4.19.2014

Sprung

I don't believe in this spring. I want to offer it words of encouragement so the season can get its act together and we can all go on sneezing in a pollen vortex but I suspect it's not quite that simple.

Nevertheless, the cold, while toying with my emotions, has been good for creativity, and I've written a bunch of songs recently. See them at an An Historic set soon, like on April 23rd at the Way Station in Brooklyn, or April 28th at Cafe Nine in New Haven. The former show is a Tripeg Lobo production, where songwriters are invited to cover a song from the first record they ever bought, and then write songs connected to the record or the experience in some way. For me, the record is Seal's second self-titled album from 1994, and I realized at some point that there are several tunes I've written which have had some connection to this album lyrically and musically, so referencing the thing was not difficult. The second is in support of Woody Pines, a rootsy trio playing original songs with influences from early country and folk. An Historic will be a full band for this date.

Also, I've been continuing work on improvisation and composition with guitarist Chris Cretella, with whom I work in Dr. Caterwaul's. Playing with him is always fun and the recent effort has been towards a set that hints at both of our long-standing interests in metal (especially, for him, Thrash, and for me, black metal). We'll be playing as a duo on April 22nd in support of Keir Neuringer, and cannibalizing those efforts in trio format with drummer Dave Parmalee on May 13th in support of the Ava Mendoza Trio. See the sidebar for more info.

Keir has put out an amazing solo record recently, and the April 22nd show is the first night of his tour in support. The album, Ceremonies Out of the Air, is amazing, and you can hear a preview track HERE.

Finally I have to announce that on May 5th, the An Historic "Sings Peter Hammill" will be available for free download. Made as a labo(u)r of love between January 27th-30th and April 16th-19th of 2014, the EP contains renditions of 6 songs spanning Hammill's solo catalog. Stay tuned for further info regarding that release as it approaches.
 
It is warmer now than it was when I began writing this post.

2.10.2014

Xenia Rubinos

is amazing. I've been in love with her songwriting since a friend introduced me to her a year and a half ago. Powerful vox, overdriven organ/electric piano sounds, sometimes looped, and drums. That's it.

And I'm extremely excited that An Historic (as a band) will be opening for her in New Haven on March 15th at Cafe Nine! You can purchase advance tickets AT THE MANIC PRODUCTIONS WEBSITE, and take a listen to a few tracks from her album "Magic Trix" on her Bandcamp page, below:




See what I mean?

For what it's worth, I covered one of her songs a while ago, which you can listen to here. It's a rough, low-fi recording but I was under the spell of this particular tune, Hair Receding, and jumped to document it before I could forget it. This concert will be amazing, and there are a ton of new An Historic tunes/arrangements that we've been polishing up throughout the last few months for just such an occasion. Don't miss it!

___

In other news - Red Giant was amazing! Rhymes with Opera is a joy to work with, and their production team did a marvelous job staging the work, making it breath as much as the singers and orchestra did. Consider supporting them, or signing up for their mailing list, or both. I said in my program notes for the piece that if opera has any future as a medium, it will be due to small companies like RWO, and I mean every word of that, both out of admiration for their work as well out of concern for the future of this historically very expensive and cost-prohibitive medium.

Also, tomorrow night (February 11th) is an An Historic solo set as part of the DrinkDeeply Funhouse at Cafe Nine. Events begin at 8:00 - there will be games, prizes, and music from myself, and a new project featuring members of Milksop:Unsung and Elison Jackson. You want to be there. I'll be back at Cafe Nine with TWO BRAND NEW SONGS on March 22nd - the rescheduled date for "All I've Got is a Photograph," which was snowed out last December. This will be your only opportunity to hear these songs with the photos that inspired them projected on me - after which, you'll just have to ask me nicely to see them, I guess?

Finally, this Saturday (February 15th) is Slavs, Klez and Friends, an annual tradition of great renown. It's a concert primarily focused on the rep of the world famous Yale Slavic Women's Chorus (only slightly less mysterious than the Bulgarian state choir) with assistance from various tenors and basses, and the Yale Klezmer Band, of which I am a part. It's a great way to forget what the hell winter is all about for a couple of hours.

1.09.2014

Happy New Year!

This blog update is much belated,  but the New Year seemed a fine time to get around to it.

