Monday, January 22, 2018

A lot of activity coming up!

Mostly on account of Mika Pontecorvo's Hardly Strictly Personal Post-Beefheart Music festival happening this weekend, plus a Surplus 1980 gig. Tons of activity starting Thursday evening.

Thu. 1/25/18
Cartoon Justice live in the Pit
10 PM Pacific

Fri. 1/26/18-Sat. 1/27/18
Hardly Strictly Personal 2018 Post-Beefheart Festival/Benefit
TAC-Temescal Arts Center
511 48th St.
Oakland CA 94609
Dozens of bands/projects come and see/hear them all
Crow Crash Radio on Friday at 9PM
ebolabuddha on Saturday at 3 PM
Cartoon Justice on Saturday at 5 PM
Show  starts at 7 PM on Friday and 1 PM on Saturday
Sliding Scale but every cent is deeply appreciated and goes right to Homeless Action Center and/or Earth Justice

Sat. 1/27/18
The Starry Plough
3101 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley CA 94705
Ron Anderson Improvising Trio
Surplus 1980
9 PM

Lord knows I'll be tired, come Sunday!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Jack Hertz/Mark Pino Duo-Luggage Store; San Francisco CA, 1/18/18

Another rainy night in SF, another gig. Not that I'm complaining about this one, which pretty much fell into my lap a few weeks back. Rent Romus contacted me, asking if I could fill a booking vacancy. For some reason, I immediately thought "....electronics....with Jack Hertz..."; Jack quickly replied in the affirmative, and we commenced planning out our set.
I brought waterphone, electric m'bira, some flutes, and a few stand alone synth pedals. Jack brought banjolin, shnth, tetrax, and some looping devices. I fed my sounds into his loop machine, and then he processed the loops while adding his own sounds. While doing this, I followed a plan that I'd cooked up, an order to the sounds which I'd utilize. It helped me to stay grounded within each small movement. Indeed, I felt a kind of zen as the piece slowly evolved, really calm and patient as sounds emerged and where processed by Jack. A really nice place to be! It also seemed as though my flute and waterphone skills are increasing. The waterphone is a fascinating sound source for exploring. Its relative simplicity hides much possibility.
Things started spare and quiet, eventually developing into more sonic thickness before looping back into a hushed few notes to take us out. I must admit that at times Jack did a lot more of the work: his adeptness and skill with electronics and processing were what really made the set go. I was really happy and grateful for the opportunity to play in duo with him. Humbling, really.
After we finished, Hummel set up and slayed. Brian Pederson is quite the Ayler-ian figure, Sung Kim's self-made acoustic instruments are always a delight to hear (and it's good to see his hand injury healing!), Tim Orr and Robert Lopez on dual percussion, Shanna Sordahl on cello with a volume pedal. Just great.
All in all, it seemed like a really fun evening of sound exploration. Good to see a few friends there, too.

Below: My gear/Jack's gear
Above: Jack and me mug by an element of a larger sculpture within the Luggage Store performance space. Jack said that this mannequin reminded him of Kraftwerk.

Monday, January 15, 2018

I will play with Jack Hertz this Thursday!

Jack Hertz and I will be presenting a duo of synthesized electronic and acoustic sounds at the Luggage Store in SF this Thursday, 1/18/18.

Thu. 1/18/18
Luggage Store Gallery
1007 Market St.
SF CA 94103
8-10 Pm
Hertz/Pino Duo
$8-15 sliding scale

Jack and I have been planning out our set, so one can expect a pretty controlled 45 minutes of Electro-Acoustic sound scapes. Hooray!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

A couple of photos from Rent Romus Thin Air Orchestra, Gold Lion Arts, Sacramento CA 1/7/18

This was not a show that I thought I'd be playing. I remembered that I'd been asked to bring some percussion stuff on the day of the event. I was going to head up to Sacramento anyway in order to wish Rent Romus a happy 50th birthday, and it was a nice surprise to get to play a bit.

Above: in really esteemed company; playing music makes me happy
Below: silver on gold (all photos courtesy of Charles Smith, thanks!)

Surplus 1980 live footage up!

Thanks to Charles Smith and Outsound!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Instagon #745-The Make-Out Room, SF CA; 1/8/18

This gig was sandwiched between two harrowing trips across the Bay Bridge under some seriously intimidating rain, especially during the ride home, where I was exhausted and practically blinded by sheets of water splashing onto my windshield. That said, it was totally worth the white knuckles for the playing. Instagon #745 seemed to be a real cooker. The evening's iteration of Lob's continuously changing experiment in instrumental music/Chaos Theory fusion featured Karl Evangelista on guitar, Jaroba on woodwinds, Lob on bass, and me on drums. We kicked Instagon tunes like Eris and Jazz for Satan around pretty furiously. I can say that I'm starting to get a feel for Instagon's tunes; they're becoming more nuanced for me, which, I hope, is reflected in my playing of them. It being all improvised, there were a few gaffs and space-outs here and there, but I was able to brush them aside pretty quickly and keep things moving. Karl's playing was seriously thick and rich and killin'; it's my hope that Jaroba's matched his fury, but, as he was standing right in front of me (and between two amps), I barely heard him. It looked like he was rockin', though! Lob seemed to be enjoying himself. It's fun to lock in with his repeated bass pattern song kick offs, as it is to go down those surprising sonic alleys with him. A very enjoyable, high energy set!
Also fun was the hang, during which I got to talk briefly with Poet/Drummer Clark Coolidge about cymbal dynamics and Spencer Dryden's ignominious last days in Petaluma (SO.DAMN.SAD.), and hear David Mihaly's quiet insights into drumming. Some serious learning events for me.
Coolidge and Mihalys' groups, Ouroboros and Roots & Space respectively, were killer, to boot.
Hopefully Instagon #745 will appear somewhere on-line for listening.
Big ups to Lob, it's always a gas.

