What the hell I've been up to...

I'll try to keep this brief because as usual there is a lot going on:

Coming up on Sunday, February 28th, is Broadcloth's performance at The Stone in NYC. Previous gigs and rehearsals only got better and tighter, whether performing compositions or doing free improv, and it should be pretty clear with this set how much work Anne, Nathan and I have put into making this group as organic as possible. We've also established a Myspace page for the group, found here, which hopefully will be followed by something more closely resembling a webpage.

The following two days, An Historic will perform in New Haven. Monday is a brief set at the Beatnik 2000 series in New Haven at Cafe 9, which will be a shorter set. I sat in with Jef Wilson's band Schwa on that series less than a month ago, and it lived up to its name, with music, slam poetry/spoken word accompanied by hand percussion - perhaps living up to an aged artistic ideal but certainly not the sort
of thing you see often in New Haven - plus it seems to be fairly musically inclusive, evidenced by my accordioneering being booked for the gig. Cafe 9 is generally considered a dive with good music and decent beer, so it's a win-win venue all around. This usually gets going around 10 PM.

The next day I'll perform at the first show I ever booked. Mogli and Fairy Boy and the Official Suckers will be rolling through on tour from Nova Scotia, and they both represent an energetic, melodic strain of acoustic punk that is quite worthwhile. (Plus Kyle Fairy Boy describes himself as queer-panic folk, which is a better subgenre than I've heard in awhile.) Feral Flowers (aka Jeff P) and The Book Slave will also perform, and that pretty much means shit is gonna burn the house down. A truly diverse cast of musicians, all somehow contained under the banner of acoustic punk. This will be at the Elm City Infoshop (Neverending Books) at 810 State St, and the space will be open at 6:30, with the show probably starting an hour later. Vegan potluck, money for touring bands, etc.

There’s also a good chance that on Saturday, March 6th, I’ll be appearing as a performing guest on Jef Wilson’s radio show, the Jef Sessions, on WYBC 1340AM / 94.3FM. It airs between 12 and 2 PM, and I’ll be a guest during one of those hours. Again, details forthcoming.

All these An Historic appearances will be building up toward the recording of a new EP, which I mentioned a while ago but had put on the back burner in favor of other projects. I wrote four of the songs for this project within a week’s time, with two others falling out more or less spontaneously in subsequent short periods, and have been revising them slowly as I’ve learned them. The EP will contain these new original songs and one or two folk/public domain tunes I enjoy. I envisioned these songs to be as stripped down as possible, in contrast to the layered tunes I’ve been slowly self-recording that comprise the “Ephemeral Stampede Demos” project, which is meant to serve as a stopgap until a later, higher-quality recording can be produced. The tunes for this EP (yet untitled) are mostly accordion and voice, with some having drums and some clarinet overdubbed into the mix. I’ve performed two of them so far at shows, and will be trying the rest out at upcoming gigs.

The release of G. Zarapanecko’s “Glitterdammerung” is quite near, and to top it all off (since, let’s face it, who’s gonna buy it anyway?) the digital release will be free for the first 12 days. Hot damn.

Finally, after much delay, procrastination and setback, the song cycle “Passing a Penny” based on the poetry of Rob Talbot, is complete. The work is due to be premiered at the Uncertainty Series in May with Anne Rhodes singing, along with some other solo accordion compositions I’ve been slowly working at for awhile, which really came together once I got my new accordion last year. The music is best described as alternately manic and melancholic, a duality that describes the poetry (and probably myself better than I’d care to admit) quite well. Save the date – May 8th is going to be a barn burner, and it’s the first of my through-composed compositions to see a performance in over a year.

That's really about it. I ranted about the concept behind "Orchestrion," Pat Metheny's newest album recently on my Myspace blog, and I forgot to cross post it here. You're not missing much. I did so without having listened to more than one or two video clips of it, but really, finding out about the album was a catalyst for some ideas I'd been mulling over for a while anyway...check it out at http://myspace.com/adammatlock if you are for some strange reason a completist about my written word.


