Sunday, May 22, 2011

Consecutive Cloud-filled evenings

This past weekend I had the increasingly rare, for me, treat of playing two consecutive shows in different towns. Cloud Shepherd graciously invited me to play with them on Fri., 5/20 at the Subterranean Art House in Berkeley and Sat., 5/21 at the Felix Kulpa Art Gallery in Santa Cruz.

Friday evening's show also featured the amazing poet and keyboard player Will Alexander. If you get a chance to read his work or hear his music, do take it. He's amazing on both counts. His keyboard style is modal and compositional, quite trance-inducing. Cloud Shepherd played two improvisations. The energy of the group seemed a bit frenetic, especially on the second piece, where Will joined us on keyboard. Brian started the set walking around with a blinking light, offering it to the assembled audience.

Above: Cloud Shepherd set up at Subterranean Art House in Berkeley, 5/20/11

Saturday evening's show seemed much more pastoral and evenly-paced, sound wise. It seemed like we were able to take our time and let the music unfold with a bit more ease. That may have had something to do with the relaxing drive to Santa Cruz and nice, cold Guinness we imbibed upon arrival. The show stared off with Brian, Andrew, and Joe, all players in Cloud Shepherd, reading bits of their published poetry. Live poetry is great. If you just really listen, you will get the magical imagery that words can invoke within the mind. Nice. After the reading, Cloud Shepherd played one improvised piece. Its duration was about 25 minutes, but it could have lasted 3 minutes or two hours. For me, time stopped!

Above: Cloud Shepherd set up at Felix Kulpa Gallery in Santa Cruz, 5/21/11

I really enjoyed the opportunity to play improvised music for two consecutive nights. Hopefully more chances for that will arise in time.

Above: Brian Lucas, packing things up for the night, 5/21/11

Audio from the jam with Will Alexander, 5/20/11:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Birdsaw Nirvana cover

I was never that big a fan of Kurt Cobain. I thought that he was kind of a whiner, and did not enjoy the first Nirvana LP when I heard it. Subpop's other acts like Mudhoney, Tad, and Soundgarden suited my tastes better. When Nevermind came out, I was deeply into Jazz, so did not make that much time to listen. Those tunes were all over the airwaves, anyway, so of course, I heard them all.  Still, when Tony "Wilson" Gil asked Birdsaw to contribute a track to his all-SF bands Nirvana cover CD, Nearvana, I did not mind being involved. I think we did an OK job on the depressive vibes of this tune.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I will perfrom publicly with Cloud Shepherd!

In what will be my first public gig since the last Barney Cauldron show in late September, 2010, I will be guesting with Cloud Shepherd at the Subterranean Arthouse in Berkeley, this Friday, May 20. I'm very excited. I have wanted to perform with a group like this for a long time. It'll be a blast!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Floating Away on Cloud Preparations

You have to love Soundcloud and their iPhone app. This was recorded using that technology. The sounds are made by the pieces of the kit I intend to use with Cloud Shepherd.  This was all done in my garage, 5/8/11.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Shepherding Clouds in Berkeley 5/6/11

Last night I made my semi-public debut with Cloud Shepherd, at a party at the theremin player Andrew's house. It was a fun evening that featured lots of talented musicians and poets, sharing their work. It felt nice to play music in front of people again, after many months of just rehearsing. Hopefully this will be the first of many Cloud Shepherd related posts here. I was so happy to get a chance to play such creative music.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Cloud Shepherd session

I'm so grateful and flattered to have had  an opportunity to play and record with this fascinating band. Hopefully, further collaborations will follow!

Please do check out their  catalog!