Sunday, December 21, 2008


First off - I just spent the last two or three hours looking at the myspace pages of people I went to high school with. God Damn!@@#%%^ I don't know why. I have been thinking a lot lately and I'm just going to share.

I think that there are three truly famous people in this world. George Bush, Barack Obama, and Will Smith. Everyone else is only locally famous. I think that these three people can go almost anywhere and be recognized. Therefore, all the people that we think are famous - Brad Mehldau, Tom Waits, Charlie Kaufman, Bela Fleck, John Coltrane, Bjork, etc, etc, - are just popular. It may be easy to think that everyone knows about our heroes or the websites we check regularly or the albums we buy, but most of the time, no one gives a shit. As a performer, that's a little depressing, because there's at least a smidgen of "ooh, I hope I get famous", but we play fringe music anyway, so we'll never be as famous as the in-crowd. Of course, we all already know this, so don't think I'm trying to enlighten anyone. God forbid. I know that the best-case scenario is that Adam, Jamison, and Courtenay will read this and you guys all know at least as much as me about any given subject, but I'm a little tipsy and I need to spew some stuff.

Buckminster Fuller has written that in 1900 in the United States, 90% of the population lived on farms. When he wrote "Critical Path" in 1980 this number had shrunk to 10%. I'm sure now it's even less. To me, this means that in 1900, at least 90% of the population felt that the work they were doing was vital to sustaining the existance of themselves, their family, and the rest of the country. They were doing important work that meant something. The rest of the population could have also been doing vital work - doctors, preachers, firemen, etc. Everyone may not have had their dream job, but they were contributing and must have felt a sense of responsibility. Nowadays, almost everyone coming into the work force has spent some time in either retail or the service industry. This shit is not important. Even the best restaurants can go under and life will go on virtually unchanged. If most of them went under, our country would probably be better off. Retail is the same. The most important function these industries serve is to give day jobs to people who have bills to pay. Basically, you don't have the right to just live and be merry. You have to earn that right. You can't exist as a person that does what he needs to do for himself and goes on with his life. You MUST do what others tell you until you reach the age of 65 and then if you're lucky, you can retire to the life you've been waiting for since you left home. In the interim, most of us will have to make do with spending hours and hours a day at a job that probably doesn't make the world a better place and that doesn't give us the feeling of being responsible for anything significant. Although, as I'm writing this, I realize that Adam is doing woodwork for a boss he is friends with, Jamison is touring around bringing joy and music to people, and Courtenay is teaching the next generation of Town Meeting. Damn, I guess it's just me and the rest of the country that's stuck in this rat trap...

Sometimes I hate the internet. I'm sure you can all relate to this in some way. We didn't grow up on this shit, so it's probably stubborn Luddite-ness that makes us feel this way. I'm sure we all remember doing reports in libraries and looking through encyclopedias and card catalogs. We can easily recall when our families got some bullshit dial-up connection and had to pay an hourly fee for internet use (my brother once ran up a $250+ bill playing online games). Or maybe your parents were even more resistant than we can be and refused to let it into their households until you could get a monthly unlimited plan. Now I have to spend regular time on motherfucking myspace just to appear interested in keeping up with some people. I don't want to be one of these nostalgic kids that talks about remembering stuff from three years ago and buys the "retro" t-shirts from hot topic (you see, I'm a snob, after all). Of course, I remember Saved By the Bell, damn it! It wasn't that long ago! Our parents talk about getting their first color tv and we talk with the same wistfulness of getting our first cell phones (which may mean something for someone who has been through as many as Jamison, but for most people, it was still in this century). I recently went to the Field Museum and saw a great exhibit on the Aztecs. I just got more and more enthralled in this fantasy of the simple life - although mine didn't involve ritual human sacrifice. There's just too much to adjust to and not enough time to do it. I don't want to get swept up, but I don't want to just be a stubborn back-to-nature pipe-dreamer either. I guess I want things to get better, not just different. Not just more technologically advanced and faster and smaller and whatever. All the technology was supposed to make life easier. All the farmers are off the farms. The machinery can handle it, but instead of an easier life, it seems like it's harder. The work day on a farm is not an arbitrary 8 hours. You do the work that is necessary when it's necessary and then you're done. More work during the sowing and harvesting times and less while it's growing. Not just 40 hours a weeks so that you can afford heat and electricity.

I don't know... maybe I'm rambling...

Saturday, December 13, 2008


This may be inappropriate, but I recently went on an adventure and ended up seeing an old blind guy's balls. That was but one facet of the adventure, but I wanted to share it. As it turned out, the guy was an incredible musician and we were having a very pleasant conversation when he pulled his pants down and started going to the bathroom without having closed the stall door. At that point, I stopped talking and left. Just thought I'd share...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Jesus Jesus! My computer crashed about two weeks ago and I just got it back last night. Unfortunately, my recently-former roommate, in her typically self-centered-not-giving-a-damn-about-how-her-actions-affect-other-people-way canceled our internet connection, so I'm still a little incapacitated (I'm on the work computer now). Also, Jamo shared a similar computer-fucking-up experience, so the techno Gods must be paying us back for something. Anywho, shit's been poppin' here, and I wanted to share a little recent nugget. It's a rap video I'm in. Maybe it should be my next career move? I think I look decent in booty shorts...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My trip to Chicago was utterly fantastic in every way. I had been worried that I would not have enough time to take it all in since I really only had three days there but I can honestly say it could not have worked more perfectly. Seeing John Chicai and Hamid Drake was so incredible. I feel I grasped something major about improvised music that I had never thought about. My realization was that improvisation is about being absorbed in the present moment, completly. It is about listening to everything happening right now and at the same time being a part of it. This ability to be completly aware of everything and at the same time act through the creation of sound was what I percieved while watching John and Hamid play. At one point Hamid described John as having a radiance about him that is so unique. It seemed to me that someone who can embrace the present so fully and who has done so for so long could only produce a person with that kind of radience. For me, really listening to everything and letting my environment affect me deeply whether hearing music or sounds of nature or sounds of people has produced the most amazing experiences. The show at the Hideout definitely clicked something in me with regard to the unique power of improvised music.
The next night Jeremy and I recorded some music that was by far the most free I have ever played. It was one of the most incredible musical experiences I've had. Jeremy is a creative force unlike anyone else I've ever known. Wow.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Last Night at the Hideout

Last night Adam and I went to night 4 of the Umbrella Music Festival, which has brought in a wonderful group of improvisational acts from all over the country and Europe. Perhaps the most significant highlight of the night for me was the duo set with John Tchicai ( and Hamid Drake. I don't want to name drop, because it seems to say that past achievements may trump what happened last night, but John did play on "Ascension" and Hamid list of collaborators is much too long to even begin. Last night, though... There was a whole host of things I'm not going to endeavor to articulate, but I can say that as a musician that often has more of an abstract concept for what I would like to be playing than concrete experience in hearing it or playing it, Hamid and John played the sounds that I only have only experienced in the foggiest most non-descript way in my head. And they killed it! It was like having the concept of rich chocolate after only having Snicker's bars and then being given a gourmet hand-made artisan dark chocolate truffle. Is that I sensical analogy? Additionally, the way they worked the audience and laid bare personality and humor. Shiiit! It was fucking exciting, that's all I'm going to say about that...

