Saturday, October 12, 2019

Surplus 1980-Starry Plough, Berkeley; 10/5/19

After a really disappointing record release show back in July, Surplus 1980 figured we'd try again, this time at the Starry Plough. It's a place where the band has played many times, when I've been the drummer and also before my tenure. It's known to Moe and his crew, which seems to provide some sense of emotional safety.
Before we even played, the evening's main treat showed itself to be the band Blank Square. What an impactful band! A really great blend of sounds, all moved by a killer rhythm section. I was blown away by them, and  hopefully we can play more shows with them.
As for Surplus 1980, we just barely got any rehearsals in, but that turned out to be alright. Our set had a pleasing intensity that was colored by maybe a bit of "wobble" as certain parts of the songs were remembered. As the only drummer for the band on the evening, I felt a bit of pressure to keep it all glued together. Thankfully, I only committed a few biffs. Everything seemed to roll well. It helped to have a good monitor mix, as always. I recall that at our last show there was no drum monitor. Anyway, Surplus played tightly, some people showed up, some people danced, and the entire affair was fun. Much better than record release number one by a mile.
It looks as though Surplus 1980 will be doing a very cool show next month, along with some neat work with an internationally renowned dance. Good things on the horizon, and hopefully we'll get a bit more rehearsal in!

Below: the only Surplus kit of the night; Moe S. has very strong opinions about Dubstep

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Surplus 1980 plays this Saturday in Berkeley!

Surplus 1980 will be playing the Starry Plough in Berkeley this Saturday.

Sat. 10/5/19
Starry Plough
3101 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley 94705
Surplus 1980
Blank Square

As always, looking forward to playing the music of Moe!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

New Crow Crash Radio digital release up at Bandcamp!

Monday, September 30, 2019

Two Feral Luggage shows recalled

Feral Luggage played two shows with Tuvan Psych Rock band Hartyga this past Thursday and Sunday. Some recollections!

Feral Luggage-The Luggage Store, SF; 9/26/19
This show was supposed to have us as the second of two acts, but Mika Pontecorvo wanted to hook Hartyga up with a show in SF. Accordingly, we shortened our set to allow time for our Tuvan pals to play. This was a cool thing to do, and I was totally into into it. That said, our set was frustratingly brief for it. We really only got about 15 minutes of real interactive playing time in. Still, it was really nice to have some two drum set interaction going on with Patrick Telesfore, Jr. Man, that guy can play. As is usual with the Luggage Store, it was a bit tough to hear the entire mix of the band. Being situated near Kersti, I felt as though my best dialogues were with her alto saxophone. It was nice to have a small, enthusiastic audience for our sounds, and, as always, playing the Luggage Store is a great experience, save for the parking hassles, which are getting worse as the neighborhood around 6th St. and Market changes.

Below: my Jungle Jazz Feral Luggage kit! Love it!

Feral Luggage-Starline Social Club, Oakland; 9/29/19
Thankfully, at the Starline Social Club, there were only two acts, us and Hartyga. I'll start by stating that the performance space at Starline is sweet! Really intimate, but well decorated and cool. A neat place. Feral Luggage jumped into our scheduled set and laid down what felt to me to be some pretty groovy Null Wave, as Mika has dubbed our sound, for a good 40 minutes of spaced out sounds. I was feeling pretty introspective in the hours before we played, and think that this may have colored my hearing of our sounds. Even better "chatter" with Telesfore, really connected feels with Eli and Kersti as well. Things just seemed to flow as we played. We even  managed to hook some people in and keep their attention for the duration. Very nice. This set was recorded in stereo, and it's my hope that it ends up on Soundcloud at minimum.
Below: a lot of gear on a small stage

Hopefully Feral Luggage plays some gigs again soon, as it's quite good in my estimation. Many thanks to Mika and Hartyga for hooking these cool shows up.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Feral Luggage plays two upcoming shows!

Cartoon Justice has seemed to have morphed semi-permanently into Feral Luggage, after adding a second drummer. We'll be playing two shows with Hartyga, who have traveled to the U.S. from Mongolia!

Thu., 9/26
Luggage Store Gallery
1007 Market St.
SF 94103
8 PM Sharp
Joel Nelson
Feral Luggage
$8-15 sliding scale

Sun., 9/29
Starline Social Club
2236 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Oakland 94612
8 PM
Feral Luggage

Looking forward to seeing how these shows pan out! 

