Upcoming Live Shows: Early August

Some upcoming Bay Area shows of note. Always check the Transbay Calendar or Bay Area Improvisers’ Network first! Most of this info was cribbed from there.

Tuesday, August 4 — Mary Halvorson is coming to Yoshi’s Oakland with the same trio that performed on Dragon’s Head, the CD that garnered her so much attention last year. I’d noted this here. There’ll be only one set, at 8:00 p.m. So sad that they can’t put up two sets.

Corn moon. Source: space.fmi.fiThursday, August 6 — At the Luggage Store Gallery, Polly Moller is curating a monthly series of 12 shows, each celebrating the monthly full moon and dedicated to a particular type of full moon from folklore. This month, it’s the Corn Moon. First on the bill is the duo of Karl A.D. Evangelista (guitar, vox, misc.) and Margaret Rei Scampavia (piano/keys, accordion, flute, saxophone, vox, misc.), performing as Grex. They’ll be followed by Phillip Greenlief and David Boyce, a tenor sax duet, who will “explore the identity of corn in Native American Mythology and everyday life.”

Thursday, August 6 — Uh-oh, a conflicting, yet also terrific, show: Vinny Golia will be up from L.A. for a performance that happens to be titled “Up from L.A.” He’ll be performing his compositions with a local troupe that includes strings and a jazz grouping, so you might get to hear a mix of his free-jazz work and his more classical/abstract composing. At Flux 53.

Friday, August 7 — The Best of the East Bay party includes music from a few Bay Area standouts, including David Slusser and Damon Smith. You’ll also get to hear Phillip Greenlief again, this time with his trio Citta Di Vitti, which plays swingy jazz inspired by the films of Michelangelo Antonioni. This time they’ll perform alongside projections of the films, apparently. At the Oakland Museum of California.

Saturday, August 8 — I don’t know much about Ideal Bread, but they’re from New York, they play Steve Lacy music, and they’re at the Jazzschool this night. And Phillip Greenlief will be there, again. He’s on a roll (again).

source: sfsound.orgSunday, August 9 — Any sfSound concert is a treat. Modern classical music treated with respect, both from the performers and the audience. (You know: applauding the performers as they come out, holding applause between movements of a piece, that sort of thing.) Sunday night’s show includes Karlheinz Stockhausen’s creeping “Kreuzspiel,” Anthony Braxton’s “Composition No. 75,” two premiere works, one very recent composition, and improvisation(s) by the group. At ODC Dance Commons.

Monday, August 10 — Now comes the honesty: I won’t be able to make it to any of the shows listed here. And this one might be the most painful miss, because I really want to see Go-Go Fightmaster in action. They’ll be the first act at the Ivy Room tonight, for free! (See here.) Second on the bill is Ava Mendoza‘s Thrash Jazz Band; she’s done terrific, noisy stuff on her own and with Mute Socialite. The improvised jazz trio The Spirit Moves Us closes things out, shifting gears to a mostly acoustic grouping that’s probably less in-your-face but not necessarily quiet.

Playlist: July 31, 2009

KZSU playlist highlights for Friday, July 31, 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.

source: yoshis; pic by peter gannushkin, used w/o permission….. The Mary Halvorson set was a treat: I played one track from Dragon’s Head, then one each from her bandmates, Ches Smith (drums), and John Hébert (bass), then capped it off with the soothing end track from Thin Air, her duo album with Jessica Pavone. That very trio is coming to Yoshi’s Oakland on Aug. 4, for one 8:00 set. After hearing all the acclaim for Halvorson over the past several months, it’ll be great to see her live.

source: CDbaby….. I’m also pretty excited that Go-Go Fightmaster is playing on the 10th, at the Ivy Room in Albany. (And bummed that I’ll be out of town that day.) Their song “Buffy Is Dead” opens with a dark, stomping guitar march and needling saxophones. The rest of their self-titled 2003 album goes all over the place, with lots of free jazz and some Monk, sometimes staying inside, sometimes veering wildly outside. The personnel are the same as for Lisa Mezzacappa’s Bait and Switch, which is pretty amusing and gives them all extra reason to stick together.

