Saturday, November 12, 2016

Recent shows: a breakdown

Two shows by two bands over two days. Here's the breakdown:

Surplus 1980-First Church of  The Buzzard, Oakland CA 11/11/16
First off, what a great space! Shows have been happening at this spot in West Oakland for some time, but it was the first time I've been. Very cool, with paper mache sculptures of William S. Burroughs holding shotguns, strange films projected upon the walls, great art all over the place. Just ruling!
After really hot sets by PG 13 and Gentleman Surfer, both bands featuring incredible drummers Thomas Scandura and Jon Bafus, respectively, Surplus 1980 had our work cut out for us. Very tough acts to follow. Thanks to an exemplary sound mix from our pal Nelly, a GREAT engineer, we managed to throw down what seemed to me to be our best set of the year. I finally got through Failure of Commitment mistake-free (!!!!), Morale Is High was tight, our cover of Ornette's Theme From a Symphony felt all kinds of funky loose, just.....YES. Playing Bafus's hand made, beautiful kit was a joy, too. I can really only think of a few, very minor clams, and other than that the set was good to great. What a fun damn night!

Below: a glowing skull at First Church of The Buzzard, and beautiful drums (with cowbell!)

Below: Live Surplus 1980 footage!

Ear Spray-Noise Bridge Hackerspace, San Francisco CA 11/12/16
After getting what seemed like no sleep at all, I managed to drag my tired ass over to SF via BART. The Mission was lovely: sunny, warm, with the smell of fresh produce wafting off of the outdoor bins of small stores and roasting coffee permeating the air. I got to Noise Bridge with just minutes to spare before Ear Spray's opening set for a Godwaffle Noise Pancakes show. Carlos and Ann had, thankfully, already set up, so I was able to quickly get my small amount of gear in place and ready. Our set centered around Ann's vocals and Carlos's samples. Many of these samples came from short snippets that Ann and I had sent to him. He then loaded them into his sampling keyboard and had them ready for playback. It was fun to add to those voices with my raw circuit bent Casio and a singing bowl with contact mic, along with banging metal folding chairs with metal rods for that early z'ev feel. Thanks, z'ev. A fun, short set on a sunny day. Woot!

Below: great Grux art and simple gear

Below: live Ear Spray clip from Godwaffle's Youtube page. Thanks, Grux!!!!!

Now I sit here, exhausted, and prepare for my art opening this evening. Busy days to end the year! I guess that I kinda asked for it all, and am most definitely NOT complaining. Thanks to all of the musicians that I know.

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