ARCHIVE Vol. 13:12 06/30/11

by June 30, 2011

The Jeff Buckley International Newsletter
The Only Official Fan Club & Newsletter

(Authorized & guided by the family of Jeff Buckley)
*All rights reserved* Vol. 13:12 06/30/11

– LA Times
– Interview: Orian Williams

– 20 Year Anniversary !!
– Wed July 6th, 2011:
– “A Celebration of Jeff Buckley”

– Jay Matsueda
– Parker Kindred
– Threshold Studios

-June 2011-Issue 216:

– Twitter, You Tube, FB & MySpace
– The Official Jeff Buckley Forum

Let Us Know! Help Us Grow!
– We’re Looking for References!
– JBIN Rules – Tell a Friend!
– Addresses & Contacts



Rumors are swirling since word leaked last week about an assumed project making its way into development based on the life of Tim Buckley that has cast a part for a Jeff-type character. The aforementioned endeavor is not connected with the Estate of Jeff Buckley.

The Official Jeff Buckley film, which holds the exclusive rights to Jeff’s music, is being executive produced by Mary Guibert, and has the support and consultancy of every major character in the true story of Jeff’s life. The production team of our as-yet-untitled official film is still conducting worldwide casting in search of our Jeff, and will be the first place to find out the latest and most accurate information on the official film’s developments.

One of the official film’s producers, Orian Williams, recently spoke briefly about the status of the film. Read on to find out more! LA Times

[Any film that misrepresents Jeff’s life, fabricates characters and events, and never has him sing a note of his own music would be Jeff’s worst nightmare. MG]

JULY 6th, 2011: “A Celebration of Jeff Buckley”


Congratulations go out to Uncommon Ground, Lakeview as they celebrate their 20-year anniversary featuring 20 consecutive days of performances and special events from July 1 through July 20, 2011, including a “Celebration of Jeff Buckley” Event on July 6th.

In November of 1990, Uncommon Ground began as the first espresso bar operation in Chicago and on July 1st of 1991 opened its first cafe space in Lakeview. Uncommon Ground has expanded twice in its current location and in 2007, an award-winning second location opened in Edgewater, Chicago.

Wednesday, July 6 – A Celebration of Jeff Buckley
with Todd Kessler and Spencer Michaud
and a special surprise guest
Dinner at 7pm, show at 8pm. $5 suggested donation
Reservations recommended.

Uncommon Ground:
Winner of the 2010 Governor’s Sustainability Award
A WSPA Humane Restaurant (World Society for the Protection of Animals)
’21 Best New Restaurants of 2008′- Chicago Magazine
“Best New Breakfast Spot”- TimeOut Chicago
Chicago’s First Certified Organic Roof Top Farm- M.O.S.A. Oct 2008


In its 20th year in business in Lakeview, owners Helen and Michael Cameron have successfully cultivated a full service restaurant, bar, art gallery, and music venue while embracing local and organic food, beer and spirits with a mission to operate a green business. Both uncommon ground locations have received 3 star certification from the Green Restaurant Association. In the same year of their 20th anniversary, the Cameron’s are also the proud, new owners of the actual building the business resides in. Once again, construction is currently underway to expand the dining and music rooms.

Uncommon Ground has avidly supported the arts community since opening in 1991. Both locations feature music 7 nights a week while uncommon ground, Lakeview is one of the first music venues in Chicago to host acts such as Jeff Buckley, Glen Hansard and David Gray. Weekly residencies including Chicago’s Best Open Mic Competition draw talent from all across the country. uncommon ground Shure sponsored open mic winner Crystal Bowersox went on to be the final runner up on American Idol.

uncommon ground (lakeview)
3800 North Clark Street
Chicago, 60613

Many of the 20 year celebration performances benefit Rock for Kids.



JAY MATSUEDA is an LA based musician and has been featured in Peyote Radio Theatre on in 2009. Over 30 musicians, (including drummer Matt Johnson/”Grace” ), appeared on Jay’s debut CD “Eat Your Sad”. Jay has been kind enough to take time out of his hectic schedule as musician and photographer to spend some time with JBIN and tell us about his latest project, which includes an interesting story about how drummer Parker Kindred (“Sketches”), did a recording session for Jay’s third CD*. Kick back, grab a cup of tea and enjoy this amazing story as told by Jay Matsueda himself !

