The Evangenitals, founded by playwright/director Juli Crockett and opera, jazz & gospel singer Lisa Dee are an alt-country/Americana love revolution made flesh for your listening pleasure. On a quixotic crusade in the key of life hell-bent on breaking hearts open, they are a genre-bending, ever-creating force of nature.
The Evangenitals boast one of the most eclectic resumes in the indie music world. As live performers, they’ve built a fiercely loyal following through a thousand shows at clubs, coffee houses and festivals throughout the world (including Scotland’s prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Their shows are notable for music that can be bawdy and rollicking in one moment, and, in the next, sufficiently mysterious and haunting to make the rowdiest of beer brawlers pause, turn toward the stage and listen.
The group’s current lineup consists of principal writer/vocalist Juli Crockett, gospel/jazz singer Lisa Dee, keyboardist Michael Feldman, bassist Joey Maramba, Andrea Baker on fiddle, Daniel Mark on mandolin, and Danny Graziani on fiddle and harmonica.
Ranging from truck-stop lullabies to Klezmer-punk-jazz, ballads & barn-burners to hillbilly stomp, citing influences from the new-wave intelligentsia of the Talking Heads to the archetypal fire of Johnny Cash, all welded together with the mutant masterminds of Ween: The jukebox at the Mad Hatters tea party is The Evangenitals.
We demonstrate an “impossible play,” an automaton, frustrating the desires for union, resolution, and cleanliness with an endless loop, with an analysis of performance while performing, archaeological and forensic. The actors have developed an attitude that performance is not a thing which one does, but is done upon one… performance as obligation, text as a set of confines, blocking as predictive behavior, repetition as torment and joy, with dissociation of text and meaning, riddles for the audience to puzzle, a lack of completion offering the openness of collaboration, frustrating the desires for union and resolution by an endless loop…
The lyric substance embraces obscurity — poets have no difficulty with that. We make darkness visible. Our mode, suggested partly by the work of proto-surrealists, is to affect a granular experience of what we need at large scale: the line of escape. -~~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~ Directed by Juli Crockett Created by Juli Crockett, Gray Palmer, & Guy Zimmerman Produced by Gabrieal Griego & Guy Zimmerman
Starring: Shaughn Buchholz as A Gray Palmer as B Jenny Greer as C (and also Trout 5th & 19th) Juli Crockett as D Brian Tichnell as Strange/Wildcard (5th & 19th)
Sound Design by John Zalewski (Live on the 16th, 17th & 19th!) Lighting Design by Bri Pattillo (Live on the 5th, 17th & 19th!)
[or, the whale] - Portland Experimental Theater Ensemble
[or, the whale] - Portland Experimental Theater Ensemble
[or, the whale] - imaginary beasts
I have started a Patreon page, where supporters can pledge various amounts to help me create lots of awesome things (such as plays, songs, and videos) and get more intimately involved in my creative process. Think Kickstarter but for ongoing artist output, not just a one time thing.
I frequently get to play music with the legendary folk singer Jim Kweskin. I can't really believe it myself.
Jim Kweskin is probably best known as a singer and bandleader, but he also created one of the bedrock guitar styles of the folk revival, adapting the ragtime-blues fingerpicking of artists like Mississippi John Hurt and Pink Anderson to the more complex chords of pop and jazz. Jim Kweskin and the Jug Band was the original "Americana" band, playing everything from classic blues to hillbilly country, ragtime, jazz, and rock 'n' roll. Kweskin has maintained a remarkably consistent musical vision since his jug band days, continuing to explore traditional folk and blues with the sophisticated sensibility of a jazz musician and traditional jazz with the communal simplicity of a folk artist.
Alabama-born Juli Crockett is a bona fide Renaissance woman: singer, songwriter, playwright, theater director, undefeated professional boxer and amateur champion, ordained minister, Doctor of Philosophy, and leader of the alt-country/Avant Americana genre-defying band The Evangenitals, as well as the Crockett Sisters (They’re the same band – you choose which name you prefer)
The teaming of Jim Kweskin and Juli Crockett is the happy collision of classic and contemporary Americana music. Together, Kweskin and Crockett performances are celebrations of virtuoso musicianship seasoned with humor and exuberance.
Frequently joined by super mandolin player Daniel Mark (Dustbowl Revival) and wildly imaginative bassist Joey Maramba (Rickie Lee Jones, John Cale), Jim and Juli have a great time singing both old jazzy, folky favorites mixed in with Juli's original (and occasionally irreverent) compositions. Take a wild ride through history and into the future of folk with Kweskin and Crockett.
