2015-03-27 - WMNF's Live Music Showcase, Tampa

On Stage :

Solo radio session.

Setlist :

Electrical Storm
Slide Away
This Must Be The Place (Talking Heads)
Coney Island Baby (Lou Reed)
Travel As Equals

Recording :

 2015-03-27 mp3


2015-03-23 - The Music Of David Byrne & Talking Heads, Carnegie Hall, New York

On Stage :

Concert celebrating the music and legacy of David Byrne and Talking Heads at Carnegie Hall, in benefit of Music Education for Underprivileged Youth.

With The Roots, Steve Earle, Rufus Wainwright, Beth Orton, Bebel Gilberto, O.A.R., Perry Farrell, Sleigh Bells' Alexis Krauss, ZZ Top's Billy F. Gibbons, Forro in the Dark and Todd Snider.

Setlist :

this must be the place

Recording :

Review :



2015-03-22 - The Music of David Byrne & Talking Heads rehearsal show, City Winery, New York

On Stage :

Rehearsal show for the David Byrne Tribute at Carnegie Hall.

Setlist :

this must be the place (naive melody)

Recording :


2015-03-21 - Arden Gild Hall, Arden

On Stage :

Solo concert.
Cliff Hillis Band opened the show.

Setlist :

echo park
gypsy faded
famous friends along the coast
a smile that explodes
blue lights in the rear view
crying like a man
the ballad of boogie christ
i used to know how to walk on water
still life honey rose
september baby
saint of impossible causes
i miss the zoo
honey and the moon
coney island baby (lou reed cover)
in the sun
this must be the place (talking heads/david byrne cover)

Recording :

Sadly, there's no audio recording of this event. 
If I am wrong, thank you to inform me by email.

Poster :


INTERVIEW : 2015-03-16 File Under Intimate & Dynamic (by Jon Crary)

Critically acclaimed painter, rock musician and poet, Joseph Arthur brings his synergistic live performance to the Arden Concert Gild on Saturday, March 21st at 8:00 pm for a WXPN Welcomes show. Joseph Arthur’s influences span from a variety of sources from Jimi Hendrix to Picasso. His music catalog is vast and varied, his poetry flows and sprouts effortlessly, and his collaborations with well-known musicians are well documented. Back in the early ‘90’s, he was discovered by Peter Gabriel and then signed to his label. The rest is history. Joseph’s unique solo performance, one where he uses looping technology to layer his own sounds, masterfully rocking through his great catalog of songs, and he paints while singing and performing.

Before his evening show in Arden, Joseph Arthur will hold a free ART Workshop at the Arden Buzzware between 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm (info at the Arden Concert Gild Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/ardenconcertgild) . Joseph will be painting, discussing his art and influences and his approach: Examples of Arthur’s visual art can be found at http://www.museumofmodernarthur.com/ and his music at http://www.josepharthur.com/

Joseph has been a very busy musician over the past year or so having released a number of albums including a tribute album to Lou Reed called Lou, a haunting interpretation of Lou Reed songs. Plus, he has released a two-part concept album project called The Ballad of Boogie Christ, both albums very different, and both conceptually and musically and lyrically brilliant. Opening for Joseph Arthur is Cliff Hillis Band, a visible and popular local musician and band, who recently released an imaginative and infectious set of songs on the LP Song Machine.

During a break from the studio in L.A. where he was recently recording with his new musical project, RNDM, I was very fortunate to have the chance to catch up with Joseph Arthur for a chat :

Jon at Philthy: We are very excited to see you in Arden, Delaware. How would you describe your live show?

Joseph Arthur: I’m excited to come….I’m trying to go back to what I was doing when I started which was a one man band… , and I paint live so there is a performance art aspect to it. It’s also quite intimate, but it can also rock; so it’s a pretty dynamic show. It’s also very intimate because it’s just me.

Jon at Philthy: I understand you have been on the road a lot. Describe what 2014 was and like for you, and what were some of the highlights from last year?

Joseph Arthur: One that stands out was I got to play with Mike Mills of R.E.M., my touring bass player for a while, and R.E.M. has always been one of my favorite bands and Mike is an awesome guy and was a thrill to play with him. Also, touring with The Afghan Whigs stands out. They are one of my favorite bands as well, and Greg Dulli is a really good friend of mine so getting to tour and play with him and I’m friends with all the guys in the band, and that was really fun as it was 2 ½ months on the road, and I got a chance to perform solo in front of their crowd was really good for me because it forced me to dig in and get strong as a solo performer again.

Jon: That’s awesome. In fact, that Afghan Whigs album from last year is in my top 40 of the year last year.

Joseph: Yeah, it’s a great album. Greg is an interesting writer, and it just rocks, so it was fun. I enjoyed listening to them every night. They are on tour in Europe right now…kind of wish I was on tour with them now but stuff I had to do here.

