Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Playing this Sunday on KPFA!

I'm excited to announce this New Year's Eve show, done live at the KPFA studio in Berkeley!
I'll be adding percussion and some other noises to a group featuring Thomas Dimuzio, Mika Pontecorvo, Larry Thrasher, Todd Mellors, Christina Stanley, and Jonathan Leidecker.
Details here:
Sun., 12/31
KPFA: Frequency Modulation Radio
10 PM Pacific Time

We will play until midnight, ring in the New Year, and then play for another hour. Expect Electro-Acoustic madness to ensue! 

Monday, December 25, 2017

McCaslin Reed Pino Trio live footage up at Youtube!

Many thanks to Charles Smith, Outsound Presents, Amy Reed, and CJ McCaslin.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Radical Medicine Theater Movement International, Ivy Room; Albany CA 12/21/17

Having been an El Cerrito resident for several years, I am very familiar with the Ivy Room. I can't say that I ever spent any time there before last night, and that, even as there have several reportedly great Improvised Music shows there of late. Seems as though I'm always at a rehearsal or gig when they happen. My first performance with Radical Medicine Theater Movement International provided me with my first chance to hang out and play there.
A cool space, too, with a decent stage, good sound system, and homey vibes. The Ivy Room seems like a winner.
For the performance, Decoy Gallerina, Miguel Garcia, and me played four distinct pieces, all made up of music, poetry, and dance. The uniting theme for them was a theme of protest against the treatment of protesters at Standing Rock and the current political paradigm. especially President Trump. I'm not a particularly political person myself, especially when it's come to my music, but I am a big admirer of Decoy's art, and as such will gladly support her in her statements. Freedom of speech is very important.
We essentially played four short, 15-30 minute sets, all meant to be connected, but broken up by other performers' pieces. This flow felt a bit disconnected to me, but it was cool to hear other musicians sing and play. I felt as though our best sounds were achieved earlier in the evening. By night's end, I was really tired and probably showed it in my playing. Still, our last set featured a sound that I've dubbed First Nation Grime, a Punk Rock/Electronic hybrid that features great flute playing from Miguel and manic dance moves from Decoy. Actually, all of the music for this set blended electronics and programmed percussion with singing, dance, and my acoustic drumming, done on my old reliable and increasingly banged up 1970's blond Ludwig. I'd say that overall, the set was a bit jittery, a "first show together" kind of feel, with nerves sometimes getting the better of all of us, but a nice manic energy pulling us through the experience.
A fun, creative night, especially in light of being surrounded by Decoy's great visual, performance, and spoken art and Miguel's deeply creative sound creation.

Below: Miguel sets up; good old Ludwigs
Above: Cold lit Ivy Room, 42 degrees and dropping
Below: cool sculptural assemblage by Decoy Gallerina, whose creativity knows no bounds
Below: Decoy and Mark (photo courtesy of Claude Palmer, thanks, Claude!)

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Playing this Thursday in Albany!

This Thursday, 12/21, I will be playing with Decoy Gallerina and Miguel Garcia at the Ivy Room in Albany CA. The event will be a benefit to raise money for people that remain imprisoned after protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline last year.

Radical Medicine Theater Movement International Presents:
Free Spirit Liberation Spin
The Ivy Room
860 San Pablo Ave.
Albany CA 94706
Sliding scale, no one turned away for lack of funds

It's been almost 15 since I performed with Decoy, and I'm really excited about renewing this valued collaboration. 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

