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.'