Saturday, January 31, 2015

Cloud Building-The Emerald Tablet, SF CA; 1/30/15

I didn't get a lot of photos at The Emerald Tablet last night, but, seeing as that the purpose of being there was to look at the visual arts on display, I figure that that's OK.
As for the music, initially I was ensconced in a small corner of the gallery, making random sounds by myself and then in tandem with Sheila Bosco. This sort of worked, but the music really developed when Brian Lucas, Michael Grandi, Andrew Joron, Sheila, and myself convened within the same area and began to play all together. We got to some pretty abstract, electronically trippy places, and of course that was fine with me. As with the previous evening at the Luggage Store, I explored new uses for contact mic, which felt really satisfying, along with getting to know my Utopia Synths even better. Paired with the sounds coming from everyone else, it felt really good.
It was also fun to see random people walk in, and their responses to the sounds.
This is the kind of show that I wish I could be involved in every week!
Many thanks to Brian, Ava, and Derek for allowing us to invade their big evening! Kudos to all of the artists and musicians.
Hooray for North Beach!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Cloud Building this evening!

This evening, to celebrate the artwork of Ava Koohbor, Brian Lucas, and Derek Fenner, Brian has assembled a cast of musicians, dubbing it Cloud Building. We will perform "happening style", with each member placed at a different part of The Emerald Tablet Gallery, for an immersive musical environment to compliment the art!
The Emerald Tablet is located at:
80 Fresno St.
SF, 94133
The opening will run from 7-10PM. North Beach, art, music, and friends? Yeah!

Alphastare vs. Infinite Plastic Internal-Luggage Store Gallery SF CA; 1/29/15

After last night's show, I spent some time reflecting upon the Luggage Store, and how much I like playing there. I guess it's a combination of the high windows that look out upon Market St., Outsound's low key approach, and the fact that one can pretty much do as they please with their music therein.
Anyway, it was a hoot to pair up with Jeff K. again for this one. In rehearsal, we spoke of wu wei, a Taoist concept that essentially boils down to "let things happen as they will". It seemed as though we were able to stick within that concept, and hit some pretty good, thick moments, as well as nice quieter flute/flute/percussion pairings. I was pleased to have found new uses for a contact mic that I bought off of one of the Liver Cancer dudes some years back at NorCal Noise Fest, too.
Thanks to all that came out, and to Onewayness for playing a cool set!

Below: rig and Alphastare (note Onewayness behind Jeff, along with Matt Davignon)

Below: live shots courtesy of Adam Holquist, thanks, Adam!

Below: video, courtesy of Jeff K.
AlphaInfinite LSG from Alphastare on Vimeo.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Alphastare vs. Infinite Plastic Internal this Thursday!

I'm very excited to be playing at the Luggage Store this Thursday, 1/29, with my pal Jeff Klukowski's Alphastare! We have branded our collaboration Alphastare vs. Infinite Plastic Internal, but the dynamic is far from adversarial; we work together to make soundscapes that we hope will embody the principle of wu wei. Of course, we also reserve the right to bug out as well!
The Luggage Store is located at:
1007 Market St. @6th St.

The show will start at 8PM sharp, we play second, following Onewayness from Indiana.

UB Radio Salon #367; 1/25/15

As is always the case, I had a great time at Chakra Chimp Research Kitchens in Alameda! It was very fun to space out in a foggy way with Ninah, Ann, Das, Carlos, and Jack!
We spoke at length about leaving spaces, about durations and letting them unfold, and I feel like we did a fine job with those parameters.

Audio here:

Thanks to Earspray, Jack, and BCO!

Below: Earspray at Chakra Chimp Research Kitchens (photo by Ninah, thanks!)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

UB Radio this evening!

This evening I will be playing at the Chakra Chimp Research Kitchens! Ann O'Rourke, Carlos Jennings, Jack Hertz, Das, and Ninah will also be playing electronics, percussion, and who knows what else!
Show starts at 5 PM Pacific Time, and the link is here:

See you on the web!

Crow Crash Radio-The Convent, SF CA; 1/25/15

It definitely felt a bit strange to be the only musical act at an otherwise poetry-focused event, and the vibes were somewhat.....quiet after Will Alexander's recitation (no surprise there, really!), but Crow Crash Radio managed to keep a few people inside of the Convent's chapel area last night. I felt like we did a particularly trance-ed version of Inanna, which rested inside rather concise of versions of most other tunes.
After our almost exactly 45 minute set, Will joined us for some free form jamming, on piano, and this movement took us into some pretty abstract places! Quite exciting. For the most part, an oddly fun evening. Thanks to all who stuck around!

