There seems to be no correlation between summer ending and the amount of celebratory doings goin on. Apparently all sorts of people were born in Sept (like my wife). We had a bbq for Stiners (complete with 5 day old Oli Linden), went to Russian River to blow out Dave SGs 30th (where I discovered my new favorite game: beer cannon), and Rachel had her legendary now annual pool with pool slide pool party with potato salad extravaganza. Also, Heather’s about to do something awfully messy, so we had to party it up with a keg and fire.
I’ve failed to write up most of the concerts I’ve been attending, what with life and motivation and all. Here’s a brief overview of bands that I broke my band cherry on recently:
The Bad Plus
JJ sent out an email that was vague but titillating about seeing these guys, so I went. Never heard a note if them before walking into Yoshis, which is now my new favorite venue. 8pm shows (done by 10 for the 10pm show), seating with fully snooty bar service, people are quiet during the show, very classy, etc etc. The Bad Plus blew me away. Sort of a jazz trio made up of piano, upright bass, and drums, they can play in and out of rhythms like nobody I’ve ever seen. They are what I wish MMW would be. Three virtuoso’s, super inventive, but don’t stray so far off the path that I lose interest. They did some crazy covers, played some freaking awesome music, and I’m ready to see them again.
My Morning Jacket
Rachel and I headed out to the Greek to see these if these guys bring it big. A rocker five piece, they did give it their all for over 2 1/2 hours straight, and put on a good show. Ample guitar wanking and full on rock and roll screams gave them credibility. I now appreciate their new album, “Evil Urges”, much more. The ticket price to fun ratio was a little too high though.
JR was the first electronic band that I ever really got into, right at the beginning of college. I hadn’t listened to them for over a decade, and had never heard of them touring before. I went, it was shockingly different then I expected. The dude behind JR brought out a whole crew of traditional Taiko drummers to dance, play crazy drums, and even play horns (not brass instruments, horns like a shofar). Not to mention a rapper (whom I actively disliked), an eerie yet affictive female vocalist, and totally shredder of a famous Japanese guitarist (Suzio). The whole thing was quite dramatic, and even though I totally got into it at times, many times it wasn’t really up my alley. It certain stands out in its originality though. Here’s a much more indepth (and positive) review.
So yeah. Next up – the invasion of KJ and AJ -> the Fribers get Married (presented by Stina) -> the Fribers get wasted (with general fuzz performing and DJing) at seconding wedding/party. I’m out of my skin with joy while throwing up a little bit in my mouth. Bring it.
It’s pretty tough to describe Burning Man, so I won’t bother trying. Everyone is going to have a different experience anyways. All I can say is that it is the most important event I’ve ever attended, and I’m really glad I returned to the playa this year.
This year it was Haber, John O’Duinn, and his friend Liz. Tiny camp = no drama. We brought minimal supplies which worked out fine. Food consisted of a Pasta Salad which lasted for three days. When the forth day arrived and we were going to resort to breakfast bars for dinner, miraculous delicious Beef Stew from our kick ass neighbors saved the day.
Biking was treacherous this year, so I saw maybe 3 percent of the art and camps. We got extremely lucky with the weather though – we missed both of the major dust storms, sneaking in after one and bowing out before the other.
When the sun slips behind the mountains, cheers erupt from every direction. Right after that, there is the feeling that I’ve only experienced at Burning Man – that moment when the switch is flipped, and you feel everything is about to go OFF. There’s going to be trouble, and my mind is about to be blown. And it was, time and time again. I wasn’t so good with the camera, but I brought it to document how a single night at burning man went down for me. Right as the sun was setting, there were giant smoke rings and 30+ people sky diving simultaneously.
Waiting for Haber to get ready to go out, I heard a slamming jam band off in the distance. This year I found lots of variety in music and ran across a plethora of bands. A very welcome change from techno and more techno. So off I went to find this band. And, they were indeed slammin’
They did a fly cover of “Superstition”. Then we walked up to center camp to discover a different funk band covering “Superstition” – so we had do an apples to apples comparison. Several interactive art pieces later
|From burning man 2008|
we stumbled upon a huge stage erected in the shallow playa where a professional dance troupe was doing a show. They were AMAZING. I lost my shit right there and then. Burning Man could not be a more amazing place.
That is, unless you then stumble upon a totally difference type of dance performance immediately afterwards.
We discovered a GIANT field of glowing orbs and lights synced to music. Then I found a discreet small pillar with five buttons that allowed me to alter the light patterns. Ooooo boy.
We found the humongous double dome rave at 2 o’clock, then wandered out to the temple where we ran into Anat and Ben, freshly married the weekend before in LA. That was totally random and glorious. The Haber wanted to see what was going on at the giant tetris pieces. Guess what we found there?
Yeah. This place inspires awe. During the long trek back to camp, I saw
Flame is not normally green. This turned out only be a tease of what would happen the next night, when the sculpture garden went off.
Needless to say, I had an amazing experience. A different night, when waiting in line for the cluster fuck that was night art tour (never do something @ Burning Man that involves tickets) we saw those same 30+ people do a NIGHT dive from a very high height. They had flaming colors so we could see them descend, and they released awesome pyrotechnics as they got closer. So my mind was blown just waiting in line.
500 cds were distributed in one long afternoon. I did it slowly, allowing for time interactions and experimenting with different distribution techniques. Art within art, if you will. That was my contribution to the playa, and I hope it affected a few people in a positive way.
After spending the last couple years working from home a lot, obsessing about my personal music project, and going out by myself, I’ve become a somewhat insular person. This is not really my nature. Burning Man allowed me to communicate with some fabulous fringe folks, and my love for the absurd interaction was rekindled.
I’m really quite proud to announce the release of my fifth album: Soulful Filling. Its always a bit of a sprint at the end, and I’m glad that it’s finally up on the site. This one is super mellow/introspective – so put it on when you’re ready to chill.
Please pass on the word via the internet – email/blogs/forums. It would be much appreciated. I will begin the promotion phase shortly.
BTW – Burning man was EPIC. More on this later.