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  • Apr 26

    Spiff & Jascha — Two Man Tour of SF Bay Area

    Spiff & Jascha — Two-Man Tour!

    Thurs 4/26 at 7:30pm — House concert in San Francisco **
    Fri 4/27 at 8pm — Plough and Stars (116 Clement in SF) with The Please Please Me
    Sat 4/28 — House concert in El Cerrito **

    Fri 5/4 at 7pm — Amnesia in San Francisco (853 Valencia St at 20th)
    Sat 5/5 at 12:30pm — Berkeley Farmer’s Market (Center @ MLK)
    Sat 5/5 at 8pm — Juice-O de Mayo House Concert in SF **

    Thurs 5/10 at 8pm — Revolution Cafe in San Francisco (3248 22nd St)
    Fri 5/11 at 8pm — Subterranean Arthouse in Berkeley
    Sat 5/12 at 8pm — Catered House Concert at Daniel’s in SF **
    Sun 5/13 at 7:30pm — Tree House Concert at Ilana’s in SF **

    ** Email jascha.hoffman@gmail.com for details.

    Spiff Wiegand is best known for his one-man-band concerts. Juggling up to seven instruments simultaneously without loops or technological trickery, he creates complete textures that are as unexpectedly musical as they are visually impressive. He has been compared to artists like Hank Williams, The Mountain Goats, Buddy Holly, Hot Hot Heat, Devo, and They Might Be Giants.


    Jascha Hoffman is a songwriter and science journalist in San Francisco. His debut album A Cure for Sleep was praised for “deceptively simple, deeply weird pop songs” that earned comparisons to Sufjan Stevens and Leonard Cohen. Jascha’s second album, The Future Limited, a collection of songs inspired by science fiction, was released in March 2012. He is currently working on songs based on obituaries and translations of Brazilian pop songs.


    Mar 6

    The Future Limited—digital release today!

    Hello friends!

    Today the new album The Future Limited goes live on SpotifyAmazoniTunes — and everywhere else people listen to music.
    Please tweet/share/post away to spread the word! And if you’ve been enjoying the album, please consider a quick user review on Amazon.

    P.S. Another big thank-you to everyone who made the SF release show on Sunday night such a warm affair. For those in New York City, don’t miss our East Coast release show on Weds March 14 at 6pm sharp at Rockwood Music Hall. (RSVP)
    Feb 28


    February 28, 2012 — Today songwriter Jascha releases a music video that draws on Greek mythology to tell an epic story of time-travel and lost love.

    The song, “The Future,” is the second single on Jascha’s album The Future Limited, which ventures into the realms of science-fiction and synth-pop. A haunting ballad with a driving beat, the song tells the story of a man who, traveling back in time to warn his lover of a coming war, discovers that the past can be just as dangerous as the future.

    To make the video, Brooklyn filmmaker Naftali Beane Rutter staged an intensely physical shoot in Central Park last summer. He grounded the song’s time-travel story in a classic Greek myth, in which the great musician and poet Orpheus must walk out of the underworld without glancing back at the ghost of his wife Eurydice—if he looks back before they reach the world of the living, he will lose her forever.

    “Since my childhood the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice has haunted me, and I have always wanted to explore my own variation,” says Rutter. “The story is ethereal, but I wanted to mix a physicality into the ghostliness, to depict Orpheus’ journey as a grueling trial.”

    “The opening scene where we emerge from the water—filmed at the crack of dawn in a Central Park pond—may be the farthest I’ve ever gone for art,” says Jascha. “But it gave us the effect we wanted: a pair of lovers emerging from the future to venture together into an uncertain past.”

    “The decision to shoot the video in black and white was inspired by a line from Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem about Orpheus and Eurydice: ‘Like silent seams of silver ore they moved as veins through the darkness,’” adds Rutter.

    Jascha’s album The Future Limited, officially released on March 6, is now available for free download. His previous music videos include a science-fiction mashup and an animated adventure. Both were posted on Boing Boing and The Atlantic on release.

    • The music video “The Future” goes live on YouTube on Tuesday, February 28 at 9am.


    •  The new album The Future Limited is available for free download at thefuturelimited.com. It will be officially released on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify on March 6.

    •  A press release for the album is here.

    Jascha Hoffman is a songwriter and science journalist in San Francisco. His debut album A Cure for Sleep has been praised for its “deceptively simple, deeply weird pop songs” that earned him comparisons to Sufjan Stevens, Magnetic Fields and “Leonard Cohen without the attitude.” Jascha’s second album, The Future Limited ventures into the realms of science fiction and synth-pop.

