Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Pure Finder-VAMP, Oakland, CA; 12/11/15

I have to say that it seems as though Andrew Palmer's Catching Monkeys series got off to a good start last night. There were really fine sets from rBeny and Doug Lynner! Doug ALWAYS amazes. What a gas to share a bill with him!
As for The Pure Finder, it seems as though we're still finding our way, our sound, etc. If you read the preview for this show, you'd have seen that I hadn't even gotten our moniker exactly right. It's a process. As for the sound, we used small contact mics, placed on my drums, that then fed signals to Andrew's modular synth. Our goal was to get as spacious a sound as possible: at times, I felt as though we did that. There were moments of silence, punctuated by busier, more full passages. I suspect that we could have used a bit more, and better, tape for the mics, but I managed to get around that challenge. Our set, about 25 minutes or so, felt fine to me. It's tough to play quietly!
Many thanks to the wonderful chill people that came early for our set, along with VAMP for hosting. What a great group of people!

Below: small, friendly crowd at VAMP

Above: The Pure Finder finds its spaces (photo by Collette Lynner, thanks, Collette!)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Purefinder will play this Friday!

This Friday, 12/11, at VAMP in Oakland, Purefinder will play our second gig! It will be part of the Catching Monkeys monthly series. Also on the bill will be Austin Cairns and Doug Lynner! It will be an evening of synthesizer sounds!

VAMP is located at:
331 19th St.
Oakland CA 94612

The show will start at 8PM, and will be free!
Looking forward to finding new sounds with Purefinder!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Crow Crash Radio-Free Oakland UP!, Oakland CA; 11/22/15

On occasion, one just feels that a show is going to be fun and good. Today's Crow Crash Radio had that feeling for me, right out of the gate. We started with a loose, improvised feel, and managed to maintain that fine looseness throughout the afternoon at Free Oakland UP!
We must have played for about two hours, total, and I had a blast for each and every minute of that time. Very Psychedelic! Alright! Compared to Crow Crash's last show in Oakland, this one was heavenly! Talking to Brian after the show, we realized that we stretched out so much that didn't even get to several of our usual tunes.
One listener remarked that our last piece, with its cowbell hits, reminded him of events during a trip to India. That made my day.
Many thanks to all friends that came, new friends that listened, and to anyone that donated to Free Oakland UP! What a nice, musical afternoon.

Below: Brian sets up, and today's drum set

Hopefully, more photos will be forthcoming.....
Update: Crow Crash Radio group shot, courtesy of Jocelyn at Free Oakland UP! Thanks, Jocelyn!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Crow Crash Radio will play in Oakland this Sunday!

This Sunday, Crow Crash Radio will play at Free Oakland UP! This will be a benefit for a great "store" that basically gives it all away! Perfect for artists, teachers, scavengers, etc.!

Free Oakland UP is located at:
2809 MacArthur Blvd.
Oakland CA 94602

Crow Crash will play from 12-3PM, probably at least four sets!
Come on over and hang out! Donations will be given to Free Oakland UP!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Surplus 1980 10/29 and 10/30 2015

I guess that it can pretty much go without saying that when Moe! asked me if I'd be available to drum for Surplus 1980 for two shows with the Ex & Ken Vandermark, I was incredibly stoked. Playing on a bill with an awesome band that I have seen live more than a few times, and admire considerably, sounded like an amazing experience. Here's the lowdown...

Surplus 1980-Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, CA; 10/29/15
Many years ago, I had about five or six chances to play the Bottom of the Hill. My recollections of those experiences are colored by the fact that weird stuff always seemed to happen: either the band's set was sub-par, or some weird passive/aggressive bullshit from other bands' members would go down, or I'd do something too embarrassing; it always seemed like, for me, the Bottom of the Hill came with a "curse". Thoughts regarding this curse were definitely on my mind as I arrived on the evening of 10/29 for sound check.
Thankfully, I think that I may have beaten that particular one back. Surplus 1980's set seemed really tight and energetic to me. We managed to get through passable versions of recently written tunes, and the older tunes seemed to have benefited nicely from our recent West Coast tour. Things felt really great. We also had guests Kyle Bruckmann and Paul Costuros play with us on Failure of Commitment (Kyle only) and the Ex song Godgloeiendeteringklootzak on oboe and clarinet, respectively. They added some really great Free Jazz feels to these songs. Oh, yes!
All in all, this show exceeded expectations, and it was really neat to play for a pretty full house, and to see people that I used to know, along with people that I recognize from the San Francisco Punk Rock scene. Apogee Sound Club and the Ex & Ken Vandermark were both awesome, as well.
It was really fun to find myself skankin' to some old Ska at the end of the night, celebrating a victory over some lingering personal demons. Victory at the Bottom of the Hill!

