Today, Breakthru Radio releases a unique performance of “Patient Like A Lamb,” from the April ‘14 “Lamb” EP. I was joined by Streets of Laredo, Totara Jack, and pipe organist/little brother Griffin McMahon. 

Christ Church NYC, a glittering golden gem of a cathedral in Uptown Manhattan, graciously invited us face-painted knot-haired be-robed & be-denimed not to mention tuxedoed misfits into their sacred space to film this little hymn for the good of all mankind. 

I am eternally grateful.



download song / order ION ZELIG VOL. III 6-song EP here:

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For Gramma Barbara (yes, she’s still alive).  Ft. Sara Sremac singing harmony. Thanks to Tyson Kennedy (scissors & blades), Dave Gibson and Dean Holcombe (camera eyes).

Yes, most of my plutonian superpower is gone now that the mane has been clipped. I am now somewhat crippled emotionally from the loss but my gutted heart is on my sleeve now at least and overall my haircut has changed my life. I am 1) no longer confused with Jesus and, 2) paradoxically, exponentially better looking. I have mixed feelings about both. 

This one goes out to Gramma, who 1) saw the way I hid my soul and utter sense of confusion and failure behind the prison bars of an aesthetically Nazirite vow for roughly five years and 2) dreamed my way out of it. Life is very difficult and filled with many venomous snakes and irritable pebbles in your boots of decomposing leather, but the moral of the story is, look good on the journey by not hiding the beauty of your utter sense of confusion and failure twisting your face into the most genuine smile you can retrieve from your heart (the proverbial source of venusian love-superpower), which, as we know, can keep beating even when your gut (that proverbial source of plutonian superpower I was talking about) is weak from up to a week of food deprivation.

Y’all catch my drift? Love you Gramma.


Gramma, I cut my hair because you had a dream that that’s what I would do.

You know it’s a big risk to show your face in this world today, this day and age.

I’ve made one or two careless mistakes in my own way.

Gramma, I cut my hair because you had a dream that that’s what I would do.

Well, Delilah’s not my barber so I guess it could be harder.

I’m just shearing these locks for you, shearing these locks for you.

And if they had been feathers, I’d be moulting with the weather anyway —

as you dreamed I would do. So why would I not do that for you?

Just a mask I’ve been wearing to protect my skin.

Well, where on earth have I been? Where on earth have I been?

It’s me, it’s me, Gramma!

It’s me, it’s me, Gramma!

It’s me, it’s me, Gramma! It’s Sean!

Gramma, I cut my hair because you had a dream that that’s what I would do.

My older sister, Ryan McMahon, has released a short video art piece about her recovery from injuries sustained to her back and wrists during the April 15th, 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings. The piece, “You’re Ok,” is incredibly moving and her visceral and aesthetic portrayals of her inner world of shock, trauma, patience, impatience, fortitude, vulnerability, and triumph will draw you into her experience.

I proudly add that the piece features the use of a few filming techniques peculiar to my sister’s warped (!) imagination, as well as a beautiful song by my wonderful friends and Kiwi bandmates Streets of Laredo.

I’ve always known my sister to be an especially gifted artist, but as a sister and a woman she is a gift to me — and my family, and her family of friends and supporters. She has gathered the courage and the wide breadth of her artistic gifts not only to empower her recovery, but especially to give the world, through this medium, some of her very heart and soul as she undergoes one of the most trying experiences imaginable: recovery from an act of intentional mass destruction and violence.

We’ve always called Ryan “the Sunshine Girl” in my family — anyone who knows her knows why — and in this case, she’s shining a light on her part of a larger narrative of which the Boston Marathon Bombings are just another chapter: the struggle of the enlightened and enlightening human spirit against forces of darkness and desolation (of which, to be clear, I believe the bombers themselves were just as much ignorant victims as they were willing instruments). Please feel free to share this video amongst yourselves, and spread this message of hope and life which is the strength and foundation of our common thread of friendship and community.

Love to all — God bless you dearest RyGuy.

Here are Ryan’s notes, and you may find the video online @ :

This past April I was injured and hospitalized during the Boston Marathon Explosions with a major back injury and two broken wrists. My Project, “Documenting My Recovery” is made up of a series of photographs and videos that explore my recovery and the healing process. I am interested in the transformative potential of photography and the moving image to reveal new information and evolve cultural thinking.

I have been researching how other artists like Harun Farocki, Hito Steyerl, Stanya Kahn, Jon Rafman, Hannah Wilke and Liza Johnson uncover the effects of war, trauma and violent events. I’m also very interested in how groups, communities and cities grieve and heal collectively. Using texts from Trauma Studies I am exploring and documenting the impacts of psychological and physical trauma on an individual (myself), my family, my immediate community, and on the city as a whole while also looking at the contrasting methods that the mass media has used to process the event. The body’s healing time vs. media time.

April through July, I lived at my grandmother’s house while recovering from my injuries. A visiting nurse, my mother, father, grandmother, and my dad’s family from Ireland came over and took care of me. I recognize how lucky I am to have this support. Through photography and video I wanted to capture the beautiful moments I shared with both my 83-year old grandmother and my 93-year old grandmother from Ireland as they took care of me. Something I never expected as a 34-year old woman. I usually bring my grandmother to doctor’s appointments and assist her with whatever she needs. I was also very aware that this could be the last time we were all in a room together like this.

Although I felt completely taken care of, loved and supported I also felt a great deal of anger, sadness, guilt and frustration at the loss of my independence and control over my life. I struggled to understand how or why this horrendous event took place and the impact it has had on others and myself. Physically, I needed help with everything. It was hard at first to let go, embrace being vulnerable and ask for help. I had both good days and bad days. On the good days I was carefree and able to fully enjoy my family’s company and create so many wonderful memories. On the bad days I needed to escape. I would walk around my grandmother’s building on my own or sit quietly in my room. I quickly set up my camera on a tri-pod and my computer the first week out of the hospital to document whatever came up. I created short videos with diary-like entries. There were days I’d start talking about how uneasy, angry and heavy I felt. Each time I sat down something new would develop. I used humor and got my nervous energy out by performing, dancing and letting go. By the end of every shoot I felt an overwhelming sense of strength and freedom. This action of turning the camera on myself has truly helped me process both the physical and psychological impacts I have felt since April. I have been piecing together the still images and video created during that time along with current work to articulate various thoughts and feelings I experienced from the event and during my recovery. I want to express the anger, sadness, anxiety and loss I felt but I also want to show the beautiful and unique interactions between my family and I during this difficult time. I hope the viewer can see that there is so much love and beauty along with the weight of this terrible event.