Sunday, May 31, 2015

Cartoon Cloud footage!

Many thanks to Ann O'Rourke for taking this footage and sharing it with us! This ad hoc group played at Berkeley Arts Festival Building on Sunday, 5/24/15.

Kersti Arbrams-Alto Saxophone
Andrew Joron-Theremin
Eli Pontecorvo-Bass guitar
Mika Pontecorvo-Guitar, flute, electronics
Ann O'Rourke-Projections
Mark Pino-Drums

Friday, May 29, 2015

ebolabuddha-Golden Bull, Oakland CA; 5/28/15

It was fab and groovy to play with ebolabuddha again, this time at 14th St., Oakland's great Golden Bull. What a cool place. If you go there, dig on the silk screens that face the bar: kind of a deconstruction of mid-20th Century ad copy, with street level Oakland historical images mixed in. Nice!
As for ebolabuddha, I felt like we successfully did our thing, mixing Metal riffs with written words and improvised movements. It's an hellishly loud, jarring, and probably obnoxious sound, but, it's Metal for Pete's sake, and that seems fine to me. Metal as willful acting out. Metal as not giving a rat's ass what others think. Metal as physical and emotional release of the most naked sort. What do these have to do playing nice? Not much, I'd say. So, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Plus, we made it through our planned cover of Mayhem's classic Deathcrush. Great tune, that.
Additionally, as usual it was inspiring and humbling to see and hear so many great local musicians, particularly the drummers from Obastra and the Plague. Trita, out from Minneapolis, were also great, tight as f*ck. 

Below: Jason and Steve read up in preparation
Above: Steve and Eli set up
Below: backline drum kit

Yes, it was fun.
Many thanks to Ivan, drummer for the Plague (truly Black), for use of his kit as a backline.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

ebolabuddha plays this Thursday!

I'm happy to say that ebolabuddha will play this Thursday at the Golden Bull in Oakland! We will be opening a four band bill, with TRITA, from Minnesota, headlining!

The show starts at 8PM, and the Golden Bull is located at:
412 14th St.
Oakland, CA 94612

$7, come out and support the touring band!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Next Now's All Tomorrow's After Parties-Berkeley Arts Festival Building, Berkeley CA; 5/22-24, 2015

I was very fortunate to be involved in many projects over Next Now's Spring 2015 All Tomorrow's After Parties, and it's always inspiring and humbling to see and hear so many great SF Bay Area improvisers and artists!
The rundown on sets that I was involved with:

Primoria-this group featured Mika and Kersti of Cartoon Justice and myself. We played to a couple of film collages. Mika played guitar, Kersti played saxophone, and I played Handsoniq and a cymbal, and the bottom of a mic stand. It was really enjoyable to try and coax the maximum amount of sound from the cymbal; I used a long screw and a pair of Vic Firth Dreadlocks, along with a drum stick, to do so. The best parts for me were the ones in which we got this kind of melt-down sound, notes and tones slowly oozing out of the p.a. It was also quite fun to scrape the mic stand bottom with the screw, from which a high pitch ping emanated. Mika got cool sounds from placing a metal bowl atop his guitar strings.

Below: Primoria set up and my gear

Below: video excerpt (courtesy of Russell Ward, thanks, Russell!)

Alphastare vs. Infinite Plastic Internal-I basically got really tripped out for this set, going for full on Butoh mode, along with playing waterphone, cymbal, chain, and roto toms. Did I mention that I tripped out? Uh, yeah! Jeff did some really sweet sound mixing, utilizing a bass amp for a really effective low end pummel and pushing all sounds through a Moogerfooger. What a gas! We dedicated the set to Bob Moog, whose birthday was 5/23.

Below: Alphastare vs. Infinite Plastic Internal

Below: video!

Wild Card Set-a fun jam that featured Mika Pontecorvo on Handsoniq, Monica Berini on frame drum, Jeff Klukowski on electronics, Amy Reed on guitar, and me on percussion. It felt cohesive and jammy, in a good way!

Below: wild card!
Below: video!

Cloud Shepherd-Cloud Shepherd did a real about face from our last Berkeley Arts Festival show, and went back to the improvisational Jazz/Electro-Acoustic mode. Sheila Bosco joined us, and her sounds added something really special. There was a cohesiveness to our thirty minute piece that was very groovy. We actually played some grooves! Grooves, and freak outs, and quiet, flute-driven parts. Hooray! Cloud Shepherd returns! Thanks, Sheila, and welcome aboard! Did anyone take photos?