The last set was also a very unique and wonderful experience. Douglas Ewart & Inventions played what was certainly the closest I've come to seeing the sensibility and style of groups like Sun Ra's Arkestra, Pharoah Sanders, and some of the later Roland Kirk stuff. They didn't come on until almost midnight if not after midnight and I was dead tired. Adam and I finally got some stools to sit on (it was pretty packed) and throughout the show I would have moments of almost dozing off and going to these very bizarre places in my head before being snapped back into a music venue with a hundred or so other people. It was totally surreal. The whole group was perfect, but Dee Alexander's vocals were probably my favorite part. I've not heard much "free jazz" vocal music, but she was mind boggling. Mmm!

Just thought I'd share that...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hello Earthlings. This is my first post which I am really excited about. I just arrived in Chicago and Jeremy just showed me hosw to log on to Spiralsonic andis currently in the kitchen making tea. pate amazing indian food this evening. The cats name is Indie. I saw a girl with headphones on a few weeks ago walking down the street dancing her ass off and thought "wow what an amazing thing music is."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Art Clothes

Like many, I had little admiration for the fashion industry until Project Runway opened my eyes a bit. What is on the other end of this link, though, blows all that shit away and has opened my eyes to the possibilities...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Improvisation on Indiana Jones

Once again I was privileged to be a part of the WRVU Ore Theatre Intangible Show last Saturday night. Tony never ceases to rock the fuckin house with his masterful mixing (and also just the fact that he is doing what he is doing.) Anyway, here's the link to check out our improvisation on Indiana Jones (its a long story.) It turned out fantastic - I'm so happy to be a part of this radio show,.. only good things will come I'm sure!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

the beauty of the path (and harry partch)

ah - if words could only express sometimes the immenseness of musical inspiration and experience. I feel overwhelmed most of the time with how many wonderful musical experiences there are out there yet to be discovered - through new composers, new instruments, new musicians, etc. but that is part of the beauty of this journey we take, that it is a never-ending yet always widening path into the universally infinite.

Not sure why I'm feeling so poetic, but Im sure some of it has to do with the fact that I just watched a great BBC documentary (available on youtube) about Harry Partch. I had been vaguely familiar with his name and the fact he was a musical experimenter - but, as with life, a series of events led me to this moment of understanding and wonder:

I was watching a rather lame documentary about Tom Waits (lame bc it was a bunch of british journalists and critics analyzing his music... a whole other diatribe in and of itself) but of course Partch was a big influence on Waits from the middle of his career onwards. So, of course, I set out to find out more about this man.

All of this is of course alongside my reading of "The Experience of Harmony" which discusses natural tuning systems, which Partch connected with deeply- well, exclusively in fact.

And then I remembered, probably 2 or 3 years ago at least, happening upon a great site where you could actually play these crazy, naturally tuned, 20th century instruments. of course, they were inventions of Partch. Luckily I found the website again tonight (practically by accident - - - or was it, haha) anyway, please check it out - have fun playing his various toys - and allow your experiences thus to lead you in whatever direction it may take you. and may your path always be blessed by moments of bliss!

heres the link:

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I just watched Zeitgeist:Addendum the second installment to the original Zeitgeist movie. It's a real head trip, but one I seriously recommend. It will bum you out at first, but it gets hopeful in the second half. Lately, I've been exposed (as I'm sure ALL of you have) to even MORE coverage of the presidential election, but after watching this movie, it makes me not even want to vote. The fundamental problems are not really being addressed, just what color band-aid we're going to put on the latest problems. Maybe that's pessimistic, but... just watch the movie and get back to me. I want to know where you guys stand on this, because I could use a little perspective.

personal style .... ?

Just read a fantastic blog recently posted by Dave Douglas on Greenleaf music.

It discusses one's personal style and accommodating disparate influences in the 21st century. Its cool too because it has a lot to do with an email I just sent Dave, lamenting my own issues on the very subject. It would be highly presumptuous of me to think the email had any influence, but it was refreshing to hear him wax philosophical on the subject.

Anyway, check it out if you get the chance - oh, and also - if you have 30 extra bucks lying around, I would suggest buying Harmonic Experience by Mathieu - I'm only 10 pages in but I can tell its going to be a priceless resource!

Monday, September 29, 2008


So, I had the great opportunity to be a part of a live improvisation on the radio: 91.1 WRVU from 2-4 am (AM mind you) on sunday morning. It was 4 "musicians" being manipulated by 4 "meddlers" haha, if you will. Obviously unlike any experience I've had, and I definitely have to hand it to friend and dj of this fine radio program, Tony Youngblood for kicking ass.

Anyway, listening to this music brings up a lot of questions for me, and I wanted to ask anyone who is interested, to maybe listen to some of this recording (link at bottom) and offer up your opinions on the questions as well. Granted, this is over an hr of music, and it is best suited for the soundtrack to a really fucked up hour of your life (or perhaps an hour of being really fucked up would enhance the aesthetic... ???) Either way - questions come to mind: can "acoustic" and "electronic" music live and work happily together? analog and digital shaking hands? Perhaps one of the fists is bigger, and ultimately takes more from one party than the other (electronic takes from acoustic, but what about vice versa?)

All in all, I was absolutely happy and excited to be a part of this- and I think it turned out really fucking cool - patient, cinematic, lush at times and over all a thoughtful endeavor. So enough of my banter, if you'd like to check it out, go here

you can find out more about the radio show and check out past episodes at

i think you'll like it.

power to the people in places doing things not typically done to push their passions forward!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

a little pic

So, when I was in NYC playing with Raul, we got photographed by this guy who works for the NY Times. He also won a Pulitzer! And he happened to take a pretty cool pic of me playing tamborine. Thought I would share it: it just goes to show - even a pulitzer-prize winning photographer can't make a dork any less dorky. jingle jangle!

a little brag...

Just recently two interesting points have come up in my life that I wanted to share. The first is, that I had a satirical article accepted for publication in a new Chicago arts magazine called Stockyard. I think most of you are familiar with the piece that was accepted - it was my pseudo art review from the first issue of Put Out or Get Out. And they're going to pay me!