I am a Los Angeles-based recording artist and Parker is in New York City. In late July of 2010, I planned a vacation back East with my girlfriend as a present for her birthday, a whirlwind touristy trip spanning NYC, Connecticut and Cape Cod, Massachusetts. NYC was going to be July 27 – 29. Through chance and luck and possibly a slight bit of resourcefulness, I found someone online who had worked with Parker on one of his many projects and who forwarded an email about session work on to him on July 12, 2010 (because why not mix a little recording/producing work in with my vacation… If it was Parker, my gf would understand, right?)

To my amazement, Parker actually responded. He will have just arrived back in town from Chicago and would have a day to spare before his next project, so he would be AVAILABLE for session work on July 28th(!). That was the first stroke of incredible fortune, the second, of course, being that the one day he could help did not happen to be the 29th (since that’s my gf’s actual bday, and I would have been in all kinds of hot water if I had wanted to “work” that day… hahaha).

Next step? Find the studio. When using session players from all over the great expanse known as Los Angeles, I often call a studio referral service to find a convenient recording studio near the player’s neighborhood. When I called the service and asked about their network in NYC, they gave me a couple names of places and rates and descriptions. One called Threshold sounded as good as any. They had an available room with what I needed, so I booked it for that day. Pretty straight forward and no big deal. Before hanging up, though, the owner asked me, “hey, who is it that you’re tracking anyway?” When I told him, he started to laugh, and I was puzzled. He explained, “Parker records projects here all the time. He knows this space very well.” Okay, that was unexpected, but I didn’t think too much of it beyond it being of practical benefit that he knows the limits of the room and what equipment they already have there, etc.

Parker’s “familiarity” with the room turned out to be a MEGA-HUGE understatement. When I arrived at the studio that Wednesday morning, I was way early. That’s fine by me. I like to sort of sit and connect with the space and get relaxed. (I know it sounds corny, so I guess to each their own.) When the owner arrived to walk me down to the basement room I’d reserved, he said something like, “you know, the control room of the actual studio you’re in used to be Jeff Buckley’s rehearsal space here in New York. The adjacent space that Parker will be tracking in was the rehearsal space next door to Jeff’s. We broke down the wall and made it a single recording studio.” WHAT???!?!! My jaw nearly hit the floor. Whether he realized how special that was for me or not, I have no idea. I was TOTALLY blown away. Was this supposed to mean anything beyond being WILDLY coincidental? I had NOT asked Parker where to track, and here I randomly booked both the same studio and the same exact room that Jeff used to write and practice in with Parker. The same longitude, latitude and depth into the ground – the same physical place in space on x, y, and z axes. Insane. I wanted to believe that there was something more to this – for instance, maybe Jeff dug the tune I was going to track, or something – but in the end, I had to rationally settle for total, mind-numbing, spine-tingling coincidence.

Threshold Studios
Control room at Threshold that was once Jeff Buckley’s dedicated rehearsal room in NYC. This is where I recorded

After everything was set up, we awaited Parker who may have been a few minutes late, if I recall. It was a “relatively early” session starting at 11am. 🙂 He got there, and we chilled out for a second before getting started. He chatted with the engineer who he already knew. An element of my own producing style is to let the musicians decide when to start to get going, more or less. Some people in the producer role are so focused on how the studio clock is ticking that it detracts from the experience, adds discomfort, and you don’t get as much creativity from the players. I like to bullshit for a little while to set the scene that it’s a chill situation, even if it’s costing money, and THEN everyone can work their asses off the rest of the day on their own initiative.

Anyway, so Parker had chosen to give me a day rate for tracking, versus a price per song. I had originally only considered one new original tune called “Somewhere Inside is a Goodbye.” With 8 hours available, though, I also threw in a cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Change” as a backup for whatever time might be left over.

One thing that struck me instantly when meeting Parker was how different he and Matt Johnson seemed to be (albeit that I only met Parker this one time, and I met Matt once across two separate days). They were both, honestly, rather difficult to read but seemingly intense people. Parker appeared comfortable with the engineer with whom he worked before but seemed otherwise initially guarded, whereas Matt was more open off the bat, ready to discuss his musical philosophy and what he tried to achieve with his playing, his drum kit choices, etc. It gave me mild insight as to what kind of person Jeff may have needed to be in order to mobilize the talents of such diverse personalities.