Below: Surplus 1980 rocks out at the Bottom of the Hill (photo courtesy of Amanda Chaudhary at; thanks, Amanda!)
Above: Moe! and Mark, double drummin' during Pigeon Obstacle Course (photo courtesy of Lenny Gonzalez at, thanks, Lenny!)

Surplus 1980-The Roxy Theater, Los Angeles, CA; 10/30/15
A few hours later, we found ourselves at Los Angeles' famous Roxy Theater. It's no stretch to say that everyone felt pretty tired, after a late previous night and an early call in order to get down to L.A. in time for load in/sound check. That fatigue seemed to have somewhat of an effect on our collective mental states: everyone seemed a bit scattered and hazy. Or, perhaps it was just nerves due to playing at a renowned venue?
Our set in Los Angeles definitely had a few more manic moments, a few more biffs, but, somehow, I really enjoyed the weirdness that these types of moments can bring to a performance. Far from being perfect, the set still had, for me, the added drama of a band walking on a bit of a tight rope. This kind of feel is equally fine to me as a more technically adept set, just a bit more harrowing as it's going down. I suspect that there were moments at the Roxy wherein Surplus 1980 had that sublime feel of a band not knowing exactly what was coming next. There were certainly times during the set when we overcame those obstacles in a good way. Just sayin'. A favorite moment for me was had during Pigeon Obstacle Course, when bassist Steve Lew took a really cool solo, and the drums were quiet enough to allow him to be heard. Cool.

Below: Surplus 1980 at the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles (photo by Fernando Veraza, thanks, Fernando!)
Above: Drums and guitars at the Roxy Theater
Below: Terrie Ex's guitar since 1979!

All told, the Surplus 1980 shows of 10/29 and 10/30 2015 were a real good time. It was quite a cool feeling to share some bills with the Ex & Ken Vandermark, along with that many more chances to play Moe!'s music. I'm quite enamored with it, for sure.
Many thanks to Moe!, Mel, Bill, and Steve for playing with me, and to Tom Scandura being so cool as I have filled in for him in in the band.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Upcoming shows!

This week I'll be playing two more shows wit Surplus 1980!
Thursday night at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco, Friday night at the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles! Both shows with the Ex & Ken Vandermark!

Bottom of the Hill
1233 17th St.
SF CA 94107
9 PM
with Apogee Sound Club and the Ex & Ken Vandermark

Roxy Theater
9009 W. Sunset Blvd
LA CA 90069
with the Ex & Ken Vandermark

Looking forward to playing with so many great musicians! 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Infinite Plastic Internal track at Norcal Noisefest Bandcamp page!

Many thanks to Norcal Noisefest for posting this!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Update on 10/20 Purefinder show

Unfortunately, due to illness our show for this evening has been postponed. We will reschedule a new date.
 Naan Violence and the John McCowen/Adam Adhiyatma Duo will still be playing.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Purefinder at VAMP this Tuesday evening!

I am happy to be playing with Andrew Palmer this Tuesday at VAMP in Oakland! Purefinder will be utilizing contact mics, drums, and synthesizer/laptop mechanics to process them. We hope to conjure some space-ey sounds!
VAMP is located at:
331 19th St.
Oakland 94612

The show will start at 9PM. Also on the bill will be John McCowen/Adam Adhiyatma and Naan Violence. Please join us in you're in the East Bay!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Ruminations-509 Cultural Center, San Francisco CA; 10/15/15