Secondly, I'm not sure if I have shared this already, but my new boss (who never actually works in the shop), did not make most of his money selling mysterious herbs via the internet, but is actually a music engineer/producer and has produced several albums for the Flaming Lips among others (his name is Keith Cleversly). Apparently, he took a little time away from the studio, but is wanting to get back into it. Today at work, he put a note on the online bulletin board saying that he wants to experiment with some things in the studio and needs a recording to play around with, so we're putting together a ragtag group at work that he will produce, record, and mix for free in his studio! Right now, the lineup looks like me on drums, the rapper mentioned in the previous post on vocals, a bassist that plays jungle/house music, and a guitarist/keyboardist that comes from a rock background. It's gonna be ridiculous!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My new jobbie

I got a new job... not new to some, but relatively. I got a co-worker named Dave. He is an mc and I listened to some of his music today (just right now, actually). He is fucking sick. For real. I highly recommend checking him out @ Trust me.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

David Byrne

I had the chance to see David Byrne at the Ryman last night. Fucking amazing show, as you might imagine. I would highly recommend his new album (which is a collaboration with the producer, Brian Eno) Everything that Happens Will Happen Today. Brilliant, beautifully joyful music as only they could put together.

He of course did a lot of numbers from this album, but also a good collection of Talking Heads tunes, and at the very end, even did some country songs (it seems like everyone does a little something like that when they come to Nashville.) The crowd (as every crowd at the ryman has been) was fantastic. I felt like I was really part of something magical.

The show also brought about certain issues I've had with my own musical voice - in the sense that I have so many varied influences, and I feel like the music I make somehow has to accomodate all of them. (which of course Byrne does beautifully with his.) But its not like he consciously did that, it evolved. I've realized that ultimately I just have to create without thinking in a way, ... prevent any intellectual walls to hinder the process. Its so obvious, but so hard for me for some reason. I know, eventually one's voice, unique and resonant, will come through. And its the journey towards that ever elusive, never conclusive voice that makes it all worth while anyway, right? so, here's to us searching, but never truly finding our voices. may it be a wild ride!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

If you're up really late tonight...

you should go online to and listen to some experimental music I'll be playing (if all goes according to plan) from 2-4 am (central time) this early Sunday morning with some other nashville cohorts. Should go well with any altered states you might be experiencing. cheerio!


Alright, dudes. I know I told a couple of you about the Brad Mehldau solo piano show, but as it turns out I had the date wrong... close, but wrong. It's May 1st, not the 6th. It's a Friday and it's at the Chicago Symphony Center. Tickets are still available ranging from 28-88 dollars. God speed!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Yo, just found out about all this. wanted to say hello.  Wow its pretty in here... this looks like a cool way to exchange ideas sans-myspace bullshit. keep it up peace, jday

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

If you're in the mood....

for something strangely awesome - go to Youtube and search for Tom Waits black rider. If you're not familiar with it, "The Black Rider - The Casting of the Magic Bullets" was a musical based on an old German folk tale. This guy Robert Wilson (an avant-garde theatre director) put it on. William S. Burroughs wrote it and Tom Waits did all the music. It's mostly in German (which makes it even more confusing) but it is definitely worth checking out. They have a plot synopsis on wikipedia which helps clarify things a lot. tallyho!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ey oh!

Here's my new obsession... techno craziness! I'm going to quit playing with real instruments and dedicate myself 100% to making electronic mayhem! Check out the tracks I made in honor of my favorite tuber and let me know what say you.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Two things...

First: Jen Rock - I'm not sure if I have met you but welcome to spiralsonic! Also, randomly enough, I accidently stole Jeremy's CD of Deek Hoi - which by the way, I really enjoyed. So, cheers to you Jen Rock, and Jeremy, I will be getting that CD back to you soon.

Second: I just got an amazing deal on a Silvertone Accordion (made in Italy, woowoo) - an instrument I have wanted for many years. And perhaps one of the most pervasive instruments in all the world (and way hipper than people give it credit for!) So I of course have been listening to much Guy Klucesvek and Guido Deiro. Perhaps their talents will slowly wash over me as I bellow and moan. " bring out the barrels..... bring out the barrels of fun!"

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

officially hopeful....

So, last I got a random notification of an experimental show going on... in Nashville! It was the first show of its kind at this venue (the basement) and for a monday night, the turn out was really good. The music was fantastic and I talked with a lot of musicians. it turns out some of them are planning a house party for some music, which is exactly what I've been doing. Anyway,

As Jeremy knows, my feelings about Nashville have been pretty up and down, but for some reason, last night really got my engines roaring. I couldn't keep a smile off my face as I listened to the music and saw everyone in the audience totally into it.

Things are on the up and up - and tonight I'm going to see to some groove jazz just down the street. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Nashville will eventually represent in the good music dept. I've also come to realize that a lot of times, you have to give a city time and do some digging before you realize there are great things happening. Booyakasha!

Friday, September 5, 2008

A refreshing and reinvigorating night of music!

Last night I checked out some amazing jazz/groove/latin/soul music at Windows on the Cumberland, a great little hole in the wall venue in Nashville. I knew a few of the guys there, but for the most part it was a whole scene of folks I wasn't really aware of. It was organized by Derrek Phillips, one of Charlie Hunter's old drummers, who lives in Nashville now.

A couple of things happened from this: I saw a community of musicians that I wanted to be a part of. I just need to be patient and play as much as I can and see what happens.

I met some really amazing musicians who are getting the jazz/soul thang started, and interestingly enough, at a space thats walking distance from my house!

I met TWO trumpet players who are awesome and live in Nashville. How crazy - like I told one of them last night - its about cammeraderie (sp?) and not competition.

So, just when I was feeling down about Nashville - something happened to boost my spirits! And I have a handful of shows in the future that I'm excited to check out. And of course, I have big plans of my own - so watch out nashville!

another GD blog!

Okay, okay, I'm going overboard, but I started a test blog. I've told some of you about an idea for a publication I had that contained a comprehensive schedule of the improv going on in my area. To see what sort of interest there is, I threw together a blog that lists the shows I know about. Check it out at (the blue line is the train that runs by my house).

Thursday, September 4, 2008



Wednesday, September 3, 2008


So, lately I've been on a serious Vandermark kick and I must say, it really has been a winding, careening path. It all started when Jeremy and I spent two days out in the North Carolina woods - randomly enough, Mehasty, owner of Tomato Head mentioned him getting a group together in the nature of the Vandermark 5 (perhaps without even knowing what kind of music they actually played.) I specifically remember listening to the music as we wound through mountain passages and there was definitely something about the music that reeled me in.

After listening to a half dozen albums in the last 6 -8 months, I just finished watching the documentary, MUSICIAN, a fantastic work about his life as a successful, avant-gard composer and musician who actually makes a living doing just that! I also just finished an interview that I think any musician would really enjoy. You can find it on - they have a streaming mp3 - its like 1.5 hrs long - but its worth it believe me. Vandermark is fucking smart and articulate as hell and his passion and dedication to his art is an absolute inspiration.

