Sunday, August 17, 2014

Three of a Perfect Pair Camp 2014

August 11-15, 2014

So, I'm sitting in my Living Room a day after returning from my third TOAPP camp, absorbing the experience, and dealing with the inevitable exhaustion. Just like anything else, things evolve, and that includes the camp. So, I'm only going to talk about what was new, you can read more in depth accounts of my previous camps here and here.

  • Like 2012, Pat, Adrian, Tony, and Markus were there all week. This time around, all 4 were very focused on teaching. Once again, Markus provided scheduled one on one lessons, which were very informative. In my case, I picked up with the son and daughter on a U8 Touch Guitar. I made sure to attend one of every session type, and that included doing drum stroke rudiments with Tobias and Pat, which was a blast, BTW.

  • Every morning of camp, a dedicated few convened on the lawn with Markus, and did some polyrhythmic movement and clapping exercises. These got to be very challenging, and were also great fun. I came to the realization that while I had internalized some polyrhythms in my hands, things were a lot more difficult starting with the feet and legs.

  • The group jam, was replaced with a set of smaller jams spread over two nights. Tony, Pat, and Ade selected two songs each, such as Red, Walking on Air, Larks Tongue II, Happy with what you have, Elephant Talk, and Schizoid Man. Campers could then sign up for the individual slots. I played keys backing Adrian and some others on Walking on Air, and sang lead vocals for Happy with what you have to be happy with. I really enjoyed this.

  • Pat and Adrian had some shorter group recording sessions, which were intended as samples for a project in Pat's case, and Flux, in Adrian's. I attended both. I really enjoyed the chance to display my cymbow chops.

  • This year, the show at the Bearsville Theater was Friday evening, after camp finished, rather than Thursday. This meant that there was one additional full night, and we were able to do more things Thursday.
    As a result, the last night, Adrian and Gary Slick (Julie's dad) sat around the campfire with us, and led us in a whole slew of Beatles songs.

Other matters

This time, I shared a vehicle with Cedric Theys, and chose not to rent a keyboard from Alto Music, figuring that there were plenty around the last two camps. Well, I won't make that mistake again. There was only one keyboard in camp in the Roadhouse. Perhaps next camp, I will have a touch guitar. I'm not sure, but am leaning heavily that way.

I also didn't contact John Esposito this time, and am regretting not staying an extra day, because he was playing a gig with Jeff Seigel in Woodstock, last night. But, I would have been forced to choose between his gig, and a gig Markus did in Beacon. Instead, I saw neither, returning to home to find the AC on the fritz.


Rather than attempt to do the equivalent of Dancing about Architecture, I'll just say that there is a great vibe around the camp, and it unbelievably refreshing to spend some time with some old friends, and make some wonderful new acquaintances, as well. I wish you could be there to see it!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

RIP: Tommy Ramone

Well hopefully there's not a third shoe about to drop. The last Ramone has passed away, since Tommy Romone (aka. Thomas Erdelyi) drummer and producer for the band, is now no longer with us. It appears that after listening to Charlie Haden and Ornette Coleman, I'll have to queue up Blitzkrieg Bop.

RIP: Charlie Haden

Well the Jazz world lost another great today, bassist, Charlie Haden.

I'll have to look through my collection, and find some suitable recordings from his vast discography to listen to this evening.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Devo at ACL Live

So, I was anxious to see Devo on this tour, since they were featuring music from the earliest days of the band. I was familiar with some of these songs, since I loaded up on a fair of amount of bootleg albums, in highschool. It's hard to be believe that 36 years have passed since I first saw them play, at the Painter's Mill Music Fair, on 12/29/1978. Amazingly, most of the material during this tour, predates even that show.

This show didn't disappoint, with the only low note being the absence of Bob Casale (aka. Bob 2). The show went by fairly quickly, and I was able to capture the setlist.

The encore included an appearance by Booji Boy.

In closing, the only other thing I was going to say is, "I am always amazed at the following Devo has here in Austin." It was a full house, as you can see in this picture.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

California Guitar Trio at the One World Theater

My three crafty friends returned to Austin, and played the One World Theater, once again. I must say, it was a much needed respite from my day to day worries. The muse walked into the theater Sunday night, and sat with me for several hours, as we enjoyed the show. I can't say enough good things about this group.

Sticking to my usual pattern, I attended both shows. I highly suggest doing that, as they often play different sets. I have included both setlists, here and here.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tool at the Cedar Park Center

Almost Missed It

For some reason, I had forgotten that about the date of this show, thinking it was in May. I was about 5 minutes away from heading out the door for a meetup at Capital Factory, when my friends called and reminded me.

There were several reasons I wanted to go to this show. One, it was Tool. Two, it would be the first concert I had attended at the Cedar Park Center.

Getting there seemed easy enough, although it is somewhat challenging to stay off of the Tolls Roads. The parking situation at the Center leaves a lot to be desired.


The opening band was Failure. I can't speak for my friends, but I found this band to be boring. They were tolerable, but I can't say I would feel compelled to listen to any more of their music.


Fortunately, Tool was on stage soon enough.

The lineup

As you probably know, Tool has had the same lineup for over 20 years.

  • Danny Carey – drums, percussion
  • Adam Jones – guitar
  • Maynard James Keenan – lead vocals
  • Justin Chancellor – bass

The setlist was posted immediately after the show. Since they have not released a new album in 8 years (10,000 Days), the show contained no new material. The show was broken into 2 sets, with an intermission between them. Like Porcupine Tree, they displayed a clock on the screen behind the stage at Intermission, and had it count down the 12 minutes.