    Naftali Beane Rutter is a writer, director, and photographer.  His feature length documentary TODAY was called “exquisitely made” and “one of the best films of the last two years.” He makes commercials, music videos, and feature films, and has collaborated with HBO, PBS, NOVA, The Wall Street Journal and TruTV.  He is currently developing a narrative feature called La Marea, a ghost story about a man whose life is changed by a whale. Visit waterboundpictures.com to watch his work.  


    Feb 20




    February 21, 2012 — Today San Francisco songwriter Jascha releases a music video telling the story of a lonely artificial intelligence whose efforts to reach out to its human creators ends in tragedy.

    The song, “Limited,” is the first single on Jascha’s album The Future Limited, which ventures into the realms of science-fiction and synth-pop. To make the music video, filmmaker John Pavlus used scenes of robots and computers in five classic science fiction films, including 2001, Robocop, and Tron.

    “I’ve been curious for a while about whether I could re-edit images, shots and scenes from well-known movies to tell different stories from the ones I borrowed them from,” Pavlus said. “The music video for Jascha’s ‘Limited’ seemed like a great opportunity to experiment with this approach, since the song instantly suggested to me a science-fiction short story — and I didn’t have the time to create sci-fi production value from scratch.”

    “It also seemed like a fun challenge to take images that have acquired so much ‘baggage’ over the years — like the glowering cyclops eye of HAL from 2001, which has become visual shorthand for ‘evil machine’ — and try to attach completely opposite emotional associations to them,” said Pavlus. “What if something like HAL wasn’t evil at all, but just misunderstood in its intentions, like a puppy who plays too rough with its owner? That’s exactly the image that Jascha’s plaintive refrain put into my head.”

    “Remixing material from five very different films creates a necessarily impressionistic approach to telling a story, so maybe the story this video tells in your head isn’t the same one that it tells in mine,” Pavlus added.” Either way I hope it’s a good one.”

    “The song is something of a Pinnocchio story, about a machine that wants to be a real human being,” said Hoffman. “John’s omnivorous visual approach seemed a perfect match.”

    Jascha has  known for imaginative videos: an animated video directed by Benjamin Ahr Harrison, went viral after being posted on Boing Boing and The Atlantic last summer.


    • The music video “Limited” will go live on YouTube on Tuesday, February 21.


    Jascha Hoffman is a songwriter and science journalist in San Francisco. His debut album A Cure for Sleep has been praised for its “deceptively simple, deeply weird pop songs” that earned him comparisons to Sufjan Stevens, Magnetic Fields and “Leonard Cohen without the attitude.” Jascha’s debut album A Cure for Sleep was drawn from his dreams. His second album, The Future Limited ventures into the realms of science fiction and synth-pop.


    John Pavlus is an award-winning filmmaker focusing on science, tech, and design topics. He creates original short films, documentaries, and branded content for organizations including NPR, Autodesk, Nature Publishing Group, and The New York Times Magazine through his production company, Small Mammal. He also writes for publications including Scientific American, Technology Review, Wired, and Fast Company.

    Feb 18

    Album Release Shows in SF & NYC; Videos!

    Dear Friends,

    Much underway here at Jascha headquarters as we prepare to release THE FUTURE LIMITED in March. Presses are revving up as we speak to print the CDs. If you want to be among the first to hear it, preorder a copy. You’ll get a free download of the hit single “Limited”. It’s a bargain — pay what you wish! 


    In preparation for the immanent release of THE FUTURE LIMITED, we have two very special release shows lined up in SF and NYC:
    SUN MARCH 4, 2012
    Undercover Presents…
    THE FUTURE LIMITED album release
    feat. The Glasses, Ramon & Jessica
    Viracocha (Valencia and 21st St)
    San Francisco
    8pm (7:30pm doors), $10 (includes CD)

    RSVP: http://jaschahoffman.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=3f65a47aeecf2334af4319ebd&id=7b2536f4bf&e=71158700fe


    WEDS MARCH 14, 2012

    Jascha presents…
    featuring a preview of the next album, The Afterneath
    Rockwood Music Hall
    196 Allen St, Manhattan
    6pm #sharp#. Free. Album included!
    RSVP: http://jaschahoffman.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=3f65a47aeecf2334af4319ebd&id=7f2ed360fe&e=71158700fe




    Soon we will be releasing not one but FOUR new music videos from THE FUTURE LIMITED — starting with John Pavlus’ brilliant science-fiction movie megamix for “Limited” on Tuesday Feb 21, and quickly followed by Naftali Beane Rutter’s lush rendition of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice for “The Future”. I have no publicist and must rely on you, my loyal fans, to tweet, post, link, blog, forward, or shout these things into the world if you have to. To see the videos first, just RSVP here — and invite your friends. Everyone gets a free bonus bossa remix of the title tracks when it’s all over.