ebolabuddha-The Garage, Palo Alto CA; 12/8/17

After a really quick trip down to Palo Alto from Richmond, a minor miracle in light of the insane traffic patterns that currently reign in the Bay Area, I found myself inside of the Garage, being blown away by several POWERFUL Noise and Grind acts. It was a pleasure to share a bill with all of them. Just great impact all around.
ebolabuddha began our 25 minute set in the Garage (by the way, the place is quite literally a garage, with cars up on lifts and in various states of repair), freezing in the cold December air. I started off reading from a college text about Medieval heresies, which was fun. It seemed as though we didn't get a ton of audience buy in, or maybe I just didn't hear people reading. Not that that seemed to matter to me. Within a few minutes I was at the beat up NoiseHaus trap set, beating out what I felt was some kind of homage to the now departed Sunny Murray. The guitars of Steve and Lorenzo were great, noisy and out there, with Tom's alto sax scrawl up atop them and Eli's bass moves shaking below. It felt energetic, even though I was somewhat bummed about having to try to navigate a beat up, falling apart set of drums while dealing with frazzled nerves. Things stayed pretty much in this one quite jacked up sonic zone, apropos for Noise, at least in my opinion. We ended with a two minute blast beat and a manic rant from Mr. Weeks. Good times, albeit somewhat odd for me, emotionally, as I'd behaved kind of like a dick to a slam dancer in audience a bit earlier. Apologies to that dude, I just freaked out when your elbow hit me in the stomach.
A humbling evening on many levels, for sure.
Glad to have taken that ride, though.

Below: beat drums, and The Shining, which was being broadcast simultaneous to the NoiseHaus set

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

ebolabuddha this Friday night!

ebolabuddha rides again, this Friday evening in Palo Alto!
 Fri., 12/8/17
NoiseHaus 2017
The Garage
906 Industrial Ave.
Palo Alto CA 94303
Show starts at 8PM
ebolabuddha plays at 10: 15

Sunday, November 19, 2017

New Brandon Evans/Mark Pino duo recording up at Bandcamp!

Many thanks to Brandon for doing post-production on this!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

ebolabuddha-Music City, San Francisco CA; 11/17/17

During a long slog across the Bay Bridge, ebolabuddha member Plague and I had an extended conversation about audio engineering, aesthetic choices, and historical perspective. Really good stuff. During the silent parts of the ride, I thought about our appearance at Music City as in essence being some kind of ritual act. Not so much a show, but more a small group of people in a room together, focusing intention.
After finally making it over to Polk and Bush, Eli, Lorenzo, Steve, and Jaroba were there to welcome us. We pretty much started our sound ritual right away. Things got kind of crazed. Jaroba led us with some trance baritone sax sounds, Steve and Lorenzo played spidery riffs on acoustic guitars, Eli pounded a bass drum, Plague wore a chain, I played a floor tom. All of this was, of course, accompanied by us and few other people reading from assorted texts. I stuck to my beloved Ovid.
Things got crazed and odd, that's for sure. I recall beating the tom tom with a shaker, which gave me a cut on a finger. I recall Plague chanting about a deceased frog. I recall Eli shouting out texts. Good times!
After a while, Eli signaled us to stop. We stopped. The overhead lights came on. Our ritual had ended. Driving home, Plague and I listened to Funk on KFPA and I drove without regard for the rules of the road, at least on the streets of SF. Perhaps my intentions had been rewarded with some kind of grace.

Below: gear used, and a mystery photo snapped inadvertently

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

ebolabuddha this Friday in San Francisco!

ebolabuddha will play in San Francisco this Friday night, 11/17/17.
Friday Night Metal Night SF
Music City SF
1353 Bush St.
SF 94109
Your Hands Write History
Red Shift Pilot

ebolabuddha starts the show at 8:30, semi-acoustic set with shitty flutes.
Bring a book!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Suplus 1980-Humanist Hall, Oakland CA; 11/12/17

This Surplus 1980 show was a private event, a birthday party for our pal Polly. Hence, no preview or advertising.
Set at Oakland's Humanist Hall, a building that I've driven past many times over the years, it was an enjoyable party, with really fine vegan food, board games, spirits, and just generally cool vibes. Former Surplus 1980 bass player Steve Lew showed up: he beat me at Scrabble. No surprise there. Dude's a PhD.
As for our set, it was a bit truncated, with only Moe! on guitar songs. I got to play a sweet Yamaha set, courtesy of master drummer Jordan Glenn. Thanks Jordan!
I was really happy with our sound. Even with no soundcheck, we managed to rock out pretty well. Temporarily Present seemed particularly well played. Along with our songs, we put in two really kind of bad covers, just to keep the mood light. I can't mention them, as there seems to be a slight worry about certain members losing a bit of street cred. Needless to say, I laughed a lot while playing some pretty corny tunes from the Pop cannon. During this segment, Moe! destroyed a children's size plastic drum kit. It was funny to see him stabbing the heads and throwing that doomed piece of plastic around.
A better way to spend a Sunday evening I wouldn't be able to find.
Many thanks to Polly and Jordan.

