I am a musician and linguist from Portland, Oregon.

My musical life and career began when I was five, and begged my parents to let me take piano lessons. It was the thing I spent the bulk of my time doing for the following 35 years. After high school, I attended Indiana University and the University of Oregon, but ultimately dropped out to gain professional experience in performance, recording, and composition. I spent the next 20 years touring nationally and globally, collaborating with a wide variety of groups and artists, and working my own projects.

Of the latter, easily the most significant was The Visible Men, in which I composed, sang, and played keyboards. Over seven years we released two studio albums, and nearly completed a third, which one day may be rescued from the vault. For more information on The Visible Men, please visit the music page on this site.

After The Visible Men disbanded, I joined the Santa Barbara, California outfit Mad Caddies, and toured and recorded with them for the next seven years. Through them, I met Tony Sly, who I worked with on the albums Sad Bear and Acoustic II, and Fat Mike, who I collaborated with on the musical Home Street Home, and for whom I wrote the AVN award-winning score for the soundtrack of Rubber Bordello. For more information on my music career, feel free to peruse this Wikipedia page.

At the age of 40 I quit touring, to finally finish my bachelor’s degree. I discovered linguistics and instantly fell in love. Now, upon finishing my BA in Applied Linguistics, I’m looking forward to beginning my graduate work in the fall of 2020. My interests in linguistics are primarily morphology, syntax, and semantics; indigenous languages and stigmatized varieties of the Americas; and endangered language documentation and revitalization. I am also particularly interested in the intersection of endangered language revitalization and (ethno)musicology.

Starting in 2019, I began working on a number of new musical projects, which will hope to see their completion by mid-2021. In the spring of 2020, I was also fortunate enough to be asked to join a collective of musicians and songwriters, called the Friday Night Song Club. Members are given a title and three prompts each week, and each person writes and records a submission for the live-stream the coming Friday. The complete archive of livestreams can be found here, and the Band Camp page for the collective, here. This project is about to enter its third season, with its 41st official episode airing on March 26, 2021.



  1. Hi there,
    I’m looking for vintage collections of Sports photography and I know that your father, Brian Lanker, shot a lot of Sports. If his archives are still around, might they be for sale? I buy whole collections and then piece them out. Please let me know.

    1. Hi, James. The archives are still around, but they are not for sale. Thank you for your inquiry, and best wishes.

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