Friday, April 17, 2009

schlemeel, schlemazel, hasenpfeffer incorporated

i haven't been this happy in a while. last night we performed to an almost sold out crowd in st. louis. we also started the set with "a" and "b" from "e" (sounds confusing, but it's not!). the power trio has been recharged, much like a rayovac battery.

to counteract my hopeless yearning for knowledge and culture, i've watched a movie and started reading in the past two days. right now i'm reading "darkness at noon" by koestler. something about communism fascinates me, not because i'm interested in becoming a comrade...i just like reading about big ideas that result in big failure. perhaps it makes me feel a bit better about my own failures, which seem irrelevant in comparison.

i watched "stranger than paradise" by jim jarmusch. i like independent films from the 80's and 90's. they're all printed on film. real film is just better. it's forgiving and honest. sort of like the difference between reel to reel and pro tools. they're both magical, but a bad tape edit has so much charm to it.

anyway, we're driving to milwaukee right now. cue "laverne and shirley" theme.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

have i mentioned i like music?

april has been a very active month.

two weekends ago i managed to catch some great concerts. the first was dan deacon + ensemble. i didn't think i'd be able to get in - it was sold out. i waited in line for a good 3 hours, and for the most part it was worth it. dan deacon continues to utilize a vocal processor, a dr. sample, and a bevy of guitar pedals...but he has expanded his one man show with a 15 piece ensemble (with two drummers and xylophonist!). this means that the typical ear shattering DD show has increased by a solid 15 decibels. still, an entertaining show. if anything, it was further proof that my generation is truly influenced by the minimalism of the 60's and 70's. there were times when i felt like i was at a rave curated by philip glass.

the next night i played with dragonzord in west philly, and then dragonzord's bassist andy black (he was also my equipment handler) had to play a show at the north star with his balls-to-the-wall metal group action park.

a tight, excellent band.

it was quite the scene. they were opening up for dirty diamond, the vulgar neil diamond tribute project! after action park played, a bus of middle-aged swingers got dropped off at the venue for reasons i could never explain or comprehend. we got out of there as soon as humanly possible.

we decided to drive around west philly for a bit to grab some drinks, and we stumbled upon what looked like "animal house". sure enough, it was the pi lam fraternity. they were having a BBQ/rock festival that was headlined by the dead milkmen and make a rising. we missed the milkmen, but make a rising was stellar. they've been one of my favorite bands since high school. they premiered an entire set of new material that was complex, raw, and beautiful. well done boys.

after that, i spent the entire week preparing for the drummers quartet show that i've been organizing along with pavel fajt (dunaj), mike pride (dynamite club, mdc), and jim meneses (chris cutler collaborator and prog-punk enthusiast). i can't believe it, but we somehow pulled it off. i'll post some clips of it when i get the footage and audio.

i feel boring though. i need to read a book or watch a movie. too much music makes you a robot. then again, too much anything does that. diversity is key.

right now i'm driving to the southgate house with adrian belew and julie. we're about to premiere the first 20 minutes of "e". wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


has anyone read "thus spoke zarathustra" by nietzsche?

in the beginning of the book, zarathustra bloviates that he must come down from his mountain in the forest - where he had been living a solitary life for ten years - to unleash his overflowing wisdom upon the local populace. he arrives at the downtown area and a small crowd is being entertained by a ropewalker. zarathustra decides to interrupt the entertainer and speak to the spectators. when he sputters off his mammoth concepts to them, they are bewildered. he decides to leave, feeling empty and depressed.

sometimes i feel that way when i teach drum lessons! hah, did i just take all the piss out of nietzsche?

don't get me wrong, i love to teach. it's just a job that requires patience. it also requires intense organization. it's hard to get a student to find point A, and it's even harder to have them make the connection to point B. this brain addled generation seems to have difficulty making logical connections between two points.

of course, i have trouble with it too. but i'd like to think that i'm curious.

i'd like to think that the modern teenager would be immensely curious and thirsty for knowledge, considering that the internet is an infinite sort-of free library. however, in my experiences, they just aren't. they are generally concerned with social networking - and that is about it.
yeah. i am a hypocrite. i use all the networking tools.
i've contemplated facebook suicide many times, but it's just too easy to promote my rock shows on there.
oh well. hopefully it'll end soon.
wait, i do like twitter. it's a nice way of networking without wasting your life. unless you do it obsessively, of course.
let's end this post on a positive note.
here's a list of "things i know right now":

i love art
i love my dog
i love my friends
i love my family

oh, and i'm also an endorser of ludwig drums now. i couldn't be happier about that!