another busy week – may 2005 ends fast

must…keep…blogging….i’m falling behind here at the beginning of june, the last week of may was the good times – played 7 times in 6 days – and had my share of late nights. it all starts back about a week ago when i played at rodan again with jason ajemian, matt lux and nori tanaka. it would have been your standard rodan night except that some young kids brought their group which was supposedly vaudevillian but instead was just plain bad – they kept using bad songs from late 80s early 90s & playing them poorly. the place was very crowded as they brought out all their friends, which i guess is a good thing, but just seemed annoying. i had some delicious tofu coconut curry while waiting for them to wind things up. Our sets were fun – we started noisy & went from there – got home late – around 3 or so, then had to work in the morning at ol’ NMC. The strange thing about this day was I had a lunch gig with Tim Daisy & Jason Roebke at some restaurant in river north, so I left NMC for 2 1/2 hours for lunch, played the gig, and came back to NMC. You would think that a day like that would go by quick, but it didn’t. Instead it dragged….
That night the Fred Lonberg-holm’s Lightbox played at the University of Chicago. The group was clarinets & bass clarinets (Shelton, Stein & Vandermark), basson (Young), flute (Seagh), viola (Cimini), cornet (Berman), drums (Rosaly), guitars (Abe Gibson & Matt Schneider), and dry ice (Colligan). It was pretty good, but I had some personal problems with my clarinet. I had gotten new reeds & unfortunately they were too soft. I coudn’t really play the things I wanted to & when it got loud I had real troubles – I couldn’t push the sounds at all. Lesson learned?
The next day Johnathan Crawford and I took the 3 1/2 hour drive to Iowa City to play as Grey Ghost for the first time in quite a while. We played at some small place called Uptown Bill’s – it was kind of strange – an antiques store in some ways, a place to get a small cup of coffee & ice cream, and a music room in the back. Our audience was small, Jonathan’s brother David was in town & he recorded us on a minidisc – and lucky too – we played really well, all improvised. Sometimes when we play together it feel’s like a perfect mix of acoustic free-ness & electronic free-ness. But with any improvising group i’m in, the next performance could be flat. That’s the thing about music and especially music that relies heavily on improvising – not every time is it special, but when it is….
We got back into town just a few hours before I played at the Hungry Brain with an improvising group of me, Berman, Ajemian, Tim Daisy & Jason Ajemian. We played the first set of the night, and the crowd was full due in part to the Memorial Day Weekend and people not having to work the next day. Either due to their interest, or their lack of being intoxicated too much by the time we played, the crowd was pretty respectful for our set, but when the out-of-towners Eastern Seaboard took the stage, the crowd couldn’t contain themselves any longer. Oh well. Brent Bagwell leads the Seaboard, he helped Dragons out on our last tour in Charlotte, NC. I likded them – they played a muscular set without overblowing our freaking out, something you don’t see too often. Usually if free jazz folk are playing loud they just go to the freakout – maybe i’m guilty of it too –

The next day was monday & i played at myopic with Ernst Karel. He’s going to be gone from Chicago in just a few weeks here – going to Berlin & then ending up back in Boston after a year. We played & recorded it, but i thought i coud have played better – my ideas weren’t flowing so well. Luckily we’ll be able to record Flockterkit next week. Something documented at last.


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