2014 begins with a bang for me - In just two days, Rhymes with Opera's staged production of my opera Red Giant premieres in Baltimore. It's running in Baltimore at the Windup Spaceon January 11th at 9PM and January 12th at 2PM. Links provided are to RWO's online ticket outlet, and tickets are selling fast. (Plus, if you buy them ahead you get a $5 discount.) The run continues the following weekend, in Brooklyn at The Great Room at South Oxford Space, on January 18th at 8PM, and closes with a 2PM matinee on January 19th at the Barrow Mansion in Jersey City. Also on the bill is Erik Spangler's Damascus Mix. Erik is a talented turntablist and multi-instrumentalist,

There are a few supplemental links to pass along: Librettist Brian Slattery interviewed me for science fiction publisher Tor.com's blog. It gets nerdy really quickly, which should surprise no one. Finally, I did a podcast interview with Rhymes with Opera's George Lam, which you can stream below:





So this production and getting everything ready for it is what happened to me at the end of last year, and has been the focus of a lot of my attention over the last few months. There are a few other things on the calendar for this early part of the year, but look for a separate post detailing some of those.

Hope to see you for one of these performances! RWO and their production team have put a ton of work into this production and I'm extremely excited to see their vision of Red Giant.

10.16.2013

Upcoming Shows

Hello Everyone,

A hectic month is behind me and I'm glad to have survived it intact.

For some reason Blogger is not letting me update the widget showing my upcoming shows, so here they are:

October 24th
- An Historic, with Borts Minorts, Valerie Kuehne and Yps Mae duo at Ange Noir, Brooklyn, NY, 8PM.
October 25th - The Twisted Nerves and Valerie Kuehne, Never Ending Books, New Haven, CT. 7:30 PM.
October 27th - Dr. Caterwauls on WPKN Sunday Brunch. (89.5 FM in Southern CT, or WPKN.org) 1PM.
 November 3rd - Dr. Caterwauls with the Cygnet Sisters - An Afternoon of Kurt Weill music. Neighborhood Music School, New Haven, CT. 12:15 PM. FREE!

I'm of course excited about them all - the 24th of this month being the first An Historic solo set in New York in almost a year and a half, and the first NY appearance of the project since July. And always excited to revisit Kurt Weill's music, as I will on the 3rd of November.

But most exciting to me is the date coming up one week from Friday! The Twisted Nerves is a group I'm super excited to be a part of, featuring Chris Cretella on guitar, Nathan Friedman on clarinet, and Michael Paolucci on percussion. Chris and I are both deeply inspired by film composer Bernard Herrmann, and this project was the chance for us both to explore that through a book of compositions. The show is in support of cellist/composer/songwriter/performance artist Valerie Kuehne, and I'm genuinely stoked for it. Hope to see you at one or more of these events!

9.05.2013

Songs of Forgetfulness and Huh?

Foolishly, I forgot to include a link to the release by Dr. Caterwaul's Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps, "Songs of Mirth and Sorrow." So here that is:


Album art for both this and Small Mercies done by Alex Krokus, illustrator extraordinaire and a heck of a songwriter/arranger in the band Wood Spider.

9.04.2013

New School Clothes

No I haven't bought new school clothes yet but I need to before my students notice. But I got


SMALL MERCIES IS OUT! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO




It also didn't help that I planned the release date (August 24th) for a day when I would be on the closest thing to a tour Broadcloth got in this year, making the updating a particular struggle. The following day was the release show, a co-release with Dr. Caterwaul's "Songs of Mirth and Sorrow," since we are in a lot of ways the same band, at the very least on the recordings. Several guest horn players from various New Haven scenes showed up, and we had a big blowout on the final two tunes doing our best to evoke a second line. It was a blast to be sure.

Another (VERY) recent release is a pair of duo albums with tubist Benjamin J Mansavage Klein, compiled from a live session one day and a home recording session the next. The pieces are unedited free improvs, as per the rules of the label, guitarist Christopher Riggs' Holy Cheever Church. Oko Albastru I, a c-30 release, features two sides consisting of one split 20-minute piece and one 10-minute piece. Oko Albastru II, a cd-r, consists of 8 improvisations ranging from 10 minutes to 30 seconds. I have few physical copies of each, and you can also order them from the HCC website.

On the calendar are a few An Historic shows, one on September 20th at Never Ending Books with Radiator King, Fax Holiday and Jacket Thor. The next is over a month later on October 24th in Brooklyn, at a bar called Ange Noir on a series curated by cellist, vocalist, performance artist extraordinary. I'm working on a show the following day, October 25th with Valerie in New Haven, too. Also have a date with Kindred Queer in Brooklyn on October 5th, so stay tuned for more info about all of these things as they approach.

7.28.2013

Finalized Broadcloth August Schedule!

All those TBA times will be filled in, along with any further updates, at the Broadcloth website, or along the sidebar on this page, or in the performances tab on this page as well.

August 12th – on Airborne Event with Dan Bodah, WFMU, 9PM-Midnight

August 14th – at Douglass Street Music Collective, Brooklyn, NY. Time TBA


August 21st – at Firehouse 12, New Haven, CT. 8:30 PM

August 22nd – w/ Forbes Graham at Outpost 186, Cambridge, MA, time TBA

August 23rd – Frantasia Festival of Out Music and Arts, more info TBA