Archive for the ‘Micah Nelson’ Category

Micah Nelson Grateful Dead Dave’s Pick 2015 Artist-in-Residence

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

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photo:  Theo Jemison
www.dead.net

Dave’s Picks 2015 Artist-in-Residence Micah Nelson gives us a little insight into his unconventional upbring (yes, the one and only Willie is his dad) and into how he juggles his time between painting, animating, and playing in not one, not two, but three bands(!) in this edition of All In The Family. Find out what the multi-talented and very busy artist is up to here.

A multi-hyphenate and a member of the well-respected Nelson tribe, give us a little background on your upbringing and your earliest exposure to art/music/creativity…

I’ve been doing creative things for as long as I can remember. I never stopped creating stuff and eventually my creations were paying my rent. It’s great! I hope to continue this lifestyle as long as possible. It’s amazing that you can actually be rewarded for doing what you love. I don’t take it for granted for a second.

In terms of the visual world, you are an illustrator, a painter — a live painter – and an animator. You’re also a part of 3 bands – the psych-punk-orchestra Insects vs. Robots, neo-psych-folk-rock band Pårticle Kid, and POTR, a collaborative project with your brother Lukas Nelson. How do you find the time?

I was very scattered around for a while, experimenting, playing in a million bands, saying yes to everything. Eventually I began to feel thin, like butter scraped over too much bread. The only choice was to focus on the things that really mattered to me and not take on more projects than I could count on one hand. That step was life-changing in a great way, but even now I pretty frequently am up all night working on various things, sleeping at odd hours. That’s ok. Life is really all one long day depending on where you are in the multiverse right..?..your birthday!

If you had to pick just one…

Probably The Empire Strikes Back… yeah, definitely. No question.

How do each of these art forms appeal to you? Do you find they work hand-in-hand?

They are very symbiotic. I rarely have an idea for a song without seeing a video or album concept or animation behind it. If I am painting something I usually hear music in my head to accompany it or vice versa. The aural and visual inform each other. I seem to understand music the most in visual, or even tactile terms. It’s what makes the most sense to me. I’d love to learn to read and write music better though. I suspect I have a mild case of synesthesia, I’m not sure… maybe not so mild. I am grateful for the life-saving ability to make tangible sense of it all through my art and music. I remember getting very frustrated as a kid when I couldn’t express what was in my head, when it wouldn’t come out on the page the way I saw it in my mind. I think this whole sanity thing is just an endurance test. If you keep trying it eventually gets easier, or you at least get better at making it seem easier.

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Any formal training in music or art?

Up until I went to art college for a few years, I mostly just either figured things out trial and error style or learned from elder artists or musicians I was lucky to be surrounded with growing up. Nothing really formal. I’m very grateful to have had some fine art education later on though; I gained a lot from the experience. I am a firm believer in knowing the rules well before effectively breaking them. I think it’s important to be open to learning new things constantly. I could never learn it all. The more I learn, the more humbled I am by my lack of knowledge. I know nothing.

Is it more challenging to create commissioned works? What makes it interesting?

I guess it really depends on the piece and the work involved. Sometimes having a specific request for something can be easier than pulling something out of the air, y’know, making something from nothing… but really it’s all very interesting and inspiring. Depends on how you choose to look at it. I’m so fortunate to even have problems like these. Once, a few years ago, I was asked to carve a liking of a grieving woman’s son into a marble headstone… on paper that might sound like a bit of a morbid gig, but it was a profoundly humbling experience and it taught me so much. I had never carved anything into marble before, let alone something as important as the portrait of someone’s deceased son, so I knew I had to focus. There’s no undo button with marble. I could not fuck this up. I put everything into it and am actually very, very proud of the piece… It has become a shrine for the mother and she still writes to me all the time that seeing it brings her inner peace every day. Thank you for that experience, Mary!

I am a super grateful person to make art and music for a living! That’s all I can say at the end of the day.

Let’s get into your connection with the Grateful Dead…

When I was 13, I roadied for my uncle Dahr’s band ‘Titty Bingo’ at my father’s 4th of July picnic which was in Austin that year. Both Neil Young and Crazy Horse and the Dead headlined that year. I was right there on side stage breathing it all in the whole time. There was no filter, no screen to look through except my own mind. I can still smell the rain approaching. The Dead jammed for what seemed like hours. Mickey had his massive wall of drums. I remember distinctly Phil’s warm smile when he shook my hand. All the Heads and hippies and rednecks dancing in the mud. An epic musical journey unfolded that seemed to be laughing at time itself, or maybe laughing with it. The overall vibe somehow felt so familiar, almost nostalgic. Everyone was there, riding it. It definitely influenced me.

How does their iconic imagery appeal to you?

