Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Live Music Report from Pete's Candy Store

I had a great time playing with Old Time Musketry at Pete's on Saturday. It's a cozy room with a very unique looking stage. Many bands have gotten great promotional photos out of playing at Pete's, with the signature row of lights above the stage.
It was fun sharing a bill with our friends Surface To Air, here's some video clips of the performances.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

OLD TIME MUSKETRY at Pete's Candy Store on Saturday, Jan 28th!

I'm excited for Old Time Musketry's show at Pete's this Saturday sharing the bill with Surface to Air, a great trio with Jonathan Goldberger on guitar, Rohin Khemani on tabla and percussion, and Jonti Siman on bass.
The awesome poster above was made by Connie Wang, you can see more of her work at www.iconartistry.com.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winter and Winter at the Stone

There was a lot of great music at the Stone this month with shows curated by the Winter and Winter record label. I saw two performances, one was a tribute to Paul Motian with Jim Black, Chris Speed, Oscar Noriega, Brad Shepik, and Trevor Dunn. I had never really thought about the link between Paul Motian and the music made by Black, Speed and their contemporaries, but it really made sense to me after this show.
This weekend I saw a duo concert by accordionists Guy Klucesvek and Alan Bern. I wasn't familiar with the several records they have out on Winter and Winter, but the show was really enjoyable. It was mostly composed music, very melodic and quirky.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

"The softest bullet ever shot..."

I've been having a great time watching a new documentary on Pitchfork about the Flaming Lips masterpiece album The Soft Bulletin. The album came out in 1999, and at the time my musical world revolved around rock music a lot more than it does now. Seeing these videos brought back the excitement and sense of wonder I felt hearing the music for the first time. I was lucky enough to see the Flaming Lips on the Soft Bulletin tour at a small-ish club in New Haven called Toad's Place. This concert is still one of the best of all time for me. I was totally blown away by the surreal spectacle of their show, which featured psychedelic video projection, theremin, gongs, and copious amounts of confetti thrown by Wayne Coyne.
The making of the album is a pretty interesting story. The band was about to get dropped by Warner Bros after failing to live up to the commercial hype of their hit "She Don't Use Jelly", and somehow they managed to stay on the label and make two incredibly experimental leaps into the unknown. First by recording "Zaireeka", a 4-disc concept album intended to be played on 4 separate sound sources simultaneously. Then, in the same session, recording the music on the Soft Bulletin which embraced lush MIDI orchestration instead of the Lips' trademark distorted guitar onslaught.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I'm very excited to be performing with electronic sound artist Michael Clemow this Saturday at I Beam. We're going to do a set of structured improvisations with Mike sampling and processing the sound of the piano in real time. The rehearsals have been great, and the unique format has pushed me into new places with my piano playing. Full details about the show are below. Also performing is the composer and pianist Eleonor Sandresky. This concert is presented by Michael Clemow's arts organization Abbatoir Projects.



Saturday, Jan. 7 - 8:30pm (doors at 8:15pm)
$10 suggested donation

168 7th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(F or R trains to 4th Ave & 9th Street)

The Mary Oliver Songs Bk 1: The Return
Based on a poem by Pulitzer prize-winning poet Mary Oliver, The Return, the creation of the piece initially took the poem as a point of departure, although through the process of making this piece, I was increasingly drawn into the story of the slaying of the Minotaur, or, as Ms. Oliver's title implies, the slayer's return after the slaying. The material for the music was taken from a reading of the poem that was recorded and then processed. This yielded certain pitch and rhythmic material that recurs throughout the movements. The titles of the movements, of which there are seven, refer to the text of the poem, although not necessarily in the order that they appear.

Structured Improvisations for Piano and DSP
In this performance we will create a musical structure by joining two distinctly different instruments (an acoustic piano and digital processing) in an improvisational dialogue. The sound of the piano is sampled and transformed in real time, setting in motion a dynamic musical framework where even the smallest sounds can become woven into a complex musical web. As we listen and respond to each other, a world of surprising new sonic textures emerges and evolves from moment to moment.

ABATTOIR PROJECTS - http://abattoirprojects.com
Abattoir Projects is a not-for-profit arts organization whose goal is to provide a platform for hybrid and difficult-to-classify artists to contextualize their own work. We believe in documentation practices that are adequate for hybrid artists. Standardized methods and curatorial contexts are not always appropriate. Using a model that is itself a hybrid — part archivist, part promoter, part publisher — Abattoir Projects seeks to fund and produce documentation of these artists's work in order to preserve their intentions while their practices and ideas are still new.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Years Rulin's

Settling back into things post-holidays. I always feel very motivated at the beginning of the New Year, I'm a believer in New Year's resolutions. Apparently so was Woody Guthrie. These are great and worthy goals, and nice illustrations too.
A funny highlight from my time in New Hampshire over the holidays was getting my picture in the local paper while shopping at Turn It Up, our local music store. The accompanying article was about how people are still shopping a lot even after Christmas!