Category Archives: GUEST EDITOR

From The Desk Of Orenda Fink: Dr. John

Orenda Fink is known for her quiet, introspective songs and her unobtrusive approach to singing. Her music, both on her own solo albums and with Azure Ray (the band she fronts with longtime friend Maria Taylor), tends to be forlorn and unsettling, albeit imbued with an underlying belief in the ultimate goodness of existence. The songs on her new album, Blue Dream were inspired by the death of her dog, as well as general meditations on the limitations of existence on the material plane. On the LP, Fink goes deep into the primal questions of death and the meaning of life. The lyrics are dark, but the music is bright and buoyant, although still played at the laid-back tempos that are her forte. Fink will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on her.

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Fink: I am coming up on a 20-year love affair with Dr. John. And I recently met him at the Atlanta airport. I walked off my plane and there, sitting at the gate, looking badass as ever, was no other! I’m assuming because of some health issues, he was wheelchair bound and trying to get someone’s attention for assistance. I had to pinch myself. I walked up and said, “Dr. John? Do you need help?” He said, “I sure do, Honey.” I went to the gate agent and whispered, “You see that man over there? Take good care of him. He’s a legend.” I was too star-struck and nervous to properly introduce myself, or tell him that I had just recorded a cover of one of his songs, but I will always remember how f*$cking cool he was. Sigh.

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From The Desk Of Orenda Fink: Geronimo

Orenda Fink is known for her quiet, introspective songs and her unobtrusive approach to singing. Her music, both on her own solo albums and with Azure Ray (the band she fronts with longtime friend Maria Taylor), tends to be forlorn and unsettling, albeit imbued with an underlying belief in the ultimate goodness of existence. The songs on her new album, Blue Dream were inspired by the death of her dog, as well as general meditations on the limitations of existence on the material plane. On the LP, Fink goes deep into the primal questions of death and the meaning of life. The lyrics are dark, but the music is bright and buoyant, although still played at the laid-back tempos that are her forte. Fink will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on her.

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Fink: Geronimo is my good friend Jenny Reyes’ clothing label. In my circles, she is the indie female musician’s fashionable best friend. She has designed for Jenny Lewis, Haim, the Veronicas, Winona Ryder, Whispertown, Azure Ray and myself to name a few. I met her many years ago when we toured together with Rilo Kiley where she not only became a close confidant, but also taught me how to dress! Her designs are impeccable and always one step ahead of everyone else. She’s also an amazing stylist. She’s the bomb!

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From The Desk Of Orenda Fink: Little White Dogs

Orenda Fink is known for her quiet, introspective songs and her unobtrusive approach to singing. Her music, both on her own solo albums and with Azure Ray (the band she fronts with longtime friend Maria Taylor), tends to be forlorn and unsettling, albeit imbued with an underlying belief in the ultimate goodness of existence. The songs on her new album, Blue Dream were inspired by the death of her dog, as well as general meditations on the limitations of existence on the material plane. On the LP, Fink goes deep into the primal questions of death and the meaning of life. The lyrics are dark, but the music is bright and buoyant, although still played at the laid-back tempos that are her forte. Fink will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on her.

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Fink: I don’t know what my thing is with little white dogs, but I’ve had one pretty much my entire life starting at age 12 with our childhood dog, Muggs. I just lost my dog of 16 years, Wilson, not too long ago, and I was so heartbroken it took me awhile to even think about getting another. But when we finally got our new dog, Grimm, I realized, by George, I have picked out another little white dog! Thus completing a lifelong trifecta of little white dogs. I don’t know if they are my spirit animals or reincarnated from each other or just darn cute, but I imagine one day when I am older and more sedentary, I will collect a small herd of weird little white dogs and lay around with them in a white room in a white dress. This is my version of being the crazy cat lady.

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From The Desk Of Orenda Fink: Nina Barnes (Gemini Tactics)

Orenda Fink is known for her quiet, introspective songs and her unobtrusive approach to singing. Her music, both on her own solo albums and with Azure Ray (the band she fronts with longtime friend Maria Taylor), tends to be forlorn and unsettling, albeit imbued with an underlying belief in the ultimate goodness of existence. The songs on her new album, Blue Dream were inspired by the death of her dog, as well as general meditations on the limitations of existence on the material plane. On the LP, Fink goes deep into the primal questions of death and the meaning of life. The lyrics are dark, but the music is bright and buoyant, although still played at the laid-back tempos that are her forte. Fink will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on her.