Below: lovely drums; Steve Lew contemplates his impending victory

Above: sacrificial drums
Below: Surplus 1980 at Humanist Hall (photo by Thomas Scandura, thanks Thomas!)

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Infinite Plastic Internal-KFJC Pit; 11/9/17

After a lovely drive down 680 from Concord, during which I admired the post-rain storm mixture of later afternoon sunlight, rain clouds, and East Bay Hills (rainbow underneath Mission Peak, hell yeah!), I found myself ensconced within KFJC's Pit for the makeup session of Infinite Plastic Internal's delayed live broadcast from June of this year.
I had been planning the set up for this session for the past month or so, diagramming the placement of drums, electronics, gongs, flutes, and vocal mic for the latter. Thankfully, Eric, Frank, and the KFJC staff of engineers were at their usual accommodating level; what a great group of people. Eric mentioned that I was one of the more punctual acts to arrive that he could remember! I was raring to go, that's for sure. Again, there had been several months for planning.
The set was guided by a visual score that I'd drawn, in which the electronics would start "thin" and proceed to grow more "thick". On top of that, I placed intermittent bursts of gong, flutes, drum set, and space. A recent conversation with tenor sax master Josh Allen had me also integrating the clock: five minute intervals were placed in the score, and I used the clock to willfully pace the set and its actions. Many thanks to Josh for sharing his theories on that. They really helped me to integrate conceptual and physical pacing within the set.
All of this preparation and conceptualizing lead to my desired 45 minutes of Infinite Plastic Internal drone and freak sounds. As the sounds started, I felt relaxed and focused enough. Things seemed to unfold and emerge at a good pace. I was particularly happy with the sound of my old Ludwig bass drum, along with screws dragged across the rims of the 18" roto tom. Smaller hi hat cymbals were used as well, which helped to reduce some of the "shimmer" that I get from my left foot when playing free drumming with wider hats. That seemed to make the drum set sound a bit more clear. The electronics also felt really good. It was cool to feel and hear their oscillations and random mixtures. It's my hope that this came across to anyone that may have been listening.
It seemed as though it was a successful Infinite Plastic Internal musical ride, after which DJ Naysayer interviewed my for 30-35 minutes, which was fun and interesting.
KFJC: the Gold Standard of radio.

Below: Infinite Plastic Internal gear
Above: visual score
Below: interview selfie

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Cartoon Justice-Make-Out Room, SF CA; 11/6/17

Sadly, no traditional walk around the Mission last night before the show. It was cold, albeit tremendously clear, so I opted to just park and get into the Make-Out Room and check in with Mika, Kersti, Thomas, and Jaroba. I must say that as I trolled for parking around 22nd St., I did get in the usual reflective mood re: changes in SF and myself. The City remains a beautifully odd place. It also seems increasingly alien to me, but I guess that I've gone over that ad nauseum.
With Cartoon Justice bass player Eli away on vacation, Mika pulled in Thomas Harrison Jr. to join in, along with woodwind player Jaroba. We did not get any time to rehearse, aside from a short email exchange which contained samples of the pieces that we'd decided to play for Make Out Monday. Things took a bit of time to gel. It seemed as though the first five or six minutes of our 42 minute set were spent poking in and out of each others' sounds, trying to establish some kind of vibe or groove. After a bit, I feel as though the total group, Harmelodic sound which we aspire to had begun to emerge. Some decent, grooving 6/8 Jazz Latin stuff on Spirit Aligned Truth lead to me taking a brief solo. That felt nice. We followed with a North African-inspired piece and ended with the relatively Free Villa d'Ornette. Take a guess who that one is dedicated too.
As I mentioned Cartoon Justice is expressly Harmelodic in approach: we aim to play a group music, based on Blues feeling and melodic guitar sketches. All in all, I felt as though we were able to float to that desired space, creating the mood that was sought.
After our set ROVA and Rent Romus's Life's Blood were tremendous. How cool to play on bill with so many great musicians.
Many thanks to Timothy Orr for letting me use his beautiful drums and cymbals!

