Category: Venues

New Photos Up

By , April 22, 2013 11:35 am

I added a new gallery of photos taken from Hardcoretet’s performance at Central Washington University.  The show was after an evening clinic/master class with some of the music students there, our second one at CWU, and the reception was very warm and enthusiastic.

I enjoy playing music at bars and smaller clubs; I think the social/party atmosphere can really help people get over their discomfort at trying to get into types of music they don’t hear very often.  If the setting is too formal, I feel as though listeners sometimes question their own reactions to the music, because they think they need to know more to enjoy it.

That being said, I don’t get a chance to play at concert or recital halls very often, and to be able to do it while at Central was an awesome opportunity.  Something about the darkened hall and silence as everyone there focuses on the sounds to come creates an atmosphere that can heighten the experience.  The audience was attentive but also threw out some great energy, which really helped us rock out a bit at times, and in the end we put on a great show, which is always at least part of the goal.  Hope to do it again soon!

 

 

Spots I should have been going to a long time ago…

By , January 30, 2010 7:38 pm

Two venues doing positive things for the Seattle scene:

One of the great new additions to my list of places to be, the Seamonster Lounge is a great gathering spot for local heavies and for music that sometimes falls in those gaps between jazz, funk, and rock.  Featuring weekly appearances by the McTuff trio, Nathan Spicer, Woogie D, and others, the club has really cultivated a great jam band, groove-based vibe that doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to musicianship.  In short, a rocking venue.

Another inspiring spot that I hope to frequent more often is Cafe Racer in the Ravenna/U-District area.  You can go to Racer one night and check out a rock band, go the next night and see a blues duo, go the next night and watch free jazz.  I particularly was drawn to the new Sunday Racer Sessions, an open jam session curated by a different musician each week that usually revolves around open ended free improvisation.  I was there this last Sunday to see a solo performance by Neil Welch and was blown away.  Check his website here and check out the Racer Sessions site at http://racersessions.com

Roy Hargrove Quintet at Jazz Alley

By , December 18, 2009 5:08 pm

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A couple of weeks ago I went to see Roy Hargrove at Jazz Alley.  I knew beforehand that this was going to be straightahead, post-bop type stuff, not his neo-soul band RH Factor, which I would love to see live someday, but I realized that it had been quite a while since I had seen a touring, non-local band tear into some really swinging stuff.  For that matter, I couldn’t remember the last time I had been to Jazz Alley.  Granted, the covers are always over $20, and I can never afford to get dinner, but when it comes down to it, there just aren’t very many venues for the jazz bands with the heavies that we read about in magazines or on websites, those guys that are labeled as the leaders of what’s going on in jazz in the world.  If you want to see them, you need to pay the money, and if you’re in Seattle, you pretty much have to go to Jazz Alley.

I would say Roy is one of those guys, and I had never seen him live before.  He definitely did not disappoint, moving from originals to tunes written by Horace Silver, John Hicks, and Johnny Griffin, burning tempos to quiet and slow swing tunes.  His sound was expressive throughout the set, and the rest of the group was just as impressive.  Justin Robinson had an awesome raw alto sound, and some of his ideas reminded me of Eric Dolphy, really pushing his tone, time, harmony, and range of the horn.  It almost felt like the thing was going to come apart.  Jonathan Baptiste’s piano playing was equally melodic and thematic, sometimes pounding out rhythms with both hands, sometimes letting his right hand take off, and, when locking in with Montez Coleman on drums, his comping was off the hook.  It was great to hear him on the Hicks tune “Naima’s Love Song”, a tune I’m really into right now, and Ameen Saleem got a chance to shine there on bass as well.

Another cool aspect of the night was that although most of the night was straightahead swing, you could tell from the way these guys were playing it that they were into other styles of music.  Maybe that perception is colored by my knowledge that Roy is all over the map with genres, playing with John Mayer, D’Angelo, etc., and, as you can see from the photo, his fashion sense is a fusion of different stuff too, but there’s something in the playing also.  Hard to explain, I guess, but I really felt like they were playing the material differently than a die-hard straightahead jazz fanatic would, and the material was not suffering in any way because of this, which I find equal parts impressive and encouraging for anyone who worries about the “jack of all trades, master of none” problem.

Cafe Amore

By , November 24, 2009 10:15 am

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The jam at Cafe Amore has been going on for a bit now, but until last night I had only been able to stop by quickly.  The band was D’vonne Lewis on drums, Mark Bullis on bass, a piano player who goes by Gus, John Terpin on trombone, and the always entertaining Ronnie Pierce on alto saxophone.

