Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Recent live recordings! and Soundcloud recordings with me on drums. Instagon and Cosmists, respectively.

Below: Instagon #707, SF CA 6/11/16

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Music For Waiting Rooms is up at bandcamp!

Friday, June 24, 2016

New Infinite Plastic Internal CDR is available!

Music For Waiting Rooms was not an intended release.
Last year, I made some Infinite Plastic Internal recordings with a 4 Track machine that I borrowed from my pal Scarp Home. Initial listens had me thinking that the recordings were only printed into one side, pure Mono. Due to that impression, I just put the tape into my box of demos, etc. and forgot about it.
Fast forward to March of this year. I was rummaging through that box, and took a moment to listen to a tape labeled "IPI Waiting Room Music". I was stunned to hear that sound was coming out of both headphones, and, additionally, I felt like its sounds were cool.
Since that time, I've had the tape digitized and the digital files mastered for CD. I've had to release this one on a pretty tight budget, but I'm really happy with the stamps that I had custom made at The look is simple, but I really feel that that's the best approach for the CD format. Usually, any type of cover art gets squished down and somewhat unnoticed. Also, I've long been desiring to do a kind of tribute to the simple, funky self-released tapes that really inspired me, as a young music collector. This cover has that feel that I was seeking.
If you read this post, and would like a copy of Music For Waiting Rooms, please contact me throught the comments section.
I also plan to have this release up at the Infinite Plastic Internal bandcamp page very soon.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Surplus 1980-Night Light, Oakland CA; 6/14/16

After a long wait for the Night Light to open their doors, all of the musicians on the bill had to rush a bit in order to load in and set up. During this process, I thought that I'd lost a prized SF Giants t-shirt, brought as a change for presumptive post-set sweat coating. It took a few minutes to let go of that.
Sweat, I certainly did. Surplus 1980 got the tough last spot, probably made even more so on a Tuesday night; it seemed as though we leaned in a bit more, accordingly. I know that I did, anyway. Sub bassist Tom Feguson did a great job after a scant two rehearsals. Thanks, Tom. I had a hell of a good time listening to Moe! go off on his drums: it's quite fun to provide a really steady, simple ballast for Moe!. Hella fun. Most everything was tight, with small adjustments to a few of the arrangements. There was a small train wreck during Question After Ended Question, but we managed to overcame that. Another mistake-free version of 99 Is Not 100! YES! During the extended vamp of Failure of Commitment, Moe! destroyed his guitar while dancing in the audience. Mel on this development: "...he hated that guitar..."! Ha!
A few strangers came, and they stuck around to the bitter end. As I was breaking down my kit, I looked down and saw my t-shirt. Victory.

Below: drums and found t-shirt

Below: broken head stock of a hated guitar

Above: Surplus 1980 rocking (photos courtesy of Feona Lee Jones, thanks Feona!)

Monday, June 13, 2016

Surplus 1980 tomorrow night in Oakland!

Surplus 1980 will play at the Night Light tomorrow, evening, 6/14!
Also on the bill will be Sam Mickens and Ziemba.

Night Light
311 Broadway
Oakland CA 94607

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Instagon #707-Musicians Union Hall Local 6; San Francisco CA, 6/11/16

After spending the morning in an extended Surplus 1980 rehearsal, I schlepped across the Bay Bridge and into SOMA to the Musicians Union Hall Post 6 for Instagon #707. As mentioned, it was my fourth appearance with Lob's long-standing experiment in Chaos. Booker David Leikam certainly treated us nicely: free parking, food, a good back line drum set (YES!). Thanks, David!
As for the musicians, Instagon featured Jaroba on woodwinds, Jeff Klukowski on guitar, Stephan Elliot on keyboard, Lob on bass, and me on drums.
It seemed to me that Instagon #707 stayed true to Lob's Garage Jazz concept: Bluesy, Funky instrumental interplay throughout both sets. I had a lot of fun, and feel more and more comfortable with the Lob's vision; none of the sheer terror that I felt the first time drumming with the group, a mile or so west in the Mission a while back. There were a few times during which I felt a bit out of phase, especially on a few of the endings, but the grooves felt generally good. It was especially enjoyable to play along with Stephan's keys. I  rarely get to play with any type of piano/keyboard. At one point, he was quoting The Other One, which I duly tried to play sync up with! Along with the Grateful Dead quote, we played an Alice Cooper tune, "Welcome To My Nightmare", and "Sex Bomb" by Flipper! The latter extended into some pleasingly wild spaces.
All in all, a very fun afternoon spent jamming with friends. Arts Earth and Lob Instagon: pure class.