Friday, September 20, 2019

Crow Crash Radio at Red Musuem Sacramento video!

Many thanks to Elisa Brasil for filming us. Edits by Brian Strang!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Crow Crash Radio-Red Museum, Sacramento CA; 9/15/19

I never really thought that Crow Crash Radio would play a Noise Music show, but last Sunday we found ourselves doing just that at Sacramento's lovely Red Museum, located just at the edge of the ever-hoppin' downtown, for the Audio Waffle Series.
Accordingly, we planned out a much less song-oriented set, deciding instead to get into some more free form improvisation. This plan seemed to have worked out nicely. Brian, Andrew and I got into some pretty abstract jamming for I don't know how long. Time really stopped for me as we played. We hit maybe four or five different zones, and each one felt as though the guitar (with loops), theremin, and drums were able to link up in a cool,  loose way. The only problem for me was some forward creep of the somewhat odd back line drum set that I was using. Thankfully, I was able to adjust accordingly within the jam. One audience member said the we reminded him of Ummagumma era Pink Floyd. I'll take that as a compliment, for sure.
A fun, albeit somewhat frustrating in that we didn't get to play too long. I think that Crow Crash Radio will surely begin incorporating some of the vibes at Red Museum within our longer sets, though.

Below: odd back line kit; very cool arty photo of Crow Crash Radio by and courtesy of Timothy O'Sullivan, thanks, Timothy!
Many thanks to Lob for booking us at Audio Waffle.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Crow Crash Radio this Sunday in Sacramento!

Crow Crash Radio will be playing what is nominally planned to be a Noise show. We will bring our own version!

Sacramento Audio Waffle
Red Museum
212 15th St.
Sacramento 95814
12 PM Sharp-2:00
All ages
Lots of friends' bands, along with Crow Crash Radio! Wahoo!!!!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Aural Monsoon Trio-Bird & Beckett Books, SF; 9/8/19

Some gigs just really glow, and Aural Monsoon Trio certainly seemed to have that going on, at least from where I was sitting. It was really exciting, as usual, to hook up with word master and piano improvisor Will Alexander for a nice, deep dive into the out zones. My now long-time collaborator Andrew Joron joined us for the ride. Between Will's modal explorations of Bird & Beckett's upright piano, and Anrdrew's theremin drones, I felt totally free to explore my current favorite kit. That's definitely where said glow comes in for me. What a pleasure it is to use the drums and cymbals and gongs as expressions of what feels to me to be deeper emotions. I don't know if those feelings transmitted themselves to anyone else in the room, but they were present for me as we played a good, four piece set that lasted about 45-50 minutes. Aural Monsoon Trio got into some pretty heavy, at times spacious, at times whirling parts, and I loved every minute of it. Just such a great time. Hopefully we can cast more storms in the future.

Below: my drums and Will warming up

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Aural Monsoon Trio this Sunday in SF!

Aural Monsoon Trio, featuring Will Alexander, Andrew Joron, and myself will be playing the Sunday at Bird & Beckett Books in San Francisco!

Sun., 9/8/19
Aural Monsoon Trio
Bird & Beckett Books
653 Chenery St.
SF 94131
Free (donations accepted)

Stoked to be improvising with Will and Andrew again!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Surplus 1980 full length out now!

When I was blogging yesterday about the Surplus 1980 Collectiv Ensembl shows, I realized that I never posted about Pigeon Obstacle Course, our brand new full length release! CD, LP, digital! All available here:

Monday, August 26, 2019

Surplus 1980 Collectiv Ensembl with G.W. Sok-The Uptown Night Club, Oakland and Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco; 8/23-24/19

I may be jumping the gun by posting this so soon after this past weekend's Surplus 1980 Collectiv Ensembl shows in Oakland and San Francisco. I'm trying to let the impressions sink in really deeply, you see. That said, I also want to log them on this here blog with as fresh a perspective as possible. Kind of a conundrum, really.
I'll just come out and say that I felt that both of the shows went really well. They'd been a LONG time coming. The CD that contains the music that we recorded was tracked a full three years ago, plenty of time for everyone to forget their parts as they worked on other stuff. Thankfully, we managed to get a few rehearsals in; we even had G.W. Sok with us for those, too.
All of the musicians got our parts in order and we seemed to roll into the Uptown Nightclub in downtown Oakland pretty confident. This set felt pretty good to me. I got to use the full Surplus 1980 drum kit, kind of a treat as always. That Pearl bass drum sounds dope. The large group rocked the four pieces, conducted by Moe! in a good way. The emotional weight of them really struck home for me, which I had never noticed during the recordings back in 2016 nor during a few spins of the disc in my car. This music is pretty heavy, and not in a plodding way, which is quite an accomplishment for 13 people sharing a stage. I feel a lot of "shadow" energy to it. It doesn't feel as though I'm explaining it really effectively, but, trust me, it's there.
A good night for Moe! and all of his pals in Oakland.

