Author Archives: tim rutili

new califone songs

we have some new califone songs here:


when the air runs out in yer gold elevator                                                                                         peopled by:  Tim Rutili guitar & vocals . Joe Westerlund drums . Wally Boudway bass .                     Ross Andrews guitar . Keith B. Kelly horns   // recorded and mixed by Michael Krassner at the Ship in Los Angeles,CA & the Chateau in Phoenix,AZ // this one is something it is very true feelings and unedited thoughts. making it was very therapeutic. it is available here as part of a subscription of songs put together by Rough Trade Publishing to benefit the Southern Poverty Law Center.


comedy (v1)                                                                                                                                                 peopled by: Tim Rutili – piano, vocals, guitar, arp, percussion  . Craig Ross – bass, harmony vocals .           Conrad Choucroun – drums  // recorded and mixed by Craig Ross in austin,TX . this one is a waltz. like, “funny how?” ..  it is available here as part of a subscription of songs Our First 100 Days   All profits raised from Our First 100 Days will go directly to organizations working on the front lines of climate, women’s rights, immigration and fairness.




so happy this music is now available.…/here-chicago-sessions
via Hired Hand & The Boxhead Ensemble

The new 20 track double LP from The Boxhead Ensemble is available for preorder here now. The players include Michael Krassner, Tim Rutili (Califone – Official Page), James Becker, Shahzad Ismaily, Fred Lonberg-Holm and Jim R White (Dirty Three) These sessions were originally recorded for Braden King’s movie HERE and run the gamut from sparse and atmospheric to abrasive and transcendental. We’ll be hosting a proper release show on March 24th in Chicago at Constellation Chicago, but for those of you who cannot make it, we’ve got you covered here. As with all our releases the physical version is hand made and limited, this time to 261 copies. // friday March 24th THere is a boxhead ensemble 20th anniversary celebration at constellation in chicago.. info & tickets here


guitars tuned to air conditioners LP . roomsound tour & reissue vinyl .

here’s a new LP guitars tuned to air conditioners // Tim Rutili  Craig Ross                                                 Side A 17:03 PILLOWS BREAK IN FROZEN LAKE                                                                                         Side B 16:08 SPRING SPECIAL APE                                                                                                          For this release Tim & Craig compiled a collection of 50 photographs they had taken. We took these photographs and created 6 numbered 10” archival prints of each, one of which is included with every record. The vinyl is limited to 275 copies. It is housed in a numbered, hand-screened jacket, accompanied by a digital download of the music and a digital booklet of all the photographs. release date is 7/22/2016 . more info and pre-order here

this is a beauty.  It is exactly what the title claims. This is one of my absolute favorite records that I’ve ever been a part of. amazing process. beautiful packaging. I don’t listen to records I make too much after they’re finished but find myself going back and listening to this one quite a bit and always hearing something a little different in the music. this one is a scientific abstract painting.



roomsound reissue and tour dates:
(to celebrate the 15th anniversary re-issue of our debut album- roomsound)
we will be performing Roomsound in full.
band will be: Tim Rutili, Ben Massarella and Brian Deck, with Wally Boudway, Ross Andrews and some other very special guest musicians. very much looking forward to playing the entire record in sequence (15 years later) with the gentlemen that i made the record with. (don’t miss it-this’ll never happen again) – hope to see you there!

Thu. Sept. 22 & Fri. Sept. 23 – Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s  // tickets
Sat. Sept. 24 – Brooklyn, NYC @ Rough Trade  //  tickets
Thu. Oct. 6 – Los Angeles, CA @ Highland Park Ebell  w/ Slow Moses //  tickets
Fri. Oct. 7 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel w/ Slow Moses  // tickets
Fri. Oct. 14 – Seattle, WA @ The Sunset    w/ Slow Moses
Sat. Oct. 15 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios  w/ Slow Moses   // tickets

I will have more words about this very soon because I have words & more info about the deluxe re-release & vinyl coming very soon via our lovely friends at dead oceans



insect courage EP

limited 10inch vinyl: future oak                                                                                                                  mp3 or .WAV file download: here


peace & love, TR


califone // insect courage EP & living room tour


very proud and happy to say we have a new 10inch vinyl EP available now via our friends at future oak record co. it is called califone // insect courage plays at 45rpm. each record comes with a letterpress insert, each jacket run through an industrial press labeled boldly. included, as well, is a wooden nickel which can be used to access a digital download of the songs, because you should be able to touch digital downloads, too.  you can order it right here!

