Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Live Birdsaw pics

I put these up at Birdsaw's Facebook page this week, figured I'd post 'em here, too before cleaning up my desktop.
These shots were taken at Fais Do Do in East Los Angeles in 1999 by my old friend Mona Goss. At the time, Mona was pursuing an acting career in Hollywood. She came to the show and graciously sent me these photos some years later. Thanks, Mona!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Cosmists-Luggage Store Gallery, SF CA; 12/22/16

It's really hard to believe that Cosmists have been playing for five years! Where in the hell does the time go? Last night's gig at the Luggage Store Gallery proved to be a quiet triumph for us: we overcame the absence of CJ, who was not able to attend.
This development had me worried, but I was able to get my pal Kersti Abrams to fill in. This kept Cosmists a quartet, with Thomas Harrison Jr. making his debut with us on bass.
After a really fine set from Jack Hertz, full of spaced out electronic meditations and glitches, we began our four movement set with a conducted improvisation called Layer Cake. I guess it was an attempt by me to use conducting methods, mostly influenced by reading about Butch Morris some years back. Just simple gestures, cuing in the other group members as I sat on the floor. Kinda Hippie, I guess. Still, it was fun and fulfilling to try. We also played a couple of purely improvised pieces and one piece from my graphic score Saturations With Jumps. That one is still developing. It never sounds quite like I have been hearing it in my head, but I guess that if one wants exact precision, one should write out scores with standard musical notation. As for the improvisations, one of them featured a really tight ending after some cool East Asian, almost Gagaku feels. Real good.
Back to the triumphal feeling: some people that I don't know showed up and stuck around. Just a few, but that's enough. I realize that Cosmists don't play music that is accessible, so, really, if anyone sticks around to listen, it counts big time. Thanks to whomever those people are. Glad that you're out there, and very grateful that you stuck around.
All told, a fun evening that ended with everyone happy and aesthetically, if not monetarily, fulfilled. Cosmists continue to do it for the pure joy of sound.
As usual, thanks to Outsound, Luggage Store Gallery, and those that showed up, especially Andrew, Thomas, Kersti, and Jack.

Below: Cosmists instruments
Above: I really like this photo of Thomas's feet and pedals!
Below: Mark Conducts (photo courtesy of Jack Hertz, thanks Jack!)

Friday, December 16, 2016

New Ear Spray digital track!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Cosmists play next Thursday!

Cosmists will play at Luggage Store Gallery in San Francisco next Thursday! This iteration of Cosmists will feature bassist Thomas Harrison Jr., CJ Borosque, Andrew Joron, and me. Also on the bill will be my friend Jack Hertz.
Details here:

Thu. 12/22
Luggage Store Gallery
1007 Market St. @6th St.
SF 94103
8 PM Sharp
$-no one turned away for lack of funds

Hope to see some pals there!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Brandon Evans Trio live footage!

Footage courtesy of Outsound Presents. Thanks, Outsound!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

New Barney Cauldron digital release!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Surplus 1980-Starry Plough, Berkeley CA; 12/4/16

Last night's show at that Starry Plough, likely just as any other event in the SF Bay Area, occurred under the clouds brought forth from the tragic fire in Fruitvale not 24 hours previous. Driving in to Berkeley from El Cerrito, I wondered if anyone would even feel like playing. Thinking about the deaths of a score of young people, at times during the drive I felt ambiguous about it.
After emotionally charged sets from Karry Walker and Vegan Butcher, Moe! prefaced Surplus 1980's set with a brief admonishment to those in attendance. To paraphrase: "...cherish your lives and each other..." Hell yeah.Though not stated, the set had a feeling, at least to me, of dedication to those who did not survive the Ghost Ship warehouse fire. RIP.
As for our set, presumably the last one with bassist Steve Lew, it seemed as though we really rose to the occasion. The energy felt very much on, strong and confident. I'd say it was our best set since last year's barn burner in Seattle, during which our ante was upped by a ferocious set from Nightingales previous to ours. I can't recall any clams, except for one during an unexpected, encore-type version of Ed Saad. We hadn't rehearsed that one since well earlier this year, so I ain't trippin' on that at all.
I can't be more pleased with Surplus 1980's sound at the Plough: seriously bonkers!
I really want to thank Steve for being such a fine musical compatriot over the last year and a half. It's been a great experience being in a rhythm section with him. His bass playing is funky and juicy and totally in the pocket. What a fucking pleasure.
In essence, a evening of highs, despite the very obvious lows that so many in the Bay must be feeling this weekend.
I guess we'll see what 2017 has in store for Surplus 1980. I'll be looking forward to it.

Below: Steve and Moe! setting up

Above: cool 1980's Tama drums, belonging to Suki O'Kane, used as a back line. Thanks, Suki!
Below: Moe! and Mark ham it up. Photo by Molly Blue. Thanks, Molly!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Ornithos Loom-VAMP Music Art; Oakland CA, 12/2/16

Sort of a last minute gig last night for this new group, featuring Joe Noble, Andrew Joron, and me. Fernando from VAMP hit me with a message and asked if I could pull something together for December's First Friday event in Oakland. Ornithos Loom has been jamming sporadically, for the past six months or so, and I figured it would be a good opportunity to try to play in public.
After a really great set from guitarist Tristan Norton, we set out and played a roughly thirty minute one, comprised of one longer piece and one shorter. The former had some really fired up soprano and alto riffing from Joe. I got a short solo in, which Andrew described as "...sounding composed..." Right on! I added a small, metallic wrench, given to me by Moe! Staiano with a "see if you can use this" type of suggestion. Got some cool sounds from it during that solo. At least, that's how it felt to me, anyway. The latter piece was somewhat marred by a talkative person: Joe was attempting to play very quietly on his flute, but the talking person's voice ran roughshod over his sound. Ah well, you can't really control that type of thing, unless you're Charles Mingus or Keith Jarrett I guess.
All told, it was a fun, mellow night, and a good start for Ornithos Loom. Hopefully we'll be playing out more in the future. Please check out our first Bandcamp release, linked at the bottom of this post!

Below: Tristan Norton lays down the vibes

Above: Joe and Andrew peruse the vinyl at VAMP; my kit (wrench not included)