I’ve always felt that we are just passing through, that we don’t own this place or this skin, or anything really. You never see a hearse with a luggage rack, someone once said. I appreciate how the imagery of the Dead often presents a profound reverence and respect for death while simultaneously celebrating life. A light-hearted lesson in the temporality of everything. I dig that.

Given that the Dead do have a very specific aesthetic, what were some of the challenges (and rewards!) of creating the artwork for the 2015 Dave’s Picks series?

I love the cultural mythology of the Dead. My artwork tends to be very layered and multidimensional, and often pretty obscure so I appreciate the symbology of the whole Dead legacy. The history is epic and vast, like Lord of the Rings or something. I also like to use muted Earth tones in my work a lot, sometimes coffee or tea stains, etc, but this project demanded bright bold colors, which is something I’m not quite used to. Still, I’m loving the challenge. I like for my comfort zones to be tested and stretched. It keeps it real and fresh.

What else is on your agenda for 2015?

I am currently making a record with Neil Young and will be collaborating with my friend, the great Gary Burden, on the album art as well! What an honor to call these folks my good friends and be a part of their life stories. We have been having a super great time hanging out and working with Neil – what an inspiring force to be around. I have nothing but respect for Neil. He also happens to be one of the funniest people alive and has basically adopted me and my brother and POTR as his band. What a trip! I’ve also been writing a new album with Insects vs Robots. We plan to record sometime this spring as well as well as play some shows at SXSW in Austin and possibly some shows opening for the band Tinariwen sometime this summer.If we get time, it would be great to make a music video too – we’ve got a million ideas and talented superfriends, but haven’t quite found the time to make it happen yet. I also plan to tour a bit with my father more this year playing in the family band. We did get to do one show with him a couple weeks ago while he was in town, which was wicked fun. I have been working on several a/v projects with my friend David Wexler aka ‘Strangeloop’ (Flying Lotus, Erykah Badu) and the whole Teaching Machine crew which I look forward to sharing with everyone. I’d like to find some time to make another Particle Kid record this year too, hopefully finish a record I started last year with Christy Smith and also finish the Lily Meola record that I’m producing. And then take a power nap.

Check out more of Micah’s work at jmicahnelson.com.
Check out his band Insects VS Robots here.
Check out Particle Kid here.
See more of Micah’s art here.

Micah Nelson Live Painting @ Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real Concert

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

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Such a great photo by Andrew Shapter.

Friday, February 6th, 2015

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Willie Nelson and Family Selfie

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

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Had to share this selfie of Lukas Nelson, Annie Nelson, Willie Nelson and Micah Nelson, posted by
www.WillieNelson.com on Facebook.

Grateful Dead Dave’s Pick’s Vol. 13 (with Micah Nelson Art!)

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015
Dave’s Picks Volume 13

We’re heeding the call for more of the majestic early 70s! No doubt, this was a time of great exploration and innovation for the Grateful Dead, one of their peaks… And so it is with great pleasure, that we are proud to present the official release of Winterland, February 24, 1974.

On the fertile grounds of their home turf and on the edge of what would become the Wall of Sound era, the Dead embarked upon a tremendous three-night run at Winterland. On this particular night, the last in the run, they warmed up the crowd with stellar new tracks “U.S. Blues” (previously known as “Wave That Flag”), “Ship of Fools,” and “It Must Have Been The Roses.” And while these debuts, nestled among fan favorites like “Playing In The Band” and “Brown-Eyed Women,” were quite tantalizing, the 2nd set really brought it all home. Witness the magic on an incredibly jazz, introspective “Dark Star,” perhaps one of the finest version of “Morning Dew” during this time, and a beautifully arranged cover of “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue.” The moments making up this masterpiece are made even more clear by the crispness of Kidd Candelario’s recording. Epic, indeed!

Limited to 16,500 individually numbered copies, Dave’s Picks Volume 13: Winterland, San Francisco, CA – 2/24/74has been mastered to HDCD specs by Jeffrey Norman and features illustrations by our 2015 Artist in Residence Micah Nelson (learn more about the multi-talented artist and musician in our upcoming All In The Family piece).

This one ships February 1st – get your copy before they are gone, gone, gone!

 

WWW.GRATEFULWEB.COM

Willie Nelson and Family

Friday, January 30th, 2015

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Micah Nelson 2015 Artist in Residence – Artwork for Dave’s Picks/ Grateful Dead

Monday, January 26th, 2015

deadpic

We’re heeding the call for more of the majestic early 70s! No doubt, this was a time of great exploration and innovation for the Grateful Dead, one of their peaks… And so it is with great pleasure, that we are proud to present the official release of Winterland, February 24, 1974.

