Saturday, October 11, 2014

Living Colour at the Belmont

After watching my Orioles lose the second game of the ALCS, I was more than ready to head downtown for some music. Surprisingly, Living Colour was playing the Belmont, rather than Emos. This was the first time I had ever seen an act of this size, at this venue. I was also surprised at the fact, that this show was scheduled during the second ACL Festival weekend.

Temple Underground

This time around, the opening act was local Austin band, Temple Underground, led by local drummer Brannen Temple. I have seen Brannen perform a number of times, and he is a formidable talent. This band plays a unique style of rock/funk/jazz fusion similar in feel to Living Colour.

They played for about 45 minutes, and I was impressed with the level of musicianship. My only complaint was that the vocalist's singing hard to discern in the mix. Of course, this may have been compounded by the fact that my friends and I, were watching from the balcony, upstairs, as you can tell from the photos below.

Living Colour

Eventually, Living Colour took the stage. They clocked in at about 2 hours, with the following setlist.

As always, they delivered the goods, and played a good mix of old and new material. The latter coming from a new album, which they are about to release.

For the encore, Cult of Personality, the energetic Corey Glover grabbed the wireless Mic, and travelled through the crowd, eventually working his up the steps right next to where we were standing.

After the show, I was impressed, because once again, the band was graciously available for the meet and greet. I was able to one again talk with Vernon a few minutes, about our one degree of separation through Arthur Rhames, John Esposito, and Jeff Siegel.

All in all, it was a great night of music, on a cool autumn night in Austin. What could be any better?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tears for Fears at the Austin Music Hall

So, tonight I completed a study in contrasts. Four days after traveling to Philadelphia to see the King of Prog Rock, I'm now on the other end of the spectrum watching Tears for Fears.

The show started right at 8PM, and consisted of 1 set and an encore clocking in at approximately 2 hours. Of course, the Austin Music Hall was populated by a large amount of 40 somethings.

Curt and Roland played a wide selection of songs, including their big hits, as you can see from the setlist. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that both of them still had their voices, and could still hit the notes.

I have a feeling that the band will remember this show for a long time for several reasons:

  • Although there were cell phones, the audience was very attentive, and about 95% of the audience was singing along with the band, particularly during Mad World, Everybody Wants to Rule the World, and Head Over Heels. You could tell that this invigorated the band, and they responded accordingly.
  • This was the first show that I had been to in Austin in a long time, that had that vibe that I remember from 20 years ago. It was good to see it again; it was what always made Austin a special Music town.

It was a great night of music. Despite seeing my favorite band twice last week, I still had a fantasatic time. One that successfully allowed me travel backwards in time about 30 years, if only for one night.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

King Crimson at the Kimmel Center

So my original plan was to just see this one show, since it was on a weekend. Like the 2008 tour, I chose to fly in during the evening of the day before, since thunderstorms are common this time of year. In hindsight, this ended up being a good choice.

Of course, I was able to meet with some of my fellow campers before the show, and we went to dinner.

The venue itself was very impressive, with outstanding acoustics, and excellent sight lines, as you'll see in the pictures below.

Humorously, the merch table was run the same person who has done the merch for Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson. Looking back at the history, I found my post from 2007. People were audibly complaining about the length of the line for the merch, saying it was the longest they had ever seen at a show.

Chuckling to myself, I was happy I loaded up on merch during the dress rehearsal show at the Egg, when the crowd was small. I guess some things don't change. ;)

The show itself consisted on a single set with an encore. As before the setlist had been already posted when I checked back at my hotel.

So, now that the tour is underway, I'll talk briefly about the music. As you know, the players are arranged in an unorthodox fashion, with the 3 drummers in the frontline, and the Sax, Bass/Stick and 2 Guitarists in the back.

The songs were selected mainly from the early albums, before the Adrian Belew/Discipline era. In particular:

  • In the Court of the Crimson King (21st Century Schizoid Man)
  • In the Wake of Poseidon (Pictures of a City)
  • Islands (Sailor's Tale, and the Letters)
  • Larks' Tongues in Aspic (LTIA pt1 and pt2, and Talking Drum)
  • Red (Red, One More Red Nightmare, and Starless)

The only new vocal songs were 2 selections from the Scarcity of Miracles, and instrumentals from Thrak, the Power to Believe, and the ConstruKction of Light.

Other than that, the two shows differed in this way:

  1. The ConstruKction of Light Part 1 was played during the rehearsal show, but not last night.
  2. The show last night featured Vroom and Coda Marine 475.

This show will be a treat for any KC fan, and for me the highlights were hearing LTIA part 1, One More Red Nightmare, and Starless. All classics in my mind, and songs I had thought I would never get to hear played live.

Here's hoping for a second leg of the tour in the near future, although there is something in my gut telling me that this may be Robert Fripp's Swan Song.

As Before

Tony Levin's road diary contains some excellent shots, at the following link.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

King Crimson Rehearsal at the Egg

So as TOAPP Camp ended ...