Below: Brian and Andrew, men wearing black shirts
Above: Brian contemplates the Convent's vibrations
Below: Crow Crash Drums

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Crow Crash Radio this Saturday!

Crow Crash Radio is happy to be returning to the Convent in San Francisco! We will play after a poetry reading featuring Andrew Joron, Bianca Stone, and Will Alexander. I'm always excited to hear Will read!
The Convent is located at:
660 Oak St.
SF 94117
The show starts at 7PM, and is free.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Rent Romus Lifesblood Ensemble-The Otherworld Cycle; Gold Lion Arts, Sacramento CA, 1/18/15

Driving through a pretty thick Tule fog made for a fine mental transition into the Otherworld yesterday afternoon. By the time I pulled up to Gold Lion Arts in Sacramento with singer Ron Heglin in tow, I was definitely feeling capable of going getting inside of Rent Romus' mystical song cycle.

As seems to be the case with the Otherworld Cycle, there were highs and a few lower points, at least from my perspective. In the former category, some really ripping sax from Josh Marshall and Rent, great solos by Heikki Koskinen on e-trumpet, pile driving trap set and percussion by Tim Orr and Suki O'Kane on Broken Knife (5/4!), and probably the best vocalizations yet from Bob Marsh and Ron Heglin; hell, everyone in the band was on for this one. In the latter camp, I had a few garish clams during Traveler Upon the Waves, and my cymbal stand fell, almost bashing my head, during Chasing Spirit Elk (likely caught on film, to boot: GREAT!!!)

That said, I had a great time bringing up the spirits of the Otherworld in Sacramento! Many thanks as always to Rent for putting it all together, and to Ross Hammond for his graciousness. If you live in Sacramento, support Gold Lion Arts!

Below: percussion, art, waterphone, and sound check (bottom photo by Timothy Orr, thanks!)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hardly Strcitly Personal Fest, Berkeley Arts Festival Building, Berkeley, CA; 1/17/15

It seems as though the first 2015 Hardly Strictly Personal festival was a success! Money for charity was raised, tons of tones were sounded (good Lord, how many great drummers were in the house...Holy Cowbells!), and a pretty pervasive mood of good cheer was shared for the most part.
As mentioned in the preview, I played with Cartoon Justice and Cloud Shepherd.
The former's set featured a slow, relatively quiet version of Steal Softly Through Snow. This iteration of the group was kind of ad hoc, with some members never having played together. Still, I felt that it hung together pretty nicely, especially during Bob Marsh's great recitation of the lyrics. I was trying to evoke the feeling of thick snow sticking to boots.....
Below: Cartoon Justice sets up to snow shoe

Above: Cartoon Justice stealing softly....(photo courtesy of Russell Ward, thanks Russell!)
Below: Cartoon Justice with Crystal Pasucci, Gretchen Jude, and Bob Marsh

Our second tune was a bit of a rambler, perhaps not quite as coherent, but, hey, there will be a next time.

In between Cartoon Justice and  Cloud Shepherd, I listened to scads of great music, not the least of which was a powerful set from Jim Ryan's Forward Energy. Jim "passed the scepter" to Bob Marsh, another act of moving on, as his days in the Bay are getting less and less. He'll be missed around here by so many!
Below: Jim Ryan hands it off to Bob Marsh

As for Cloud Shepherd's set, I must say that I was very pleased with it. We did one tune, an eighteen minute version of Electricity, which we'd rehearsed the hell out of. I'm pretty sure that we got most of the changes correct. It was a blast to have Brian Strang and Garrett Caples guesting on guitar and vocals, respectively. Apparently Cloud Shepherd was too loud for the Berkeley Arts Festival Building (a first), but I felt that the energy was entirely in keeping with not only the mood of the evening, but also the moods of the dancing freaks that were gracious enough to shake their butts while we did our thing.
Below: Cloud Shepherd rockin' out; who'd have ever thought? (photos by Melissa, thanks!)

Above: dancing freaky women, one of them named Rachel (photo by Melissa, thanks!)

