More frenetic action from Crow Crash Radio at KFJC last February!
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Sunday, May 28, 2017
Eli's is also a really fine place in which to play music, as Surplus 1980 found out on the evening of 5/26. We were part of a really cool bill that featured Shame Waves, Naked Lights, and XDS along with our sounds.
Surplus opened the show in the excitement of featuring new bass player HL Nelly. There were likely some nervous vibes being felt, but thankfully they did not equate any kind of train wreck action. On the contrary, it felt to me that everything ran pretty damn smoothly. More than that: it felt on. Our relatively brief five song set consisted of Moe!'s tunes worked out within the past year and a half or so, my favorite being the groovy Motivated Song About Procrastination, with its neat bridge figure of steeple-like time patterns and swooping double time ending. That one's a hoot. An older song, Morale Is High, always challenging, seemed to have been played almost flawlessly. It's one that you're glad if you've gotten through it without stumbling. Thankfully, we finished it on our feet. Additionally, I seem to have shaken off 2016's curse of clamming during Failure of Commitment. Seems as though that one's form is known to me again.
All told, Surplus 1980's set felt tight and inspired. For me, it was one of those sets wherein even the minor gaff of dropping a stick could not impede the force of the flow. Kind of a victory for Surplus 1980, I'd say. What a pleasure to see friends and acquaintances and play on a bill with a clutch of really fine, inspiring musicians and their bands.
An A+ night in the cool late May air of the (b)East.
Below: Welcome to Surplus 1980, HL, hope that you'll stick around for a while
Moe! and Melne set up
Friday, May 26, 2017
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Sunday, May 21, 2017
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
As per usual, Pure Finder did two sets, live and raw and accompanied by our hosts. The consensus seemed to be that the first set was a bit scattered and that we all gelled during the second. As for me, I really liked both. Andrew and I exchanged texts of personal memories to be read. These passages seemed to provide central focuses for each of the two.
During the first I also had fun getting re-acquainted with my ratty circuit bent Casio keyboard and UB's extensive cowbell collection, which was scraped and hit. Perhaps I hogged the space a bit with these tones? Crimony! Towards the end of this one, I got crazy scraping a chair across the concrete floor for a raw drone. It felt like a Bright Moment to me.
The second set continued with the drone feel, with all four of the assembled sound technicians locking in to each others' sounds pretty adeptly. It was during this one that Andrew read my text, a memory from long ago that's haunted me. It felt sort of liberating to have that out in the world. Thanks, man. I tried to use my old tal box, but its batteries were futzed; it emanated some cool drones in its worn out condition, though. These were paired with water-less waterphone on my end. This all felt good, paired with a bit of red wine and loose vibes of a lovely spring day.
It's always a blast to send out signals from UB on DFM!
Below: Andrew, Ninah, and Das
Below: my gear for the show
Friday, May 12, 2017
Dig on the killer dystopian beauty from cover artist Ahmadreza Heidaripoor!
Saturday, May 6, 2017
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
OK, on the the music. CDP was supposed to have consisted of Amanda, Josh Marshall, Tom Djill, and myself last night, but on account of the raging cold that's currently plowing its way through the area, Tom had to recuse himself. This late development had us all a bit nervous, I think. Despite a collective bummed out feeling from the remaining three of CDP, we agreed to soldier on and do the best that we could.
For me, that turned out to be not bad at all. After cracking sets from Lucio M. Trio and Anton Hatwich Quartet, CDP overcame some scary last minute technical glitches and dove in to a four song, thirty minute set of Amanda Chaudhary's Avant Pop charts. These heads are really fun to play. I tell you, North Berkeley BART is a tune that just plays itself. Such good writing. I dream of releasing a 7" of that one. Our overall feel was somewhat amped up and maybe a bit on the frantic side. I figure it was stage nerves and the absence of Tom forcing us to push a bit harder. At least, that's what was driving me. Might have played a bit too loud, but, then again, I was able to follow Amanda's hand signaled conducting moves for dynamic cues within the improvised sections of our songs. I was stoked to make it pretty much blemish-free through a brand new one, Marlon Brando. 12/8 shuffles are tough to sustain! Josh got in some nice, ripped tenor honking and some sweet soprano moves, and Amanda took on the added pressure of trying to fill in for Djill's presence with aplomb. I managed to record the set on my phone, and it sounds pretty crackly and most definitely live.
All told, I'd say it was a pretty good hit, despite the fact that CDP was missing a key ingredient of our fledgling sound. Hopefully we'll have some more gigs in which we can continue to hone it.
Below: another long-gone piece of Mission history; drums