be so full of pure and honest beauty.

This bitter earth
Well, what a fruit it bears
What good is love
Mmh, that no one shares?
And if my life is like the dust
Ooh, that hides the glow of a rose
What good am I?
Heaven only knows
Oh, this bitter earth
Yes, can it be so cold?
Today you’re young
Too soon you’re old
But while a voice
Within me cries
I’m sure someone
May answer my call
And this bitter earth, ooh
May not, oh be so bitter after all
— Clyde Lovern Otis / Dinah Washington

Lastly, I'll mention that this piece couldn't be more poignant or timely. In this current climate we live in that is so full of rage, hate and lack of understanding and empathy for each other. We are ALL in this together and can share in that shared beauty... we only have to listen.

Thank YOU for listening!


Phoebe Bridgers ::: Funeral


Hello & welcome! Today's Weekly Pick is a beautiful and pensive piece from Los Angeles native Phoebe Bridgers. "Funeral" is the exact type of song that speaks volumes to my musicality and heart. The kind of song that reminds you of your youth and all of the uncertainty and possibility of becoming the truest version of yourself. Bridgers' wit and honesty rings proudly and in such a gorgeous yet understated way, it's no surprise she is warranting the acclaim she's receiving.

In truth, the entire record "A Stranger In The Alps" is a major find for my catalog and I highly suggest grabbing the album as a whole. You can thank me later. For now, I'll reach over and hit repeat and fall back into the beauty of this track. Hope you dig & as always talk to you soon!


HAIM ::: Valentine


Hello friends! Today's Weekly Pick is brought to you by the extremely talented sister trio HAIM. Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim are a unique creative force and their most recent album "Something To Tell You" has been on many repeat spins here at Tinkercity. They have a beautiful classic sound that meets a modern arrangement, that quite honestly is hard to resist.

Valentine, a short film directed by filmmaker and visionary Paul Thomas Anderson, is a beautiful and exciting moody piece shot in the Los Angeles based Valentine Studios. The 3 part piece includes songs: "Right Now," "Something To Tell You" and "Nothing's Wrong," all shot in a minimal one-shot-like format and cut straight to tape. It's live and impressive. The rhythms, melodies and arrangements these three sisters put together are intoxicating. The vibe of the entire video and performance captures the energy and mood of being in a studio on recording day. That might possibly be my favorite aspect of Valentine, the realness of it all -- kudos to Paul Thomas Anderson and Haim for creating this visceral experience. Hope you enjoy as much as I did! 

Tinkercity Music Update!!! Please Welcome "The Weekly Pick"


Hey friends! There's a new wind passing through Tinkercity Music and I'm happy to share with you an update to the previous "Weekly Update" page. I've been enjoying sharing my musical finds and figured I'd give it a bit of a face-lift!

You'll now find "The Weekly Pick", a page devoted to new and exciting music that's either new to me or rediscovered gems that I'd love to share with you all!

I'm kicking off the experience with one of my favorite finds from the Scary Pockets, a fantastic rotating group of Los Angeles based musicians who record and release their live takes on various different covers. Here is "I Feel It Coming" with Laura Mace killing it on the vocals, covered from The Weeknd & Daft Punk. So funky - so good! Enjoy!

Four Play ::: Video Vault

FullSizeRender 96.jpg

Hello and welcome to today's new Weekly Update! While I'm practically living in a constant state of G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome): a blissful obsession with finding the absolute coolest and best pieces of gear out there in this beautiful world. Sometimes I have to sit back and just enjoy some wonderful music. It's essentially what's been behind my "Four Play" series. Sharing my musical finds, favorite moments, or in today's case, four music videos that have left a lasting effect on me as a musician. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do, as they all share a through-line born of some kind of special magic --- the ability to pull you in with the concoction of mixed media and sound. I look forward to sharing more of the "Four Play ::: Video Vault" with you all soon!

Charles Bradley /// Changes

I first came across Charles Bradley's "Changes" as a reference to learning a song for a gig with a friend. We were doing a cover of his cover of "Changes", originally written and recorded by Black Sabbath. Decidedly a horse of a different color, the Bradley version is full of soulful bliss and emotion. What's most powerful about the video is indeed itself --- Bradley's lone face grimacing and wincing in pain from what I can imagine is his true essence of the pain of change. It's powerful and gripping to say the least. Possibly one of the simplest concepts, yet it comes across so real and honest. Choosing to not have Bradley sing or "mouth" any of the lyrics is so pure and gripping. We as viewers are left with only his facial expressions to warrant the movement in the song, with a beauty that couldn't be expressed any other way. 

Bon Iver /// Holocene

"Holocene" from Bon Iver's self titled 2011 record is one of those songs that is burnt into my mental/musical banks in a manner unlike most other material. It's a beautiful excursion in sound and structure. Justin Vernon (the beast behind the curtain that is Bon Iver) creates immense and expansive landscapes of sound with Holocene. It would only make perfect sense that such a beautiful song should carry a companion piece like this video. Set in a lonely yet incredibly beautiful territory (Iceland), a young boy runs through a simple life of exploration and joy. It's the kind of thing any young child remembers as they would play in the beauty of nature, where our imaginations are our guides and our source of infinite wisdom. To me, Holocene is about joy, in it's simplest form, full and rich in the deepest of ways.


