Songs/Records

Here is a list of my songwriting/rock records. You can find and buy them at Amazon and iTunes. You can listen to them all here.

Michael Zapruder - Pink Thunder Michael Zapruder - Dragon Chinese Cocktail Horoscope Michael Zapruder - New Ways of Letting Go Michael Zapruder - This is a Beautiful Town

Pink Thunder (Black Ocean Books / The Kora Records, 2012)

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Description:

This is an album I released in 2012 but that took me years to make. I started writing the pieces in 2006, finished all the recordings in 2010 probably, and then it took me a few years to find the right people to put it out. There is a beautiful hardcover book + CD version published by Black Ocean Books available, and also a 12″ vinyl version (email me about getting that). You can also get the MP3s on Amazon.

It’s a singular kind of record. I had been listening to an inordinate amount of contemporary rock music at the time as part of my job, and I wanted to explore alternatives to the standard forms that songwriters were using. I wanted to show that songs could be shaped in much more creative ways, and so I took poems by around 20 living American poets and made songs out of them. The poems are sung (it’s not spoken word + music). I didn’t change the poems at all, so what I ended up with are these incredibly strange and wonderful free verse rock songs.

There are dozens of musicians and instruments on the record, too.

Selected Press:

“…a work of extraordinary merit and historical significance….” Seth Abramson, Huffington Post

“… reminiscent of everything from Kurt Weill to Elliott Smith…. ” Los Angeles Times

“… a melodic new method of storytelling…” San Francisco Bay Guardian

Dragon Chinese Cocktail Horoscope (SideCho Records, 2009)

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Description:

I made this record in a single two-week recording session with Scott Solter (Mountain Goats, Superchunk, Okkervil River, Spoon) at Tiny Telephone Studios in San Francisco. It is one of those records that took a long time to write and a short time to record, which is often a good thing. The songs are all strange in some way or another, but they don’t necessarily hit you over the head with that.

Selected Press:

“Sonic juxtapositions are the album’s secret weapon and ultimately its defining characteristic…If Beck’s “The New Pollution” and Joni Mitchell’s “Free Man in Paris” conceived a child, it might sound something like this…” Pitchfork

“…elegantly structured, symmetric but not quite predictable, with eccentric shifts and forays that slip into place after three or four listens… a remarkable effort from a very talented songwriter.” Popmatters

New Ways of Letting Go (Howells Transmitter 2006)

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Description:

This record is in the general category of “chamber pop,” which is just another way of saying it’s a songwriter record with strings and horns and things like that. I made this record while someone very close to me was dying of cancer. It’s generally a pretty-sounding record with themes about insanity – kind of a David Lynch sort of beauty.

Selected Press:

“Masterful… It’s probably not too much of an overstatement to hang the genius tag on multi-instrumentalist Michael Zapruder.” –AMPLIFIER Magazine

“Michael Zapruder is working firmly embedded in the auteurial model of composition and arrangement, and he is a brilliant director.” – Said the Gramophone

“Zapruder borders on creative genius, and Rain Of Frogs only stands to raise that genius to a near mythical level …a modern masterpiece of sound…” – Hybrid Magazine

This is a Beautiful Town (Ex/Or Records, 2002)

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Description:

This was the first album of my own songs I made after finishing the 52 songs project, and for this record I taught myself a little bit of piano and was laser-focused on the idea of trying to write songs that were both modern and honest to what I was going through, but which were also faithful to a kind of classic-song ideal.

I recorded all the songs in California, including doing the piano parts on Neil Young’s piano at Broken Arrow Ranch, then went to New York City to add some parts and mix the record there.

Selected Press:

“…there’s just no way to overstate how good this record is… crushingly lovely ….Go get it.” Performing Songwriter Magazine

“…a warm, analog-steeped album of musings by a young poet with a notebook full of ideas.” Nashville Scene

“…a lean standout.” Justin Hopper, Pittsburgh City Paper

“… quiet and haunting… may well turn out to be a lasting pop pleasure.”-Mike Joyce, Washington Post

“… a remarkable collection…. These are the sort of profound songs that make a songwriter, not the other way around.” Jeff Miers, Buffalo News

“…moody and lovely…” The Onion

“… gorgeous, gently sad piano-pop.”The Oregonian