Also in this vein, I've decided to put together a concert of some of his more rock/funk oriented compositions. It will be a harrowing journey that I have only just begun, so please wish me luck. I'm also hoping it will be one of the sledgehammers used to bust through the walls that are holding me back compositionally.

Anyway, what it boils down to is - mad props to Ken and all that he and his cohorts are doing. It definitely ain't easy, in any way shape or form, but its value is immeasurable in my opinion.

Keep up the noize!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I dundidit

So, as you can see I finally figured out how to post shit on this here thang. These are two live cuts from a band called Phreaky Phi that I put together the second day at the Banff Jazz Workshop. Obviously this was the first time we had ever played together, and that my friends is the beauty of freely improvised music ~ We went on to record a bunch of shit which I will post later, but just thought I would throw it out there. I'm planning to send out some major invites soon - so heres hoping for more musical meanderings and frenetic filanderings.

Inklings of a manifesto...

As some of you may or may not know, I am currently occupying the envious position of dishwasher at the hip, cool vegetarian restaurant "Handlebar" (as in a bike handlebar, not the mustache). Yesterday was busy as shit and made me want to fucking quit. It got me thinking about a lot of things, not the least of which was the direction my education, life choices, et cetera, had taken me to end up back in the dish pit. Of course I know that the end result of all my work and effort hasn't been to get me back in a dishwasher job, it's just the drudgery that's currently necessary to allow me to continue my real work. However, it also afforded me ample opportunity to think about my real work. Obviously, I'm a musician, we're all musicians, but we're not just musicians and it's a cop out to think that's all we've got. None of us are really "sidemen". We're instigators and ambitious people that have something to say and alot we want to do. So, I've been thinking about my "work" in those terms. Not just how much more time I need to spend in the practice room, but what I'm really working toward. So currently, that's my work - trying to establish my direction and purpose. Last night my dad told me about being a janitor while trying to get through school. He told me that he was a damn good janitor and that he was okay with being a janitor, because he knew it was a temporary necessity to get him to where his vision led, but that if the vision wasn't there, being a janitor wouldn't have been worthwhile, because it was a waste of his talent, time, etc. So I'm working up a manifesto and I would appreciate responses and feedback. This is just the beginning.

'To the best of my ability, I am going to help those around me to realize that our greatest assets as a country and as a human race are the artists and thinkers that tirelessly work to create a better reality, not the enormous stores of ammunition or the natural resources in the ground. I don't expect to change the system, merely to help others see the benefit and need for change. We need more Bucky Fullers and Robert Anton Wilsons. More Richard Alperts and Ram Dases. Many more Stevie Wonders and Erykah Badus. These people have often had to work outside and directly against the system in order to give their offerings to the world. Maybe the conflict is necessary, I don't really know. I do know that there can't be conflict all the time - we need at least the support of like minds.'

Monday, August 25, 2008

Nu Shiiit

Here are a couple o' new tracks. They're my half ass attempt at electronic free improv. Psuedo-something-or-other

Friday, August 22, 2008

Something new

I've obviously got a lot of time on my hands, so I tried something new. Instead of all the links on the front page, there is a links page. Instead of all the sound files trying to load up when the page first opens, there's now a sounds page. I put this new one up, but I guess the old ones can be archived since if you wanted to hear them, you've probably already done it. It's all kind of ugly and feel free to fiddle with it if you want, I was just wanting to try something and learn... or whatever.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

postings with the mostings

man, i must say I am jealous of you Jeremy. Sounds like things are really kicking ass in Chi-town. Although, I will say I have had a frighteningly great time touring with this band. Everyone is a great person and amazing musician, and I feel as though this experience is really inspiring in the ways of song writing. there are some seriously talented song writers here and I've started dabbling in that dept. lately. its definitely been helping me find my musical voice(s) and i'm going to work in a dave douglas way of moving in a few directions - because that is totally fine goddamnit.

anyway, i've been layering stuff to some material Jeremy has sent me. Courtenay and others, if you are interested in this project of adding and sending, please speak now or forever hold your piece (of equipment...???) I'm hoping when I get home to start writing some of my own material for this type-o-thang. I'm very excited about being a part of the new record label POGO. Lets see if this add and send project can really materialize into the first album. eh?!

ok, i shall now go look at the goodness jeremy has posted up. you guys should tell john N. and Matt Aurand and Josh H. and Adam B. and any of the crevulators and anyone else you want to join this here thing - i feel like it could move in a new direction of creating and collaborating on music projects. what say ye?! if this happen we will build an email list for everyone to send files back and forth (i advise getting a gmail account for the space - even though google is big brother. yay!

current projects.

Hey dudes, so it looks like I'm the only one posting right now... fuck it, though, I gots lots goin on. I wanted to give you guys some info on a couple of groups I'm playing with right now. Interestingly enough, both are headed up by guys that already have all the material together and had put together full albums with them playing all of the instruments. Nice guys to hitch a wagon to (so to speak). I'm playing drumset in one called "Candytown" that will take a performative, theatrical approach (think Tom Waits' "Big Time"). You can check out the leader's style on youtube at:
We're not playing that tune, per se, but it gives a bit of a feel for his schtick.
The other group I'm playing with right now is led by Eddie Dixon, who's also a killer songwriter. For this group I'm playing keys (there's two of us, I'll be doing a lot of the organ parts). His myspace is at:
Yesterday was my first rehearsal for that, check out the tunes "i sit on coffee" "devil shells the road" and "outta my run". Those are some that we rehearsed.
In addition to all that magic, I've still been checking out the avant garde stuff and met local bad asssss Frank Rosaly. He is very warm and encouraging and a killer on the drumset. He's got a myspace, too and some youtube videos (try ).

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Apparently, there's some trouble downloading the sound files, because it wants to download them from itunes or, neither of which has the files to download. So for now, it looks like we can stream the files onto the blog, but not have them available for download. The solution, is simply to have whoever posted the sound file send it to you via e-mail if you want to download. Not terribly complicated. If I or anyone else come up with something better, we can take it from there. Until then... party on!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Okay- check it

I figured out how to add music files directly on to the blog. Jamison and I had talked about working on tunes together via the internet by sending each other incomplete drafts, and I figured out how we can do it via spiralsonic. I've posted a tune that I was working on and for any of you that have recording to computer capabilities, you can download my tune, add additional layers or tracks to it and repost. Sort of like the Immaculate Corpse or whatever the hell it's called. If you want to post some of your own snippets, what you have to do is upload them to a third party source. I set up an account at specifically for the purpose of putting stuff on there to post here and if you want to use the account, shoot me an e-mail and I'll give you the skinny on my password and how you can post it here. Peace(s)!

clarity in the midst of exhausting

hey all (or few rather)

just wanted to say thanks for adding to this. I want to say that I've had some issues that have grown and evolved over the years, but I finally think I'm on the way out of the clouds. I still have some mist around me, but I am seeing the clear. and I speak in metaphor about my feelings towards my musical output, and compositional self-criticality, if thats a word. i feel like all of us are isolataed in a number of ways, but there is no reason why we can't stir things up where we are, and share our experiences. i am planning on breaking throgh my writing shell, slowly but surely, and seeing what happens. Let me just say that I appreciate you guys listening to me about whatever musical issues have come to pass - we all love music and want to experience it in the deepest and most intimate way possible - and that aint easy, - a constant life journey that we love. anyway, i have no battery power left - and Im stoned riding on a bus to NYC. fuckit all and lets make music!