On the fertile grounds of their home turf and on the edge of what would become the Wall of Sound era, the Dead embarked upon a tremendous three-night run at Winterland. On this particular night, the last in the run, they warmed up the crowd with stellar new tracks “U.S. Blues” (previously known as “Wave That Flag”), “Ship of Fools,” and “It Must Have Been The Roses.” And while these debuts, nestled among fan favorites like “Playing In The Band” and “Brown-Eyed Women,” were quite tantalizing, the 2nd set really brought it all home. Witness the magic on an incredibly jazz, introspective “Dark Star,” perhaps one of the finest version of “Morning Dew” during this time, and a beautifully arranged cover of “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue.” The moments making up this masterpiece are made even more clear by the crispness of Kidd Candelario’s recording. Epic, indeed!

Limited to 16,500 individually numbered copies, Dave’s Picks Volume 13: Winterland, San Francisco, CA – 2/24/74 has been mastered to HDCD specs by Jeffrey Norman and features illustrations by our 2015 Artist in Residence Micah Nelson (learn more about the multi-talented artist and musician in our upcoming All In The Family piece).

This one ships February 1st – get your copy before they are gone, gone, gone!

Nominate Micah Nelson & Insects vs Robots to play at Austin Psych Fest #Levitation2015

Monday, January 12th, 2015

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LEVITATION2015 is happening May 8-10 at Carson Creek Ranch in Austin!

We’ll be announcing a 2nd round of lineup additions in February! Who do you want to see most on the next wave of artist announcements?”

www.austinpsychfest.com.

 Lobby for Insects vs Robots:

via email at info@austinpsychfest.com.

 

Get tickets, passes, camping info here:

https://austinpsychfest.frontgatetickets.com/

Neil Young tells Rolling Stone he’s recording album with Lukas and Micah Nelson

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

www.RollingStone.com
by: Andy Greene

Neil Young sat down with Rolling Stone Executive Editor Nathan Brackett at the International Consumer Electronics Show on Wednesday to discuss the long-awaited rollout of his Pono music player, but he also shared details of his next LP. “I’m working on another album now that I’m going to do be doing with Willie Nelson’s sons,” he said, jokingly suggesting he would title it The Monsanto Years after the agriculture company he’s been railing against for years. “It’s an upbeat review of the situation.”

Young was less sure about his other future plans. “I don’t know much about the future,” he said. “I want to [focus on Pono] and I want to continue playing music. Those two things should keep me pretty busy. I have some film editing and things to do on the side. I’ll probably be writing some more books. I want to keep doing what I do. I’d like to continue doing it for a long time.”

Young has no tour dates on the books right now other than an appearance at the pre-Grammy MusiCares tribute to Bob Dylan on February 6th in Los Angeles. “I did a tour last year called Honor the Treaties that went across Canada to try and help the aboriginal first nations tribes enforce their treaty rights in the constitution of Canada,” he said. “If I do anything this year, I might do that again in a bigger way. At first it succeeded, but it succeeded more than the artists I was trying to get thought it would. If I do that again maybe it’ll get more artists. At this point, it’s interesting to try and do something meaningful and try and make some sort of a difference because I’ve attained a certain level that I feel a responsibility to use for positive things rather than just getting my name in People magazine or something.”

The majority of the interview was devoted to Pono. The website launched this week and the player began selling for $300. “This is all about making music sound as good as it can,” he said. “Music is about having a good time feeling in your soul, whether it makes you laugh or it makes you cry. The mission of Pono is to make you feel as much as you can. We’re sharing all of our technology with anyone that wants to make anything. Any manufacturer that wants to make this kind of quality, we’ll show you how to do it.”

Despite his busy schedule, Young found time to release two albums last year, tour Europe with Crazy Horse and play a series of solo acoustic dates across America. He also played with Lukas and Micah Nelson, two highly accomplished guitarists, at Farm Aid, the Harvest the Hope benefit and the Bridge School Benefit, but hadn’t previous that indicated he had any intention of cutting new material with the duo.

Watch the rest of the new interview right here to hear Young talk in tremendous depth about Pono.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/neil-young-recording-new-album-with-willie-nelsons-sons-20150108#ixzz3OFzpLeQg

Micah Nelson Solo Show in LA @Mr.Fish on Jan. 17, 2015

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

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Willie Nelson, Lukas Nelson, Micah Nelson

Monday, December 29th, 2014

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HOLLYWOOD, CA – FEBRUARY 20, 2013: (L-R) Musicians Jacob Micah Nelson, Willie Nelson and Lukas Nelson and CEO of Global Green USA Matt Petersen attend Global Green USA’s 10th Annual Pre-Oscar Party at Avalon on February 20, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images for Global Green)

Tom Conway, Micah Nelson, Lily Meola

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

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Having holiday fun at a recording session on Maui.

J. Micah Nelson Art

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

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“The World-in-Itself”

pen & watercolor

december 2014

http://www.jmicahnelson.com/

Merry Christmas, from the Willie Nelson family

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

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Merry everything from the Willie Nelson family

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

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