I guess that it doesn't really bear repeating, just how much I enjoy playing music with Rent Romus, but I'll reiterate how much I had been looking forward to this gig. I was not disappointed!
First off, the 509 Cultural Space is a really fun room in which to play. Yes, it's small, and raw, but those are qualities that suit me just fine. I am somewhat sad that it's not going to be the venue for Outsound after this week! Oh, well, I got to play there once.
Along with the excitement of playing with Mr. Romus again, I was stoked to be playing with great guitarist Karl A. Evangelista, bass player Nathan Swedlow, and trumpeter/violinist Jeff Hobbs. The last two, I'd not jammed with before, but just that combination of sound sources....yeah! Ruminations really need upright bass, in my opinion.
After a sweet set of solo electric guitar from Ross Hammond, we quickly set up and jumped into ours. I felt "on" from the first. It just seemed like one of those musical experiences wherein preparation matched nicely with inner calm, willful whimsy, and close listening. It is my hope that those in the audience, along with my fellow Ruminations, felt the same way! I really enjoyed my kit, a stripped down set with just one tom tom and a China cymbal, along with this older 16" cymbal, sheared down on one side, that I am really starting to love. Oh yes, and cowbell, too! Didn't Baby Dodds have one?
After about 38 minutes of improvisation, four pieces I believe, we stopped, and the sweat on my brow felt fucking GREAT, even as it dripped into my tired eyes.
Many thanks to Rent, Karl, Nathan, and Jeff, along with Ross and all the Outsound crew. Fun night! Let's do it again some time soon!

Below: Live Ruminations shots (color by Kersti Abrams, b/w by Ross Hammond. Thanks, Ross and Kersti!)

Above: 3/5ths of the 10-15-15 Ruminations (Jeff and Karl had already drifted off)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Ruminations will play this Thursday evening!

I'm stoked to announce that the Ruminations will be playing again! It's been a while since I've had a chance to play with Rent, and I always enjoy that experience. Also in the group for our 10/15 at the 509 Cultural Center show will be: Karl Evangelista on guitar, Jeff Hobbs on violin, and Nathan Swedlow on bass.

509 Cultural Center is located at:
509 Ellis St.
San Francisco 94109

The show starts at 8PM sharp. Also on the bill will be Ross Hammond on solo guitar!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

New Failure Cock digital release!

These recordings, our first, were the result of a sad, frustrated meeting in December of 2010. A time of great change for both Scarp and myself.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

ebolabuddha-Bindlestiff Studio, San Francisco CA; 10/9/15

Riding home on BART from this gig, I was very much of two minds, in a kind of split between objective analysis and subjective feeling.
On the former side, I was pretty disappointed with my drumming. I had no time to really set the drums up in the way that I like to play them, I could not hook up my bass drum pedal, the throne sucked, and finally, my toe really hurt from a bad stub earlier in the week. Years ago, these feelings would have sent me into an emotional tailspin, but, now, I know better. Sometimes being not the best band in the world is even better! Additionally, it seemed like the bill for APAture 2015 event was more made up of Soul/R & B/Hip Hop acts. Not that I have a problem with or don't enjoy those styles: I can and do! ebolabuddha just seemed like the odd man out.
Regarding the latter, I had a REALLY good time just blowing the fuck up after a long week! It felt really good to just pound the crap out of the drums while Steve, Eli, and Jason went off in with their axes. Jason was particularly compelling in his Plague persona, lifting and spinning the painting that I made. This painting was part of a verbally charted piece called Signal Loops. I'm not sure how closely we stuck to the script! Ah, well! The fun of just making awful noise superseded that, I guess! It was also really cool to see the evening's MC get up on the mic and try to do a Metal growl!
All in all, a fun, albeit odd, night!  Many thanks to Steve for setting up this gig, and to Eli and Jason for playing! Also, thanks to Amanda Chaudhary at for the live photos below!

Below: Steve warms up

Above: photos courtesy of Amanda Chaudhary

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

ebolabuddha this Friday!