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Fink: I adore this woman and the art she makes. Nina is married to of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes, and along with David Barnes is responsible for much of the band’s art, video and live performance concepts. She and I started Harouki Zombi together, an all-female performance-art dance party where we wreaked havoc all over the country—culminating in a lines-drawn-in-the-sand mini riot at SXSW that had organizers butting heads over artistic freedom vs. destruction of property. Who knew a little glitter could make grown men so upset? You can check out her latest work here.

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From The Desk Of Orenda Fink: David Lynch

Orenda Fink is known for her quiet, introspective songs and her unobtrusive approach to singing. Her music, both on her own solo albums and with Azure Ray (the band she fronts with longtime friend Maria Taylor), tends to be forlorn and unsettling, albeit imbued with an underlying belief in the ultimate goodness of existence. The songs on her new album, Blue Dream were inspired by the death of her dog, as well as general meditations on the limitations of existence on the material plane. On the LP, Fink goes deep into the primal questions of death and the meaning of life. The lyrics are dark, but the music is bright and buoyant, although still played at the laid-back tempos that are her forte. Fink will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on her.

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Fink: David Lynch is one of those directors for me who can do no wrong. Like no other, he perfectly captures those moments where dream meets reality, where perception shifts, and you are certain that no one can be seeing things quite like you are. His genius makes the surreal seem real and the real seem surreal. And, at the critical moment where you can no longer tell the difference, you can free fall into existential bliss and follow him on his dark ride through the subconscious. It’s always a trip worth taking.

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From The Desk Of Orenda Fink: Dreams

Orenda Fink is known for her quiet, introspective songs and her unobtrusive approach to singing. Her music, both on her own solo albums and with Azure Ray (the band she fronts with longtime friend Maria Taylor), tends to be forlorn and unsettling, albeit imbued with an underlying belief in the ultimate goodness of existence. The songs on her new album, Blue Dream were inspired by the death of her dog, as well as general meditations on the limitations of existence on the material plane. On the LP, Fink goes deep into the primal questions of death and the meaning of life. The lyrics are dark, but the music is bright and buoyant, although still played at the laid-back tempos that are her forte. Fink will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on her.

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Fink: I am a strong believer in the wisdom and healing power of dreams. Dreams are not arbitrary or superficial. There is a language to them, and if you learn how to read that language, you can discover powerful information about yourself and the nature of the universe. There is no greater source of self knowledge than your own subconscious, and dreams are a direct way to access that knowledge. We live in a mysterious and wonderfully complex world. There is so much yet to be discovered about time, space and consciousness. Dreams hint to us that the impossible is possible.

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From The Desk Of Orenda Fink: Tropical Islands

Orenda Fink is known for her quiet, introspective songs and her unobtrusive approach to singing. Her music, both on her own solo albums and with Azure Ray (the band she fronts with longtime friend Maria Taylor), tends to be forlorn and unsettling, albeit imbued with an underlying belief in the ultimate goodness of existence. The songs on her new album, Blue Dream were inspired by the death of her dog, as well as general meditations on the limitations of existence on the material plane. On the LP, Fink goes deep into the primal questions of death and the meaning of life. The lyrics are dark, but the music is bright and buoyant, although still played at the laid-back tempos that are her forte. Fink will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on her.

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Fink: Well, OK, almost anywhere tropical will do. I never feel more at home on planet Earth than when I am in or near the tropics. The heat, the stickiness, the white sand, clear ocean water, the moon, the sun, avocados, fresh-caught seafood, mosquito nets, canopy beds, ceiling fans vs. air conditioning, the languid air, the politics, the slow pace, rum, menthol cigarettes, the music, tropical fruits, salt water and diesel fuel, ceramic tile and hard wood, cement houses and screenless windows, tropical storms, vibrant colors, indigenous cultures, ex-pats and the ruins of colonial architecture that fall apart so beautifully. I have a medium friend who says I had something going on there in a past life. That seems about right to me.

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From The Desk Of Orenda Fink: The Perfect Martini

Orenda Fink is known for her quiet, introspective songs and her unobtrusive approach to singing. Her music, both on her own solo albums and with Azure Ray (the band she fronts with longtime friend Maria Taylor), tends to be forlorn and unsettling, albeit imbued with an underlying belief in the ultimate goodness of existence. The songs on her new album, Blue Dream were inspired by the death of her dog, as well as general meditations on the limitations of existence on the material plane. On the LP, Fink goes deep into the primal questions of death and the meaning of life. The lyrics are dark, but the music is bright and buoyant, although still played at the laid-back tempos that are her forte. Fink will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on her.