Cartoon Cloud-this grouping was sort of ad hoc, as a scheduled performance featuring Mika Pontecorvo, Ann O'Rourke, Jack Hertz, and myself was cancelled due to injury. Mika asked Andrew to join us for a reprise of our Cloud Cartoon set at the Stork Club last year while Ann projected her videos onto the walls of Berkeley Arts Festival. We did one sort of Fusion-ey jam, with lots of space and beats. I actually played a normal drum set! The vibe was loose and flowing, and we managed to keep it going for a nice long while. Ann's vids are getting more and more detailed and meticulous, which makes her justifiably proud.

Below: Cartoon Cloud sets up!

Above: Drums! Below: Sound!

Wild Card Sets-I actually played two of these on Sunday. The first featured Jacob Pek, Kersti Abrams, Eli Pontecorvo, and myself. I had a lot of fun rolling a floor tom tom across the great, resonant hardwood of the Berkeley Arts Festival building. Nice, rumbling tone. The next one, lead by Sung Kim, and featuring Aaron Levin, Mika Pontecorvo, and me, was LOUD. Very loud. I have no idea what I did!

Bridge of Crows-my final performance of the festival occurred with Bridge of Crows, and featured a guest appearance by Bob Marsh on cello. We played two pieces, each to accompany films by Mika. They started out somewhat subtle, but developed into some pretty heavy, spaced-out movements. Master Drummer Donald Robinson complimented me on my playing, which pretty much made the weekend for me!

Below: Bob and Kersti set up for Bridge of Crows

In closing I just want to say how great a weekend it was at Berkeley Arts Festival. So much great sound by so many different people. Big ups to Mika, Kersti, and Eli, who spent probably 24 of the last 72 hours there, running things smoothly. It was a pleasure!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Cosmists-The Luggage Store, SF CA;5/21/15

It was good to be playing out with Cosmists again after almost two years! I had been nervous about it, as we don't really draw that many people, but we actually did have a few people to play to, and the energy felt really up.
We played one long, almost twenty-five minute piece that included poems by Hugo Ball, Collette McCaslin, William Carlos Williams, and myself. It was particularly enjoyable to play along to the Ball poems, with their emphasis on pure vocal sound, and Collette's, for which I had developed specific parts. There were also purely improvised passages which had some really highly charged energetic moments. In Cosmists, I do tend to freak out a bit, and that was happening last night, of course.
On the drive home, Andrew and I enthused at length about the gig: we both felt happy and charged up! Hopefully we'll find a way to play out again soon, and with Collette as well.
Many thanks to Outsound and those that stuck around.

Below: setting up

Above: Cloud Kit, amended again
Below: sound!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Crow Crash Radio-The Convent, SF CA; 5/19/15

I've said it a few times before, but it bears repeating that I absolutely love the Convent in San Francisco. Chock-a-block full of great Surrealist, Expressionist, Realist, Impressionist art and collage, the place is just really a fun experience. It makes me happy to know that it's there in the heart of the Western Addition.
Crow Crash Radio played a somewhat short set atop the Convent's roof, as a sort to opening act for several poets that were reading to celebrate the new release of 14 Hills Anthology.
Things felt generally OK, albeit somewhat cold, as the fog and wind rolled over atop us. We kept things quiet and concise. Not a bad dynamic, really, just somewhat restrained. Not a whole lot of the exploratory vibes of recent gigs, just more song-oriented, I guess.
I've played on a roof in San Francisco a few times now, and this time was so much more satisfying.
Many thanks to Gray and his crew, you guys rule!

Below: Crow Crash Radio gear; dig those great murals atop the Convent!

Above: Joron and Strang confer....
Below: live shots

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Upcoming shows!

Next week will be really busy for me! Here's the rundown...

