Fall 2019 Shows, New Singles

Hey team,

Hope you’re all having a great… October?!?!  Where does the time go??  Oh yeah, it goes right by the studio window on the other side of those blackout curtains I installed so I wouldn’t notice time passing.

It’s actually been a great month of studio activity… I finished recording the first of two LPs with Delta Rae, straight off of their incredible Kickstarter run (they are now the 5th most funded music Kickstarter OF ALL TIME).  Our first single “Take Me There,” comes out everywhere next month and it’s a JAM!  So excited for y’all to hear it.  This month I have also been producing Megan Slankard’s next album.  We’ve gotten to do some really fun stuff on this record including arranging for harp for the first time (that's the wonderful Liana Alpino playing)!

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All this studio creation has been really fun but sometimes in work mode its easy to forget about the Outside World. Luckily Charlotte the dog does not forget, and has no problem reminding me to go the f**k outside. Here is a pic of her mid-scolding.

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FALL EAST COAST SHOWS

Speaking of the Outside World, I’m really excited to tell you about some cool shows I have coming up this Fall with some of my favorite humans, including Megan Slankard, Delta Rae and Jesse Terry.  I’ll be up and down the East Coast so please come say hi if you’re in the area!  Details below…

OCT 18 8PM - STEEL CITY COFFEE, PHOENIXVILLE PA (W/ MEGAN SLANKARD) (TICKETS)

OCT 21 9PM (MEGAN SLANKARD AT 8PM!) - ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL, NEW YORK NY

OCT 29/30 - NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CITIZENSHIP, WASHINGTON DC (TICKETS)

DEC 14 - RALEIGH NC, LINCOLN THEATER (O/F DELTA RAE) (TICKETS)

NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CITIZENSHIP - OCT 29 & 30

I am honored to be asked to play and speak at this year’s NCoC, a nonpartisan gathering of civic leaders (held annually since 1946!) working on the front lines of democracy.  This year’s theme is Bright Spots: Local Leaders inspiring hope in America.  I will be performing some of my solo material as well as songs from my duo album Kivalina (inspired by stories of climate change) with my collaborator Jesse Terry.  Jay Nash, Chris Pierce, Terra Naomi, and Yosimar Reyes are among the other artists performing.  Register here.

LINCOLN THEATER SUPPORTING DELTA RAE - DEC 14

I will be opening for Delta Rae at their hometown show in Raleigh NC on Dec 14!  I will play a set of my solo material then join them to play some drums in their set!  The wonderful Carrie Welling will kick off the night.

This will be a special show for me as they will play the first album I produced for them, Carry The Fire, front to back for the first time ever, complete with my string and brass arrangements performed live!  If you’re in the area I can’t recommend coming to this show highly enough!

NEW RELEASES AVAILABLE NOW!

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The first two singles from my upcoming album are officially released! Show Yourself and In The Creases are now available on all platforms. The next single, “Just Enough (Feat. Elizabeth and the Catapult)” will be released on Oct 25. FOLLOW ME on Spotify to be notified as soon as it drops!

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The Kivalina EP (duo album with Jesse Terry inspired by stories of Climate Change) is now available everywhere as well.  The album follows a young couple in Kivalina AK struggling with the effects of climate change on their everyday lives.

I’ll be honest with you, the biggest challenge releasing music these days is getting heard above the noise.  We’re all so inundated with content from every angle that it’s easy to get lost in the constant stream of stuff… so I don’t take it lightly when you take the time to listen to my music.  Thank you.  If you like the music I make and want to help it get out into the world, the best thing you can do is to SHARE the music with your friends, and FOLLOW ME if you’re a Spotify user.   I’m working hard toward the release of my full album on Feb 21 2020 and spreading the word before then will help so much!  I put my heart and soul into this album and I would love to give this music its best chance to be heard.

FIND ME ON PATREON

For those who didn’t know, I am a PATREON creator!  I share all of my music with my patrons before any of it is released, including songs not available to the public, behind-the-scenes videos, and insights into my songwriting and producing process.  If you’re interested in learning more about my creative process while supporting my ability to make art on my own terms, please consider becoming a patron. 

That’s it for now.  Thank you as always for being here.  It means the world to me.

Much love,

A

New Single Premiere on The Bluegrass Situation

Hey Team,

Woke up to some exciting news today… The Bluegrass Situation has premiered “Landfall,” written along with Sierra Noble, the first single from KIVALINA, my upcoming duo album with Jesse Terry! Listen HERE.

The album was inspired by stories of the people of Kivalina, AK, who have the unfortunate distinction of being some of North America’s first climate refugees; the village will completely disappear in less than ten years due to rising sea levels.

I’ve been feeling a bit helpless lately about our climate situation... it’s such an urgent issue and we just can’t seem to move the ball forward because of, basically, greed and tribalism. Sometimes I feel useless because I’m not an expert on the science or the policy surrounding the issue. Writing this album with Jesse was a way to process some of that pent up frustration. I hope this album can at least help move the conversation forward in some way.