    RSVP — Jascha’s Videos — Spread the Word

    After the NYC release, I’ll be heading into the studio in Brooklyn to cut my next record, The Afterneath. What can I say, I’m not into wasting time. I’ll be summoning my all-star New York band, with Leo Sidran on drums, Spiff Wiegand on bass, and the triumphant return of Bjorn Vidar Solli on guitar. 
    More soon from videoland!





    P.S. I’ve been obsessed with Brazilian music lately. To hear a bit of this madness, stop by the farmer’s market at Divisadero and Grove in SF from 10am-2pm this Sunday Feb 19. 

    Jan 7

    January Update

    Dear Friends,

    Happy new year. It turns out that in these first days of 2012 I have lots to share.

    First, please save the date for the much-awaited album release for my forthcoming second album, THE FUTURE LIMITED:
    Sunday March 4 at 8pm
    Jascha — The Future Limited CD release show
    with local favorites Ramon and Jessica
    and presenting The Glasses
    All acts to feature breathtaking visual accompaniment!
    Viracocha, 998 Valencia St (at 21st) in SF
    Admission with include a copy of The Future Limited. Details to come.
    Second, I wanted to invite you to a very special house concert later this month:
    Thursday January 19 at 7:30pm
    House Concert at Meredith’s
    Special guests Aaron Kierbel and Daniel Fabricant
    Featuring original tunes and Brazilian pop songs.
    Wine and refreshments provided.
    $10 suggested donation, $15 including a CD
    None turned away for lack of funds.
    RSVP for address (near 19th and Noe in SF)


    Last but certainly not least, I’ll be playing a set tomorrow night at a lovely show in the Mission:

    Sat Jan 7
    with Emily Jane White and My Second Surprise
    Viracocha, 998 Valencia St (at 21st) in SF
    Doors at 8pm, show starts at 9pm, my set at 10pm
    RSVP here.

    I’ve been uploading lots of videos lately. Might have something to do with the forward-facing camera and old-time film apps on my new phone. For those who would like an early taste of The Afterneath, my third album, here’s a song about a teenage ping-pong champion who returned to dominate the senior circuit in his 90s: The Tennis Table.

    And for those who like the Brazilian pop, here’s an exquisite song by Caetano Veloso, brilliantly shot and edited by Sean Udin: Oracao ao Tempo.

    If you’d like to subscribe to my YouTube channel, you can click here.

    Stay tuned for exciting official music videos for “Limited”, “Copter”, “I Need You Tiny”, and especially for “The Future” from the new album.


    Dec 4

    Tenho Sede

    Nov 9

    Nov/Dec Shows in SF and NYC

    TUES NOV 15
    with Juliet Strong and The Innocent
    at Kimo’s Penthouse Lounge
    1351 Polk Street (at Pine Street)
    8pm sharp. $6. RSVP here

    FRI NOV 18
    Magnificent House Concert
    (with some extremely special guests)
    *plus mini-cupcakes*
    Jascha’s House
    San Francisco
    (RSVP for details)

    FRI DEC 2
    A Winter House Concert in New York
    with Julia Barry
    at Megan’s in Brooklyn
    (RSVP for details)

    SUN DEC 18
    SeaweedSway Showcase
    Jascha (all-new songs from The Afterneath project)
    with Foxtails Brigade and Ash Reiter
    The Make-Out Room
    3225 22nd St (btwn Mission and Valencia)
    San Francisco
    7pm, $8

    Aug 9

    Some Hungry Guy

    Aug 9

    Why I Chose Winsor McCay’s Art

    My first contact with the pioneering comics artist Winsor McCay was via a giant book of his early work that arrived when I was sorting through piles at The New York Review of Books. I spent a good amount of time under my desk with the whole thing laid out. That was certainly the biggest book I’ve ever held, and it made a deep impression on me.

    When I set out to make a video for my song “Some Hungry Guy,” on my first album A Cure for Sleep, the visual world of Little Nemo came to mind. The song is about how strange it can be to survive in a hostile world. The lavish panels of Little Nemo depict a young boy navigating a series of wonders and catastrophes in his dreams. It was a perfect fit.

    Director Benjamin Ahr Harrison really came through beyond my wildest expectations. He is not trained as an animator, but using a little digital magic, he was able to lend depth and motion to McCay’s sumptuous century-old panels, which are now in the public domain since their copyright expired. Because McCay was also a pioneer of “animated drawing”— what we now call animation — it felt right to set some his finest drawings in motion.

    By blending these old-timey illustrations with cutting-edge tools, my hope is that the video gives you a sort of nostalgia for the future. My next album, The Future Limited, which ventures into science fiction and synth pop territory, will continue along these lines.