This Friday in S.F., ebolabuddha will play at Bindlestiff Studio as part of the 2015 ApaTure Music Showcase! We plan on playing a composed/improvised piece!
Bindlestiff is located at:

185 6th St.
SF 94103

eboblabuddha will play at 8:25 PM!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Norcal Noisefest 2015-Cafe Colonial, Sacramento, CA; 10/3-4/2015

What a treat it was to get to play twice at this year's Norcal Noisefest! This event has always been a fun one for me, and I love the community that comprises it. Tons of great, creative, fascinating, and generally cool people. Lob and crew did a fine job-I was impressed by how varied the performers were. From really young and enthusiastic acts to some of the original Noise stalwarts (how much further can one go back than Monte Cazazza?), it was cool to take in a wide range of acts.

Earspray-our set started off a bit wonky, due to some pretty extensive issues with a speaker cable, but, thankfully, Carlos managed to do some quick trouble shooting and save our sound. I had a blast using my newly acquired circuit bent keyboard: it has some deliciously noisy settings! Primitive, but pretty effective, I'd say. I also manged to coax some feedback out of small electric m'bira, utilizing a nice Roland amp that Ann lent to me. I guess one could say that I got a bit, ah, theatrical, riding the amp like a horsey at one point, but, hey, it's a show, right? Things ended with a fine hard stop, cued by Carlos. On the whole, pretty OK, if a bit frustrating to start.

Below: simple rig for Earspray
Above: Ann and Carlos set up (I need to help more!)

I watched about seven more acts after Earspray's set, at which point I became fatigued and my ears started to hurt. On the way to an Air B 'n B nearby, I watched a really bizarre electrical storm front take shape. Odd events in the sky!

Above: Lob doing his thing (and how!) at Cafe Colonial, 10/3/15

Infinite Plastic Internal-after a really pleasant morning, during which I took in a ton of great California Art at the Crocker Museum in Downtown Sacramento (go there, it's great!), I managed to find my way back to Cafe Colonial for Infinite Plastic Internal's 4PM set. I was a bit nervous, as it was to be my first solo show for Noisefest. While waiting for my set, I made note of the flooring of the performance space: perfect for bouncing the somewhat tuned metal rods that I had in the boot of my car off of! I quickly added them to the other parts of the rig: snare drum, two Utopia Synths, and a Diabolical Devices pedal. My plan of attack was this: start up a drone with the electronics, add in snare drum patterns (based on rudiments), and then toss the metal rods onto the flooring in hope that audience members would play along somehow. Thankfully, a few did, and it was great-that sounded added a really nice, almost chime-like sound to the drone. In hindsight, I wish that I'd have stayed on the snare drum a bit more, but, for the most part I got the Noise sound desired. The interaction with audience members I have dubbed "Noise Catch", and hope to reprise it at some time in the future. Many thanks to those that played along with me!

Below: Infinite Plastic Internal rig

All told, it was a damn fun weekend! I can't say enough positive and Lob and the crew of Norcal Noisefest-those folks are fucking incredible.
Hopefully I will get to play another one in the future!

Below: brief video snippet of Infinite Plastic Internal playing "Noise Catch", courtesy of Jeff Klukowski. Thanks, Jeff!

I had to leave a bit early on Sunday, as my new job requires me to get up sort of early. Apologies to those that I missed!
Driving west toward The Bay, I could not have been more stoked.....

Below: tired end of day selfie

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Two Sets at Norcal Noisefest this weekend!

I will participate in this year's Norcal Noisefest!
First, Earspray will play on Saturday, 10/3, and secondly Infinite Plastic Internal will play on Sunday, 10/4.
Both shows will occur at:

Cafe Colonial
3520 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, 95820

Earspray plays at 3PM on Saturday, Infinite Plastic Internal plays at 4PM on Sunday.
Noise for the people!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Surplus 1980 West Coast Tour 2015 Part 2

Surplus 1980-Starlite Lounge, Sacramento, CA; 9/9/15
After a day off and a quick drive from the SF Bay Area up to Sacramento, we found ourselves in the tremendous heat of California's capital city. I mean, it was hot! Hot show, too. We managed to have a nice sized audience, and the set seemed to have really gelled; perhaps a day off from playing was a good thing. I can only recollect only a few small biffs on my part, and the energy levels were satisfactory. Nightingales were ripping. Oh, and did I mention Gentleman Surfer? DO go and see them if they play in your town. John Bafus is an incredible drummer. Holy smokes, that man can play. The end of evening drive back to the hotel seemed really giddy. Fun, fun, fun!

