Wednesday, July 01, 2009

May - June summary

Happily, I continued to exist throughout May and June. I did some stuff, too. Such as:


  • 5/16 DCIC at Hyattsville Arts Festival:
    We played a long & informal set in a little atrium space behind the gallery in "downtown" Hyattsville (my little home town). We invited some guests to sit in: Ted Zook and guitarist Ed Ricart joined us for the afternoon. I felt a good rapport with Ed right away. I hope we get to do some more playing together. He's gigging a lot around town, including a trio with Scott Verrastro on drums and Anthony Pirog (my guitar teacher). I'd pick Anthony any day over me, so I can understand that, but with Anthony moving to NYC maybe I'll get a chance to do some work with Ed. We'll see...
  • 6/13 Low End String Quartet at Comet w/ Tone:
    This was a fun night, but the show ran really late. Jodi was out of town so we were joined by Gordon Withers on cello. He's terrific (and look for his new album on the way soon; he was recording that week with J. Robbins up in Baltimore). We also found ourselves a new bass player: the inimitable Vattel Cherry. I made sure to make Vattel take a nice long solo during our set. He burned the place down. Tone has never sounded better. Those guys were awesome.
  • 6/26 Reversal at Artomatic:
    A fun Friday night free show. We debuted two new songs and played everything pretty much as intended. That's the best I can shoot for... the music is hard.
  • 6/30 Combustion at Source Festival:
    This one came up really last-minute. "Combustion" is a 20 minute inter-disciplinary collaboration between a musician, a playwright / actress (Allyson Currin), and a visual artist (Kate McGraw). They've been working together on it in a structured workshop setting for 8 months. The musician had a medical problem and had to miss the performances. So the day before opening night I jumped in and we had one rehearsal. First show was last night. We do it two more times: Thursday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm, at Source Theater. [tickets]

Projects / work:
  • LESQ "Blunt Objects" media push
    I sent out a big batch of cd's to various journalists and media outlets. Starting the machinery to try and get some reviews written. We'll see how that goes. Also thinking about doing a CD release event in DC this fall (October-ish). Any ideas where we should try to play?
  • Grant awarded: Prince George's Arts Council (PGAC): for LESQ to work with an arts-education consultant to develop an in-school concert program for elementary schools. We also got one from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities so we've got enough dough to get the ball rolling, but still only about half of the project budget.
  • I wrote a whole mess of grant proposals:
    • Cafritz Foundation: for the LESQ educational program (see above)
    • Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation "jazz.NEXT:" to hire Ben to help 10 jazz musicians utilize web 2.0 technologies effectively
    • PGAC: individual artist proposal: to commission me to write more music for LESQ
    • PGAC: organizational proposal: presenting an LESQ concert at Joe's in Mt. Rainier, and a daytime kids show for their after-school program.
  • ACF: some bad news: the local chapter will have no operating budget after September 30, so that part-time job (that has been shrinking gradually over the last few years) is going to vanish.Probably good for me, if I can find some other freelance work I should be able to make more money in less time.

I left the house to hear some shows that I wasn't playing in, and they were good:
  • 5/30 Isis at Black Cat w/ Pelican and Tombs
  • 6/16 John Vanderslice at Black Cat
  • 6/20 Soft Power at Comet

  • Cameron and I are off from our regular yoga schedule. There was a time when we made it to the Bikram studio three times per week. Not so much these days. And I have the belly to prove it.
  • I did not attend my 20 year high school reunion. I'm old. It cost $100 per person, so that seemed crazy to spend $200 (I gotta bring Cameron to show off, right?) to hang out at some country club in Bethesda with people that I'm not all that interested in... To quote one of my actual high school friends, it seemed like it was going to be "a waspy nightmare" so I opted out. I suppose "waspy nightmare" is totally appropriate for my high school. Hmm, college too, actually. But I went to my 10 year college reunion (some number of years ago) and that was kinda fun.

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