Monday, August 11, 2008

hearing goodness...

Jamison's ear training tips reminded me of this oldie but goodie. You guys probably already know about it but if not dig it!!!

It's good for both ears... and also what's in between.

hexatonic goodness...

Theory Dorks Unite!!!

Alright! I thought I'd share a cool scale that I obtained from the guitarist Jimmy Herring of Aquarium Rescue Unit fame. I'm not exactly sure what the scale is called but for my purposes I have been referring to it as the Herring Scale. The scale is built by combining any two Major triads that are separated by a tritone. All six notes are arranged low to high to form a hexatonic or six note scale. 
For example:

G Major triad - G  B  D

Db Major triad - Db  F  Ab

When all six notes are combined in order they form the following scale:

G   Ab   B   Db   D   F   G

This scale has a very "Eastern" sound to it and sounds very hip over an altered dominant chord. Give it a whirl!!!  

Last night @ the Hungry Brain

Last night was the first show I've been to since my move to Chicago and it was totally out of hand. I haven't been all over the country, but there's something about what's going on here that seems very special and very unique. The leader of the group was Jason Adasiewicz, the vibraphonist (the vibraphonist!), and his tunes were killer. The atmosphere was killer. All of the players were killer. It was perfect. So perfect in fact, that I couldn't even stay for the second set. It was a strange experience, but it was so intense that I just couldn't absorb any more and was sort of freaking out in my head. I had to go home and pray...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Dave Douglas on Music

This is a blog post that Dave put up on his website/independent record label You should definitely check it out, if only for the fact that it is the future of the music business (in my opinion) But here is the entire blog he wrote about music and how to practice. really wonderful stuff. Much love to ya Dave!

