April 26, 2005
blow by blow... so to speak

Friday, April 15 Philadelphia, PA @ Mill Creek Tavern
This was the first stop on thetour - the club was "nice" - in the sense that it was a new club (it had been built very recently) and had a very good (powered mackie w/ a sub) sound system. It was also a little strange in that it was a looooong rectangular room with almost no sound treatment, so it was very "live" and became muddy sounding rather fast. Have to say that Ben Morgan, the sound guy at the MCT was really a fantastic guy - interested in breaking that club out of a hard rock rut. My friends Sam (Sound Flint, from Delaware) and Peter and Megan (married, composer and dancer, respectively, from Philly) and Gloria (violinist from Philly) were there.

It was also the first time I got to meet/play with Arnar and Villi (the two guys who form Plat, which, if you're interested, is Icelandic for "fib").

The opener was a guy named Vostek who did some nice syncopated stuff with fruity loops.

Then, I played, as I've been playing since late Sept, a set of improvised music which went well - the guys (who'd never seen me before) were enthusiastic. When I play, my eyes are either closed, or on my gear, so I often don't know if there's a crowd or how they're reacting (I also use in-ear monitors now, so I really have very little conception of whatever the fuck is going on outside of my head... so to speak.

At this point I should say that I'm really pleased with how things have turned out, because I was a little worried that I'd meet these guys (as well as John) and they'd be like "who the fuck is this guy, and why's he on our tour?", which isn't at all how it's turned out.

Also, I should mention that we stayed with my old friends Peter and Megan (who got married in 2003 as part of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival: I was Peter's best man, as he was @ my wedding) who's hospitality is only matched by their generosity: Most people wouldn't let three complete strangers camp out in their living room. Thanks guys.

Saturday, April 16 Charlottesville, VA @ Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar
From Philly, we drove separately to Charlottesville... well, that's not exactly right: I drove to my house, fed the cats, chilled out for an hour and watched most of an episode of the new battlestar galactica before getting my ass in gear and going to Charlottesville.

I got there a little late (like 830) and was a little phazed - the place was small and Doofgoblin and Plat were setting up to play on the floor of the stage, however, here are some things of note about the sitch:

Charlottesville is beautiful and progressive (i.e. it has hippies AND this awesome pedestrian only area (which is where the place we played was)

The people are friendly and interested in things.

The Tea Bazaar was remarkable in its choice of food and drink (I had a big pot of echinacea tea and a gorgonzola, raisin and walnut salad) and its decor (one wall is taken up by a gigantic (by indoor standards) sculpture of a tree with different cool things tucked into every nook.

SO, I played my set, and at one point was using the glove with the monk's voice on top of my own overtone singing, and (although I didn't realize it at the time) the place had about thirty people in it and they were COMPLETELY SILENT... and watching. When I finished that bit, they applauded loudly, I thanked them and said - "I got started late, so I'm going to turn it over to the other guys" and they said "no - keep playing!" (as did the other guys) so I kept playing, a girl got up with a marionette and started making it dance and then I blew a circuit breaker in the club - twice in about two minutes!

so mighty is my sound...

I stopped playing after that. Met a lot of cool people that night including Kai and Erica. Definitely a highlight.

Stayed in a hotel that night, largely uneventful except for the fact that as we were drinking beer @ 4 am it became clear that we wouldn't get a lot of sleep this trip.

Sunday, April 17 Baltimore, MD @ the def Dumb and Bass fREAKoUT! @ The Royal Baltimore

So, still in separate cars we drove north to Baltimore.

The fREAKouT! was a special show for me since
a. it's a show that I've curated and hosted for 16 months now
b. it's a non-profit show: I charge no admission and pay the performers nothing
c. this was the first "all-electronic" fREAKoUT!
d. it was a stop on the tour

All of these things made for a special night.

Here was the line-up:
DJ Domestique (throughout the night)
SoundFlint (Delaware)
Myo (Baltimore)
plat (Iceland)
the egyptian sun bellydancers
Doofoblin (Providence)
kataStatik and friends

It was a typical fREAKoUT! - Myo played in front of a projection of a Star Wars ewok movie, there was fog, dancing, drunk people, sober people, some people who played bluegrass and looked about fourteen (but were really twenty-two) and assorted other madness.

The coolest thing that happened that night was that I got Doofgoblin and Plat to do a live improv jam with me - and the results were incredible - so surprising (to them, not to me, really) that we're trying to decide how to release them (possibly under the title "fREAK storm" or "evidence of things you might have missed")


Monday, April 18 Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
this show was a bit of a bummer, thought that had nothing to do with the club: Local 506 is a GREAT club. Good, high stage, lots of good sight lines and other stuff...
...if only some people had come to see the show.
Cool things about it:
getting to meet the guys from SNMNMNM
hanging out with Howard Hecht

okay - more soon...

Posted by mandra at April 26, 2005 01:54 AM | TrackBack