Below: Instagon setting up (photo by Jeff Klukowski, thanks Jeff!)
Above: Instagon #707 personnel (photo by Monica Berini, thanks Monica!)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Instagon this Saturday afternoon!

I'm looking forward to my fourth appearance with Instagon this Saturday!
We will play at the Musicians' Union Hall in SOMA!

Sat. 6/11/16
Musicians Union Hall Local 6
116 9th St., San Francisco CA 94103

Along with Lob, Jeff Klukowski and Jaroba will play. Looking forward to it! 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Next Now All Tomorrow's After Parties, Berkeley CA; 6/3-5/16

A day after wrapping up another one of Mika Pontecorvo's three day events, and I'm most definitely stoked. Just as with the past few of these happenings, I got to play a lot of music, hear a lot of music, and to try to be as helpful as possible to a community of musicians that I respect and admire. Really great times.

6/3-After a pretty stressful work week, I was feeling tired and drained, but managed to gather the energy to cram my car full of drums for the back line and schlep it on over to Berkeley Arts Festival space. I only played with one group, Cartoon Justice. For this gig, we were joined by author Meg Pontecorvo. Meg is a Science Fiction writer, and brought that aspect of her creativity to our sound. I set up my drums in the worst possible spot in which to hear the vocals, and duly paid the price. I couldn't hear Meg at all, really. Total bummer on that side. On the positive, it seemed like there was some good interaction between the Kersti's sax and my drums, and Eli's bass playing always inspires. Mika utilized his "Slicer Dicer" programming to seemingly good effect, as well. A somewhat subdued set, all in all, but, fun none the less. Berkeley Arts Festival could use a monitor or two, though.

Above: Cartoon Justice with Meg Pontecorvo
(photo courtesy Amanda Chaudhary

6/4-Saturday was definitely a busy day for me. After watching a great set from Reconnaissance Fly, I joined in with Terra Incognita, a Miles Davis-inspired big band featuring many of this region's improvising musicians. The grooves felt good-to-great, and my listening seemed to be honed in. A total blast to pair up with drummer Aaron Levin! The ensemble had loud, swirly interaction and was sweetly energetic and possibly psychedelic as well. What a joy!
An hour or so later, and I hooked up with CDP, a trio set up by Amanda Chaudhary. Rent Romus joined us on alto sax. This music was, for the most part, charted, with two written pieces by Amanda and one of my graphic scores. I made a few clams on the written pieces. Still, I'm grateful for any opportunity to read charts. It's a "work in progress" for me, for sure. Amanda suggested a bit straighter, 8th note-based playing, with a Funk feel, and I stuck to that vibe. At one point, during a very consciously decided upon "Disco Part", some audience members started doing the classic Saturday Night Fever Travolta arm point. Ha! Rent seriously wailed, though. He's just unstoppable in any setting.
Next up was v'Maa, a drone band based upon Sami shamanism and spider mythology. We were joined by Finnish singer Lau Nau. This set was chill and seemed to unfold nicely. I'm not sure how much Lau Nau sang, but she gave me a nice compliment at the end of the set. Nicely spiritual and float-ey playing from Mika, Kersti, and Eli.
Finally, Ear Spray set up our video bombardment unit as the penultimate act of the day. Basically a reprise of our recent Stork Club gig, with many of the same samples and sounds, from both drums and Carlos's synths. Still, I felt very connected to the sounds. Ann's video work just keeps improving. She puts a ton of work into it.
Above: Lingua Incognita (photo courtesy of Aaron Levin, thanks Aaron!)