Jon: You have been very busy recording over the last couple of years? Your latest tribute is to Lou Reed with the album, Lou, and then The Ballad of Boogie Christ, both Acts. Can you talk about your most recent releases and where you got the inspiration to record them?

Joseph: The Lou album came out of result of me writing a remembrance for Lou when he passed, and Bill Bentley from Vanguard records called me up and I didn’t know Bill at the time. He said ‘I think you should make a Lou Reed Tribute’ record, and I wanted to do it with Vanguard Records. I thought about it for a while, and I got back from a tour and I started doing strip down acoustic versions of some of his songs. It was great to pay tribute and mourn him, and I felt inspired to do it. So, it just took off. I did it and then and sent it to both guys at Vanguard, and they loved it and put it out. It was a very straight forward thing. The Ballad of Boogie Christ is something I’ve been working on for a long time. That has not been straight forward (laughs). I recorded that in different phases over the course of years. I started it out on tape. Originally, it was going to be me on guitar and Garth Hudson on organ. It turned out to be a full production record and then I started getting the idea of doing a musical around it, having acts, and there is also an Act 3 that I’ll put out one of these days but not sure when. That record is more of a story…..a character study in a way.

Jon: I have a few fan questions for you….How do you react when a woman calls you “dreamy” as it was heard the other day?

Joseph: You know there are far worse things I’ve been called. (Laughing). I’ll take it. Dreamy sounds pretty good to me. I take it as a compliment and appreciate it.

Jon: When you paint and play music, do you have a pre thought image in your mind or is it more intuitive and you are not sure of your subject matter?

Joseph: I tend to do a portrait of some sort of being or person. In that I try to veer away from that but I tend to like doing that. In that case, I do have a pre-thought thing, but in terms of what that thing will ultimately look like or color palette, I really leave it up to chance. Also, I don’t really have a pre-conceived notion typically, but sometimes I do. I’ll have a strong idea like I want to do this, I see something I want to do, and then I’ll do it and usually when that happens, I really like the result. It’s kinda good to have that happen, but I don’t wait for that to happen, a lot of times that doesn’t happen. It’s fine if it doesn’t happen, but it’s cool when it does happen.

Jon: Who or what are you channeling on the song “Diamond Ring?”

Joseph: I think the Rolling Stones. The Lonely Astronauts which was the band I was in, I formed on my own with myself and various people but not with this band, and we started touring around an album called Nuclear Daydream , and then we found a sound during that tour which was psychedelic rock, but also a “Stone-sey” kind of element to it that we embraced. That song particularly is unabashedly embracing that influence. I think is a fun thing to do for artists. Of course, you don’t want to be a “copycat” band of anybody as that would be very boring and sad. Every once in a while I think it’s just great to let an influence just completely reveal itself in something you do. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. That’s fun. Sometimes people use that as a weapon against you, but you got to allow people their weapons (laughs). I say we are channeling “The Rolling Stones.”

Jon: Tell us a little bit about who you have collaborated with over the years and what that meant to you?

Joseph: I was just in the studio just now listening to a mix of my collaboration with Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam and Richard Stuverud, which is our band together called RNDM. That’s an awesome project. The album we are working on now is really really strong. I’m excited about it. I also have a side project with Dhani Harrison and Ben Harper called Fistful of Mercy, and that is exciting too. That has been on break for a long time, but I think we’ll end up getting back together and doing something one of these days. My whole music career has been one of collaboration because I got signed to Peter Gabriel’s label when I was really young, and he sort of mentored me. So, in a way, my early records were all collaborations. I’ve done stuff also with Michael Stipe before which has been amazing…. Peter Buck.

Jon: What are some of your musical and non-musical influences?

Joseph: Musical influences are (my early ones) I was into jazz fusion, and then I got into Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix was one of my earliest and maybe biggest influence ….his freedom and sense that everything is possible, his experimentation with music it was just so inspiring to me, his whole character. I’ve gotten into everything: Led Zeppelin, Leonard Cohen, Nick Drake, Sly and the Family Stone, The Four Tops, (a huge influence on me) probably because my parents only really were listening to two records and one was The Four Tops and the other one was Jim Croce but you could really break it down to The Four Tops and Jim Croce. That is basically me in a nutshell (laughs).

Non-musical: I think of painters like Picasso and Jean Michel-Basquiat, Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Jackson Pollock, Wassily Kandinsky…

Jon: What kinds of music are you listening to today? What is on your turntable right now?

Joseph: On my turntable at my home in Brooklyn, OutKast Stankonia is on there now. Well, I’m in the middle of making a record right now; so, I don’t really listen to that much when I’m doing that because I usually program a beat while I’m trying to go to sleep before I go to bed. I have my laptop and start programming a beat. I usually fall asleep while that is just looping in my head and I’ll wake up and shut it off. I do that a lot!

Jon: What kinds of things can we expect to hear or see from you by the end of 2015?