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Fink: One of my favorite drinks in the world next to a proper Haitian rum punch is a well-made martini. I used to bartend at the 40 Watt Club in Athens, Ga., where an unlikely assortment of townies, sound men and service-industry folk would come in on slow nights just to have me make them a martini. Here is how I make mine:

Step 1. Chill the glasses by filling them with ice and water
Step 2. In a shaker, combine lots of ice, your choice of top-shelf vodka or gin (I like them both depending on the mood), olive juice (not too much) and the juice of one small wedge of lime. (This is a secret trick I picked up from another bartender. You don’t want to taste the lime, but the effect of having it in there is quite nice.)
Step 3. Shake the living hell out of it
Step 4. Take the now-chilled glasses and coat them with dry vermouth. I pour a little in and swirl it around the glass, and then pour the excess out.
Step 5. Pour the contents of the shaker into the glass and garnish with two large olives (blue cheese or goat cheese stuffed are delicious).
Step 5. Enjoy and repeat.

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From The Desk Of Orenda Fink: Alejandro Jodorowsky

Orenda Fink is known for her quiet, introspective songs and her unobtrusive approach to singing. Her music, both on her own solo albums and with Azure Ray (the band she fronts with longtime friend Maria Taylor), tends to be forlorn and unsettling, albeit imbued with an underlying belief in the ultimate goodness of existence. The songs on her new album, Blue Dream were inspired by the death of her dog, as well as general meditations on the limitations of existence on the material plane. On the LP, Fink goes deep into the primal questions of death and the meaning of life. The lyrics are dark, but the music is bright and buoyant, although still played at the laid-back tempos that are her forte. Fink will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on her.

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Fink: Director, actor, writer, playwright, Psychomagic shaman: Alejandro Jodorowsky has been one of my biggest inspirations these last couple of years. I have always been a fan of his films, especially El Topo, Holy Mountain and Santa Sangre, but it wasn’t until I read The Spiritual Journey Of Alejandro Jodorowsky and Psychomagic that I began to view him as one of the greatest minds of our time.

“Everyone is an immortal consciousness, an exact reproduction of the universe. Your unconscious is a particle and at the same time the totality of the cosmos. And say what they will with respect to your limited body, you are the complete consciousness. Let them tell you what they will about your ephemeral flesh: If you achieve integrating yourself into the divine consciousness, you are immortal.” —Alejandro Jodorowsky

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Orenda Fink: The Warmest Color

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We’re not of a mind to disagree with Orenda Fink’s sweet, death-obsessed dreams

Orenda Fink is known for her quiet, introspective songs and her unobtrusive approach to singing. Her music, both on her own solo albums and with Azure Ray (the band she fronts with longtime friend Maria Taylor), tends to be forlorn and unsettling, albeit imbued with an underlying belief in the ultimate goodness of existence.

“I suppose melancholy is the word that fits,” Fink says, speaking via phone from her home studio in Omaha. “I know people tend to glaze over when I say it, and I’m not fond of the term gothic either. I wish I could come up with something more catchy to describe my sound.”

Fink breaks off for a moment to grab a pile of blankets and toss them on the floor of the studio to soak up the rain that’s seeping in through the floor. “We had a tornado, a hailstorm and thundershowers just before the interview started. It was a surreal experience.”

The jarring weather could be some cosmic metaphor for the unexpected prism of emotions that’s reflected in the songs on her new album, Blue Dream. They were inspired by the death of her dog, as well as general meditations on the limitations of existence on the material plane.

“Losing my dog sent me into a deep depression,” she says. “I saw a therapist, who specialized in Jungian dream analysis. She told me that when you’re ready to deal with your dreams, something awakens in your subconscious mind and (dreams) come flowing out. I started having powerful dreams about my dog’s death and death in general. It was a crazy period. I started writing the album after that. The songs didn’t come specifically from the dreams, but I was in that zone between dreams and waking while I was writing. I’m inclined to have one foot in each world, even when I’m awake, but losing my dog erased the boundary between those worlds for a while.”

On the LP, Fink goes deep into the primal questions of death and the meaning of life. The lyrics are dark, but the music is bright and buoyant, although still played at the laid-back tempos that are her forte. “Bill Rieflin, who used to play with Ministry, played the drums in a light, un-Ministry like manner,” says Fink. “I thought his rhythms were too pop, but he said the lyrics were so sad, it would make a good juxtaposition. Ben Brodin, who plays with Conor Oberst, did all the guitars. I kept going, ‘It doesn’t sound like a dream.’ Then he’d go, ‘What does a dream sound like?’ I told him I’d know it when I heard it.”

The finished album is dreamlike and comforting, despite its preoccupation with mortality. “Although it’s about death, the record has a celebratory feeling for me,” says Fink. “The experience of making it helped me come out on the other side with a firm understanding that there is a life after death, that you can weep until you’re crying tears of joy and epiphany.”

—j. poet

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