Monday, December 17, 2007

Weekend of 12/14

Another nice weekend of music. I played it completely by ear. On Fri I was exhausted and intended to stay in. Then, I figured it couldn’t hurt to catch the 10pm set at The Stone. That would save me from going to bed too early. I had never hear of Scotty Hard, but Billy Martin was playing. That was good enough for me! I did listen to Scotty’s myspace page before going out, but it didn’t matter, Billy Martin.

It was good and quite different. The visuals were interesting, even though it was hard for me to not be looking at Billy the whole time. He is so talented. Scotty plays a laptop and sometimes a guitar and directs Billy. Sebastian was rapping, but in a way I like and not all the time. It was only ½ hour, but very good. The only problem, and it was kind of big problem to me, is that Scotty and Sebastian have this friend who sits in the front row and thinks he’s part of the band. And he sucks. Clapping out of time, making up his own vocals, the whole 9 yards. Quite a bummer. Luckily he seemed to get the vibe that wasn’t appropriate here. I felt like he was interfering with sacred ground, I mean, this is The Stone! I don’t think there is a more serious place. I got the sense that Scotty and Sebastian have to deal with this guy, their friend, every single show they do. Too bad.

Scotty Hard
Sebastian Laws (vocals, visuals) Aron Deyo (visuals) Billy Martin (drums, percussion) Scotty Hard (ringleader)

Sat night I was able to fit in a lot. I started at Jazz Standard for the 7:30 David Sanchez quartet with Lionel Loueke. Lionel played his guitar with just a frame, no insides, just a long neck all night. I’m still intrigued by the guitar thing, but I’m happy to report I found a great book called Guitars that’s going to answer a lot of questions. I love reading books about musical instruments. This one has a lot about the history of US music as well. Anyway, it was excellent and a nice way to start the evening.

The book:

David Sanchez – tenor saxophone
Lionel Loueke – guitar
Orlando Le Fleming - bass
Henry Cole – drums

After that, I chose to go to The Brecht Forum for some kind of Carla Kihlstedt project. Very cool and my favorite show of the night. For the past 8 months or so, she’s been carrying around a tape recording and getting sounds. Last October, she, Shahzad Ismaily, and Matthias Bossi were on an insane European tour with Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. She said they did something like 45 cities in 49 days. After that tour, she decided she wanted to do something with some of those recordings from October with those 2 for this commissioned project from Neues Kabarett. They got some grants and are doing a couple more things soon, one is Anthony Coleman on 1/12 and the other is Rashied Ali on 1/26.

Anyway, they had previously picked out these sounds and then composed music to play along with them and it was fantastic. Everyone’s favorite was when the 3 dogs were barking very rhythmically and what they played on top of that. Carla told us in the Q&A that the dogs were chasing her at the time of taping. It sounded like her favorite was the last tune, with a drunk guy singing by himself on Halloween. There was one part where there were all these geese on the tape and she and Mattias were making sounds with balloons they had blown up. It was really great and very creative. She also sang at times and she has a great voice.

NEUES KABARETTCarla KihlstedtFeaturing the world premiere of the Brecht Forum-commissioned Causing a TigerCarla Kihlstedt (violin, voice) - Shahzad Ismaily (percussion, guitar, bass) -Matthias Bossi (percussion, piano)Carla Kihlstedt is a founding member of Tin Hat Trio and the art-rock band Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. Her solo project, Two Foot Yard, uses both her violin and voice simultaneously. She was one of three singers in the band Charming Hostess for six years. Carla has performed with Awadagin Pratt, Don Byron, Ear Play, the Berkeley Contemporary Chamber Players and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. She was a featured soloist in NYC's MATA in 2006, was commissioned by Merkin Hall for their emerging composer series, and has contributed to the recordings of Tom Waits, Mr. Bungle and the Grassy Knoll.Admission: $10

I must say, I was surprised to see she was in Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. I went to that Bowery Ballroom show last year to see Secret Chiefs 3 open. They were amazing, but I couldn’t take much of Sleepytime. Part of it was because it was too hipster and they liked the performance which was annoying to me. Some guy with ADD talking non-stop in between each very short song. I didn’t get it.

After that, I went to the Players Theatre Arts Festival at Sullivan and Minetta for the last couple of bands. I caught the end of Fire in July, which had Alan Ferber on trombone and was enjoyable, but not something I’d normally go see. I was really there for the next band, the Alan Ferber Nonet, which was great. Trombone, bass clarinet, tenor, alto/soprano, trumpet, electric guitar, upright bass, drums, and piano. That was nice. They played a song called “North Rampart Street” which reminds me how much I’m itching to get to NOLA.

Sun night, all I needed was the stellar, and I mean stellar William Parker/Gerald Cleaver/Craig Taborn set at The Stone. I was blown away in awe after that set. The room was packed and it was just amazing from start to finish. That was some incredible talent. I was so satisfied I decided to skip the next show of Tyshawn Sorey and Matana Roberts. I’m sure that was excellent, I just didn’t need anymore and wanted to savor that first set for a while.

Overall a very nice weekend.

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