source: long song records….. Acoustic Guitar Trio is Nels Cline, Jim McAuley, and the late Rod Poole, all plucking and scraping and bowing away at their instruments. It’s marvelous, dynamic work with lots of quietude amid the jangling, and it’s all the more poignant given the circumstances around Poole’s passing. (It’s interesting and nice to see that Poole’s tribute Web site makes no mention of that at all.)

source: public eyesore….. The Emergency String Quintet — really, the (x)tet, depending on how many guests pop in — is an all-strings improv project that Bob Marsh gets together occasionally. The results are sublime, producing abstract work that sounds awfully close to composition sometimes. They’ll be playing at Flux 53 tomorrow night.

….. I was going to play the Steve Martin banjo CD, The Crow, someday, believe it or not. But today, the producer, Jim McEuen (of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), randomly called during my show and offered himself to the station for interviews, which jogged my memory about it. We’re talking about the Steve Martin, doing an album of original banjo songs (and a CD booklet stuffed with liner notes written by him). A massive cast of studio musicians (KZSU fave Matt Flinner among them) makes it the “most expensive banjo album in the history of the universe,” or words to that effect. It’s in the liner notes. It must be true!

You can find the full playlist here.

Playlist: July 3, 2009

KZSU playlist for Friday, July 3, 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. Marathon session to start my long weekend. It’s been a long

John Zorn‘s The Dreamers was the band I saw live at Yoshi’s, playing pretty much this whole album. Nice stuff, surprisingly accessible.

source: rastascan.comThe Splatter Trio‘s Clear the Club is an improv album at heart, but a surprisingly catchy one, with touches of reggae in some tracks, a hint of dark, evil rock in others. The group (Dave Barrett on sax, Myles Boisen on guitar or bass, Gino Robair on drums) did some great albums in the ’90s, now available on eMusic. The Splatter 3+N refers to the fact that the album uses recordings made with varying numbers of friends. They dipped into a couple year’s worth of jams and strung them together to create the album. Very cool.

….. Rigil is an indie songwriter type — really, a 20-year-old Brit named Robert Slade. He favors lots of synths and big, soaring, epic sounds. It’s overdramatic and often soundtrack-like, but he seems like a likeable chap.

source: roswellrudd.com….. Trombone Tribe is a Roswell Rudd grab bag o’ fun. You’ve got tracks with a three-trombone jazz sextet (Henry Grimes on bass), songs with a six-trombone band, and a small suite with the Gangbé Brass Band of Benin.

….. 15 Degrees Below Zero comes across more hardline electronics/noise on this album than on their previous one — or, at least that’s what I remember my ears hearing. No matter; it’s still good stuff, and the icy expansive sound I’d noted before is present on the 24-minute “2.5,” from which I took a patient six-minute excerpt. They’ll be on the air at KZSU on July 29.

Pianist Graham Connah has been performing under the name Admiral Ted Brinkley for some time now, popping up for the occasional show. Beth Lisick wrote one up back in 2004. Connah has been a longtime favorite of mine, playing heavily twisted cocktail jazz that, in more recent years, gets augmented with electric guitars and oddball vocals. He’s also got an album on Evander that, come to think of it, I really need to seek out. The next Adm. Ted installment comes Monday night, July 6, at the monthly Make-Out Room jazz session.

source: devinhoffplatform.comTwo solo bass tracks! I’d planned to throw in a track from the really nice Solo Bass from local musician Devin Hoff. (I still remember being blown away by his instrumental chamber-pop band, The Redressers.) Meanwhile, the vinyl album I’d randomly pulled as my sound bed for mic breaks was a Gary Peacock album that includes a few tracks of solo bass. I do like to give a “complete” spin to the album that provided the sound bed, so what the heck. Hoff’s track was arco (bowed), a lyrically wandering improvisation. Peacock’s was pizzacato, a galloping composition.

I stayed on the air for a couple of hours after this, spinning more of a rock show. That playlist is located here; for the “proper” show’s playlist, look below the fold.

Continue reading “Playlist: July 3, 2009”