I really enjoyed the show, but the sound left a little to be desired. In particular, there was an annoying amount of rumble and distortion in the bass register throughout the set.

The multi-media display and the lighting however for this show were up to the typical excellent standards for a Tool show. Tool is unsurpassed in this area, and on the same footing as Pink Floyd/Roger Waters, and Steven Wilson/Porcupine Tree.

All in all, it was a good night of music, and it helped take my mind off of other things.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

SxSW 2014 Wrap-up

This year, SxSW was a bit a letdown for me. With a sudden change in employment status, my focus changed from casual enjoyment to job hunting and networking. As a result, even with a Platinum Badge, I was forced to miss several mornings, and two complete days of music. (Thanks Ginni!)


When not preoccupied with other things, I spent a majority of my time at film screenings.

Here's a quick list of what I was able to see:

That Guy Dick Miller

A great film. I was flabbergasted by how many movies I had seen with Dick as a character actor.

The Infinite Man

An interesting Aussie film with time travel and lots of plot twists.

The Heart Machine

Poignant commentary on young romance in our modern social media world


This was just plain fun. I love Dan Harmon's comedy.

Penny Dreadful

Going in, I didn't realize this was a pilot for Showtime series. In my opinion, dreadful is an apt description.

I Believe in Unicorns

A interesting drama about a young girl who runs away from home, on a romantic fling.


Basically, what if Trainspotting had taken place in America?

Raid 2

Yet another projector fiasco at the Paramount! It seems like that this has been the case for 3 out of the last 4 years. My brother and I finally made it the rescheduled screening the next night, not sure that it was worth the trouble. Not as good as Raid Redemption.

Silicon Valley

Mike Judge always seems to find your comedic nerve. This time, he has Silicon Valley start-up culture in his gun-sight.

A Wolf at the Door

An engaging and suspenseful, but very disturbing crime drama from Brazil. Unlike typical U.S. crime dramas, this one seemed too realistic, and probable.


After failing to get into Wes Anderson's premier, My brother and I ended up here, because it was the only screening with seats. All I can say is that this was close I as I ever want to get to seeing a German Shizer Flick. ;)

The Internet's Own Boy: The Aaron Schwartz Story

A fantastic documentary about the prodigy, Aaron Schwartz, and his contributions the to Internet, particularly his fight for online privacy. After watching the film, his suicide seemed even more tragic.

The 78 Project

This film was a documentary about connecting modern musicians to the past. In particular, the 1930's when the 78 rpm record was king.

The main story line involved taking a vintage, portable rig on the road, that was able to cut 78 rpm discs, to make live recordings of modern musicians. Also included in the film were trips to multiple archives and collections containing 78's.

The coup de grace for this screening however, was that they actually had a musician cut a 78 recording on stage during the Q&A.

Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton (This is Stones Throw Records)

Great documentary about an influential Indie record label. Kudos to the film maker for showing how it was waning in this new era of the Music Industry.

The Winding Stream

The Carter family, Johnny Cash, Roots Music, what's not to like about this film? As they said in the film, the Carter family ignited the Big Bang that created the Country Music Industry. I learned some fascinating things about Border (aka. Mexican) Radio, and there was a lot of previously unreleased footage of the Man in Black.


For Music this year, I only really went to things on Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, I started out the evening with my friends Cedric Theys and Jakes Srinivasan for the GlobeFest showcase at the Speakeasy. As that started filling up, I opted for a more serene experience at the St. David's. The acts I saw included:

  • Lo'Jo from Angers, France at the Speakeasy - All I can say was this band was fantastic
  • Imarhan from Timbuktu, MALI at the Speakeasy - Interesting, but a little thin on the musicianship
  • Tennis from Denver, CO at St. David's Sanctuary
  • Gungor from Denver, CO at St. David's Bethell Hall - A very good band playing out of the element, acoustic.
  • Vance Joy from Melbourne, VIC at St. David's Sanctuary

For Saturday, I was able to catch the following:

  • Ramesh from Austin (whoops) at the Central Presbyterian Church - A good pop band, once you got past that, they weren't very interesting.
  • Andy Shauf from Regina, SK at St. David's Bethell Hall
  • The Wood Brothers from Nashville, TN at St. David's Sanctuary - Chris Wood from Medesky, Martin and Wood teamed up with his brother, Oliver. These two are fantastic.
  • Kumbia Queers from Buenos Aires, Argentina at the Russia House - I went here to catch up to Jakes. Was a bit underwhelmed by this band, although others seemed to be getting into them.
  • Pigpen Theater Company from Pittsburgh, PA at the 18th Floor - Outstanding Irish influenced stuff.


I managed to get over to the BBQ. It was a bit anti-climatic this year, because it felt like I had attended half of a SxSW. I did run into my good buddies Hillary and Marvin, once again.

Here's to SxSW 2015, and hoping that things are much better then.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Fred Frith at the North Door

This was my first trip to the North Door, and it appears the show's producer, Epistrophy Arts is trying in ernest to bring experimental, improvised music to Austin. I applaud the effort

I arrived about half an hour early, and was able to get seated and situated for the hour long set. I ran into my friend, Austin Composer, Graham Reynolds, waiting in line. I was surprised there were very few other people I recognized, even though it was a full house.

A bare footed, Fred Frith basically played one improvisation that lasted about a solid hour, then stood up to take a round of applause. I took the opportunity to run to the men's room, and when I returned he was in the midst of a shorter improv lasting somewhere between 7 to 10 minutes. That concluded the show.

Frith isn't necessarily one my favorite artists, but it was interesting, and afforded me an opportunity to visit a new venue that is taking some interesting risks.