February ’10 Update

Ah and February comes again, month of, amongst other fine things, Presidential holidays and our dearly loved FAWM.  Oh the glories of FAWM.  Click there now and get started, songwriters.  We did and hence we are here.

For various reasons, not the least of which are the sad realities of cash-on-hand, we won’t be at SXSW this year.  A disappointment as it’s become something of a regular thing of late.  Like an annual pilgrimage to cheap beer.  But truth is it’s time to give it a rest and relax into other activities.

  • Jefferson Pitcher has been at it with improvisational guitar like a madman and has various projects in the works, including the sublime Now the Deer, which you should find and listen to.
  • J. Matthew Gerken is heavy with his regular band, Nice Monster, playing tons of shows and writing tons of songs.  He has a newish EP out too (self-titled) which you should get and listen to.  He’s also produced the new album by Be Brave Bold Robot and sings some harmony on it as well.  Be Brave’s main dude, Dean H., is on the Prez album too so it’s all in the family.
  • As for me, I’ve just finished up a new novel, which is out in the mail.  Keep your eyes peeled to my site for whatever news of that comes about.
  • The fine fine folks at Standard Recording Co. continue to release fine fine music.  Go and hear some.

That’s all for now.  More in a month or so, I hope.

Published in: on February 1, 2010 at 7:05 am  Comments (2)  

Gutenberger’s Bass


Johnny rocks the bass!

Johnny Gutenberger (Far, Jackpot, Two Sheds) rocks the bass at the initial recording session for Christian's Presidents

Published in: on November 14, 2008 at 7:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Postcard from Jefferson




August 5, 2008

The Hangar.  An amp I will not use again.  A day I will not revisit.  Life, and the things in it, go by so quickly. How does the present so easily become the distant past? And why do we save bad photos?

Published in: on November 14, 2008 at 12:12 am  Comments (1)  

Sometimes the world is good

& this is one of those times.

Published in: on October 6, 2008 at 10:58 pm  Leave a Comment  


Christian here.

We three Presidential songwriters, along with about 10 other musicians, played a gig a few weeks ago in Sacramento–a kind of local celebration of the release of Of Great and Mortal Men.  I took some of the proceeds of that gig and joined the National Organization for Women (NOW if you dig acronyms).

There are numerous reasons to do this–it’s an important organization for forwarding the rights of over half of the people on this planet: geniuses, scientists, writers, mothers, poets, wives, doctors, etc.  But more immediate for me is the knowledge that Jefferson, Matthew and I collected over 50 musicians together to put together Of Great and Mortal Men and I think there are only four women on the entire project.  That seems embarrassing to me.  (Not to mention that to my immediately knowledge there are no people of color whatsoever.)  One could make the argument, I suppose, that we wrote a bunch of songs about white men and hence the “casting” makes sense, but I still don’t like it, and I’d guess my co-writers have similar feelings on the issue.

In any case, there’s much a man can to do help, and this is just one way.  Apologies to women everywhere for our phallocentric representation of a phallocentric history.

If you’re interested in NOW, just click here.

Published in: on September 27, 2008 at 8:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Register to Vote

Haven’t registered to vote yet.  Do it!  You can get the paperwork you need from filling out a quick form on the Rock the Vote site, or visit the voter registration for your state.  It’s easy.  You need to.  Even if economists think it’s statistically a waste of time.  They’re idiots though.  Obviously!

Published in: on September 26, 2008 at 6:25 am  Leave a Comment  


43 Songs for 43 U.S. Presidencies

Of Great and Mortal Men: 43 Songs for 43 U.S. Presidencies

In case you’ve not seen it, here’s the cover art for Of Great and Mortal Men: 43 Songs for 43 U.S. Presidencies.  Art is by scratchboard maniac Kurt Lightner.  Amazing!

Due to a distribution gaffe, it’s listed under the band name (what?) “Of Great and Mortal Men” most places so you might have to do some digging to find it.  That’ll be changed to artist “J. Matthew Gerken, Christian Kiefer, and Jefferson Pitcher” as soon as these things happen.  Which means in 87 years.

Meanwhile, your best bet is ordering directly through the label as they are still the only folks who seem to actually have the thing in stock.  At least I think they have it in stock.  Hell, we songwriters don’t even have copies of it yet…and the release show only days away.  Yeow!  Hopefully that’s because there have been so many preorders that they’re sold out everywhere already.  I say it again: Yeow!

Published in: on September 10, 2008 at 8:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

Release Day!

Of Great and Mortal Men: 43 Songs for 43 U.S. Presidencies, the new album by J. Matthew Gerken, Christian Kiefer, and Jefferson Pitcher, celebrates its official release today. 

As this project has been filled to the brim with the rich taste of production problems, the official roll out today has been no different as it’s not yet on iTunes or eMusic and is showing up as “backordered” on Amazon.  Not to mention that it’s listed not under Gerken, Kiefer, and Pitcher but rather under the band name (what?) Of Great and Mortal Men.  It’s all very confusing.

Best bet: Order it directly from the label by clicking here!

Meanwhile, here are a couple of new nuggets ‘o press to whet the appetite:

Dig it!  Oh and the Bee has a stream of George Washington, featuring a cast o’ thousands of musicians including Damian Sol (violin), Fran Mironchik (flute), Keenan Bird (rudimentary snare drum), Jason Roberts (guitar), Vince DiFiore (trumpet), Andrew Dost (flugelhorn), Mike Curry (drums), and John Gutenberger (bass) (see links for most all of those musicians under “links”).  & speaking of Washington, the Men’s Vogue/GQ piece uses C.W. Roelle’s Washington art as the header.  Oh hell yes.

Published in: on September 9, 2008 at 8:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

If you can’t beat them…

In a lot of ways, this album- and everything that has gone into making the project see the light of day-  seems particularly prescient.  While I was listening to Obama’s acceptance speech last night, I was packing up the last of the few remaining promos.  His speech was cadence to my fold-stuff-seal labor, but it produced a harmony I am proud to be a part of. I know it’s no real comparison, but here we are in the midst of an honest to god historic election, and I am in the middle of the most adventurous release we’ve undertaken, chronicling our Presidents.  If there was ever a right time to be stuffing envelopes, last night was it: the right release, the right place in modern history.

And as I was navigating the thick, substantial copies of Of Great and Mortal Men into the padded confines of the envelopes, I kept thinking, “What an amazing speech!  What can McCain do to counter this?” Well, this afternoon, I found out.  Palin took me by surprise (like 99.99% of the rest of the country), but after some contemplation, it seems that McCain picked who he thought was the most Republican version of Obama he could find. And then I wondered: “What song would Christian, Jefferson and Matt make of this? Will this political gesture become a lyric?”


As I was sitting in Waffle House this morning at an interview about the release, my phone buzzed.  I just got an email from Christian, a forward of a rather comprehensive and positive review of Of Great and Mortal Men.  The freelance reporter was in a hurry, sorting through questions ranked by importance and settled on this as his first: “So will this project bankrupt you?”

Really? That’s what you want to know?

Part of me wanted to say, “what the hell kind of question is that?! What does that have to do with the merits of the project?” and show him the review that just came but another part of me thought better and said, “Even if it does, it will still be out there, released.”

Published in: on August 31, 2008 at 12:51 am  Leave a Comment  


The project has finally arrived at the offices of the label and is just starting to ship out to press.  We three songwriters haven’t even seen it yet but they tell us: Awesome.

Published in: on August 27, 2008 at 8:42 pm  Leave a Comment