Mr Job is a play about universal experiences, such as crappy jobs, expensive health insurance, and incomprehensible grace in the face of suffering. 'Tis an ode to the lonely, the underpaid, and the misunderstood. Everyone is doing the best they can.
Currently being adapted into a feature film.
Mr Job premiered at Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles, CA in 2017 and featured performers Shaughn Buchholz, Brian Tichnell, Jenny Greer, Ken Breese, and Gray Palmer. Sound design by John Zalewski. Production design by Kirk Wilson. Overhead Projector DJ'ing by Juli Crockett.
Rhizome Rodeo is a new experimental podcast that explores intimate connections. Created with Shaughn Buchholz and Brian Tichnell, who are actors, humans, and friends.
‘Rather than narrativize history and culture, the rhizome presents history and culture as a map or wide array of attractions and influences with no specific origin or genesis, for a 'rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo.' (Wikipedia)
Saint Simone, an ecstatic meditation based on the life and sufferings of French philosopher and mystic, Simone Weil. Saint Simone engages the stark prospects and fugitive pleasures of daily life in an era of unprecedented wealth inequality and environmental degradation – a clear-sighted indictment of the precarious world we inhabit in 2015. The play centers on a cult of women dedicated to Simone Weil’s canonization before a Kafkaesque ecclesiastic court. A vicious, transgressive gender war ensues in which a series of miracles are cross-examined, while visitations, compulsions, confessions, and leaps of faith unfold and overlap.
In 2011, I composed a theme song for my friend Nirvan Mullick's short doc about a cool kid named Caine Monroy. You won't believe what happened next...
About Caine’s Arcade
Caine’s Arcade is a short film by Nirvan Mullick about a 9 year old boy’s handmade cardboard arcade, located in his dad’s auto parts store in East Los Angeles. The film inspired a global movement to foster creativity in kids, leading to the launch of theImagination Foundation and an annual Global Cardboard Challenge.
In 2011, at the age of 9, Caine Monroy spent his summer vacation building an elaborate DIY cardboard arcade in his dad’s used auto parts store in East Los Angeles.
Caine loved arcades, and dreamed of the day he would have lots of customers come play. He spent months building and preparing his arcade, perfecting his game design, making displays for prizes (his toy cars), designing elaborate security systems for his Fun Pass, making his own Caine’s Arcade STAFF shirt, and even hand labeling paper-lunch-bags for customers to carry home prizes. However, his dad’s autoparts store (located in an industrial part of Boyle Heights) received very little foot traffic, so Caine’s chances of getting a customer were very small, and the few walk-in customers that came through were always in too much of a hurry to get their auto part to stop to play Caine’s Arcade. Caine never had a single customer, but Caine never gave up.
On the last day of summer, by chance, a man named Nirvan Mullick walked into Caine’s dad’s auto parts store to buy a door handle for his ’96 Corolla. Caine asked Nirvan if he would like to play the arcade. Curious, Nirvan stopped to ask Caine how the arcade worked. Caine explained that for $1, Nirvan could get two turns to play, or for $2 he could get a Fun Pass (with 500 turns). Nirvan bought the Fun Pass.
Nirvan became Caine’s first and only customer, and he loved Caine’s Arcade. It turned out that Nirvan was also a filmmaker, and he came back to ask Caine’s dad if he could make a short film about Caine’s Arcade. It was at that poing Nirvan learned that he had been Caine’s first and only customer. Nirvan decided to organize a surprise flash mob of customers to come play Caine’s Arcade, and make Caine’s day.
Words can’t describe Caine’s response – so watch the film. After the flashmob, Caine told his dad that that was the best day of his whole life.
FROM A MOVIE TO A MOVEMENT (POST-FILM UPDATE): Caine’s Arcade was posted online on April 9th, 2012, and became an instant viral phenomenon. The film received over 1 million views in the first 24 hours, and trended worldwide on twitter. As part of the film, Nirvan set up a scholarship fund for Caine with an initial goal of raising $25,000 for Caine. The first day the film was posted, we raised over $60,000 for Caine’s Scholarship Fund! The next day, we had raised over $110,000. Kids all over the world were also inspired to create cardboard games and creations. Inspired by the response, Two days after the film was posted, Nirvan decided to start a non-profit to find, foster, and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in more kids like Caine. 5 days later, the Goldhirsh Foundation awarded us a $250,000 Challenge Grant to help start the Imagination Foundation, which launched an annual Global Cardboard Challenge that engages over 100,000 kids in creative play each year!
How lucky am I to be married to Michael Feldman? Pretty lucky! He's pretty lucky, too, so it balances out. Mixer, Composer, Pianist, Recording/Engineering instructor... this guy has it all. And now we have this absolutely incredible recording and mixing studio in our backyard.