Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Alkem Benefit show

On Saturday, December 17, the DC Improvisers Collective (DCIC) played in a marathon show at Warehouse Next Door to benefit Alkem (the lovely and amazing nonprofit that provides free web-hosting for DCIC, Improv Arts, the DC Sonic Circuits Festival, and many other local artists).

There were seven bands on the bill and things got started late, so the show went (as expected) until very late. We didn't go on until after 1am, and I think our fatigue showed - and it was showing in the audience (what was left of them) as well.

Turnout for the show was very good. We got a pick in the CityPaper's "City Lights" section of weekly critic's picks, and a small write-up in the Post's nightlife column. Dan even got his picture in the CityPaper. Unfortunately, by the time we went on the crowd had thinned considerably. Sarah Azzara mentioned during her set (she was the only one who had to go on later than us) that by that point in the night it was more like the Alkem office party...

Sarah also opened the show with her new trio, Shame Girl. They were followed by Ben Azzara's new band, Pup Tent. The evening was really the Ben & Sarah Azzara variety show, which is a good thing... since they both rock. Other non-Azzara performers included The Antiques and Kohoutek. I hadn't heard John Rickman play drums before, so that was nice. I've only heard him in more "experimental" settings such as his duo EBSK.

As for our set, it was a little disappointing. We were all kinda wiped out before we got on stage, and then we rushed to set up and start playing since it was already so late. After the show, Mike said he felt like free improv really is about realizing the energy in the space - at the time, and we didn't really do that... we did more of a "hurry up and blow" kind of set rather than feeding on the overall mellowing that had occurred by that late hour. I don't feel like we really connected with one another (we all had a hard time hearing Dan's bass), so overall it wasn't so satisfying.

That being said, I'd still rather spend a Saturday night playing with these guys and not realizing our full potential, than almost anything else... and hopefully we raised enough money at the show to cover our web hosting for the next year.

In other news, I'm working on music for a new dance piece with Jane Franklin Dance. The piece is still in the fuzzy stages of development, but since the show is coming up next month I need to get it ironed out soon. Assuming it comes together ok, I'll podcast a draft of it in the next week or so.

Friday, December 09, 2005

DCIC at Black Cat

Here's the final track from our performance last month at the Black Cat. Dan (bass player) couldn't make it, so DCIC was a trio: Mike Sebastian (sax), Ben Azzara (drums) and me. Mike's new horn sounds particularly nice on this track -- and his playing is lyrical and bittersweet. I think this piece has a kind of wintery feel, so a nice choice for a snowy weekend... The rest of the show is posted on our site for free download: http://dcic.alkem.org

Well, not the whole show. I forgot to press record before we started playing, so the recording is missing the first fifteen minutes or so.

We'll be playing next saturday (12/17) at Warehouse Next Door along with The Antiques, Sarah Azzara, Lida Husik (who is coming to sit in at DCIC rehearsal tomorrow... I'm eager to see how that works), Kohoutek, Pup Tent, and Shame Girl. The show is a benefit for Alkem, which provides free web hosting for artists and small arts organizations.