A few recent and future happenings in my world:
*There is a new Aa album coming out in November on the Brooklyn label Fire Talk. I've been working with this band on and off for something like 11 years, and my collaboration with founding member Aron Wahl stretches back even further. In the past, I've played more of a sideman role in Aa, but this time out, I'm more creatively invested: I helped to compose and arrange the music on ZebrAa along with current ringleader John Atkinson, fellow longtime/sometime member Mike Colin and more recent recruit Julian Bennett Holmes. John and Mike are old friends, and Julian a newer one — it's been a pleasure honing this body of work live and in the practice room with these guys during the past few years. I feel that songs like first single "Trash Hits" (see below) add meaningfully to an already rich catalog. There is talk of an NYC record-release show in December, so stay tuned.
*Also out in November, via the venerable, long-running Skin Graft label, is a new deluxe reissue of Dazzling Killmen's Face of Collapse, one of my favorite albums, full stop. (As mentioned previously on DFSBP, the LP's centerpiece, "In the Face of Collapse," is the song that inspired this blog's name.) I'm proud to have contributed a new oral history of the record to the package, a document that draws on interviews I conducted with all four band members earlier this year. Both collectively and individually, these men — Blake Fleming, Tim Garrigan, Darin Gray and Nick Sakes — are musical heroes of mine. If you're not familiar with their work, Face of Collapse is the place to start. Preview and preorder the new edition at Bandcamp.
Related: I'm working with Tim in a new-ish band called Skryptor, also featuring David McClelland of craw. We've got a good amount of music written — which, I'm excited to say, sounds very little like anything any of us have done with our other projects — and I hope we'll be performing before too long. More news when I have it.
*I also contributed interview-based liner notes to two other recent releases: the Cookers' The Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart on Smoke Sessions and the Jim Black Trio's The Constant on Intakt. I love both of these groups and would have been tuning in to either album as a fan even if I weren't involved behind the scenes, so these gigs were an absolute pleasure.
*It was a thrill to attend and review Cat Stevens' first NYC show in 40 years on behalf of Rolling Stone. A truly legendary artist who, I was happy to find, can still astonish in the live setting.
*Likewise, I loved speaking with Maynard James Keenan about music, comedy, family, the military and many other topics touched on in his upcoming biography, A Perfect Union of Contrary Things.
Beyond that, I've been working hard at the day gig; spending time with my wonderful girlfriend, Alex (and watching her awesome company grow); listening to tons of Crowbar (with a bit of Meshuggah, Asphyx, Immolation and Entombed breaking things up); studying music (ear training, keyboard, etc.) with my friend and bandmate Nick; reading Raymond Chandler; running regularly; and cooking more than I ever have in my life, thanks in large part to the easily recommendable Blue Apron.
As this blog nears its 10th anniversary, I'd just like to say thanks to anyone still tuning in, regularly or irregularly. Your attention and encouragement are greatly appreciated.