Much love,
Alex

NYC Show May 14, The Paper Raincoat Premiere

Dear friends,

Happy mid-spring!  Jeez, those first 4 months of 2019 blew by… Hope you’ve all had a great year so far and are enjoying the energy of things growing around us again…

A lot has been growing so far this year here in my little Nashville studio… I produced an album for Delta Rae in January, one for Megan Slankard in February, and one for Paul Freeman in April.  It's been exhausting but also incredibly energizing as they are some of my favorite artists around and I feel like we pushed each other to do some of our best work yet.  I can’t wait for you all to hear all the new music!

There is also quite a bit of motion in my solo album world right now that I’m very excited to share with you soon, but I wanted to focus this missive on a couple of very special events coming up over the next few weeks…

NYC SOLO SHOW MAY 14 - “ON YOUR RADAR” SPONSORED BY WFUV

I’m excited to get back to NYC with my solo music for a special show at Rockwood Music Hall (Stage 3).  The evening is curated by John Platt of WFUV and features Jesse Terry, Alan FishEmily Mure and myself.  I will be playing songs from my solo album as well as premiering songs from my and Jesse's upcoming duo EP. Here are the details:

TUESDAY MAY 14 7PM
ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL STAGE 3 NYC
GET TICKETS HERE

For those who don’t know, Jesse and I wrote and recorded an EP inspired by the story of Kivalina, a town in Alaska that has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the first places in North America that will be completely submerged within 10 years due to rising sea levels.

After reading this article on Kivalina in late 2015, I was compelled to learn more, and what I found had a strong emotional impact on me.  I was really affected by the personal stories of the inhabitants of the town who are being forced to face a strange and tremendous decision... do you abandon your homeland and the spaces that define your heritage or do you try to preserve your culture in spite of your land literally disappearing before your eyes? It seems likely that that the same questions facing these villages will soon be confronting some of our biggest coastal cities as well, such as the one where my family lives. It is painful to imagine having to make these life-altering decisions about my own home and loved ones.

The record doesn’t come out until September, but you can learn more about the project and preview the album now when you sign up to my Patreon page.

THE PAPER RAINCOAT MUSICAL DEBUT PERFORMANCES - JUNE 1 & 2

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As many of you know, I’ve been writing a musical called The Paper Raincoat for the past 5 years with two of my favorite co-writers, Amber Rubarth and Devon Copley.  I am absolutely thrilled to announce that the show has been selected to be produced by Bay Area theater company Musical Cafe for two full-length concert performances on June 1 and 2 at the Osher Studio in Berkeley CA.  This is the first time ever that the show will be performed in its entirety.  We will premiere 14 brand-new Paper Raincoat songs and present the entire story.  If you’re in the Bay Area, we would absolutely love for you to join us. Here are the details:

MUSICAL CAFE PRESENTS THE PAPER RAINCOAT
JUNE 1 at 8PM, JUNE 2 at 6PM
BAY AREA CHILDREN'S THEATER, OSHER STUDIO
2055 CENTER ST BERKELEY CA 94704
Reserve your tickets here!

This premiere has been over ten years in the making.  For those of you who don’t know the story of the project, Amber Rubarth and I started the project back in 2008 and wrote an album based on the beginning of the story that would eventually become the musical.  We toured as a band for several years and our songs found their way into movies, TV shows and commercials.  We’d always hoped we’d get a chance to tell the whole story of The Paper Raincoat, and we are so grateful to theater companies like Musical Cafe and TheatreWorks in Palo Alto for supporting new work, for taking a chance on a bunch of singer/songwriters with very little theater experience and allowing us to develop this show under their expert guidance.  

You can learn much more about our creative process behind the show and our journey up to this point on my Patreon page!

NEW PODCAST INTERVIEW!

I was recently interviewed on a podcast here in Nashville called The Slow Drag. The show focuses on people working in the creative community and discusses their experiences, struggles, successes, etc.  It was a really fun talk and we covered a lot of unexpected ground about my creative process, perspectives in the studio, how I work with synesthesia, and how I (attempt to) battle perfectionism.  Hope you enjoy it, and check out their other episodes as well!

You can listen here.

Thanks as always for reading to the end and for your continued support of what I do.  I am so grateful for all y’all!

Much love,

Alex

Video: NOCTURNE Debut Performance

Hey Team,

A few weeks ago I was asked to perform an original composition at Lockeland Strings, a concert series for composers in East Nashville.  One of the reasons I love living in Nashville right now is the abundance of creative, unconventional concert series being presented all over town, for many different styles of music.  I guess when you fill a town with musicians and artists they will make their own opportunities to express themselves!  