April – May Tourdates!  floor

25 – Dallas, TX (Richardson) tickets
26 – Tulsa, OK tickets
27 – Oklahoma City, OK  tickets
28 – Springfield MO  tickets
29 – Memphis, TN  tickets
30 -Murfreesboro, TN  tickets
1 – Knoxville,TN  tickets
2 – Chapel Hill, NC  tickets
3 – Baltimore, MD  tickets
4 – Philadelphia, PA  tickets
6 – Brooklyn, NY  tickets
7 – Winooski, VT – Waking Window Festival 
8 – Beacon NY  tickets
9 – Buffalo NY  tickets
10 – Toronto ONT  tickets
11 – Pittsburgh PA  tickets
12 – Cleveland OH  tickets
13 – Chicago IL (Oak Lawn)   tickets
14 – Chicago IL   tickets
15 – Madison     tickets

16 – minneapolis  tickets
17 – Minneapolis   tickets
18 – Omaha NE  tickets
19 – Lawrence KS  tickets
21 – Denver CO   tickets
22 – Santa Fe NM   tickets

LIVING ROOM SHOW TICKETS  These shows are being hosted in privates spaces and each one is limited to 40-60 tickets. All tickets must be purchased in advance. The full address to the secret location will be sent to you after purchase is complete. Don’t delay… these shows always sell out quickly.

+ some notes thoughts on insect courage EP:


tripped on your cape. this is a cover of a sin ropas song from their first record 3 cherries. i absolutely love this song. it’s been stuck to my brain since i first heard it all those years ago. this song reminds me of game of thrones but microscopic. this was recorded at home with Griffin Rodreguez, Joe Westerlund on percussion and mixed by Michael Krassner.

burn the sheets.bleach the books. this is a section cut from an hour long abstract improvised piece recorded with Joe Westerlund and 2 mics in my living room. almost immediately a melody and words came. again, small against the sky. night time, squinting down from up here makes the city look like embers. we wish on every passing light in the sky.

insect courage #14. the red electric guitar that’s not plugged in recorded with the telephone outside on my back porch. the bugs are exaggerated and the piano notes are an overdub.

mother of violence. this is a peter gabriel song. I first heard it when i was in was a kid hanging out in loftus’ room smoking weed. i got an education in how to hear music in that room. this song scared the daylights out of me and also struck me as beautiful and true. too high, getting hit in the belly by a song and trying not to cry in front of people. layers and layers of top with no safe bottom in sight. this one floats by. added recordings of my neighborhood’s fourth of july celebration to the end to mix with Joe Westerlund’s beautiful fragmented percussion work.

easter 82. bug song. spring-feverish. migration song. panic when the seasons change. started with layers of melodica amped and treated through guitar effects. recorded partly at home and partly in phoenix with Michael Krassner. instinct vs reason.stupidity as a survival mechanism. wanting what you have and loving who loves you. fear. bug dreams. how we get along and stay together.i dont know.

 insect courage #33. another section of that long improvised piece that became burn the sheets. me & Joe Westerlund in the living room. i can hear the sliding glass doors. Michael Krassner added a layer of beautiful guitar playing and mixed this in phoenix.


some years ago in chicago, my cousin called and invited me to join her for “discovery center” classes with a shaman. i was curious about that stuff and thought it would be a good excuse to hang with my cousin. the discovery center insert in the weekly paper made every experience they were selling look a little tacky but i decided to put cynicism away and give it a shot.

in a generic room above a tavern somewhere near lincoln park we all took our places sitting cross-legged on mexican blankets when the shaman came in. he and I were the only men in this room full of women. he wore a soft white cotton karate suit and had a distinctly wisconsin-ish bent to his words (wisconsin=opposite of peru). he lit some incense. there was a dana carvey/andy kaufman vibe about him as he sprayed us with rose water and chanted to the pachamama. he gave us rocks and told us to carry them around. rocks were our grandparents. he talked of his numerous trips to south america and his studies with the masters. he led us into a guided meditation with the intent that we would seek and make contact with our spirit animals.

i shut my eyes and listened to his voice mix with the sound of a dozen ladies breathing. i rolled with it. the room melts away. i sink deep into the earth and and feel the cold wet black soil surrounding me. keep breathing. the fertile soil covers me and i sink deeper. black rich dirt & a cold light. i’m an infant in that soil. i’m aware of my soft pale skin and a need for help. maybe i’ve never seen the sun? i will die without help. run out of air and starve. my hands don’t work. i can’t swim in this. sinking deeper into the dirt i feel a presence and know i am not alone. i have dreamed this before. there is someone here with me. the soil surrounding me begins to stir. something from outside of me says “breathe and stay here”. colder lights swell up and waves of soil move my body. a black ant the size of a german shepherd puts his face a millimeter from my face. he gives me air and takes some of mine. there is no emotion but i feel safe. held. the earth moves around me and hundreds of these enormous ants surround me. they crawl over me. i am fed. they give me air. a warmer light seeps in through the black ants bodies and moves through clumps of wet dirt. i feel a beautiful impersonal love. don’t question it. i’m safe. i’m ok.

“open your eyes” shaman says. “what did you see?”

most of my classmates saw giant pandas that talked to them or rode on the backs of eagles. beautiful majestic animals. a few dolphins. wild horses. my cousin was lead through a jungle by a telepathic panther. everyone in class talked about their animal spirit. i kept quiet. didn’t know what just happened or how to feel about it. in the car on the way home my cousin asks me i’m ok. she asks about my animal spirit. “bugs” i said.

this is a home made record. the bugs are still with me. peace and love, TR

April – May Living Room Tour! Tickets On Sale Now.