Below: Kersti and Mika set up; mysterious T. Harrison Jr
Above: lovely Sonor kit and 1960's Zildjian cymbals, courtesy of Mr. Orr

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Shards music up at Bandcamp!

Due to other bands using Shards as their moniker, George Earth and I decided to use "SF Shards". That said, it'll always be Shards to me.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Upcoming shows!

A few gigs next week.....

Mon., 11/6
Make-Out Room
Cartoon Justice
w/ ROVA and Rent Romus's Life's Blood
8:30 PM
3225 22nd St.
SF 94110
Cartoon Justice plays first

Thu., 11/9
Infinite Plastic Internal
10 PM

Next week is lookin' good.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

New digital tracks from Norcal Noisefest XXI up at Bandcamp!

Three sets from three groups!

Big ups to the Norcal Noisefest crew!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

New Cartoon Justice release up at Bandcamp!

Mika Pontecorvo's Bandcamp page! Cartoon Justice with Grant Calvin Weston! Cool!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

New cassette release from the Pure Finder!

I'm pleased as punch to announce the Pure Finder's new cassette release, Float! Three tracks of electronics/percussion madness, waxed at Stroma Studio in swanky Lafayette, CA!
It will eventually be out at Bandcamp, but for now if you'd like a copy, send me a message and I'll set you up with one.

Monday, October 23, 2017

A couple of tracks from the Norcal Noisefest 2017 sampler!

Even though Pure Finder did not get to play, we still had a track on the sampler.
Ear Spray did play, but this track features Carlos, who could not attend on 10/8.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Weekend show roundup!

I've got a Surplus 1980 rehearsal to attend in about an hour or so. Below, a brief roundup of this weekend's shows.

Surplus 1980-Classic Cars West, Oakland CA; 10/13/17
Riding over to Oakland from Richmond on Friday night, naturally my thoughts and prayers and sadness were directed toward Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino Counties. The air was thick with smoke and ash, the news tragic and horrible. Such a bad week for this area. Thankfully, the vibe on 26th St. in Oakland was stony and festive, I guess mostly on account on it being a Friday night. Surplus 1980 were kind of in a weird spot, being sandwiched between the pure Electronic Music of Piano Rain and the Witch House of Religious Girls. I gather that this made some members of the group kind of nervous or out of sorts in a way. To quote Moe!, "one of these things is not like the others". Despite the nerves, I think that we sounded pretty good navigating our truncated set. It's always a drag to cut a set short, but time constraints made it a necessity to do so. I was happy to get through Temporarily Present again, gaff free, especially since I'd be mucking its changes up in rehearsal and practice all week. No such problems on Friday the 13th! Alright! Question After Ended Question came out pretty good, too, as did Motivated Song About Procrastination. Again, despite feeling a bit like the odd folks out, Surplus played pretty well, at least in my opinion. We donated any earned money to animal rescue groups in Sonoma. Religious Girls, with their swirling, percussive rainbow of sounds, are really great. It was their night, and I can absolutely see and hear why. Great band.

Crow Crash Radio-Free Oakland UP!, Oakland CA; 10/14/17
Compared to the previous evening's high strung feels, the quiet and care free action at Free Oakland UP! was in effect. Crow Crash Radio set up and breezed through about eight songs in two hours, stretching out their forms and going to whichever places they lead. It was a nice, airy couple of sets, to be sure. Whenever we play at Jocelyn's great shop/art project, we always have a relaxed, enjoyable time creating the soundtrack for people as they walk in and peruse the free stuff. We worked on a few new ideas and some purely improvised pieces, which was exciting. A fine way to spend a warm Saturday afternoon in Oakland.

Below: Moe! digs on his new drum kit at Classic Cars West; Moe! and Bill, guys that tune
Above: Crow Crash Radio surrounded by art and free stuff in Oakland

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Upcoming shows!

I will play a couple of gigs this weekend!

