Sunday, September 16, 2012

Recent Shows

A photo of the show at World Cafe Live(philly) courtesy of Alex Feldman

Blog # 103: Recent Shows

Okay okay...I'm sorry I haven't been updating this blog so much recently, I've been a little busy with a bunch of gigs, booking shows, teaching, writing music, practicing like crazy and training for a half-marathon I'm running in a few weeks.

I guess I'll give a little recap of the past few weeks.  First I played a show with my band 'Heart of Darkness' at Sycamore Bar and Flowershop in Brooklyn on August 23rd.  This is my favorite place to play in the world, and I love playing with this project 'Heart of Darkness', which is really all about energy.  The pieces feel so colorful and emotional and the band just really gives their all, I know by the last song I have nothing left and that feels good.  This was kind of a funny gig though.  First, I showed up and Brad had forgotten his keyboard stand.  So he had borrowed 2 kegs to use as a stand, which was pretty funny looking.  The band argued a bit about who was going to stand where on the stage(of which I stayed out of...I feel most comfortable playing in the dark anyway).  John showed up last because the subway was messed up, but he threw together his sax in about 2 seconds and was ready to go.  We had about 15-20 people there, which felt perfect for the small basement space and we started playing our set. 

The first song begins with a rhythm section building on this repeated figure, though about 2 minutes in, Brad's keyboard starts making incredibly distorted feedback.  I just kept my eyes closed and let them build and correct themselves.  When Brad failed to get it back and reboot his computer(he uses it for effects), I whispered to him "Just play the fuckin' keyboard" and we were off and running.  After that first short intro piece we go into a trumpet/piano duo section, I was curious as to if Brad was going to get the keyboard working again in time....and was preparing myself to play SOLO trumpet, but Brad got it working and it was all good.  He ended up using just a piano sound for the rest of the night, which gave the gig a different flavor.  You can listen to the entire show HERE:

Halfway into that duo piece, I opened my eyes and there were 4 police with flashlights looking around the small room we were playing in...acting like they were looking for an escaped Con.  I tried not to let it throw me off, shut my eyes and just tried to stay in the moment.  The rest of the show went smoothly, and I was happy listening to the recording I made, it was really a challenge to stay focused despite those issues and everyone seemed to like the show.

Then, last week I did a show in Philly at World Cafe Live.  I did everything I could think of to bring out as many people as possible.  Email, Facebook event, had the show listed in different newspapers in Philly, sent fliers to the venue, mailed fliers to friends in philly to put up and hand out to friends, and even texted a few friends.  Despite my efforts it was a pretty light turnout gig: about 15 people(which felt like a lot less because the room was so quiet between songs).  What are you gonna do? You can't win 'em all.  But I was happy and appreciative of all the people that came.  The venue was awesome and I hope to play there again, maybe get a few different bands to play on the same bill(their suggestion), since it was just us that night.  There's a clip of the show HERE:

Other than that I've been trying to write a lot of new music, and just thinking a lot about where to play and how to approach doing shows in the future to make them as exciting as they can be.  In a few weeks I'm playing at Smalls Jazz Club in the village with the FONT festival, hopefully we can turn some heads and win some new fans with our music.  Jordan Perlson is going to be subbing on drums on this one.  Smalls probably wouldn't normally book this group because we're not "straight-ahead" enough, but I don't give a fuck and am going in there to just throw down and do my thing.  If they hate me and ban me, than that's how it goes.  I just don't give a shit any more.