Friday, October 23, 2009

Getting in the van

Greetings, kind readers. I hope early fall is treating you well. Just a quick, last-minute self-promotional announcement here. STATS, a band in which I play drums, is embarking on a weeklong tour this very day. (We'll be traveling in a minivan very much like the one you see above.) Below are all the dates, and some more info can be found on our MySpace page. As you can see we'll be playing seven shows with the outstanding Dysrhythmia, a scenario about which I'm extremely enthused. If anyone out there happens to be in any of these locales on the appointed dates, I'd love to see you at a gig. Against all odds, STATS now has in hand physical CD copies of our newish EP, Marooned, as well as stylish T-shirts designed by our bassist Tony Gedrich. If you're interested in obtaining either please drop a line to

Oct 23 2009 8:00P
Danger Danger with Shredfest and more - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Oct 24 2009 8:00P
The Matinee with Clan of the Cave Bear - Akron, Ohio

Oct 25 2009 8:00P
Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center - St. Louis, Missouri

Oct 26 2009 8:00P
The Empty Bottle with Dysrhythmia - Chicago, Illinois

Oct 27 2009 8:00P
Big V’s w/ Dysrhythmia + The Yoleus - St. Paul, Minnesota

Oct 28 2009 8:00P
180 Main w/ Dysrhythmia & Dredge - Dubuque, Iowa

Oct 29 2009 8:00P
Mac’s Bar w/ Dysrhythmia - Lansing, Michigan

Oct 30 2009 8:00P
Floyd’s w/ Dysrhythmia - Lincoln Park, Michigan

Oct 31 2009 8:00P
Now That’s Class w/ Dysrhythmia + Keelhaul - Cleveland, Ohio

Nov 1 2009 8:00P
Union Pool w/ Dysrhythmia - Brooklyn, New York


P.S. In journalistic news, check out my reviews of last week's mindblowing R. Kelly show and this week's enlightening Wild Yaks performance, as well as a whole bunch of CMJ coverage on The Volume, courtesy of me and my intrepid TONY colleagues.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Vultures in flight

Here's my review of Them Crooked Vultures' NYC debut at Roseland last night. Awesome pics, such as the one above, come courtesy of Laal Shams. I thought the show killed and I'm extremely psyched for the record. (As a bonus track, here's my preview of the event.)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sonny Simmons on film

Below is the trailer for Just a Guy Who Knows, a new documentary project codirected by my friend Dan Scofield. The film is an impressionistic portrait of Sonny Simmons, surely one of the greatest living saxophonists.

Dan is also an excellent horn player - you can hear him in the band Shot x Shot - and he's been taking some lessons from Mr. Simmons. After they spent a bit of time together, Dan proposed this documentary project, and then he and his collaborator Mike Ercolini shot a bunch of interview and performance footage of Simmons over two days. I'm absolutely blown away by what they were able to come up with in such a short time - it's poetic and abstract, but it captures its subject with intense clarity. The footage of Simmons playing (solo sax on a Brooklyn rooftop, with the Manhattan skyline in the background) is simply priceless, as are the various anecdotes he shares re: artistic and personal struggle. If you like what you see here, you can view the full film as it currently stands, in a 20-something-minute version, by inquiring here. Dan and Mike are currently drumming up funds to make this into a feature-length doc, something I personally would be thrilled to check out. Definitely consider donating if you have the means.

Friday, October 02, 2009

The man with the horn

[Photo: Linda Nylind, from The Guardian]

Please join me in welcoming Evan Parker - one of the world's foremost sound scientists - to NYC. Last night he kicked off a two-week stand at the Stone on the LES. The list of collaborators, viewable here, is pretty stunning. Here is my Time Out NY preview of the residency. Please note that, sadly, Parker will not be playing with bass master Dave Holland on October 14; I'm not sure what the deal is, but Holland confirmed yesterday via Twitter (!) that he will not be able to participate. There's still plenty of other awesome stuff going down, though. I'm not going to make any promises about what nights I'll be able to make it out, but I will say that I definitely have my eye on the George Lewis duo set this Saturday - was just digging the amazing From Saxophone and Trombone (1980) last night - and the Joe McPhee and Susie Ibarra duo sets next week. We'll see what happens.

Bonus tracks: Here's my All Music Guide review of Parker's phenomenal solo release Monoceros. I'm pretty sure this is one of the first reviews I ever published; if I'm remembering correctly, I wrote it during college, about a decade ago. And here - buried within an aggregated stream of early DFSBP posts - is my account of the last time I saw Evan Parker live (at the Stone on 10/15/06). Scroll down to about the middle of that page and you'll find the piece in question.