You can't deny the power of raw talent in music, but it is possible there is an even greater strength in the human capacity for self-transformation, growth, and genius. Some people have enormous natural talent and ability. Some have to work really hard. One way or another we're all striving to find a true expression in sound, one that touches on something universal, and we all have to strive to find our own path, no matter how gifted or challenged we may be.
For the past decade the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music has been offering classes with names like "Ear Training for Improvisers," and "Applied Ear Training." About a year ago Rick G at started asking me to write down my thoughts on ear training. In working on this post I realized why I struggle with that. Ear training is about sound in a given place in a given time. Text can't capture that, though I have tried a little bit here. If you are not interested in this topic, or not interested in putting in some time working with this, skip this post. It gets nerdy.
Ear training is the most valuable training for any musician, and maybe most of all for an improviser. Improvisation puts a musician on the spot in unpredictable ways -- you have only your ears to help you learn what's going on and decide how to respond to events or initiate them. Basically ear training underlies anything a musician does: melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre, form, density, community (who you are playing with), legacy (how you choose to deal, or not deal, with the traditions of music). You name it -- to be handled fully it has got to be heard deeply and accurately. It's as simple as focused hearing.
Ear training takes a lot of time to master, and it seems like the more you work on it the more you see your own shortcomings. It's slow going, as is the attempt to explain it. What's more -- this topic is almost entirely behind the scenes, off the radar. Maybe it has nothing at all to do with the reception of the music. And yet, to find satisfaction as musicians -- to express ourselves -- takes a constant inventing and encountering of new challenges, new ways of keeping the music exciting. The new challenges have a lot to do with how we hear sound and process it, how we deepen the experience, and how we can push ourselves to more profound levels of expression. That's what keeps me playing.
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. " - Mohandas K. Gandhi
Ear training should not be limited to the usual conservatory definition, though that training, too, is absolutely essential. Ear training is a sensory practice and can't be separated from the real world -- what we hear in a specific room at a specific and evolving moment in time. Separate the idea from the sound and you run the risk of creating a sterile approach that's just generic enough to be precisely meaningless.
So how do you simulate the real moment? The real moment as the crucible of the urgent choice. How do you make the practice environment as crucial, as vital, as the real world? How do you create the real possibility for yourself to make mistakes and learn from them?
“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” - Thomas A. Edison
The fundamentals are no mystery: Singing, playing, and hearing intervals. Tapping rhythms and polyrhythms. Hearing and reacting to chords and/or groups of notes. Some fundamental skills are more associated with improvisation: Memorizing a series of events. Reproducing the series accurately and re-ordering the elements. Learning and responding to the actions of a group of musicians in real time. Being responded to.
Some crucial recommended texts are: The Modus Vetus and Modus Novus by Lars Edlund; Nicolas Slonimsky's Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns; Elementary Training for Musicians, by Paul Hindemith. Also Bach chorales, singing and playing, as any Banff Workshop alumnus knows.
There is a misconception that improvisers can pull what they do out of thin air, with no reference to anything and no study necessary. The old saying that “the more you know, the more you know you don’t know” definitely applies here. Modes of study that are more often associated with classical music have deep application in the improvised music world and I discourage students of improvisation from fearing or avoiding them. Find out how things work, find out as much information as you can about all sorts of music. Music that was here yesterday will be here tomorrow. We may not be. So, you might as well find out what it’s all about while you’re here.
Conversely, I would encourage musicians pursuing performance of notated music to explore the practices of improvisers. Improvisation presents additional challenges that are not found in performing entirely notated music. An improvising musician is confronted with the unknown, both in terms of the musical surroundings and in terms of his or her own choices, which are as likely to be informed by emotion and excitement as by objective consideration of musical elements.
Here are a few exercises for improvisers that I have found I return to, and I’ve found that they also apply, in an interesting way, to the practice of notated music composition and performance. These are not the kind of exercises to master and discard – this is part of a daily practice. Getting on the stage in an improvised context demands a heightened sense of perception, and every day is a battle to maintain perception at the highest level.
“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” - George Orwell
The Metronome: No matter what materials you are working on it’s important to have a thorough rhythmic awareness. One of the biggest issues I hear in group improvisation is when musicians, both individually and collectively, are not feeling time accurately and/or collaboratively. To work on this, play your melodies (or rhythms or timbres or tunes) with the metronome, but create some challenges by periodically shifting your relationship to the pulse. That is, without changing the metronome setting, play your material faster or slower in relationship to its steady beat.
Start with the metronome around 92 beats per minute. Begin by hearing the metronome’s pulse as a quarter note. Get comfortable with that. Then play your material twice as slow by hearing the metronome clicks as eighth notes. Play it twice as fast by considering the metronome pulse as a half note. Those are three of the most basic relationships.
To practice bebop or tune playing, the most common use of the metronome is to hear it on beats two and four in a bar of 4/4. Again, get comfortable with that relationship using whatever materials you have at hand. This is not about a right way or wrong way to hear. Rather, this exercise is about learning to play rhythm accurately no matter what contradictory or challenging information is put forth as an objective reference.
Once you are comfortable playing written or improvised material alone (or with others) with the metronome in the above relationships, you can add several further layers. Hear the metronome as a dotted quarter note. In 4/4 time, this will create a three bar phrase (in other words, there will be three bars between metronome clicks that fall on the first beat of the bar). However, continue to play the material you are practicing in its own phrases, if necessary against the three bar phrase of dotted quarter notes – the pulse being represented by the metronome. You can also practice material in ¾ time this way, with the bars being subdivided evenly by the dotted quarter notes.
Now hear the metronome as a dotted half note. This again creates a three bar phrase, with the metronome falling on one and four in the first bar, three in the second bar, and two in the third bar. Some of these relationships are tricky. Take your time to make sure you are able to hear this. Slow it down and write it down if necessary. The whole point of this is hearing and playing accurately. There’s no way to do that any faster or slower than you can hear. So be honest with yourself. Make sure you’re doing it for real. Life moves at unpredictable speeds, both unimaginably fast and slow, but also imperceptibly smooth, eternally calm and steady. Bring that into your practice by learning to accept it and work with it.
“Ninety percent of this game is half mental.” - Yogi Berra
These exercises are just the beginning. Try hearing the metronome on the eighth note after two and four. Or the eighth note before two and four. Or the triplet before or after two and four. Try hearing the metronome as a quintuplet in a 4/4 bar. Then try taking any of these relationships and, rather than practicing your material against the metronome, try going with the new phrasing proposed by the relationships. In other words, play your material with the accents of a three bar phrase, all the while holding the actual four bar phrase in your head so you don’t lose the “correct” placement of the notes. If you can hear it you can feel it and if you’re feeling it nothing can throw you.
Remember that the metronome doesn’t lie. There will be moments when you are convinced the metronome is broken. Don’t fall for it.
A frequently asked question is how to practice meters like 5/4 or 7/8 or 9/8 with a metronome. You can use these relationships to get at that, too. Subdivide the bar in half, for example. In 5/4 that would put the metronome on one and the second eighth note of three. Try it. Or hear the metronome as a whole note (every four beats) so that it represents: one and five in the first bar, four in the second, three in the third, and two in the fourth. Use this for any meter.
These exercises are about developing a solid time feel. Part of my motivation stems from the philosophy that each musician in an ensemble should be equally responsible for the time. Part of it comes from a desire for freedom -- freedom from being locked into playing something the same way every time, freedom to search for unique and varied means of expression.
“It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something.” - Ornette Coleman
Seeing Structures: Another common challenge in improvisation relates to the meeting of structure and imagination. In improvised music one is almost always working with forms, whether created on the spot or preexisting. Part of the challenge is to understand the form and your role in it, and then to bring the power of unfettered imagination into the framework.
Start with a small cell of information and memorize it. It could be a series of textural or timbral instructions. It could be a sequence of dynamic symbols. Or it could be a short melody or a series of chords. Some of the short exercises found in the Modus Novus work well. Make the cell short enough so that you can easily remember it. After performing it several times in a row, begin making up your own counterpoint to the cell, immediately returning to the original after one improvised repetition. Staying faithful to the length and parameters of the cell, begin to create new material based on the source cell. Eventually learn to come and go freely with the material. This is a fun exercise to practice with another musician; each one taking turns playing the original or improvising around it.
Try playing the cell backwards, or rearranging the elements in unpredictable ways. Remember, this is about practice, not performance. You are training your ear to accommodate the unknown, so that when the unexpected happens you are standing there working with it. Learning a piece of music inside and out, backwards and forwards, is the only way to thoroughly digest all the material.
Start to make the cells longer and more complex. Spend some time writing your own cells and learning them. Also, use the music of Thelonious Monk as a template for practicing these structures. Make sure to learn all the parts and develop them on all levels.
Remember that learning structure is a way to not become a prisoner to structure.
"This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before." - Leonard Bernstein
Learning through the keys: “Playing by ear” is a phrase that I have trouble with -- I don’t see any other way of playing. Playing by ear commonly means the ability to pick out a melody and or a phrase and play it without referring to written materials. Also it means to respond and react to musical input by echoing it in a literal or transformed state. It should be obvious that this skill is important in improvisation because it entails, essentially, the removal of barriers between the musical imagination and the musical instrument. But I think all musicians play by ear regardless of context. Using the ear (inner and outer) is the only way to evaluate the sound you are making.
Let’s call the challenge here “learning to play melodies without written notes.” To learn that you would simply need to be able to play a melody freely, starting on any given note. Since there are only twelve possible starting notes in most music that means you have a finite amount of information you need in order to do this. (For those who protest and argue that a lot of music uses microtones, with as many as 48 notes per octave – I encourage you to go ahead and learn melodies using all of those starting notes! I am reserving my next lifetime for that).
Start with something you know and build on it. Take a tune you know (it could be Also Sprach Zarathustra, Nefertiti, or Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, always a good one) and learn to play it in each of the twelve keys. Write it out if you have to. Start to identify the melodic movement in terms of intervals as you work on this. Ultimately you become so familiar with the intervals that you are able to identify them and reproduce them without reference to the starting note or key.
Begin to use this approach with any material you are working on. Learning music in different keys trains your ear to be more objective about the nuts and bolts of the material. That gives you the freedom to improvise and not get lost in a void of your own (or someone else’s) making. It also gives you the freedom to get lost at the time and place of your own choosing.
“The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one's self. And the arbitrariness of the constraint serves only to obtain precision of execution.” - Igor Stravinsky
What should I practice? So often students say that they run out of things to work on. The above has kept me going for a good number of years. And it’s fun and creative. Taking material through pitch, time and structure relationships remains, for me, what most musical performance is about. Of course these are far from the only things to practice. For example, transcription of compositions and solos is another valuable way to work on training the ear.
I just feel that an improvising musician has to be prepared for anything. And the only way to do that is to develop sensory perception and awareness. The ideas I talk about above are geared towards that pursuit. I believe every musician needs these skills. Here’s the thing. Without the sensory experience of sound, these ideas are only ideas. Each time I work with musicians I learn something new about sound, and each time I hear a group grapple with these exercises I hear new possibilities–new challenges and new opportunities. But I find that without adapting living strategies to each moment of practice, they become sterile -- "exercises" in the worst meaning of the term.
I guess that’s one reason I keep going back to Banff. We can deal with the issue of hearing deeply, at length and in real time. Plus, stuff sounds good up there. Every time I hear the tone I find myself considering it differently. In that sense, the people I have probably learned the most from are my students.
Without the power of actual sound in the moment, ear training is almost impossible to describe. This post is really just a few ideas thrown into the wind. To really work on this you need to practice it in the real world, and to do that you need to experience the sound with complete awareness. Then music becomes part of life: taking off from the printed page, resonating the richness of human existence, where bar lines, chords, and scales are superfluous.
“Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” - Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Notes from Banff- Take 1