Below: Surplus 1980 kit and Jordan Glenn's kit; the full band (photo by and courtesy of Thomas Scandura, thanks, Tom!)

The Bottom of the Hill show started off kind of weird, with some miscommunication about gear leading to a last minute scramble for needed drum parts. That was smoothed over in remarkably good time, thanks to the ever cool Ralph Spight. Ralph remains THE MAN.
As for our Saturday night SF set, the energy seemed to be even darker and more heavy. A really solid block of sound emanated from the Bottom of the Hill's stage. Its intensity was kind of scary to me. As compared to Friday night's set, where all of the instruments' tones were sort of side by side, Saturday night had us being one unit. A giant slab of heaviness! Moe! seemed a lot more confident in the City, too. How I wish that we could have played a few more shows a few days after this one, as the Ensembl was REALLY gelled.
Who knows, perhaps we'll find a way to do it again at some point!
Oh yeah, and Victims Family. Just incredible, what a rhythm section.
OK, now I feel as though I'm not doing justice to what went down in Surplus 1980 world at the Uptown and Bottom of the Hill. Suffice it to say that I am incredibly satisfied with it. Hopefully all of the other members are, too.
Thanks to Moe! for putting this all together, to Melne for doing a ton of legwork, and G.W. Sok for participating.
Now, someone please go and buy the CD!

Monday, August 19, 2019

2 shows with Surplus 1980 Collectiv Ensembl this week!

A larger version of Surplus 1980 will back G.W. Sok for two SF Bay Area performances this week!

Fri., 8/23/19
The Uptown
1928 Telegraph Ave.
Oakland 94612
Surplus 1980 Collectiv Ensembl
Hazel Atlas

Sat. 8/24/19
The Bottom of the Hill
1233 17th St.
SF 94107
Victims Family
Surplus 1980 Collectiv Ensembl
8:30 PM

Looking forward to these shows a lot!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

ebolabuddha-Noto Motors, Palo Alto CA; 8/16/19

ebolabuddha hasn't been playing that much lately, so I'm happy to report that we had a cool, albeit somewhat short set last Friday. Things started out with our traditional group reading of books, during which some audience members did indeed participate. These pieces are always interesting as the combined words of various band members and said audience turn into this strange glossalalia. Probably lasted about four minutes or so before the drums started. SO many drums, as Lorenzo Arreguin, Patrick Telesfore Jr., and me played drum sets. Along with this, Eli and Steve did not even bother with their respective bass guitar and lead guitar, instead hammering out rhythms on old cymbals and this piece of sheet metal that I've had. In a sense, these items were a continuation of the last Failure Cock set: same exact gear. Us trap drummers all stuck to a more free-form feel for a while, as Jade streaked around the crowd in his skivvies while yelling into a megaphone. I'm not sure if anyone could hear him over the percussion maelstrom, but he gave it his all. Jade also handed out crayons and paper for people to make art with. Yes, ebolabuddha gigs are multi-tiered! Eventually all drum sets got into this tight blast beat, during which we all synced up really well. I was hoping that this portion would continue for a bit longer than it did, but Eli signaled a hard stop, and indeed a hard stop was achieved.
A cool, albeit slightly short set for another Noishaus! Many thanks to Keith at that great organization for giving ebolabuddha a slot!

Below: drums and cymbals and crayons
Above: ebolabuddha in action (photo by and courtesy of Steven Barnes, thanks, Steven!)

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

ebolabuddha this Friday in Palo Alto!

We'll be playing for Noisehaus!

Fri., 8/16/19
Noisehaus 14
Noto Motors
906 Industrial Ave.
Palo Alto 94303
ebolabuddha along with many other fine acts!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Recent shows roundup!

Early August was pretty busy for me. I'm tired, but allow me to ruminate a bit!