In closing, I'd state that I was really pleased to have been in two bands that both played versions of Captain Beefheart tunes. And that I need to practice a lot more. Seriously good times! Abba Zabba!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Two shows this weekend!

January is certainly turning into a busy month for me! This weekend, 1/17 and 1/18, I'll be playing at two separate events!

First off, tomorrow I will play at the Next Now Hardly Strictly Personal event at Berkeley Arts Festival Building. I will drum with Cartoon Justice and Cloud Shepherd! Go for the entire event, starting this evening!
Berkeley Arts Festival Building is located at:
2133 University Ave.
Tonight's show starts at 7:30 PM, and tomorrow's starts at 1:15 PM. This show will raise money for local homeless shelters!

Next, the Otherworld Cycle will reemerge, this time in Sacramento on Sunday. The event will happen at Gold Lion Arts, located at:
2733 Riverside Ave.
Sacramento 95818
The show will run from 7 to 9 PM, and the cost will be $12 general and $10 for Senior Citizens.

Glad to be staying busy!

Jim Ryan Trio-Luggage Store Gallery, SF CA; 1/15/15

For this past year or so, Jim Ryan has been kind of a mentor to me as regards improvised music. We spent a lot of time in the early part of 2014 playing duets in my garage; Jim always had effective ways of imparting his spiritual, musical, and meta-physical insights to me, and I'm ever grateful for that.
Jim is moving to Silver Springs, Maryland later this month, to reunite with his wife, Millie. Obviously, last night's show was likely the last opportunity that I'll have to play music with Jim for the foreseeable future.
Bassist Eric Marshall joined us for one long, verbally charted piece that started with electronics and bass, moved to tenor sax, then alto sax, then flute, and finally back to tenor. I felt that the interactions went well, especially in the sense that Eric and I had never played together! He's a really subtle player.
At times, I felt as if I overdid it a bit, but there were tremendous feelings of "get it ALL out NOW" in my mind. Hopefully Jim and Eric understood that!
Many thanks to Jim, Eric, and all that came out and stuck around.
Jim, you're a Treasure.

Below: Jim and Eric

Above: traps and electronics!
Below: Jim Ryan Trio, post flight

Monday, January 12, 2015

I will play with Jim Ryan and Eric Marshall this Thursday!

In what will be my last time playing with Jim Ryan for a while, as he's leaving the Bay Area for Silver Spring, MD to reunite with his wife, Millie, we will play at the Luggage Store this Thursday, 1/15!
Joining us will be bassist Eric Marshall. We are planning to use electronics and acoustic instruments, along with electric bass from Eric.
The Luggage Store is located at:
1007 Market St. @6th St.
The show will start at 8PM, sharp!
Looking forward to this one, even if the feeling is somewhat sad.
See you there!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Rent Romus Trio-Vamp Music-Art-Consignment; Oakland, CA 1/10/15

The run up to this show had me really excited, as playing with Rent is, for me, something really to be savored. After speaking with Collette McCaslin, and reading her artist statement for this show (reproduced above), I became humbled.
It felt really great to play two sets, each almost exactly thirty minutes, of improvised music with Shanna Sordahl and Rent. Vamp's funky, welcoming vibe is a really fun atmosphere in which to hang out, and that vibe had its effect on my playing, for sure. I felt loose and creative. It seems like we hit some pretty good spaces overall, particularly when Jim Ryan sat in for flute duets with Rent during the second set. It was great fun to try and pair with Shanna's arco and pizzicato runs and the always rich sounds coming from the saxes. Joy!
Many thanks to Vamp and all my pals that came out for the show, and to Collette for making it happen.

Below: drums, cello, and percussion table at Vamp; the handbag is not mine
Below: Rent Romus Trio, photo courtesy of Amanda Chaudhary; thanks, Amanda!

Monday, January 5, 2015

I will play with Rent Romus Trio this Saturday!

I'm really excited to say that I'll be playing drums with Rent Romus Trio this Saturday, 1/10, at Vamp in Oakland! Along with Rent's masterful sax playing, ace cellist and sound engineer Shanna Sorhdahl will be joining us. I'm stoked on this lineup!
Also featured will be new art by Collete McCaslin!
Vamp is located at:
331 19th St.
Oakland 94612

We will play two sets, starting at 8PM. Please consider attending, if you're in Oakland that evening!