So, here is the first installment of some stuff I jotted down in the mad chaos that was Banff:

Books to check out:

"Modus Vetus" (tonal) and "Modus Novus" (atonal) by Lars Edlund (ear training books)
(If you think you have a good ear, sing through some of the shit out of modus novus and get your ass kicked. then get inpsired!)

Elementary Training for Musicians - Paul Hindemith

Simple Composition - Charles Warriden

Notation - John Cage

Ear Training:

Make up your own rules

Ways to Practice:
1. Sing large intervals up and down at random (test occasionally with the piano)
2. play triads (in different inversions) and figure out different intervals based on that triad (might need 2 people)
3. try hearing unconventional intervls inside the chord (i.e. b6)
4. play extremely wide intervals (above two octaves in range) and figure them out
5. sing thru all scales (major, all minors, modes, dim WT, etc)
- Now sing these scales in patterns - intervals of 3rds, 4ths, etc i.e. C E D F E G, etc
- sing them in different rhythms - 8th, triplets, off beats,

* make the metronome different rhythms: 1 nd 3, 2nd 4, dotted half, dotted quarter, etc

start practice with the most important things – don’t allow for ‘structured procrastination’

make sure to have a clean, well lit space to work in

Monday, July 7, 2008

Something to stare @

One of my favorite artists (who happens to be my girlfriend...) has finally put up a website of her work. It's worth checking out, trust me.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Last Friday night I had the extreme pleasure of seeing Jon Brion's weekly show at Largo in Los Angeles. It was a wholly unique experience. I had heard his orchestral compositions and I had heard his pop music and I had numerous albums he had produced, but none of it prepared me for the ridiculousness of his live show. He was all over the place creating live acoustic drum loops, playing piano, keyboard, guitar and singing over them; playing the most beautiful solo jazz piano (Mood Indigo was a particular highlight); playing what sounded like old timey player piano tunes; playing shouted out requests and leading the whole audience in songs by the Beatles, Beach Boys, and Soft Cell's "Tainted Love"... and this was all in the first set! I was with middle agers so when the first set ended at 11:30 we split, but I'm going back this Friday and I intend to stay for the whole show. If any of you are interested in hearing what his live show consists of, check out the bootlegs at: I haven't gotten to listen to them yet, but it seems legit. Whoa!

PS- All of this is not to mention that at the beginning of the show, he brought out super surprise guests Flight of the Conchords who did their own 45 min set. It was amazing!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A little bit more....

So, I can't write much because its the clock is edging eits way around the middle of the night - but I wanted to throw out some pics and also say that I am now officially done with Banff and was it phantasticalicious. sometimes you have to come up with new words when old ones don't suffice. ANyway, I want to share the information I got there in case anyone is interested - if so, keep eyes red and alert for a series of posts dealing with only a small smattering of the shit that went down in the rocky mountains. Hope you all are well - spread the word, not the turd!

P.S. Mad props to Kevin Tang for the rockin' the picture scene!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Banff. nuff said

Well, this will be the first of a few blogs pertaining to my time here in Banff, Alberta, Canada. I'm currently on my fourth day here and all I can say is "damn!" This is undoubtedly the best artistic experience of my life, and I still have over two weeks to go! I will be posting a lot of stuff from here, including pictures of quite possibly the most gorgeous landscape you have ever seen, as well as ideas and concepts I have learned along the way. I feel so incredibly lucky to be here, and I wish all of you could be here to share it with me.

On a side note, in case anyone is reading this soon after I have written it (thursday night) remember, Tom Waits tickets go on sale tomorrow morning! If you be in the south, you best be on that shit. Better believe I will. Thanks for posting stuff y'all, keep it up and spread the word. or not. peace out mimmy jimmys!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cranium of Sound

There's a cool book that I'm reading right now that everyone should check out if you haven't already. It's called This Is Your Brain On Music. Very cool stuff. So far the most fascinating tidbit is that the neurons in your auditory cortex fire at the same rate per second as the vibrations of the tones that you hear. In other words if I play you an A 440, your neurons fire at 440 times a second. If I play you a note that vibrates 150 times a second they fire 150 times a second. Pretty wild stuff. Dig it. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Quote of the day

If you are not aware of the Umbrella Music guys in Chicago, it could very well be an incredible source of inspiration as it is for me ( There isn't a lot on the site other than a link to an article on the founders and a lineup of the shows their curating for the month to come. While perusing it, I found a really incredible statement that is so fucking true a lot of the time, I thought I'd mention it:

"It takes a great drummer to be better than no drummer."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

South Knox School of Sound

Just wanted to report an incredible music happening this past weekend. Jeremy got together a solid group of folks together for what turned out to be one of the most memorable musical experiences I know I have ever had. It made me realize just how much I want to be the get the ball rolling in nashville - lets hope something eventually comes from it. Anyway, I might be able to put recordings of the music we played on here, that would be sweet. Keep your eyes peeled for it. And remember, invite some more folks to join this here blog - lets get it growin' and flowin'!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Festival International

Last weekend I was in Lafayette, Louisiana and experienced an incredible free festival that drew in musicians from Africa, Central and South America, Canada, and Europe. It was very francophonically centered and I believe about 80% of the bands came from French speaking countries. My two favs and strong recommendations:
March Forth Marching Band out of Portland - not French speakers, but the baddest marching band I've ever seen.
Mamadou Diabate - kora player from Mali whose music was so beautiful I had to fight back tears. Everyone in the quartet was incredible, two others were from Mali and the upright bass player was Keith Jarrett's son.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


For those of you who are unfamiliar, the POGO that Jamison had referenced is "Put Out or Get Out", an art and music (as if they were different...) zine that Katarina Riesing (my lovely lady) and I publish. If any fellow spiralsonicers are interested in contributing, our next issue is themed X-rated (open to interpretation). The format will be standard 8 1/2 x 11 paper folded in half and xeroxed, but not in that order. There is also a CD included, so any pics, words, or sounds are welcome. I've got this idea about putting some short erotic fiction pieces that would be one or two pages long that will be interspersed as "sex scenes". If anyone is interested in this in particular e-mail Also, we have a bare bones myspace at:

Peace be with you,
Rev. Bro. J

Monday, April 21, 2008

cosmic overtones

Finally my first post to the spiralsonic landscape! Spiralsonic. An appropriate name choice indeed. I have always basked in the warmth of knowing that the art that I have devoted my life to is connected to the cosmos on so many primal and organic levels. The physics of sound and the physics of nature are twisted together like the DNA strand (which so happens to also be a spiral...). And so my life's quest is formed around something tangible yet intangible. Something stable yet unstable. I have always found music in the oddest of places. Most of the music I hear does not involve musicians, written music or even instruments. Most of the music I hear is what I call "the dance of probablities." Rustling leaves here, bird chirps there, a plane going overhead. And somehow all of it locking into this primal time that is often as amusing as any Brahams symphony. Cage heard it. Ives heard it. And Beethoven was pissed he didn't hear it. Although somehow I bet he still did... 