Tuesday, 5/19 6:30 PM
Crow Crash Radio
The Convent
660 Oak St.
San Francisco CA 94110

Thursday, 5/21 8:00 PM
The Luggage Store
998 Market St.
San Francisco CA 94102
With Oa

Friday, 5/22-Sunday, 5/24
Next Now All Tomorrow's After Parties
Fri: Cartoon Justice at 8:30 PM
Sat: Alphastare vs. Infinite Plastic Internal at 1:30 PM, Cloud Shepherd at 2:30 PM,
Jack Hertz/Ann O'Rourke/Mark Pino at 8:00 PM
Sun: Cartoon Justice at 8:00 PM
Berkeley Arts Festival Building
2133 University Ave.
Berkeley CA 94704

Looking forward to all of these chances to play out!

ebolabuddha-WE LIVE Bandcamp!

Above is the recording from ebolabuddha, the improvised Metal band that I played with in March of this year. Seeing this is a pleasant surprise, as I was not aware that any type of release was planned. Here's to more! Eli and Steven, let's record a 7" or 12"!!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Purefinder-VAMP Music-Art-Consignment, Oakland CA; 5/9/15

Perhaps there was a lingering bit of frustration from me, regarding last night's proceedings at Pretty Penny, for I played really intensely and really loud this afternoon at VAMP.
Had a good time, doin' it, too! Andrew brought all sorts of electronics to play, including samples (the BART sample is hilarious), and I played a stripped down back line kit that was loaned VAMP by one of the guys that plays in a band with Fernando, co-owner of this great downtown Oakland record/art/clothing store. Thanks, young drummer! It was great fun to play a small, chipped old ride cymbal that I have, one which gets a fine, dry tone and not too much wash.
Back to the volume thing: it just felt really good to wail! I focused on playing beats, it being Oakland Drops Beats Day and everything. Not too sure how some of the people that came into VAMP felt about said beats, but, again, I certainly tried to stay within the loose parameters of the event's aesthetic. The most satisfying moments for me occurred a bit later into our forty minute set; we had some really connected moments. These moments were also the loudest of the set. Hmm.....maybe a pattern has emerged.
Hopefully I'll be able to make more pattern-based sound with Purefinder, going forward in time.
What a freakin' blast.

Below: Andrew and his rig, nice Gretsch backline traps

Below: Purefinder in action (photo by Tracy Parker, thanks!)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Janina Angel Bath-Pretty Penny, Oakland CA; 5/8/15

Playing Goddess-centered devotional music inside of a clothing shop in the swanky Rockridge District of Oakland on Friday night is probably not the best way to do so. That said, I always have a fine time playing the music of Janina Angel Bath, and this evening's experience was no different for me.
After a bit of futzing around with what we thought was a huge p.a. problem, we worked up a set of six inter-connected pieces, with poetry, singing, and improvisation, and it seemed to flow quite fine. I can't recall any major mistakes or blunders, which is, obviously, good. It was particularly cool to play along with the tambura, as I've never had that experience. VERY cool, actually!
I felt like the vibe that we conjured up was delightfully psychoid, spiritually powered, even. Hopefully some of the people that chose to listen to us felt the same way.
All in all, it was a fine time, if a slight bit frustrating to be sort of overpowered, volume-wise, by the chatter of the party. Then again, it was a Friday night at clothing sale in Rockridge. It's all about set and setting, I guess.

Below: gear

Below: Janina Angel Bath and me, live shot (photo courtesy of Emerald Vernon-Lapow, thanks!)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Upcoming shows!

Another busy weekend coming up!

First, I'll be playing with Janina Angel Bath in Oakland!

Friday, 5/8 8PM
Pretty Penny 9 Year Anniversary Party
5488 College Ave.
Oakland, 94618

Next, I'll play with Andrew Palmer's Purefinder, as part of the Oakland Drops Beats Festival!
 Saturday, 5/9 2PM
VAMP Music-Art-Consignment
331 19th St.
Oakland 94612

Looking forward to these events!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Earspray-Spice Monkey, Oakland CA; 5/4/5

It most definitely felt like a Monday night at Spice Monkey last night. Just a few people milling about, small groups of folks eating....quiet.
Quiet sort of sums up Earspray's vibe last night as well. Not that that's a bad thing for me. I really enjoyed our float-ey, ambient thirty minute set. For me, it was all about the waterphone, which paired pretty well with Carlos' electronics. We even got in some rhythmic patterns, much to Mr. Jennings' delight!
One friend told me that he "didn't have ears to hear it", and that's OK, too. Sometimes things unfold in these ways.

Below: Carlos and gear

Above: Earspray in action (photo by Eugene Koontz, thanks, Eugene!)
Below: video!