Tuesday, April 19 Greensboro, NC @ University of NC w/Books On Tape
The Greensboro show was a lot of fun - Todd (Books on Tape) is a total freak - ergo, we got along swimmingly. The show was in a faculty lounge at a southern university, which looked pretty much as you might expect if you've a. been down south and b. been built a (relatively) long time ago: one floor, columns, 15 x 30 room, couches etc. The guys from the radio station who set it up (call letters anyone?) projected two of the "Back to the Future" movies upside down behind us while we played, which apparently was pretty cool...
met some nice people, most notably an electronic glitch-hop duo called Drop in Silence
Wednesday, April 20 Atlanta, GA @ Eyedrum w/Books On Tape
Not much to say here but this:
Eyedrum is a fantastic space... too bad it was essentially empty!
Thursday, April 21 Miami, FL @ Churchill's Pub
Highlights: while I was playing, I heard someone in the audience say "unbelieveable!"
Also, John's (Doofgoblin) parent's drove for an hour to see him play - that was really nice
Lowlights: where to begin... We were told repeatedly (INCLUDING THE DAY OF THE SHOW) that load-in was @ MIDNIGHT and we'd be able to play until FIVE AM - now, of course, this seems dubious from the start, but, wtf - it *is* Miami, and maybe they do things a little different there...
However, that wasn't quite the case. We got there @ 11:30 and people were already playing, I started playing around 1, and shortly thereafter we were told a. that we'd have to be OUT OF THE CLUB by 3am (do the math people) and b. the sound guy asked John (Doofgoblin) if he could cut 15 minutes out of his set so a local noise band ("vulcan nerve pinch") could play...
John said - "do we still have to get out at three?" Sounnd guy said "yup" John said 'well, then no, sorry"
So, to make this short, I played for 45', Plat for 40' and john for 25, with 5 minutes taken over by, you guessed it, vulcan nerve pinch. Noise is cool. Shitty night, which was completely made up for by:
Friday, April 22 Sarasota, FL @ New College
This was another of those gigs you play where you're like: "oh yeah... that's why I do this"
We played outside on a beautiful night in a college quad with a constant trickle of people - more about this later, but it was AWESOME and we jammed for 30 minutes after our sets. The people were really into it. Afterwards we went to a freaky party at an unbelievable, sprawling house owned by Dr. Rick Doblin, a pioneer in psychedelic studies who's been conducting grant-funded research into the use of MDMA (extacy - sic) to counter the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder http://maps.org/
The house was huge, multi-level, beautiful and full of people, most of whom I didn't meet, had a "rule based" hot tub (three rules: 1. no clothing 2. shower BEFORE you get in 3. you must at least SOUND tipsy and loud, like you're on a cell phone, when speaking to others) AND it had a great jam-band playing in downstairs. Apparently the neighbors think it's a cult... go figure.
I should also mention that John's sisters and fiances drove FOUR HOURS to see us in Sarasota - amazing.
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)
the egyptian sun bellydancers
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...
It's Tuesday the 19th of April. That means the following things:
I've now played shows with Doofgoblin and Plat in Philly (PA), Charlottesville (VA), Baltimore (MD) and Chapel Hill (NC). Tonight we play in Greensboro (NC). Things have been really unbelieveably good. The people I'm with are wonderful, funny, decent, warm and talented, and I have to say that, without any reservation, this is an important experience for me to be having right now personally and professionally.
Additionally, the response from people has been fantastic. After my set in Charlottesville, one of the people from the audience grabbed my hand with both of theirs, looked me in the eye and said "thank you, thank you", then grabbed me and hugged me.
A nice welcome to the city!
Anyway, I'll write more soon. I just wanted to say how glad I am about how things are turning out, how cool these people are, and how lucky I feel to be in this situation.