...and boy is my left arm tired...

blog 2/8/10

A lot to talk about: I spent the last week in New Orleans, which I'd never been to before. The music down there is great - I met up with Missa, my once and future busking partner, and brought my accordion down so we could go chasing our glory days on main streets of Western Massachusetts again; in the process, I ended up joining one of her bands for a week, featuring fabulous musicians and songwriters all - Saymus on a baby banjo that was tuned like a ukelele, Sal on guitar and harmonica, and Eli on acoustic bass guitar, with Missa playing trumpet and flute and a guy named Jason who was a whiz on clarinet and alto sax, and we were joined for one gig by Dizzy on the washboard. The music ranged from klezmer to more traditional New Orleans jazz, some old-time and swing, as well as some more ambiguous tunes written by members of the group. All in all, between busking and playing with these folks for a week, I learned about two dozen songs, most of which I still remember. I really appreciated this idea of playing accordion with a rhythm section, as there is a certain percussive quality to pretty much any strummed or picked instrument that is difficult to replicate on an accordion, especially while singing. And I have serious clarinet envy in a city like that, especially how the best players just make it look so damned easy...

I timed my return so I'd be able to see Kayo Dot play their first album Choirs of the Eye and their latest, Coyote, in full at the Stone. My full impressions go up later this week, along with an interview with composer/guitarist Toby Driver, at the Avant Garde Metal webzine, but suffice to say it was extraordinary, presenting two sides of what is very clearly the same band exploring different sonic terrain. It makes me extremely excited for the upcoming release of "Coyote" - and interesting to note that I saw live performances of both this album and their last release, "Blue Lambency Downward," prior to the album's release, which is an interesting perspective to get as a fellow composer-performer, trying to figure out how to realize complex music in live performance. Plus I'm a huge fanboy, so it's really a win win.

February 26th is the digital release of G. Zarapanecko's latest ep, Glitterdämmerung. Finally got the mix to a desirable level and have nearly finished the artwork. There might be a bonus track lying around for the taking too. Enough said for now.

Almost finally, and I forgot to add this to my page, but I'll be playing an acoustic show at the Elm City Infoshop on February 15th, with Brook Pridemore, Liv Carrow and possibly others.

Finally, Broadcloth. Just prior to leaving for New Orleans, Broadcloth had an exceedingly joyous and contemplative set at Audubon Strings on January 30th, which included Gabriel Bolaños Chamorro's "Big Crunch Singularity" and compositions by each of the group. I talked this gig up endlessly, and I would dare say it lived up to the hype, while being extremely different from our debut gig. I want to wait to make any judgements until I have the audio, which Lou Guarino Jr. graciously recorded. Kinan Faham took tons of pictures and took video of the whole performance. You can see a clip here, or search Broadcloth on Youtube for the rest:

Last night we played a set at C.O.M.A., the Citizen's Ontological Music Agenda, and it was a very different beast than last week's set. We played a set entirely of improv, in contrast to the highly composed playing of last week's set, and the result was quite energetic - it didn't hurt that the first set, the duo of Dave Ross on guitar and Shayna Dulberger on bass, was similarly full of energy, and something one might call extreme pointillism, which put us in a good mood. I like all kinds of crowds but this was the first that was having serious uncontrollable physical reactions to the music, which was also good inspiration to an improvised performance. The structure of the night is that two acts each have a set, followed by an open session during which series curator Blaise Siwula pairs off groups of participants from the audience and from the performers, so I got the chance to do some free improv with players I haven't met before, including Dave Ross, Blaise on Alto Sax, and folks whose names I didn't all catch. Anyway, the series is a great and supportive environment for new music, and while we were competing with the Super Bowl, it was more gratifying to know that the people in the audience either really wanted to see and support new music (or just really hated football). At any rate, expect a digital release from this group, and probably, gasp, a myspace page.