Joseph: I’m planning to put some records out this year. I’ve made a few records that I haven’t put out yet. So, I’m figuring out how to put them out. I don’t have any expectations for them. It feels very liberating to put things out, release it and not worry about it. I feel more liberated in music than I have in a while. I don’t have to adhere to anything that I have done in the past to protect any kind of identity and can actually have fun with it like the liberation to create the things that might suck. That’s what people who do stuff for a long time, they need that. The truly great stuff also almost sucks. You have to allow yourself to almost suck in order to be great. In other words, you don’t want to go down the ‘middle of the road.’ You want to be on some kind of edge, but what is truly on some kind of edge also has the most potential of really sucking, but one of the great things about getting older is that you care a lot less about what anybody thinks about you or says about you. That is a really great place for an artist to find himself. I’m getting to the place of wanting to take more and more chances not a nihilistic or challenging place, but more out of fun, joy and love of what people would enjoy and to find that new inspiration about what you are doing again like finding the fun of discovery. That is also the most exciting art and music is that it has a lot of that fun of discovery.


"Phone Calls From Leviathans", Amy Li Projects, New York

Joseph Arthur at Amy Li Projects March 12 - May 3, 2015.

Joseph Arthur's abstract renderings are soulfully psychedelic and playfully serious. The artist, whose own Museum of Modern Arthur site calls his work "a spiritual quest expressed through form, lines, and color, involving a profound search for the 'thread' of life, binding even opposing forces of torment and beauty. As with Arthur's music, evocative of such vivid imagery and emotion, his paintings dance with a similarity animated rhythm of form." 

Michael Stipe of REM says, "To riff off a riff; to update Ginsberg’s holy HOWL; to stand this naked; to wrestle an attention deficit world into a moment’s shivering standstill, just for a spiked breath of reflection: Wow. Joseph Arthur writes, builds, paints, draws, and creates because he has no choice. It is our luck that he does so."

"When it comes to the artwork of Joseph Arthur, there has always been a sense of urgency and living in the now," wrote Reverend Justito on Antiquiet in 2013. 
"Joseph Arthur doesn’t make art because he wants to; art uses Joseph Arthur as a conduit to express itself...his paintings...are more often than not representations of energy and matter at any particular moment in time." 

Yet another rave: "Seeing and Hearing is Believing! Joseph Arthur is truly a Visionary Musician and Artist breaking boundaries in his Art and Music. Let's just say Joseph's Art 
Shows are always ELECTRIC! Joseph is quality in whatever he creates and always A GENIUS AT WORK!" –Spencer Drate & Judith Salavetz, Award-Winning Iconic Designers for the famous and visionary in music.

Joseph Arthur's new paintings will be celebrated with an opening reception on Thursday, March 12 from 7-9 p.m at 166 Mott Street, New York, NY 10013.

Blue Dream

Do To The Beast (for Greg Dulli)

Electric Lady

Fragmented Soul

Greater Will

I Used To Be A Fig

If God Was A Mountain

King Dancer

Kiss Me Blue

Mary or Mona

Matrix Dance

Mission Electric

Simple Bliss

The Dream Hasn't Changed But I Have

The Dreamer

The Hip Hop Icon

The Light That Breaks Me Down

The Spider


Warlocks and Witches

Review :

By The G.

The term “renaissance man” gets thrown around a lot and most times, the people in question do not live up to such a compliment. Joseph Arthur far exceeds that title and if he wasn’t so unbelievably cool to talk to and humble, his ability to be a genius in so many disciplines is so awe inspiring that it’s almost impossible not to feel puzzled that a person can be so gifted in so many ways. His latest exhibit “Phone Calls From Leviathans” at Amy Li Projects in New York mixes soul, spirituality and psychedelia and the results are, for lack of a better term, genius.

At the opening night party, which was held on March 12, 2015, Joseph Arthur made one of the best entrances I’ve ever seen at an art opening (and you already know from this site I’ve been to hundreds, if not thousands, of art openings). With a speaker the size of a small donut tied around his jacket bumping some tunes, Joe strolled into his exhibit literally wearing the new D’Angelo album “Black Messiah.” Perhaps it was one of those “you had to be there” moments, but even in thinking of it, I have a huge smile on my face.

Photo by The G.

If you are unfamiliar with Joe’s work, I urge you to fix that immediately. He’s a prolific and accomplished singer, songwriter, poet, multi-instrumentalist, Grammy nominee, artist and most of all – a really super cool guy. Take a stroll through his website (link will open in new window) and you will see that there is little that Joseph Arthur cannot do. If you’re one of my LA peeps, I urge you to check out even more new works from Joe on April 8, 2015 at Gallery Go (please RSVP to info@gallerygola.com) at 947 W. La Cienega Blvd. in West Hollywood.

“Phone Calls From Leviathans” is now showing at Amy Li Projects (located at 166 Mott Street) in Manhattan through May 3, 2015. Don’t miss it.

Great to see you again Joe and congratulations!