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Yet another night of sonic joy!

Last night I managed to have yet another evening of immense musical awesomeness!  First off I played with Raul Malo, which was a fun, flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants adventure which included some fun soloing, high notes, and latin shit (which I can't get enough of)

Later I checked out the Rabbit Press "Art Carnival."  What a fantastic party!  one of the best I've been to in a while (even though I was flying solo.)  Great music, diverse and fun crowd, and cool art/culture magazine.  I spoke with the editor and chief about POGO, hopefully we can make connections down the road.  two thumbs up for building a community of artists!
And THEN after THAT at 2 Am (it was a long night) I went to 91.1 WRVU Radio station to check out some ORE Theatre Intangible for some experimental electronic music.  Tony Youngblood is the DJ and mastermind behind the project and completely destroyed an hour set of purely improvised electronic bliss.  We talked a while about experimenetal music in Nashville (also some about Tom Waits... because,... well, he's the fucking coolest)  and hopefully there will be sonically communal growth in that dept as well.  All in all I have a few conclusions to draw:

1)  music in nashville is actually fucking great and is only getting better.  There are numerous burgeoning scenes sprouting left and right of various most excellent genres

2)  I feel a sense of the future, for art, music ... even culture.  With the technological and communication levels heightening to such incredible degrees, there are immense possibilities for people to connect and empower their causes in ways never before seen!

3)  I don't feel so alone in my desire to build a community of creative artists and musicians who are like-minded and want their voices to be heard.  

Hoorah for last night!  

Friday, April 18, 2008

Can I please stop blogging.... no

I had to throw another quick post up to proclaim my excitement for the new art/culture magazine "the Rabbit" in Nashville.  This Saturday, they are having a an "art Carnival" with music, art, food, beer, the whole nine yards.  And it appears to be at a warehouse.  Im definitely checking it out - and two thumbs up for Nashville's underground surge!

An incredible night of sound

Last night I experienced a tremendous array of sounds all of which were transcendent.  First I watched David Lynch's "Eraserhead" at the Belcourt Theatre whilst drinking a PBR.   This was the first David Lynch movie I had ever seen, and all I can say is,.... holy shit.  What a heavy flick - and what unbelievable use of sound!!!  In fact, it is what made the movie work in my opinion.  If you haven't seen it, please do so.  You might want to "alter your state" before hand for viewing enhancement.

After that I checked out a band I've been meaning to see for a while, Tommy and the Whale.  I was hoping for a much needed sonic pick-me-up, and they delivered in full effect.  Probably one of the best shows I've seen in Nashville (by a local band no less!) and quite possible one of the best shows ever.  I could go into detail as to why this was, but I'll just say, if you live around Nashville, check this band out - some of the best indie-pop-rock I've heard.  Incredible songwriting, excellent musicianship and they definitely know how to put on a show. 

Thats all for now - and please - anyone who wants to use this blog as a "diary of sorts" - please feel free.  I don't want this blog to be all about me.  me me me.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

on rotation

I just got Kneebody's album "Break me" and I was pretty damned floored.  I have been familiar with this group for a few years but never checked out a lot of their music until just recently.  I even had the chance to talk with the trumpeter, Shane Endsley (who also happens to be a badass drummer) when I was living in NYC.

Anyway, if you want to hear seriously new music that rocks out, check this group.  somehow they manage to be ultra-cerebral yet visceral at the same time.  

Also, to the AUTHORS of this new blog, to add other people, go to settings, then to permissions.  there you can invite people via email.  Lets spread the word and build a community.  or not.  

¡ namaste ! 

to check out the album, go to

here a note, there a note

just to let you know, I'm giving every "author" of this page "administrative privileges," which means you may change anything about the blog you want.  I trust everyone who take advantage of this will do so in the best way possible.  

I'm also happy to report that there was an article in the Nashville Scene about the lameness of live music here in Nashville.  This would seem like an unfortunate thing, but I'm hoping it will wake everyone up a bit and help them realize the importance of live music in their city.  So go out and support music wherever you are, I'm doing so tonight!


Brad Mehldau documentary

This is the link for the first part of a seven part documentary on the king bad-ass known as Brad Mehldau. It's definitely worth checking out and inspiring to the Maxx.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

.... and one more thing

not sure if this is possible, but please feel free to invite anyone you think might be interested in such a blog.  hopefully you'll be able to just connect them yourself.  If not, please let me know and I'll add them (since I'm the big bad administrator type guy!)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Welcome to SpiralSonic!

Many of you may wonder what the hell is going on here.  Especially those of you I invited to become a part of this "blog-o-sphere."  Well, I decided to try and create an online community of sorts.  I understand that some of you I invited to be might not have spoken with me in a long while, but what better way to reconnect than via internet, the brutally crashing wave of the future!  I wish our world didn't revolve around such a deluge, but we really only have two options: surfs up or man overboard.  

The name 'spiralsonic' is derived from my belief that, other than the fact that the spiral is a very powerful form in our universe, I like to believe that practically every thing we do, and every way we grow, moves in a spiral.  This may be spiraling inwards: towards a more focused and powerful center; or spiraling outwards: covering more ground, and understanding more our world.  

Obviously sound and our manipulation and experience with sound as 'music' or 'art' is no different.  So ultimately, this is a forum for like-minded individuals to converge, discuss, inform, complain, inspire, and celebrate our experiences with sound, specifically through venues of creative music.  

I understand that many of you will read this, ponder it a moment, and move on with your lives, which is absolutely fine and/or dandy.  However, if you would like to connect with other artists, musicians and creative people in such a way, please feel free to contribute posts, images, audio, video, or whatever else this new-fangled blog world can accommodate.  I also hope this finds everyone well and on a constantly spiralling path towards a larger, yet more focused path in their quest for sonic nirvana.  

¡ namaste !