Below: Ludwigs; Lob checks his line
Above: Instagon #745 mugs in front of the Make-Out Room
Below: Ouroboros gliding

Audio from the set:

Saturday, January 6, 2018

I will play with Instagon this Monday!

As usual, I have no idea who will play, except for Lob of course. I hope to have a good Instagon set at the Monday Make-Out!

Mon., 1/8/18
The Make-Out Room
Monday Make-Out
3225 22nd St.
SF CA 94110
Roots and Space
Free (donations taken)

Friday, January 5, 2018

Ruminations-Luggage Store Gallery, SF CA; 1/4/18

Before Ruminations launched into our Luggage Store set, and after a really inspiring set of solo drum machine magic from Matt Davignon, Rent Romus briefly commented that it's become a bit of a tradition that we play there early in the year; it seems as though that's true. Hard to believe that it's been four years since our first time playing as such!
We really did seem to launch, too. Rent, Christina Stanley, Tom Djill, and I got down to making Free Improvisation moves really quickly. Over three extended pieces, we hit the energy and volume levels pretty high. The second and third pieces seemed especially cool, with the former giving me some space for a brief solo and the latter having some boss primitivo flute and space actions. One factor in my playing was the words, read earlier of hero Poet Will Alexander. I was thinking about his ruminations as I ruminated at my kit. With them in my perceptions, I felt free to get down to expressing myself with energy and as much aplomb as I could muster. Within that zone, perhaps I may have overplayed a bit, but, what can I say? I was feeling the optimistic energies of the new year's possibilities. Why not kick 2018 off with a bang?
I was also really inspired to be sharing a sonic space with three really talented, heavyweight musicians; I wanted to push a bit, to up the sonic ante. Some great musical interactions happened! I just wish that we could have played a bit longer, but perhaps we put out enough sound for the small conclave of people that shared the Luggage Store's small second story performance space with us.
Hours later, I'm still buzzing from the Ruminations of the night!

Below: Rent and Tom set up; Ludwig kit with cowbell!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

M-KAT Ensemble digitial release!

We hope to have a limited CD edition out soon.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Ruminations this Thursday in San Francisco!

Ruminations did not play last year, sadly. Happily, we'll have at least one gig in 2018!
Thursday 1/4/18
Luggage Store Gallery
1007 Market St.
SF CA 94103
8 PM
Matt Davignon
$8-15 Sliding Scale

I believe that Ruminations will be a quartet this time: Rent Romus, Kip Kipperman, Tom Djill, and me.
Looking forward to it! 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Frequency Modulation Radio, KPFA, Berkekely CA; 12/31/17

This really fun show started, for me, with an email to Thomas Dimuzio: I was trying to get Mika Pontecorvo's Terra Lingua CD to him for play consideration on his Sunday Night KPFA show. Thomas suggested that we join him and some others on New Year's Eve for a live Noise/Experimental throwdown. Naturally, Mika and I both accepted the offer!
On the short drive to KPFA from Richmond, I tried to recall the last time that I played a New Year's gig. 1997, I think, with Sex is a Witch at Lennon Studios in SF. Holy cow, if I wait another twenty years for one, I'll be past retirement age. I wonder, will I still be playing? Only time will tell.
On the note of time, the assembled nine players: Larry Thrasher, Jon Leidecker, Christina Stanley, Todd Mellors, Kris Force, Tania Chen, Thomas, Mika, and me, had less than an hour to find space within the already small studios, get comfy, and then hit. Tragically for me, when I plugged my mixer in, it was immediately fried. Jon saved my butt by letting me plug my three contact mics into his mixer. Without that help, I would have been unable to even participate. Thanks, Jon.
With three hours to fill, starting at 10 PM sharp, the group started pretty spare and sparse; I figure a lot of us hadn't played together, so there were those initial exploratory moves made. The best moments of the early going were ones in which the intensity rose, with cool interactions between violins from Kris and Christina, wailing guitar from Mika, abstract processing from Thomas, Todd, and Jon, and low end moves from Larry. I had fun playing my four piece rig: waterphone, Utopia Synth, 18" cymbal (cracked), and 14" inch gong.
The sounds broke at 11 PM for a brief station identification, after which most of the group dove back in. Some folks began to peel off in order to hang out and drink champagne. Being sort of stuck in my little space, and really wanting to take advantage of this great playing opportunity, I stuck within the sound mix. My recollection of this hour has my bowing the waterphone a lot, and really almost violently at that. Things got loopy and weird, that's for sure. I also recall seeing Thomas smile really big. Totally worth the effort, right there!
At midnight, we did a traditional countdown, after which everyone basically let their rigs feed back and scrawl. This was FUCKING INCREDIBLE. Absolute Noise orgasm time. Ah, hell yes, and Happy Goddamn New Year!
A few of us continued to jam until almost 1 AM; in this time frame, I jumped onto a mic and tried to give a brief eulogy for the recently passed z'ev, using some biographical info from a Discogs page about him. At 1:55, Jon L. took the sound out. A new DJ came in and played Reggae.
It was a great way to start 2018 off.
Many thanks to Thomas for including me, and to all the great players that made it such a wonderful event.

Below: my rig, stuffed into Studio A; Mika plays, Todd gives the Sign of the Hammer
Above: Kris bows; Thomas Dimuzio, joyous warrior of sound!