Back to the session. I had heard that Parker sometimes needed to sit with ideas for a while before he really found something he liked, but then when he got it, it turned out to be truly innovative shit. How right that was. Session players usually come into a room thinking to themselves that they are going to take instruction. I get a lot of questions from people like,
“so what do you want me to play?” I try to nip this kind of thinking in the bud as soon as possible. I ask them to play whatever they want. That’s why I chose them specifically for their approach to the tune. This lends itself to people investing some of themselves into a session project that they otherwise might not feel creatively or mentally connected to. I try to make them a temporary ‘member’ of the band executing on their own musical choices.

We set Parker up on the first track, and then after maybe a half hour or less (with the most basic of direction for “something sparce”), I wanted him to have a greater comfort level. Just him and the engineer in the room seemed better than having me there. It wasn’t important that I watch over him or make him feel self-conscious or pressured if he wanted to track or re-track or punch stuff in or over-dub or experiment with ideas. In fact, I
wanted him to do all that, if he wanted. So, I took my girlfriend over to see the King Tut exhibit around the corner for a while and returned to the studio in a couple hours.

When I got back, he was just finishing up the first song. It was magical. Even the rough, unmixed bounce set to my scratch demo sounded great to me. So refreshing and original. True to expectation, it was a really different-sounding drum part. A big laid-back emphasis on the 3rd beat of the measure and an unusual percussive hit ghosted back on the 4th beat.
He seemed to layer playing of the drums with also playing the actual hardware on the kit. A few tasteful high hat mini-fills. And then some splashy cymbals washed over some breaks in the tune for the ultimate in dramatic goodness. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

Parker Kindred- [Photo By Jay Matsueda]

I stayed for most of the second tune, the cover of “Change.” My guide track on this one was a lot rougher, because I threw it together last minute. The vocals and acoustic guitar didn’t even have separation, so he had to hear them at their fixed volumes when tracking. It must have been really challenging. The result was a fairly straight beat through this tune that I had hoped would be less usual, so I also asked him to double track the kit – to literally make a part in studio that used two drum kits at the same time. That added what was missing, but in the final analysis, once I got back to L.A. to finish this one, I decided to use the kit parts for build in the song’s choruses and bridge, while leaving the rest to percussive elements added later. “Change” is much different than Chapman’s. My version has violin, viola, TONS of percussion/drums, electric and acoustic guitar and upright bass. I hope Tracy Chapman likes it, if she ever gets to hear it.

And that’s again where I would like to thank JBIN. Because of you, Tracy might actually hear it. Jeff Buckley’s music is so incredible, that it has enhanced and awakened the emotional, musical lives of many, many people, including many celebrities and noted musicians. It is entirely possible, and makes me laugh at the thought, that people like Brad Pitt or Chris Cornell or Scarlett Johansson (or someone else who has publicly demonstrated their love of his music) might actually find themselves reading this article and checking out one of the resulting songs. Thank you again for acknowledging my efforts as an independent artist who admires Jeff’s work immensely, holds him in the highest esteem and can only hope that some of this appreciation circles its way back into my own creative output.

I am sincerely,
Jay Matsueda

[ NOTE: I don’t know Matt Johnson or Parker Kindred personally, and the limit of our interactions was specifically related to my recording projects. I have admired their playing in the past, as have we all, and I wanted their unique sensibilities and contributions to come through on my own work. I didn’t initiate a single word about Jeff Buckley on purpose, for fear that it would make them uncomfortable or as if I felt that their worth was merely by virtue of association. On the contrary, I believe that they were both integral to Jeff’s sound on their respective recordings and that they are stand-alone, invaluable, all-around musicians. So, realizing that they are both “working musicians” making their livings as touring and studio/session players, I found ways to get messages to them, and things just sort of worked out.]

*My third CD called “Live Plus Five” was a limited edition (quantity 50) hard copy collection of a 2010 concert, tagged at the end with 5 studio tracks. The 5 tracks are what will hit iTunes in June 2011, but not the live ones.

The first CD, “Eat Your Sad,” includes songs “Don’t Worry (You Already Hurt Me)” and “Midsummer’s Eve,” on which Matt Johnson appears. He also appears on my second CD called “Treat Love Kind” on song “Silence I Despise.”

CD’s Available on iTunes

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JUNE 2011-ISSUE 216:


Issue 216- June Edition of “Total Guitar” Magazine features the TAB for Jeff Buckley’s “Grace”. The 20th Anniversary edition of Guns n’ Roses “Use Your Illusion I & II”, features Slash on the cover. Also: Duane Eddy, Cat Stevens, Queen and more … Log online for info at MusicRadar


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