Thursday, May 30, 2013

Crow Crash Radio will play at Jupiter in Berkeley!

Crow Crash Radio will bring our Mutant Raga-billy to Berkeley's Jupiter, this Wednesday, June 5th.
Jupiter is located at 2181 Shattuck Ave. We will play from 8-11 PM.
Here is a new track, recorded at Daniel Humphrey's Montclair, CA studio last December!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Janina Angel Bath Group-Underground Yoga Parlor, Oakland CA 5/25/13

Above: Photo of Janina by Sri Louise

A very eventful week for me was capped by this fun gig at the Underground Yoga Parlor in West Oakland.
UYP is a very cool ashram, decorated with great Hindu artwork. It is part of a larger complex of buildings that seems like some kind of oasis, within its large, flower teeming interior courtyard.
We played four pieces, and it felt right. The key for my playing within the context of Janina's group is to keep things simple, providing support for the vocals and guitar sounds. Janina is pretty particular about how the pieces should be structured and played, and I respect that.

Above: In flight with film. Photos by Melissa Crockett

Friday, May 24, 2013

I will play with the Janina Angel Bath Group tomorrow!

As I wrap up this eventful week of gigs, I will perform with the Janina Angel Bath Group tomorrow evening at the Underground Yoga Parlor in West Oakland.
UYP is located at 3209 Peralta St., between Hollis and 32nd. The show starts at 7PM.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Crow Crash Radio/Mountain vs. Building/Failure Cock-The Uptown, Oakland, CA 5/22/13

In my gig announcement for this show, I mentioned how the Uptown as not advertising this show, but I was wrong. Not only that, their staff are super friendly and cool. Thanks, Uptown!
And thanks KALX for letting Andrew of Crow Crash Radio book this gig.
It was fun, but I was so busy, it's all a blur.
There was a Facebook meme going around all afternoon about 5/22 being Sun Ra's 99th birthday, so, during Failure Cock's set, I riffed on the Ra lyric "what planet is this?" for quite some time. In doing so, I cleared the room. 

Above: scenes from the whirlwind, and my favorite picture of Scarp Home EVER.

Thanks to Andrew Joron, Brian Strang, Brian Lucas, Michael Lowe-Grandi, Sheila Bosco, and Scarp for jamming with me all evening long.
I must pass out now.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I will play a long time tomorrow night!

As I age, I realize that I live to serve. My job gets less existentially painful when I accept the service role that is mine. I also serve music, and, as a drummer, generally serve musicians. I lay it down or space it out and stomp on it. Whatever it takes to make things work.
Tomorrow night I will be serving not double, but triple duty, playing three sets with three different bands at Oakland's Uptown Nightclub. One might say that this is an act of supreme Narcissism, but, owing to the fact that the show is neither paid nor advertised, and owing to the fact that no one in any of the bands wants to deal with playing with a Metal-Rap hybrid group from San Leandro or a singer/songwriter from Daly City, we collectively decided to keep things within the tight circle of bands that I play in.

First up, Crow Crash Radio will play our mutant Space Ragabilly.
Next, Mountain vs. Building will bring our Kraut-ey Space Rock to the fore.
Lastly, Failure Cock will jam out our composition, Orlando Brown 1877, which is based on the story of an 18th Century Colorado resident who believed so much in Manifest Destiny that he chose to spend weeks shooting any and all buffalo he saw. O.B. shot so many rounds that he went deaf in his left ear. What a guy.

