April 23 West Palm Beach, FL random street gig!
we had a few days off after Sarasota, so we crashed at John's (Doofgoblin) parent's house. Super cool people who met and married during the early seventies and spent a lot of time riding around on an old Harley (which they rode on their honeymoon - I've seen the pix!) which they're now restoring and will be riding more soon.
We were very lucky to get to spend some down time at their place, with its great food and conversation and hot tub and massive screened in backyard (we don't really have such things up north, but it's kind of an amazing idea. Makes you feel a little bit like you're living in a biosphere, but we *are* living in a biosphere, so there you go...)
Frankly, John's got a fantastic family. A little confusing (BOTH of his sisters are marrying guys with my first name, "chris") but wonderful people.
Since we had no gigs for a few days, we were a bit antsy, so we threw together a sort of "guerilla gig" on the street in West Palm Beach - we removed everything from the car except for a few things we'd use to perform, plugged into a mixing board in the car, patched into the car's stereo and we were set... until the cigarette lighter fuse blew (but the stereo was fine) ... that's when I realized there were rope lights hanging off the palm trees, so I broke out a power strip, plugged into the city power and we had a weird little street show for a few hours. It's all on tape, and the better stuff will be on the DVD we'll someday make.
We had a lot of fun in Florida, ate well and got some sleep.
Of course, that was made up for by:
April 26 Nashville, TN @ Angle of View
This was a perturbing gig. We drove for about six hours or so, made it to Nashville in time to go on the radio and give away tickets and CDs...
and, as far as I could tell, none of the people who actually called up and WON tickets went to the show... which seemed kind of strange to me.
We played with a guy named logickal, who did a cool set of improvised stuff using "live" and a band with WAY WAY WAY TOO MUCH GEAR (like I should comment to anyone about that...) called "Bells for Aida"
I thought they were interesting in the sense that I really appreciated what they were trying to do (play instrumental, cinematic, post-rock stuff) but I also felt like they never really caught fire.
I think they'd be an awesome band to produce (this is an important point for me to make, because I NEVER say that, and I've done a lot of production since the early nineties), but I'd worry that as a producer I'd have to fight them constantly... I guess we'll see what they do. I have three bits of advice for them:
1. lose the ARP synth OR create sounds on it that aren't so trademarked 1983
2. lose any section of any song that uses the ARP mentioned above. (I mean, you could distort it, or effect it in some unique way, just not as it was - when the ARP came in it was like "how did they get these recordings that Joy Division threw away?")
3. write sections that are inspiring (and not merely necessary)
That's probably seems more harsh than needed, but it's not. I got the feeling during their set that several sections existed because they felt like "we need a new section here" - they seemed to come from some "not organic" place, which depressed me since they were so close to being a good band. Also, they have my sympathy as far as the "everyone else had to leave so me and the other guy have to load-out ourselves" sitch is concerned.
I played last on this show, and the few people who were there seemed pretty into it - at one point Villi (from Plat) was videotaping me and unplugged my entire rig, which was, I have to say, pretty funny. I'd reached the first peak of the 1st half of my set, and was trying to figure out how to get out of the situation I'd created when deus ex machina-like the answer presented itself.
Then, when my set ended (after restarting everything and trying to continue), and brought everything down to a small, battery powered speaker in the center of the room from 4 channels, there was someone playing a crappy electric organ in the other room.
I was alternately intrigued ("hey, what a cool antiphonal idea") and irritated ("sorry to have bored you so much that you needed to go amuse yourself in the other room...") and then doubly irritated ("you know, I would have enjoyed playing organ myself during the Bells for Aida set, but no, I sat through it since I thought it was the appropriate thing to do. My mistake.")
Note to self: those crazy rotating oil projectors work beautifully...
After the show we were treated to an incredible show of hospitality by John Sharpe (a world-renowned noise artist just back from touring Japan who goes by the name "Mr. Natural") who has a really cool house chock full of random musical stuff (electronic drone machines and tabla sequencers from india, among other things) He's great. My shit-mood dissipated as soon as we got to his place. Thanks John!
April 27 Newport, KY @ Southgate House
We drove into town and saw Doofgoblin's name on the marquee, which made us think that at least someone would come to this cool, old venue just outside of kentucky...
if it weren't for the sound guy and the bartendress (and "Mr. Spoons", who sounds like he should be a cat, but was actually a guy from Kentucky who played "spoons" and sort of sat-in
at the end of John's set) we'd have been completely alone, which gave us an odd sort of freedom, and was, a little depressing, which leaves me conflicted.
I get conflicted over things like this because, on the whole, this has been a really fantastic experience, so I feel a little self-annoyed about feeling depressed. Anyway, feelings really can't be rationalized away, so I'll just drop it.
April 28 Chicago, IL @ Sonotheque w/Quantazelle
from Kentucky/Cincinnati we drove to Chicago, where we played with Quantazelle - who is, I must say, very cool. She is her own media empire consisting of a webzine (modsquare) a fashion design concern (zelle) and a record label(subVariant) among other things.
Sonotheque is a total stunner of a club: Literally the most beautiful place we'd even SEEN during this trip. A long, acoustically treated room with a remarkable Funktion One sound system and really cool people.
Again, an unfortunately populated show, but a good time still, more or less, sort of...
May 1 Pittsburgh, PA @ Garfield Artworks
I played 1st of four for 30 minutes, bought two CDs based on their covers and packaging (a mistake: they both sucked) and the Warp records video collection (incredible)
Xanopticon closed the night and had the two people who weren't on the tour really into it.
two shows to go