Surplus 1980
Classic Cars West
411 26th St.
Oakland 94612
6-10 PM
Religious Girls
Surplus 1980
Piano Rain
Surplus is scheduled to play at 8 PM.

Crow Crash Radio
Free Oakland UP!
2809 MacArthur Blvd
Oakland 94602
1-3 PM
Crow Crash Radio

Looks like and Oakland-ish type of weekend for me, musically. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Norcal Noisefest-Cafe Colonial, Sacramento CA; 10/8/17

What had seemingly promised to be a leisurely drive up I-80 to Sacramento was somewhat mentally fogged up by ominous winds and spooky haze. These were portents for both me and the region. In my personal case, hardly had I made it to the Capital City when I received a text from Andrew of Pure Finder, telling me that he'd had a major collapse in his gear and would not be able to play. As regards the Northern California region, the winds brought brutal fires to the region around Santa Rosa. Much of the news has been heartbreaking; indeed, one of the facilities of the company that I work for was razed.
Regarding Andrew's absence, I had to scramble a bit, but managed to put an ad hoc group together, with Ninah of Big City Orchestra/UB Radio and Shannon of Eurostache.  We dubbed ourselves the UB Alumni Asylum, as UB Radio Salon was the one common thread that we all seemed to share. Ninah played a mic'd cymbal, and Shannon played some digitally processed flute sounds and percussion. I stuck mostly to the waterphone. It was definitely a set that in which I flew blind. I can't recall what we sounded like, or even if my contact mics were working. Shannon and Ninah were both audible; they totally saved the day for me. Their perceptive, intuitive playing was really nice to hear. Noise trailblazer Monte Cazazza gave me a sweet compliment, so maybe, just maybe we did alright. Ninah mentioned that we got some cool, circular rhythms going, and Shannon seemed pleased. Perhaps there will be a recording forthcoming from Norcal Noise. Anyway, major thanks to Shannon and Ninah for helping a brother out.
Ear Spray's set was pretty unique for us, in that Carlos was not a part of it, due to conflicting plans. Ann was debuting her newfound passion, electric cello! I played a mic'd cymbal by itself. Things went alright to start, with some decent interaction between cello and cymbal. I must confess that I lost my way after a bit, and proceeded to jump out into the audience while crashing the cymbal on the floor. Instant karma for me, though, as this action destroyed one of my contact mics. I ended the set sitting in a chair with sweat rolling into my eyes and nothing to play. Ann sounded at her best at this point, though. Kind of a bust for me; hopefully Ann had a good time.
A few days before Noisefest, Lob of Instagon contacted me and some other players with a request to play a set of percussive, scraping, Industrial sounds to accompany his bass for Instagon #738. I readily agreed, and was glad to have done so. Instagon's set was truly satisfying, as the percussion work four players melded really nicely with the bass, guitar, and synth sounds. That set had the kind of clang and whirl that I so enjoy from Industrial music, that junkyard, steel mill aesthetic. I had a blast scraping the mic'd cymbal (yet again!) with a small metallic hammer and rolling a large chain across its edges. This one seemed to deliver the goods, satisfyingly rowdy and energetic.

Below: UB Alumni Asylum contemplate the sounds; Ear Spray on the stage
Above: Instagon #738 crankin' up the energy!

As usual, it was tremendous fun to play Norcal Noisefest. I always have a good time doing so. I really had to roll with things as the event unfolded in unplanned ways, but, that's just part and parcel of being in the Improvising Music scene. One just has to take things as they come.
Many thanks to Andrew, Lob, Ninah, and Shannon. Hopefully I'll find a way to get on next year's bill!
Below: Ear Spray video, courtesy of Ann O'Rourke

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Norcal Noisefest this weekend!

I'm stoked to be playing at Norcal Noisefest this weekend!
This event goes from Fri., 10/6 to Sun., 10/8. I will play on the 8th with Ear Spray and Pure Finder!
Norcal Noisefest Day 3
Cafe Colonial
3520 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento 95820

I will likely play with Pure Finder at 5 or so, and then with Ear Spray at 6:30 or so. The entire weekend will be filled with odd, wonderful, scary, ugly, beautiful Noise, so go over to Cafe Colonial or Luna's Cafe at any time this weekend!