I decided to perform "Nocturne" from my upcoming album (for the first time in public!) and I wanted to share a video of the evening with you guys.  

It was really interesting for me to perform original instrumental music in front of an audience and experience how it felt to be "heard" that way, sharing a piece of myself without using words.  It really inspired me to work on more... wondering, would you guys be interested in an album of instrumental music?

As always, thank you so much for being here.  More very soon...

Much love,

A

Shows with Vienna Teng, NewSong Finalist, New Videos

Played the Troubadour with Megan Slankard! Photo by Karen Shih

Played the Troubadour with Megan Slankard! Photo by Karen Shih

Happy December, friends!

Wow, what a blur the last few months have been… I got back to Nashville on Thanksgiving day after being gone for almost two months… starting with the High Coast Songwriting Camp in Sweden and then jumping into 7 weeks of touring with Megan Slankard (and Charlotte)… through the Midwest, Canada, East and West Coasts. I had an amazing time... it was also amazing to collapse face first onto my own bed at the end of tour.  

I wanted to say a special THANK YOU to everyone who signed up on the mailing list at a show over the last couple months, as well as to everyone who has been with us for a while.  Your support here is what makes it possible for us to travel around and share our music with all of you.  Somewhere along the way, Megan and I started performing a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "America." It was comforting to sing lyrics that so brilliantly articulate the mixture of hope and confusion we were feeling as we experienced our home country in 2018.  We recorded a little performance video in Megan’s apartment in SF as a little thank you gift to all of you subscribers. 

I am always grateful for the chance to travel around this beautiful and complicated country and to be surprised, humbled, and inspired by people we meet and places we explore. These days especially, it's been healing to see first hand how much common humanity still thrives around the country, despite so much noise to the contrary.  I created a little photo diary of our tour and posted it on my Patreon page. 

OK… lots of news to share with you, so here goes…

2018 NEWSONG COMPETITION FINALIST

A couple weeks ago I found out that I was selected as one of 8 finalists in the NewSong Performing Songwriter competition!  This is one of the best-known songwriting competitions in the country and I’m honestly quite shocked and humbled to have been selected as a finalist.  I will be traveling to Asheville NC to play for the judges on 12/15 at Isis Music Hall.  If anyone is in the area and would like to attend the concert, you can purchase tickets here.  The other finalists are amazing and definitely worth checking out. Being selected for this is especially meaningful because the only song I submitted was The Quiet Voice video, created entirely by my amazing Patreon supporters.  Speaking of which…

THE QUIET VOICE - 40K+ VIEWS, 700 SHARES

I released my first single in 6 years last month, called “The Quiet Voice,” along with a video created entirely by my Patreon subscribers.  My intention for the video was to let people define true power for themselves rather than accept our culture’s broken definition… and to help empower people to the polls for the midterm elections on 11/6.  Since its release on 11/2 the video has been viewed over 40K times and shared over 700 times on FB/Youtube!  I believe a huge reason why it connected with people is the authentic and honest way in which you all showed up in the video, allowing yourselves to be truly seen.  Thank you so much for being a part of this with me, I’ll never forget creating this with you all.  

Click here to watch the video for "The Quiet Voice."

If you’d like to be involved in future collaborations like this video, and dive deeper into my creative process, please consider joining my Patreon page.  It is hands-down the best way to support my ability to create the art that I believe in without compromise.

DUO SHOWS WITH VIENNA TENG

I’m excited to announce I’ll be playing two bay area shows opening for the always brilliant Vienna Teng, Jan 3 and 4 at Freight and Salvage in Berkeley CA.  I adore playing with Vienna - we have played music together for so many years and have such a musical shorthand that it’s easy for spontaneous, unexpected things to happen during our live shows.  We will play both sets as a duo… Vienna will accompany me on my songs and then I will play/sing with her for her set.  These shows will likely sell out so be sure to get your tickets in advance if you are able to join us!  

UPCOMING PROJECTS

For the next few months, I will be preparing for the release of my album (which you  helped create) and will be taking you inside this next phase of an album’s life cycle on my Patreon page. I will be sharing my experiences, hopes and fears as I navigate the “business” side of the music business and lay out a plan for the release and support of the new record.  I will also be producing several albums for other artists as well, starting with a double album for one of my very favorite bands, Delta Rae, and followed by albums for two other very special artists, Megan Slankard and Paul Freeman!  

I am excited to open a window into the studio from a record producer’s standpoint (hint: more cowbell is just the beginning). It’s a mysterious job to many (including myself sometimes) so I look forward to taking you behind the scenes and sharing how I make records these days!  If you’re interested in learning more about my record-making process, please consider becoming a patron. 

OK, that’s it for now.  Thanks again for listening and reading all the way to the bottom.  Wishing all of you a beautiful, compassionate, relaxing and/or and adventurous holiday season, whatever brings you joy.  

Much love,

Alex Wong