These shows are being hosted in privates spaces and each one is limited to 40-60 tickets. All tickets must be purchased in advance. The full address to the secret location will be sent to you after purchase is complete. Don’t delay… these shows always sell out quickly.

25 – Dallas
26 – Tulsa
27 – Oklahoma City OK
28 – Springfield MO
29 – Memphis TN
30 – Nashville TN
1 – Knoxville TN
2 – Chapel Hill NC
3 – Baltimore MD
4 – Philadelphia PA
6 – New York NY
8 – Beacon NY
9 – Buffalo NY
10 – Toronto ONT
11 – Pittsburgh PA
12 – Cleveland OH
13 – Oak Lawn IL
14 – Chicago IL
15 – Madison
16 – Minneapolis
18 – Omaha NE
19 – Lawrence KS

UPDATED / HOSTS NEEDED: Califone Living Room Shows April-May 2016


Hello friends!  We pushed the start date back and expand the living room tour! We have hosting offers in most towns and we’ll start getting in touch to confirm those shows this week. We’re still looking for hosts in the areas listed in BOLD below. Please get in touch if you live in or near one of these cities and want to host a show. We’ll make this as easy as possible for the hosts. All you have to do is let us borrow your space for about 3 hours and check names off the list at the door. In return you’ll get 5 additional free tickets for friends and our eternal gratitude.

TICKETS GO ON SALE MARCH 18 at 2pm (CT) / 3pm (ET)



25 – Dallas *
26 – Tulsa *
27 – Oklahoma City – host pending
28 – Springfield MO *
29 – Memphis *
30 – Nashville *
1 – Knoxville *
2 – Chapel Hill *
3 – Baltimore *
4 – Philadelphia *
5 – OFF
6 – New York NY *
7 – Winooski RI – Waking Window Festival *
8 – Beacon NY *
9 – Buffalo NY *
10 – Toronto ONT *
11 – Pittsburgh PA *
12 – Cleveland OH *
13 – Chicago IL – HOST NEEDED
14 – Chicago IL *
15 – Madison *
16 – Minneapolis *
17 – OFF / DRIVE
18 – Omaha NE *
19 – Lawrence KS *
20 – OFF / DRIVE
21 – Denver CO *
22 – Santa Fe NM – HOST NEEDED
23 – Tucson AZ – HOST NEEDED


1. Read everything below so you know how it works.

2. email this info:
– a. Your address.
– b. A few photos of your living room.
– c. Please put “Califone Living Room Show” and the name of your city in the subject line.

4. This email goes to the folks at Undertow. They will gather all of the emails, sort out the final routing and start getting back to hosts to confirm shows after the submissions deadline.

Here’s how it works.

1. You have a house, loft, small gallery, studio or other private space that can comfortably and safely host 40-50 people. A place with a big living room, finished basement or other interior space would be ideal. There needs to be street parking, parking garage or public transportation nearby and your neighbors should be cool. It would be a huge bummer if someone called the cops because of all the extra cars and people coming to your house. You probably shouldn’t do this if you live in a small apartment with a bunch of uptight neighbors or a cranky landlord. Be realistic on how many people your place can hold. We need to know how many tickets we can sell in advance. Sorry, we can’t do these shows outside.

2. Ticket price will be $20. Everyone must buy tickets in advance. No tickets will be sold at the door. There will be no reselling or third-party tickets sales. All tickets sales are direct to fans from Undertow. Limit 4 tickets per person. We want everyone to have the same chance of getting tickets.

3. We’ll provide the host with a list of everyone coming to the show. The host won’t have to deal with any money and will only need to check people off the list as they arrive. We ask guests to arrive between 7:00-7:45pm. The shows start at 8pm and we ask everyone to be out of your space by 10pm.

4. The host gets 5 additional free tickets for the show. If you have other friends beyond your 5 guests who want to come to the show you should direct them buy tickets on-line.

5. The shows will promoted on our websites, Facebook and Twitter and word-of-mouth. Your home address will not be published on the web and will only be given to people who purchase tickets.

6. We’ll need your help to spread the word on your Facebook and Twitter too. We’ll create a Facebook event for each show so you can easily invite your friends (Thank you!). Remember, please don’t post your address. The address only goes to people after they buy tickets. We need to keep the location private so people don’t try to show up and pay at the door.

7. You don’t need any sort of sound system. All we need is a nearby electrical outlet for Tim to plug in some gear. It’s good if you have ambient lighting like a lamp on coffee table, floor lamp, or overhead lights with a dimmer to help create a cozy mood and a small table or counter top where Tim can sell some merchandise before and after the show.

8. You don’t need seating for everyone. If you have a bunch of chairs, great! But most shows are floor seating and we let guests know they should bring a cushion or pillow to sit on during the show.

9. There will be no opening acts on the living room shows.

10. We love dogs and cats… we really do! But an excitable pet running around during the show can be distracting for the guests and performers. If you have curious and friendly 4-legged family members, would you be ok with putting them in another part of the house or sending them to a friend’s house during the show?

That’s it.