Surplus 1980-KALX Saturday Night Live Show, Berkeley CA; 8/3/19
It's kind of a miracle that Surplus 1980 was even able to play this one, as members were tied up in various pursuits all day before our set. Hell, we didn't even get a practice in for this on! Thankfully, everyone arrived on time and able to perform. A really hot, tight set ensued, within the really tight and hot live room of KALX studios. I felt as though we played well; maybe a few gaffs here and there, but given the circumstances leading up to this show, all good. For me, it kind of redeemed the bad feelings from our album release show when only a handful of people bothered to show up. Our energy blasted those feelings away, at least for me. After our set, a really nice interview with DJ Cia Cia la Piratta happened, and that was fun too!

Below: Moe! sets up, Surplus 1980 getting ready to rip
Above: me and Cia Cia la Piratta, an incredibly nice person!

Feral Luggage-The Make Out Room, SF; 8/5/19
Back to the Mission, and of course another walk, with more of the same visions of the ever-changing SF. The development never seems to stop, but, thankfully, places like Revolution Cafe and the Make Out Room still stand. Feral Luggage, which is essentially Cartoon Justice with two drummers, had the third spot for this Monday Makeout event. After some really fine music from the Holly Martins and the Jason Levis Septet, we took the floor and delved into what Mika has termed Null Wave sounds. In comparison to the lively Jazz of the previous acts, we got into some slow, almost Dub-ey spaces. Jason Levis was kind enough to join us on second drum set. It seemed to take a few minutes for him to sync with me, but eventually that happened. An enjoyable set, and at about 45 minutes, kind of perfect, length-wise. Some people even stayed around for all of it! Alright!

Below: Feral Luggage on the floor of the Makeout Room (photo by Bill Wolter, thanks, Bill!)

Above: the whole set!

The Satanic Tambournies-Mercury Cafe, SF; 8/9/19
The name of this group has shortened, much to my disappointment! I really like the old moniker, but I guess it's tougher to get on a handbill. On a really nice, sunny afternoon in Hayes Valley, I was able to find a miraculously good parking spot, load in to Mercury Cafe with a minimum of hassle, and even take a hike up to Lower Haight for a bit. Really just a lovely couple of hours, there. It was also lovely to play some of Ben Paul's really nice original tunes, along with some great standards. We had a guitarist, Don, and a tenor saxophone player, Mish, sit in with us. Things flowed pretty well, and as usual, syncing up with Eli was a delight. We're a rhythm section! I missed a few cues, and possibly played a bit too loud at times, but, on the whole, a good couple of sets. Mercury Cafe is a fun spot!

Below: Satanic Tambourines with guests!

More shows coming up soon! 

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Hayes Valley Satanic Tambourine Jazz Trio Delight plays tomorrow in SF!

Trio Jazz, with guests, this Friday!

Fri., 8/9/19
Mercury Cafe
201 Octavia Blvd.
SF 94102
6:30 PM
Hayes Valley Satanic Tambourine Jazz Trio Delight
free (donations accepted)

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Upcoming shows!

I'll be playing with Surplus 1980 and Feral Luggage this Saturday and Monday!

Sat., 8/3
Surplus 1980 on KALX Saturday Night Live Show
9 PM Pacific Time

Mon., 8/5
The Monday Makeout
Make Out Room
3225 22nd St.
SF 94110
The Holly Martins
Jason Levis Septet
Feral Luggage
Donations accepted

Monday, July 29, 2019

Failure Cock at Dildo Factory Bandcamp and Youtube

One thing that's great about digital is how quickly things can get "out there".
Is the world ready for Failure Cock at the Dildo  Factory. Say it again: Failure Cock at the Dildo Factory.

End of July Shows Roundup

Another busy few weeks of performance made the end of July pretty interesting, with aesthetic jumps and emotional ups and downs aplenty. Here's the lowdown.

Broken Whole-Pro Arts, Oakland; 7/15/19
For this show, Broken Whole was augmented by the great Thomas Dimuzio, who brought a small but very effective set of synth patches to play. We got into a really cool, spacious set, with everyone really taking their time and choosing their spots wisely. As always, Tim Orr and I had some really good, interactive playing, while Mika processed the sounds with his "slicer dicer" program. Things unfolded nice and slow. Thomas's sounds really boosted the music, which got VERY abstract. I have a decent recording of it, hopefully it gets out onto the web in some way. 30 minutes of heavy experimentation and meditative bliss, played to a receptive audience in Oakland. Yes!