Below: Starlite Lounge's very cool signage and Moe! contemplating Sacramento
Above: Mel in blue

Surplus 1980-Old Nick's Pub, Eugene, OR; 9/10/15
It's definitely a bit of a schlep from Sacramento to Eugene. Some weird energy kind of overtook me on that drive: by the time the show was to start, I was nervous as hell, walking around the gritty college town, practically crapping my pants. Odd. More high energy playing from Surplus, although we were for the most part ignored. There were people at the bar, but they tended to stay outside and smoke cigarettes. Those that did watch us play danced a lot, which was kind of cool. Also cool was the management's treatment of us, which included a really fine bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon backstage. I had a fun time imbibing most of that sucker, post set. It was also fun to contemplate the set lists from recent MDC and Raw Power shows at this fine venue. Nice people, more heat, more Rock.

Below: Moe! and Bill Wolter tune up

Surplus 1980-Lo Fi Lounge, Seattle, WA; 9/11/15
This show may have been the weirdest one of the tour, vibes-wise. After a long drive up to Seattle, during which we got lost between Tacoma and our motel, we arrived at Lo Fi and set up our gear. I guess that Moe! had asked the club owner if Surplus and Nightingales could play first on a four band bill. We were duly informed that we'd play third and fourth, respectively, so we figured Nightingales could take the coveted third spot. This had Surplus playing at about 1 AM, and after a pile driver of a set from Nightingales. I suspect that everyone in the band realized that after that ass kicking set, we'd have to overcome our fatigue and really push extra hard, or look a bit sad, and that's what we all did. During an extended version of Failure of Commitment, I swear that I felt the bandstand rising!  I just recall everyone adding a bit of extra exertion in their playing, and feeling that we were trying to blow the walls off of Lo Fi's old, Western saloon-feeling room. After our set, members of Nightingales and Surplus 1980 shouted out MC5, Kiss, Blue Oyster Cult, and other tunes at the tops of our shredded lungs. Dorky? Yes. Fun?  You betcha.

Below: Lo Fi Lounge window, a battered snare drum and set list

Surplus 1980-Panic Room, Portland, OR; 9/12/15
To end Surplus 1980's West Coast tour, our somewhat fatigued troupe, having gotten about four hours' sleep after the long night in Seattle, headed down the road to Portland, with considerably less trouble. Naturally, we stopped at some key spots, I guess a bit tourist-ey: Bagdad Theater, Powell's, etc. What a beautiful, sunny afternoon in Rose City. As for the set, it started off rather shaky, with Bill's guitar basically shutting off during traditional set opener Pigeon Obstacle Course. Thankfully, he was able to fix the problems while Moe! and I double drum dueled, and after a bit, we found some nice spaces. I recall looking at Moe! during MES Shoe Contact, during which we were both drumming again, and both of us smiling really wide! That was cool. After this energetic set, Nightingales did their thing, and brilliantly again. I had a kind of personal tour-ending party at the end of the night: rum and Coke, a good cigar, probably a bit too much gregariousness with anyone that was around to put up with it!

Below: Surplus 1980 live shots, courtesy of Matthew Scott Waldron (thanks, Matthew!)

Above: end of tour group shot!

As I find myself back in El Cerrito, weathering the inevitable post-tour depression, I also feel really happy. Happy to have learned Surplus 1980's complex set, happy to have played some cool shows, happy to have gotten to know the members of Surplus and Nightingales. Those emotions will outlast the brief downer of having to get back to "real life".
Here's to a great time.
Final impressions: Moe! Staiano is a really talented, creative, and sweet person. I wish that I could shout that from many a rooftop. Nightingales are a rockin' great band. Always warm up your wrists before a gig, drummers.
Many thanks and praises to Moe!, Mel, Bill, Steve, Tom, and Amanda of Surplus 1980 for allowing me the privilege of playing with them; Andi, Fliss, Jim, and Robert of Nightingales for being really cool people; Scarp Home for the loaner practice pads (total life saver!); and Melissa for putting up with me running around being a middle-aged Rock guy for a spell.