Stadiums & Shrines
Currently viewing the tag: "The Spookfish"


Last time Dan Goldberg came by the Newtown studio he performed live, running his guitar and synthesizer through a 4-track recorder. Ahead of this set in April—the week his new record came out on Fire Talk—The NY-based songwriter dubbed some of his favorite tracks (from friends, video games, and beyond) to tape. Dan’s vintage Tascam machine adds a certain character to his recordings as The Spookfish, and it lends a similar wobble and warmth to each selection here. As he patiently loaded and ejected cassettes, embracing the kind of cuts and chasms that normally alarm DJs, Dan shared assorted thoughts and stories. He was kind enough to collect some of those for us below:

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Last February, Dan Goldberg (aka The Spookfish) performed in a sling at Palisades. His guitar resting upright on a stool, he strummed awkwardly and adequately, each focused, wincing movement endearing him more. This personal challenge not to cancel the set (after dislocating his shoulder in a snowstorm) became the essence of the set; the arrangements took on a certain vulnerability in the light of that particular night.

Also planned that week was a session with Brooklyn-based violinist, Nicole Ruggiero. The two had met not long before, and the open-minded newness of their first creative encounter can be heard across these improvised takes, as well as in between them—Nicole laughing after ‘Improvisation 1’, Dan noting fatigue as ‘4’ unravels, etc. Mixing “harmony and dissonance,” frames Nicole, the collection feels like a capsule of a moment. Raw and fleeting, finished yet pleasantly incomplete.

The lead track appeared in Sam Ray’s Art Week 2016 compilation. Now the full set is up at SoundCloud, paired with an image by visual artist Symbios.



We had the delight of beginning our second season on Newtown Radio with an in-studio performance by The Spookfish. Dan crafted his set on 4-track, microKORG, and nylon string guitar with a cryptic contact mic taped to it. A short sequence followed (setlist below).

0:00 – 22:00 – The Spookfish [live]
Radical Guts – Time to Turn out the Lights
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – Sundry / Tides III
Lomboy – In the Chamber Of Vanu
夕方の犬 (dog in the evening) – Rain New___York in September, 1991
Noah Wall – Detente
Ryley Walker – Primrose Green
Ekin Fil – Senses
Gawain – The First Instance
Dreampeter – In A Tunnel (With Mike And Evan) / Head Injury

From here, be sure to reach Dan’s bandcamp, and this lovely piece on the mountain shows he organizes.

Watch Them Pass


Last Saturday Ashley Paul‘s record release show took place as part of Diamond Mouth Surprise. Among those in attendance was our dear friend Dan Goldberg aka The Spookfish, who was so struck by the set that he emailed her afterwards (below). The story came up over coffee with Dan yesterday and all this indeed went on to strike us as well…

“Hey just wanted to say your performance tonight was my favorite thing I’ve seen in a long time. I felt like La Sala turned into a different place when you were playing.

I also remembered a day I had forgotten about while you were performing: it was when I lived in Korea and took a really long, aimless walk and ended up walking under what seemed like endless highways next to a mountain. Then I decided to hike up the mountain trail. I ended up at a somewhat run-down Buddhist temple where monks were hitting drums at different rhythms as part of some meditation. I snuck around and listened to their drums for a while without them noticing me.

After this, I decided to continue up the mountain. I found myself on an exposed ridge that went on farther than I could see and the sun was going down. I walked as far as I could until the sun was almost down. Then I decided to turn back and take the steepest trail back down to the road under the highway tunnels before it got dark. It was barely a trail and after cutting through thick vegetation, I realized I had stumbled into a little clearing full of burial mounds. I quickly got back down after that though and then went to a party at my friend’s apartment and forgot about the whole thing.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy that story and it isn’t a drag to read. It is one that hardly ever crosses my mind, but I relived it in like a split second from your music and wanted to send it to you.”

She replied kindly.

Line the Clouds is out now on REL Records, and streaming over at Ad Hoc.