I signed up for Tony's guest-list for the final Rehearsal Show of King Crimson, at the Egg, in Albany, NY. Since it was a Monday night, I thought that I might not be able to go, but the stars aligned properly, and it became a reality.

Preshow Dinner

My camper friends and I, all agreed to meet at the Hill Street Cafe prior to the show. Brian McGuinness gets the award for being invited to the show twice, once directly by Tony Levin, and indirectly by Tony, through Uncle Funk member, Joe Beesmer.

It was fun sitting with Joe and Brian, and reminiscing about the late 80's era Woodstock.

After dinner, we drove the short distance over to the Egg, for the show. Here the biggest challenge was figuring out where to park. For some reason, I forgot to take some pictures from the plaza in front of the main entrance, since the venue is very impressive.

As I walked up to the main entrance, there were even more people from camp. What a wonderful group of people.

The Main Course

The actual show commenced promptly at 7:30 and lasted a bit over 2 hours. Of course, no photography or recording was allowed, and I would have never dreamed to violate this request. The best you're going to get is this picture of the stage.

I was also going to wait until the first show tonight to post my setlist, but someone had already done it. You can browse the setlist here. If you don't want a spoiler, then I would say, don't click it ;)

I will say my favorite KC album was well represented in this setlist.

Post Show

Afterwards, I was able to briefly say hello to Tony and Pat. Robert surprisingly came out and spoke with some of the guests, but was eventually ushered off to safety, by the tour manager, as some started requesting autographs.

But for me the highlight might have been being able to talk Jakko Jakszyk, after the show. Jakko had changed into street clothes, and very nonchalantly returned without bringing much attention to himself. Myself, and two others had a great convo with him.

I also took a few quick pics of some old friends.

The Next Morning

The 5:30AM flight out of Albany to Chicago was slightly more bearable, with my two fellow campers from Texas, Mark Cook and Mike McGary. Now, to repeat this all again this weekend. ;)


Tony Levin has posted a nice account of last night's show here.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Terry Bozzio at the One World Theater

So, this was the third time that I've seen Terry perform solo. He is without a doubt, a unique creative talent.

The first thing I was presently surprised at, is that the One World had resumed selling a dinner option with the tickets. I had forgotten, but when I looked at my ticket, I discovered that I had purchased the food. A great decision in hindsight, it was superb.

The show last night started promptly at 7PM. Terry played most of the show inside of his monsterous trap kit.

This time around he had two stations to either side of the trap kit. On the left there was a Cajon. Terry did a very amazing improv, showing off incredible hand and finger technique, worthy of a Tabla master.

Later in the show, he first thanked many of the people present, reminiscing about the years he lived in Austin, just before beginning an improv on a Korg WaveDrum. Once again, he showed off some amazing finger technique.

Two and a half hours, later the show concluded after two sets with an intermission, and a single piece encore. I attempted to catch of some of the setlist, but Terry neglected to mention names for some of the pieces.

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.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Stick Men at the One World Theater

What better way to follow-up the Corea/Fleck show than with my buddies from Stick Men? I found it kind of humorous that I not only knew the band, but about half the people in the audience. If you had me told a decade ago that I would be on a first name basis with musicians of this caliber, I would have never believed you.

To summarize quickly, SM played about 2 hours, with a healthy dose of new material. Here's the setlist

After the show, I spent the better part of an hour talking to Markus, Tony and Pat. Unfortunately, this was their last evening in Austin, before heading to the West Coast. I have to say, Tony's touring schedule is insane. He'll be doing tours with Stick Men, the Crimson Projekct, more Peter Gabriel shows, then finally King Crimson this year.

I probably should have taken a few more pictures. (Oh well) Tony Levin did take a selfie of the two of us, so hopefully he will post in the tour diary section of his site in the next few days.

All I can say is that I can't wait until August for my third TOAPP camp!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Chick Corea and Bela Fleck at the Paramount Theater

If you know me, you know that I have seen Chick Corea and Bela Fleck perform individually numerous times. When I became aware that they had recorded an album together, and were touring behind it, I was very anxious to see them play. Well, it appears that my wish came true.

What occurred during the next 2 hours (with a brief intermission) was absolutely amazing. To make things even better, I opted to sit in the Mezzanine at Paramount for the first time during a concert, rather than down on the floor. This ended up being a fantastic decision, affording me an excellent view from above, of Chick's hands in action.

Here is a photo showing my view of the stage, from above:

There's a reason that these two performers have 35 Grammy Awards between them. As far as I'm concerned, they represent the pinnacle in modern improvised music. I was able to jot down a setlist while they played. I very much appreciated that both artists did introductions to each piece, as the concert progressed.

Their performance was also very loose with both Chick and Bela adding some physical humor ala Victor Borge. In closing, all I can say is this was a unbelievable way to start off a new musical year. Hard to believe it is going to be followed by another great show, tomorrow.