As we’ve been dealing with Stina’s back issues over the last year or so, one option that has been brought up was having a breast reduction. Stina inquired, and it turned out our insurance would cover the procedure. Sweet! Everyone we’ve talked to who’s had the surgery has been really glad they did. So, with that in mind, Stina is going to undergo the procedure in a couple weeks.
Our life comes in waves. We are currently experiencing one of non-stop visitors, both friends and family. In true Krudden tradition, when life gets busy, we intentionally make it busier. Stina, event planner extraordinaire, decided she wanted to have a small party to celebrate her current, well, ample set of mammaries one last time. She called it “Bye bye boobies with bourbon”.
That signaled it was time to party. We were both surprised and overwhelmed with our friends thoughtful and creative gifts. Folks brought pin the boobies on the model, boobie cups, and many boobie food items.
Lindsey was really excited about her boobie cupcakes.
Joe, Lars, and Rachel made a huge number of tee shirts and accompanying spray on cheese products.
We were even graced by Pat (Haber’s mom)
Good times were had by all.
We even spotted a couple of parents escaping the clutches of their respective children
A-town launched the party into the next dimension with his extreme lego funk.
Shot bot 2.0 made a huge first public appearance.
Shotbot is amazing:
Stina’s surgery is scheduled for Friday, March 7. Feel free to send some good wishes her way.
EOTO is the live looping project from the String Cheese Incident rhythm section. I went to the show mostly to check them out. I’ve only seen Michael Travis behind the drum kit, so I was totally unprepared for how talented he is playing every other instrument while orchestrating songs. He can play keys, guitar, bass, and random percussion instruments. He also really has a firm grasp of sonic manipulation. He builds up pretty fantastic loops in real time, while Jason Hann relentlessly wails away at the kit. I was pretty engrossed just from a technology standpoint. Pretty inspiring stuff if you geek out on looping. It didn’t hurt that Micheal Kang played this set with them, though he primarily just added texture instead being up front. Only at the end did he rock out. I would have preferred a lot more of that.
In last year or so, New Monsoon has had to completely revamp their rhythm section. Marshall Harrell replaced Ron Johnson who replaced Ben on bass, and then their original drummer left to join Blue Man Group. He was replaced with a 22 year old firecracker named Sean Hutchinson, who kicked this band into high gear. He was going batshit most of the time, which is somewhat unusual for a jam band drummer, but it totally engaged me. Thus, I enjoyed them much more then I anticipated. An excellent rhythm section and the nonstop rotation of special guests made the show totally worthy of the Fillmore. The SF Jam Band scene is getting pretty powerful.
Over the years I’ve learned not to depend on other musicians to come through for me. Whats really important to me is not high priority to other people. Many musicians have a tendency to be flakey, and are prone to cancel at the last minute. It’s a very frustrating lesson to learn.
By the end of ’07, I had contacted three professional musicians that I really wanted to work with on my new album. I had mentally prepared myself for the fact that some or all of these sessions might not happen. This week I’m ecstatic to say I had a session with the third, and final musician, Rashida Clendening, also known as Audio Angel. It took my breath away.
After the last fully collaborative album, I’ve started to see myself both as a composer and a producer. When I have an artist in my studio, I record in a fairly untraditional manner. I like to have lots of material to work with, so I loop a section of a song and have a musician either play a melody/harmony that I’ve composed for them, or have them improvise for a while. I give feedback as we’re recording to help ensure that I record audio that I’m confident I can use. At the same time, I try to give musicians the freedom and space to explore different ideas and use their voice. After the session I go back through the audio and seriously edit/re-arrange it so it sounds the way I want it to. For example, I’m currently working on a song that Dan Lebowitz recorded on. I’ve spliced tons of tiny bits of guitar line to make it sound like it has a natural progression with the song. Literally nothing you hear in the song was played in that way, but it should sound like it was. Of course, you still need excellent source material to make this process work. I consider this process producing opposed to composing.
Anyhow, I have composed a very short, minimalist song that is almost prayer like. This song is has become a little bit sacred to me, so I’ve been struggling how to produce it. I have been envisioning that the melody and harmony would be sung. I’ve seen Rashida perform in various ensembles over the years and really appreciated her ability to dynamically match the musical context (along with her truly magnificent voice). She’s also incredibly outgoing, radiating positivity and beauty in every encounter. That means a lot to me. I wanted to find out how she would approach this “prayer” song (no idea what it’ll be called), which would primarily comprise of her singing.
We did a session on Tuesday, and even though it was mostly her singing small bits of the song at a time, there were several times I got chills listening to her. That’s never happened to me before during a recording session. I have great hope for this song reaching its maximum potential. I also have a deep respect for her, not just for the recording session, but when we were talking and learning about each other, she was challenging me to become more then I am. She left me with more then just inspiring audio – she left me with ideas to think about.
Last Thursday, the internet told me their was likely to be a surprise Dead reunion show in support of Obama. On Friday, I got confirmation it would happen on Monday at the Warfield, and spread the word to friends who were at the Phil and Friends show. The officially announced the show @ 3pm on Friday, and Tickets went on sale @ 5pm. It sold out in minutes. Enough of my friends got tickets so all of us could go. Sweet pickles.
The line the to get in was insanely long, what with 2300 folks retrieving will call tickets. The nice sketchy neighborhood tainted the exterior hippiesque vibe. It wasn’t the peace and love experience you’d hope for outside a dead reunion concert.
They did a nice transformation inside the venue though.
The show opened up with a freshly taped Obama speech made from his plane. He thanked Phil, Bobby, and Mickey, said some inspirational words, and told us sit down and enjoy the show. The crowd erupted at that. Then the red curtain lifted and the boys vaulted right into Playing in the Band. It was Phil’s current line-up sans Larry Cambell, with Bobby, Mickey, and Mark Karan, the guitarist for Ratdog. He had just sat out their last tour due to throat cancer, so it was great to him. The crowd was psyched, to say the least.
We sat next to these two. I like it when life does that.
First set was a fairly energetic but abrupt 45 minutes. Just as folks started heading out to the lobby for refreshments, Phil came out to get the crowd fired up about Obama. Bobby and Mickey eventually joined him.
We wandered out to the bar area, and somehow managed to run into all our friends, who had been scattered all over the venue.
Shortly after that, they played a mini acoustic set, which was perfect for the setting. The Friend of the Devil -> Deal > Ripple was simply beautiful.
Set three was the big one. My personal highlight was Sugaree, a song I normally don’t care for, then Eyes Of The World. It was a bit much on stage, since they sometimes brought up Barry Sless. They would have two keyboards, two drums, and three guitar players. When Jackie Greene went back to guitar they had four guitarists. Nutty balls. They sounded like they were having fun, and everyone managed to come along for the ride. It was nice to see Phil and Bobby smiling and playing off each other. I wouldn’t say it was an epic show or anything, but I was really glad to have been able to go. It was comforting to see to Rob and his flashing, spinning orb along with his light up suit meandering through the aisles.
What can I say? Deadheads get spoiled rotten in SF.