"Holocene" was so inspiring in it's open and beautiful nature that it helped create a dance piece from my amazing wife Jessie Douglass-Smith McGraw. Take a look at her beautiful movement in "A Part of Me ~ Apart from Me" below...

tUnE-yArDs /// Bizness

One of my favorite finds of all time are the tUnE-yArDs, led by the genius that is Merrill Garbus, who are a fantastic blend of Indie, Pop, World, Afro-Beat, Funk, Soul.... and the list goes on! Their sound NEEDS to be heard, and once you hear it, it's quite hard to not let it move you. "Bizness" is a reflection of that very essence of richness in it's rhythm, tones and message. It's message of rising above what society tells us to do and whom to be. I also take it as a message of strength in an industry such as the "music biz" where so many important messages of beauty and art are diminished down to the most mundane shells of their previous selves. It's a song of inspiration as an artist and a wonderful reminder that WE are the ones who create and have the power to move others.

What's the business, yeah
Don't take my life away, don't take my life away

Doyle Bramhall II /// Mama Can't Help You

Doyle Bramhall II's album "Rich Man" is essentially on constant repeat in my music collection these days. It's one of those records that not only lives with you and your day but it keeps surprising your ears with new moments at every new spin. It's chock-full of fat fuzz tones, soulful R&B and Blues/Rock sounds, and some of the best guitar focused music I've heard released in a long time. "Mama Can't Help You" is an exercise in the depth of cool, with Bramhall II bringing the soul alongside drummer extraordinaire Frank Gadson (Bill Withers, Freddie King, BB King, Albert King and many others). The video is a simple performance style shoot with a vintage patina and interesting use of extreme close-up shots that yield a strong emotion similar to everything Bramhall II puts out. There's this sort of cool vigilante vibe to everything he does, and "Mama Can't Help You" is a prime example of that level of attitude and soulful grit. Also, as a guitarist and complete tone nerd, that solo at 2:18 is off the chain! Fat, fuzzy and MEAN! With Bramhall II at the helm, Your mama certainly can't help you no more.

The War On Drugs ::: A Deeper Understanding

TWOD Cover 1.jpg

Today’s Weekly Update is brought to you via the fine folks at The War On Drugs. They decided to drop, in my opinion, one of the best records of the year. “A Deeper Understanding” by The War On Drugs (or TWOD) is the fourth studio album by the seminal indie-rock outfit. Led by Adam Granduciel, a formidable force of musical nature, “A Deeper Understanding” is in my opinion a beautiful continuation of the tradition that is TWOD’s unique and eerily familiar sound. The familiarity isn’t of a copy cat nature or anything tired in any sort of manner, but something so much more important and engulfing. It’s a familiarity that not only touches, but seems to live and breathe, in that beautiful place of nostalgia. I’m a BIG fan of nostalgia in music as it always has an ability to transport my brain, heart and body to another time — a time of past, present and future. Nostalgia has become almost a religious experience these days and this record is chock full of these type of experiences.  


Granduciel is the songwriting machine and sound-making force behind the group. Often taking the lead in both creation and craft, there’s no denying the influences behind the music he and the band make. Deeply routed influences of the mid 1980’s to early 1990’s sounds of Bob Dylan, Don Henley, Bruce Springsteen; TWOD yield a beautiful landscape that never feels or sounds redundant or indistinct. While the influences are key to sounds and the work they make, it’s certainly not a definition of what they do. In fact, it’s become something far and wide deeper than just sounding like their influences — they sound like themselves! It’s a unique experience to be born beyond those confines and find their true voice. “A Deeper Understanding” is just that, a continuation of the tradition of the living, breathing energy that TWOD make available for themselves and us.

“A Deeper Understanding” is such a great record that it most certainly warrants an immediate re-listen. This is not something I often do in any case. Granduciel and crew create such a beautiful landscape of sonic layers and form that it’s almost impossible not to immediately hit play again. As a songwriter and musician this is the highest compliment I could possibly expect to hear. There is this amazing sense of movement in their work, particularly inviting to the ear as each moment has this sardonic sense of ease, while each song still moves forward with a yearning to reach the next peak. Even the slowest tempo finds your foot tapping and ears enjoying the melodic hooks that ebb and flow all over the place. The production is lush and immediate. Nothing pulls your focus or shoves you out of the vibe, it’s an exercise in staying in the flow and for that I consider this record incredibly exciting.

TWOD Cover 2.png

Speaking of the production and tones, Granduciel is a master of creating extremely interesting melodic parts that take his guitar and the tones to the forefront of the mix but are done with grace and thoughtfulness. There are no useless acrobatics or technique filled wasteful guitar solos. Nothing is overused or overdone. What you are left with is a giant production of extremely well thought out melodic moments. The guitar absolutely takes lead and the tones are incredible. Granduciel has one of the largest and coolest recording and live rigs around. There is no denying his love for his tools. The sounds they make and the manner in which they exist on the record are truly inspiring as someone who is equally obsessed with crafting the best music one can make.

I won’t be separating any individual track today, as I feel it’s extremely important to hear “A Deeper Understanding” as a whole. It’s the type of album that rewards the flow in which it’s printed and deserves many repeats.  I’ll close with a personal moment where I had a chance to help with some of the recording equipment at the beginning of the recording process at Sonora Recorders in Los Feliz, CA. I first had spent time at Sonora Recorders during the Brian Buckley Band’s mixing of the record “Without Injuring Eternity” with producer Mark Howard (Bob Dylan, U2, Neil Young). It was a very cool experience to see an artist literally moving massive and vintage recording equipment into the space to record what became of “A Deeper Understanding”. In a world where budgets are cut to leave out virtually every creative instinct, watching Granduciel find his creative spark via vintage recording consoles, lots of gear and time at his disposal was nothing short of magic. The open road is ahead for all of us, we just need to push on.