Any and all are invited. The Uptown is located at  1928 Telegraph Ave. downtown. Come on over and support your local service scene. We all gotta serve something. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ear Spray/Music for Hard Times-Berkeley Arts Festival Building; Berkeley, CA 5/20/13

Ear Spray had a great time playing in Berkeley this evening.
To say that the show was sparsely attended would be an overstatement, but I've long since learned to find other values to performance. Plus, I was able to achieve the kind of sublime mental space of feeling subjective and objective simultaneously; there could have been hundreds present or no one at all. In the zone type stuff, I guess.
I was able to feel each bead of sweat on my forehead, each shimmering reflection of light off of the Tom Nunn Plate and cymbal stands. Sweet.
Above: Ann sound checks
Below: Carlos sets up
Above: Ann jams
Below: Mark, feeling spaced and stare-ey (photo by Rent Romus)

Music for Hard Times were great. Paul and Tom practice some deeply interior psychedelic improvisation.
Above: Music for Hard Times

At the end of the evening, both groups put our heads together for a short piece. Everyone listened, and it felt right. Paul Winstanley got the  last note of the evening. All left happy.

Update: video of joint Ear Spray/Music for Hard Times jam at the end of the evening:

Update: full performance from Ear Spray:

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I will play with Ear Spray 5/20!

This show is part of the venerable Berkeley Arts Festival.
The address is 2133 University Avenue, Berkeley 94704. Ear Spray, consisting of Ann O'Rourke and Carlos Jennings, along with myself, will play at 8PM. $5-10 sliding.
The second band, Music For Hard Times, plays at 9PM.
Come on out!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Crow Crash Radio-Brainwash Cafe, 5/18/13

It's always very tough to get people to Brainwash, and this evening was no different. That said, a few people showed up, and Crow Crash Radio used the opportunity to stretch out and play.
I felt like our versions of Moonlight Mile and the loping original tune Haditha went really well.
We even got to play a bit longer than expected, as the other band showed up fashionably late. That kind of action seems kind of lame to me, but, hey, showbiz! Hahaha.

Above: looking out onto SOMA
Below: Brian and Andrew tune up
One interesting mental trip for me: as we played our version of Down in the Dungeon, I recalled having heard Johnny Cash's version, at Brainwash, in 1993 or so. Where does the time go?

Below: photos by JD Schmid

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Upcoming gig activity!

The next few weeks look to be very busy for me!
First, Crow Crash Radio will be playing at Brainwash Cafe in SF, Sat., 5/18.
Crow Crash plays at 8PM. Brainwash is located at 1122 Folsom St. No cover.
Next up, I will be playing with Ear Spray at the Berkeley Arts Festival Building, Mon., 5/20. Show starts at 8PM, and the cover is usually $5-10 sliding.
Thirdly, in what I am calling Mark-a-Palooza, I will be doing triple duty on Wed., 5/22, playing drums in Crow Crash Radio, Mountain vs. Building, and Failure Cock, at the Uptown. That show starts at 8PM and is free.
Finally, I will be playing percussion with the Janina Angel Bath group on Sat., 5/25 at a yoga studio in Oakland.
Needless to say, the next week is filled with rehearsals!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cloud Shepherd with India Cooke and Will Alexander-Meridian Gallery, SF 5/4/13

Last night's Cloud Shepherd performance seemed to be one of inward, emotional moods. In talking with a few of the other band members, we agreed that our playing focus had been turned inside. The show started with our special guests India Cooke and Will Alexander. Will read an all too brief poem, and then began playing the piano. India joined him, and it was beautiful.
Above: India and Will travel

Cloud Shepherd then joined them, and played four or five longish improvisations. I felt that we got off to a pretty good start; at some point my playing got perhaps a bit too inward focused. I guess at one point my brush playing got a bit off time. Ouch!

India took a solo turn, and, as usual, blew the roof of the place. She's amazing.

Above: note new Utopia Synth, from Skychord

I was particularly pleased to be able to play my new gadget, the Utopia Synth, made by Skychord Electronics. What a great piece of gear!
Above: good old Cloud Kit, prepped

At the end of the show, I felt drained and pretty well spaced out. I am not sure how it was from an objective point of few, but I do know that as a subject of the experience, I tripped out.

Above: tuning, setting the stage
Below: my view from the stage
Thanks to the SF State Poetry Center for putting this event on!