secret garden video series December 11, 2008

These United States at the Secret Garden

On the 19th of November, These United States were in town to play one of their last shows of the tour at Knitting Factory. On the evening of the 20th, they were heading out to Connecticut, and that morning we met in Lefferts Garden, Brooklyn—where they were staying—to film a few songs for the Secret Garden. The sequence of events as they happened: breakfast at the diner, kitchen table conversation and beer-drinking at the apartment, invasion of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden that involved insufficient winter clothing and four awesome performances, back at the apartment for a story on the day’s adventures.

[Update: I added downloadable version for your iPod. See within!]


  1. “Sun Is Below & Above” in the Desert room. The version performed here is my favorite, but it’s pretty stunning in its original form, too, which appears in the album A Picture of the Three of Us at the Gate to the Garden of Eden.
  2. Meeting with Justice, son of our lovely waitress. He who drew Pokemon characters for drummer Robby Cosenza
  3. “Honor Amongst Thieves” on our way to the Japanese Garden. From Crimes.
  4. Kitchen table conversation, part 1: Taste & Mediocrity
  5. “Kings and Aces” in the Tropical Forest room. From A Picture
  6. Kitchen table conversation, part 2: Madison Square Garden
  7. “When You’re Traveling at the Speed of Light” in the Japanese Garden. From Crimes.

» Download it for your iPod (267mb)

VIDEO 2 (Bonus)
Jesse tells a story about the day’s adventures at the Botanic Garden.

[Update: These videos no longer have any embedding restrictions]


These United States, as seen in the video, are:
Jesse Elliott (singer, inspirator and storyteller), J. Tom Hnatow (banjo player, hand holder and music theorist), Robby Cosenza (suitcase drummer, poet and king!), Justin Craig (guitarist, collage artist and red hat tosser).

Also making an appearance is filmmaker and beer-supplier Jared Varada, who directed the video for “Get Yourself Home“.

Trusty helper/supporter and carrier of things, my sister Sahara.


Here’re some more fabulous and fabulously free recordings: WOXY Session #1 and WOXY Session #2 are my favorites—listen to #1 for the best version of “Slow Crows Over”, which is how they usually play it live, in all its pedal steel glory. Then there’re All Things Considered, Daytrotter #2, Daytrotter #1

Websites: These United States, and, mentioned in the video, Matt Jones

  • Aqua: Love TEEN. Man they can sing. Cool. Different.
  • Suraj Joshee: Sarahana, Loved the video. You captured the simple raw essence of the music and band really really...
  • Kevination: I love infectious songs.
  • Jipes: Another great post, I love the voice of this artist. Every time I come here I’m surprised which is...
  • Jipes: Not at all, I’m really sorry if my comment seems odd but compare to people like Tallest Man on Earth,...