Photo by Ted Di Ottavio

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A request for Strange Fruit

Out of all the delights and surprises that occurred things in the three performances we gave last weekend, our favorite was a request for Strange Fruit at The Delancey. We do believe that Flutterbox offers the second best reading of that bedeviled songpoem and wish that we had a recording of it to post here. But if you come to a gig, you have but to ask.

And because we did the Swinging Carnaby Street benefit for Howl! Help (which we hear was the best-attended event in the festival and raised beaucoup dollars), we now have a watchful, tender version of The Kinks' Waterloo Sunset to add to our sets. It's all about about a shut-in, wethinks.

Found this Waterloo Sunset on fotolog. A view a shut-in could love.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Janine Loves A Uniform

Recently, Janine was asked to participate in The Uniform Project, the completely satisfying result of an artist's challenge to herself to make a dress so perfect that it could be worn every day for a year, with the proceeds from its sale going to support alternative education in, first, India, currently, the Lower Ninth Ward. Ladies and men, it turns out it really is all about accessories, because the designer, Sheena Matheiken, photographed herself in the dress every day for a year looking genuinely incredible. Millions of hits to the website and a barrage of press helped her raise over $100,000 in the opening run.

Now the dress design has been tweaked and Sheena wanted to photograph other-looking women to dress up the dress with things from their own closets, to prove its versatility. Janine was only too happy to rise to the occasion, and though it was over 100 degrees in the studio, wore layered skirts and button down shirts, even a cumberbund and a hat, for the cause. The dress is for sale for $150; you could buy the pattern and make it, or have it made for, yourself.

Janine's getting one. Perhaps she'll wear it at every gig forevermore.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Waiting On A Friend

I took this picture of my friend Nick Cave – a huge Fbox fan – on Neill's stoop, for which he owes me FOREVER. Neill was in Denmark. He would want me to point out that 338 backwards spells "BEE."

Somehow, in all these years, I never mentioned to Neill that I appear in the Rolling Stones' video for "Waiting On A Friend." Can you spot me? I was a brunette then.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ever seen this happen?

Last Sat night, Fbox was supposed to open for Harriet Tubman at the Tribeca Y. And because winged trickster Mercury was still in retrograde last week, everybody was confused about the time for the show. We all thought Fbox went on at 8 and HT at 9. Turned out that doors were at 8, and the bands at 9 and 10. Tubman couldn't play at 10 because their bass player, Melvin Gibbs, had to be in a cab at 10:15 to get to the airport to fly to Korea for a tour with Arto Lindsay. So it was quickly decided that Tubman would open for Flutterbox.

Now we ask you, have you ever seen the opening act follow the headliner AND get an encore? We haven't found anybody yet, but it happened on May 8 at the Tribeca Y.

And much love and thanks to Emily Rubin and her Loads Of Prose series for a fantastic gig at the Avenue A Laundromat in the East Village. Great fun. Hope you were there.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

As If That's A Good Thing

Janine, wearing her collagist's hat, found this illustration for Magnavox televisions in a dated House Beautiful. It boasts that the company's newest black & white model has "no flutter"– AS IF THAT'S A GOOD THING.

Come out to the Ave A Laundromat in the East Village tonight and get your flutter on.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

As writ in The Wire

Are you familiar with The Wire, the rarefied British music magazine for adventurers in modern music? We have to admit we were not. Then Hal Willner called Janine to ask if Flutterbox "wanted a bit of an ego boost." Certainly. He proceeded to explain, by way of introduction, that the magazine is pretty much his bible, but warned that to get into it is a "deeply humbling experience" since they write exclusively about music "we know nothing about."

Turns out that on page 8o of the March issue, there's an informed and entirely enthusiastic review of the Tuli Kupferberg benefit show at St. Ann's Warehouse in January. In the last paragraph of Byron Coley's review, Hal continued, it says,

"The vocal/bass duo Flutterbox did a JAWDROPPINGLY GORGEOUS rendition of Morning Morning

"Could you repeat that?" Janine said, same as Neill said when he heard (adding, "Am I dreaming this?").

Days later, while Janine was out in Vancouver for the Willner Olympics, Hal showed her the actual print issue (just procured this week in New York at Other Music and not yet online). She told a few of the other players about The Wire mention, including the Glaswegian amazer, Alasdair Roberts, who is on the cover. The routine response was little short of astonishment – not that anyone would say our music is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, because it is, but because The Wire said so. Apparently, The Wire doesn't exactly favor a gushing tone. This rapturous squib is a very big deal. Thank you, People of The Wire! We will never forget that the British don't hyphenate "jaw-dropping."

Neill always says, when asked why we play so quietly (so much of the time), "I like to be able to hear the sound of their jaws dropping." Byron Coley of The Wire has ears good enough to hear it too. Ed Sanders said to Janine that night, "We always knew that was our `beautiful' song, but I never heard it really be beautiful before!"

Richard Gehr, over at The Village Voice, went with "luminous."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Philip Glass, Harry Smith: From the Tuli Kupferberg Benefit Concert

I shot this from backstage at the Tuli Kupferberg benefit at St. Ann's Warehouse. The pianist is Philip Glass and the films are by Harry Smith. Sumptuous.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Impeach the Supreme Court 5

We don't think only about music. Some days, we hardly think about music at all, so enraged are we by the cruel machinations of American government. Like you, we'd been focused on the chicanery in the US Congress. But now the Supreme Court has our attention again. Corporations are NOT representative of We The People and must not be extended further rights of personhood.

It's important to let people know they're not alone in their fury. Start with a free bumper sticker to advertise your discontent!

What makes a hit song? Blegvad draws you a picture

Nick Hill's new online music project, Radio Free Songs, is up and running. Alphabetically, Peter Blegvad is the first up and that is as Nature intended. Hail Peter! Thanks for the diagram. We'll use it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Neill Furio: New old photographs

These were taken across the sea, in Denmark, where Neill has spent much of the past several years, writing, producing, teaching "Songwriting and Song-wronging"), recording and performing. These photos never seem to turn up on a google image search, but we like them and thought we'd put them on our site too. Dig that pinkie action.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fbox "luminous" at Tuli Kupferberg benefit!

Thanks to Rich Miller for this photograph. It was a great night, we were proud to participate and we played well, really well. Scroll over the headline to read about it in the Village Voice "Sounds of the City" online edition – who gets the first mention? Might run in the print edition tomorrow. We certainly hope so.

We made some very cool fans too: David Amram, who spoke with Neill composer-to-composer, a most gratifying experience given that Mr. Amram is among the purest of music-makers; Lenny Kaye, who wants to be in our Fan Club (he is most welcome to start one) and Kim Gordon, no less. One of these days we'll post some music online. Anybody know how to embed a player on blogspot? We just can't do the myspace thing. Myspace is owned by FOX. Might move over to

Open to suggestion!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Coming right up: NOTHING!

Count F-box among the all-star acts coming together for Tuli Kupferberg, that old Fug, at St. Ann's Warehouse this Friday night. Come out! Scroll the headline for the link...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Flutter in the Zeitgeist III

I just bought a wonderful little watercolor on rice paper called Messenger by the Brooklyn artist Suyeon Na, at an auction to support the A.I.R. Gallery in Dumbo. So I went to look at her website, when what to my wondering eyes did appear.... Now that's a flutterbox.

I sold a piece at the auction too. Both our works went for the minimum bid, WPA prices, frankly. Now is a good time to buy art! Have you looked at jazzpaperscissors on, lately? There's a reality-based repricing underway – to make room for the new!

All best wishes for a much-improved decade!