Dima Dubson Records Adam Green Recording
Published February 16, 2010
VIDEO FROM “BUDDY BRADLEY.” COPYRIGHT DIMA DUBSON
After a string of records that verged on a Jacques Brel-type French troubadour sound, Adam Green is dipping into American folk rock with his latest album (out today) called Minor Love (Rough Trade). “I have a certain love of tradition and I was inspired by using traditional music and making something out of it that had never been done before. I really didn’t have the balls to do this on Sixes and Sevens,” the Moldy Peaches founding member told me recently on a call from Belgium. Inspired by everything from Joan Baez’s cover of “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands,” Serge Gainsbourg’s Vu de l’extérieur, and early Bob Marley and The Wailers, Green achieved his “atmospheric and textural” sound by recording most of the songs with a ham radio microphone at The New King Sound in the Hollywood Hills. “The approach was, ‘This is my four-track and we’re in the basement making a record,'” says Green. But, he admits, “This is just one thing I could do and I probably won’t do this again. I don’t imagine that I will. I’ll probably be on to some other weird thing in a year. I feel like I’m pretty experimental, not just with music, but with every aspect of my life.”
Every one of those personal experiments is being recorded for a documentary-in-the-making. “My interest is to make a cinematic portrait of Adam,” says Belarus-born, New York-based filmmaker Dima Dubson. The two met years back during an interview for DowntownTV.com, where Dubson is director of production. After listening to Minor Love, they got back in touch to shoot four music videos for the album. “I like his work in general, but I’d never heard an album like this where every song I could relate so much to personally, and in a way that I could have a cinematic idea for it.” These ideas included capturing Green paint a watercolor scene in his apartment, serenading the Shake Shack line, and having him sneak a painting into the Met. “He thought I was going to give him a heart attack doing that,” Dubson says with a laugh, noting their new project may hue more toward Bruce Weber’s 1988 Chet Baker doc Let’s Get Lost, perhaps even with some Fellini-esque voiceovers.
“I’ve gotten used to calling it a documentary, and I think that’s mainly what it will be, but I’m not going to say there won’t be anything scripted, especially if I think that serves the purpose of the film, and [Adam’s] up for that,” says Dubson, who’s already filmed gigs in New York and California. Dubson has also captured some wild times in Los Angeles, where Green was rehearsing and attending to both members of indie band The Shining Twins. “I was being both of their boyfriends. It was a unique situation. I was like a punk Hugh Hefner. If he was here for the last week it would be Cocksucker Blues, but I don’t know what it will be like when he gets here,” Green told me. Dubson will join him later this week for part of the European tour. “It’s going to be whatever it is, but I’d like to see things through to the recording of the next album.”