Sunday, May 02, 2010

5.1.2010, ftw

mayday is lei day in hawaii, and 5.1 was the second date of "other texas music," other arts impresario herb levy's anthology of "new music in uncommon genres by north texas composer/performers." i had to close friday night and so missed gerald gabel, the duo of sometime HIO collaborators tammy gomez and ramsey sprague, stashdauber buddy kavin allenson in his "breaking light" guise, and david bithell. spent saturday morning writing (but not the way i thought i would) and didn't get to attend my granddaughter's birthday party as i'd hoped (politics, i think) before mr. horn fell by to pick me up to ride over to the fort worth community arts center, where we'd be performing in the sanders theater.

these days, i just bring my amp and cord bag with an assortment of stomboxes and beaters to HIO gigs, and play whatever is in terry's toybox that particular day. we had a 4pm soundcheck time (for a 10pm set) that hickey couldn't make because those animals just have to eat at 5pm every day, no exceptions. the sanders theater is the same space where tammy had her bike play performed a few years back, and it's a good sounding (if fairly acoustically dead) space -- a big change from the li'l room at the kessler and especially the vortex, where we last performed.

terry and i plugged in and ops checked our respective rigs and the three live mics we'd requested, then adjourned to j&j's oyster bar for some grub and the grotto for some beers, then walked back to the fwcac, where we met hickey, unloading his gear. he drove us to the bull and bush and we walked over to doc's (where jenkins has small faces and jack rose vinyl on order for me), then back to the b&b for pre-gig drinkie-talkie. dan mcgraw was there and terry captured some "field recordings" for use during our set. i ran into tom and jodi theodore (happy anniversary, kids!) while coming back from the can and returned to find that terry had taken off for dairy queen to get steak fingers. i hate waiting to play more than almost anything.

we made it back to the fwcac midway into james talambas and paul thomas' set. i first encountered james when he was playing percussion with the theater fire at the wreck room and jumped offstage to play a very energetic solo. he used to mix sound at the firehouse gallery, and now dj's at the usual (for which he had to unass early this particular evening). he played a variety of prepared guitars, autoharps, and other instruments while paul did a chalk drawing. at times, his musical accompaniment was inaudible. during the best moments, the two of them locked in rhythmically, and the results were interesting both musically and visually.

swirve followed, chris curiel blowing trumpet and triggering samples while his wife tamitha flowed verse. (drummer gerard bendiks was m.i.a.) i saw chris with ghostcar six or seven years ago, while karl poetschke was away on one of his cruise ship adventures. he uses electronics extensively, layering harmonized parts and blowing sparse solos over the top. i would have dug it if i could have heard tamitha's verse better, but she's an energetic and engaged performer.

after an intermission (during which hickey set up his shit, then he and terry adjourned to mickey d's for coffee), curiel's ex-flipside bandmate paul unger played a bass-and-drums set with max oepen that was my fave of the night. while in a sense it was just "jazz cats doing improv," with max employing some extended techniques and paul running his upright through a battery of f/x, their set had a good flow and some incandescent moments. would dig to hear them doing some more of this, and i sense that that's more than a possibility.

i was very unsatisfied with our performance while it was going down. i could hear terry only intermittently, and when hickey had problems with his equipment, i had the impression that i was the only one playing. i moved between plastic and wood flutes, acoustic and electric kalimbas, percussion and CBG, although of course nothing functioned the way it had during sound check. afterward, both herb and his wife carol told me that we were quieter than at sound check, to which i responded, "that was because i couldn't hear terry." i should have told him to turn up when i went over to ask him if he wanted to do anything with the dvd player and monitor he'd brought. oh well.

listening to terry's recording this morning, i realized that there was a pulse in 3/4 that he was playing which reminded me of the theme music to _some_ film about children, the name of which escapes me and which i was locked in with, even though i couldn't hear it. there was also a sound (overlaid kalimba parts in 3/4 plus CBG-through-computer) like a ticking clock that reminded me of the climactic confrontation scene from the movie hook. it created a nice tension in the music. my sweetie said the first part of the piece where i'm blowing plastic flute over terry's computer-generated rumbles sounded "like a train station," which put me in mind of partch's "u.s. highball." so i guess it wasn't a total failure.

afterward we adjourned with the other musos, herb and carol to the b&b, where i opined that HIO needs to start drinking at places where they serve food. hickey suggested the flying saucer and edelweiss. i dunno about those in particular, but it seems like a no-brainer to me. unless t. horn just likes having to go walkabout for food.


Post a Comment

<< Home