Above: close up of me and Rent Romus playing in Lingua Incognita (photo by Moe Staiano, thanks, Moe!)
Above: v'Maa with Lau Nau (photo courtesy of Amanda Chaudhary,, thanks Amanda!)
Above: Ear Spray (photo courtesy of Amanda Chaudhary,, thanks Amanda!)

Needless to say, I slept like a rock on Saturday night after arriving home.

6/5-All Tomorrow's After Parties 2016 winded down somewhat quietly on Sunday. Between other events, the Warriors game, and whatever else was going on. Still, some really good music was presented at Berkeley Arts Festival! David Leikam's z_Bug comes immediately to mind here. Wow: HEAVY. My band Cosmists played, and were lucky to be joined by Sheila Bosco. I saw Sheila's gear when I arrived, and hurried to call her and ask if she'd like to sit in. Thankfully, she agreed to do so. Her percussion and synth sounds added nicely to the trio of Collette McCaslin, Andrew Joron, and myself. We did a piece in tribute to Captain Beefheart, which included a poem that I wrote about Mr. Van Vliet. This may have been the smoothest set I did all weekend in terms of execution. Although the other Cosmists were appraised of the form on the day of, they all played together quite well. I'm really happy with the recording, and hope to have it up on-line in some form eventually.
Finally, ebolabuddha closed out the weekend's event. By that time, pretty everyone had split, and Steve could not even make the gig, so it seemed like a certain kind of "what the fuck?" looseness came over us. With guests Tom Weeks on alto sax, Lorenzo Arreguin on guitar, and Mika Pontecorvo on guitar, ebolabuddha spat out one long thirty minute Apocalypto Jam, full of raucous energy and glandy power. Texts that I read from were by Ovid and Dante. Ovid is seriously Metal. Despite the lack of audience, we had a great time.
Above: Cosmists (photo courtesy of Polly Moller, thanks Polly!)

At the end of the evening, as we packed up gear and cleaned up the Berkeley Arts Festival space, I felt effusive in my joy at having participated in another great Next Now. Hopefully we can use the space again, come January 2017, for the next Hardly Strictly Personal event. I guess that Cal project management only knows for sure......

Above: may that hardwood flooring remain in place!

More live Ear Spray Footage!

From our set at Berkeley Arts Festival, 6/4/16!

Friday, June 3, 2016

All Tomorrow's After Parties this weekend!

Tonight at 7 until Sunday night at 9!
2133 University Ave. @ Hearst
Benefit for San Francisco Bay Area homeless advocacy organizations!
Sliding Scale! Great bands and solo acts! CREATIVE music of all stripes!
If you're in the Bay, swing on by! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

ebolabuddah-KFJC in the Pit, Los Altos Hills CA; 5/31/16

It's always so awesome to hang out at KFJC; I swear that I could shoot the shit with Grower for hours. Such a fun hang.
ebolabuddha was in the Pit in order to play and drum up support for this weekend's Next Now All Tomorrow's After Parties event. With the addition of Tom Weeks on alto sax and Lorenzo Arreguin on guitar, our sound felt much more full and wildly, bewitchingly chaotic. We used three graphic scores: two of mine and one by Kristie Barlas. Along with them, we played two freely improvised pieces, with text readings, and one blast beat at the end. All in all, the set lasted a bit over forty minutes. The extra voices during the text-based pieces gave added complexity, too. Really cool layering. At the end, I started reciting My War by Black Flag! At times, I felt as if we sounded like Lifetime or something. A nice feeling to me. The improvising felt pretty tight, with really good listening and interactive feels throughout. I was really proud of our set.
Many thanks to Tom and Lorenzo for joining Steve, Eli and myself, and big ups to KFJC for EVERYTHING that they do. Class acts, all around!

Below: the rest of ebolabuddha, and red drums

All Tomorrow's After Parties promo video!

I'll be heavily involved with Mika Pontecorvo's All Tomorrow's After Parties this weekend! Here's a great promo video by Jason Berry, leader of Vacuum Tree Head, which features the groups that I'll be playing with, along with many others.