Below: Broken Whole's gear, waiting for the slowness....
Above: my trash kit, such a weird, fun sound

Surplus 1980-Golden Bull, Oakland; 7/18/19
Here's where the emotional "down" really set in. This show was Surplus 1980's record release show. We have a new CD/vinyl recording out, which, in my opinion, is really damn good. We tried to promote the show well, got really good acts to play, but the turnout was really lackluster and disappointing. Never the less, we played our set, albeit somewhat truncated for later time and lack of audience. I felt like I played well. Hell, I felt like everyone played well, with Moe! kicking ass on second drum set, but it would be dishonest to say that the hurt feelings didn't make for a somewhat grim mood. The back line kit, supplied by Eye-O drummer Kevin Woodruff were a delight to play. Hopefully Surplus 1980 will find some kind of way to rebound from this emotional blow.

Below: a nice set of drums
Below: video by Bill Russell, THANKS Bill!!!!

Failure Cock-the Dildo Factory, Berkeley; 7/28/19
Could there be a more perfect billing, names wise, than Failure Cock at the Dildo Factory? Am I right? Hahahahaha. This was another great Noise show put on by the legend Grux. What a great, funny dude. Some of the cream of the SF Bay Area Noise scene were on this bill, so we were pretty stoked to be included. Most acts utilized relatively sophisticated synth gear. In comparison, Failure Cock stuck to our usual very primitive method, with Scarp throwing cracked cymbals and chains around, Eli on an old, beat up bass, and me on contact mic'd sheet metal. I felt like we got off to a somewhat slow, maybe a tad bit clunky start, but the energy shot up after a while and we hit some satisfyingly noisy spots. I ended up dancing around with my sheet metal and may have made a new sculpture out of it, which seemed cool. We got some compliments from audience and other acts, which felt nice. A very fun, shamanic evening of getting crazy and cut up! A fine way to end manic July, that's for sure.

Below: some of Failure Cock's gear

Friday, July 26, 2019

Failure Cock play this Sunday in Berkeley!

It's been a long time since Failure Cock played a gig, and that's being rectified this Sunday!

Sun., 7/29
The Dildo Factory
701 BancroftWay
Berkeley 94710
Godwaffle Noise Vaudeville
Ma++ Ingalls---
Headboggle in Wrongchair Sulphurcider---
Fluorescent Grey----
Failure Cock---
Temoleh (Robidoux/Cordova/Corder) ---
Mas Coad---
We hope to bring the Noise! 

Friday, July 12, 2019

Upcoming shows!

I'm hitting Oakland a couple of times next week!

Mon., 7/14/19
Pro Arts
150 Frank Ogawa Plaza
Oakland 94612
Oakland Freedom Jazz Society Presents
Shiva Xtet
Broken Whole (with special guest Thomas Dimuzio)

Thu., 7/18/19
The Golden Bull
412 14th St.
Oakland 94612
Eye O
Surplus 1980
The Lake Millions

These are both going to be great!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Broken Whole-KZSU, Stanford CA; 7/10/19

When I pulled into Stanford yesterday evening, I feared the worst as regards traffic. There were a few events happening on the campus, and it seemed as though finding a parking spot would be a total nightmare. Happy to say that I just decided to let things happen, to not stress on outcomes. This decision served me well as I was able to just relax and find what turned out to be a pretty good spot, close by to KZSU.
Not stressing on outcomes also seemed to serve well for the music that Broken Whole played, at least from my chair. Mika Pontecorvo put together a score that definitely leaned towards a less is more approach, and I felt as though I was able to, for the most part, stick with those vibes, in large part by just letting things happen, and playing only when it seemed the right time to do so. Silence was often observed. Along with our guest, cellist Colleen Kelly T, Tim Orr, Mika, and I started pretty mellow and stayed that way, floating from passage to passage. Quite abstract. It felt to me at times like some futuristic Gagaku orchestra, slowly unwinding our sounds. As always, I felt very strong simpatico with Tim. It's such a pleasure to share drum dialogue with Mr. Orr.
Two pieces in total, one longer, one shorter. A fine time in Studio A of KZSU, and many thanks to their groovy staff!

Below: Colleen and Mika setting up; my trash drum kit for Broken Whole gigs

Above: video!