Ronnie is a pretty amazing guy.  He’s 81 years old, still plays and hangs out as much as I do, likes dirty jokes, and hams it up on the microphone like nobody else.  He’s also become somewhat of a mentor for John, who played with Ronnie at the Whiskey Bar when they had jazz on Wednesdays, and who will often drive Ronnie to hang since he can’t drive anymore.  Keep your eyes on the blog for a recorded interview with Ronnie by John, hopefully he’ll get some crazy stories on tape!

Cafe Amore is a great little italian spot, albeit a little expensive, with a nice bar, fair amount of tables, and a stage at the front of the room under a screen where they play old black and white movies.  The jam is early, from 7:30-10:30, which works well because Ev Stern, bass player and teacher, runs a jazz workshop that finishes around 7, and Amore is all ages, so a lot of the students from the workshop and kids in general get a chance to jam with local musicians.  It was a blast to see this 15-year old kid (who sounded ridiculous, by the way) just grinning ear to ear as he’s playing with D’vonne Lewis, one of the first-call drummers in town.

The other great thing about this session is that John keeps things moving.  There’s never really any lines of soloists because he keeps the groups small from tune to tune, and he’s really good at maneuvering people to getting the song called without a whole lot of discussion, which makes a huge difference at a session.

It’s also really fun to play standards with a trombone on the front line, just a different sound than the typical sax madness you get sometimes.  Thanks John!

Hardcoretet Tourblog, day 5 and Conclusion

By , October 24, 2009 5:02 pm

So after Skinny’s Lounge in NoHo we headed home to Jon’s house.  Jon had already left for the East coast, because Slumglum was playing over there to participate in a program where they may become music ambassadors to another part of the world!  Very cool.  Anyway, we had already said our goodbyes, but Erin left us one more note on the fridge:  “Help yourself to treats.”  She had made us Rice Krispy Treats!  WITH CINNAMON!  With full stomachs we went to bed and headed out the next day for San Martin, home to the Persing family, relatives of resident bad mofo and superfan Dave Persing.  We entered to find Ellie and Margaret working on Trader Joe’s pizza dough to make FOUR pizzas for us.  Oh yeah, and they had already made a salad and two cookie sheets of cookies!

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They needed a bit of help with the pizza dough, but luckily we had a pizza parlor veteran in the band, Tim Carey!  Look for video clips of the impromptu show “Cooking with Carey” on the Hardcoretet website.  After dinner, it was time for a movie and then bedtime.  The band got the trundle beds (I got the Transformers sheets):

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Thank you so much to the Persing family and especially Ellie and Margaret for being such incredible hosts!

 

It was time for our final stop, Eugene.  Through a slight miscalculation, we found ourselves in a time crunch:  If everything went perfectly and we maintained our speed, we’d get there right before we were supposed to start!  And if that wasn’t enough, it started pouring down rain!

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And if THAT wasn’t enough, our driver’s side windshield wiper broke!  It was chaos!  After all this though, Tarik was able to navigate by leaning over to the passenger side and driving that way for about 3 hours before the rain stopped and things had calmed down a bit.  Ask him for a dramatic retelling on Wednesday at the CD release.  Finally we made it the Jazz Station in Eugene.  It started slow, but by the end of the night we had made some more fans and friends and felt great about the performance!

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From there, we packed up, fixed the wiper, and drove through the night to get home sweet home.

I hope these entries convey the sheer enjoyment of the last week.  More than anything, I feel thankful for all of the kindness we encountered as a band, both from strangers and friends.  I began this tour with a completely musical goal:  I wanted to do what made me happy (playing our music) in front of new people in the hopes that it would make them happy, and I think this was accomplished.  What I didn’t expect was the realization that we, as a band, are the luckiest people in the world to have such genuinely good human beings in our lives, and I hope I never forget it.  Sappy and corny, I know, but whatever…

See you Wednesday at Tulas for the Homecoming/CD Release Party!

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Hardcoretet Tourblog, Day 4

By , October 22, 2009 9:09 pm

With one more full day in L.A., and a set time of 11:30 pm, the band had some time to bum around the city a bit.  First things first:  TACO TRUCK!

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Jon showed us to his personal favorite, which was, of course, amazing, and even more so because of where we went to eat them:

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This was a ridge about 5 minutes away from Jon’s house, and the view was breathtaking.  From there, we were led by tour guide and old friend Sarah Nelson!

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We headed to Santa Monica beach, experiencing L.A. traffic both ways, but it was worth it:

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Thanks for everything, Sarah!  That night we hit Skinny’s Lounge in NoHo (North Hollywood, duh):

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The venue was kind of classy, with hip booths and seats and a stylish kind of vibe.  Which was why we were somewhat surprised by the opening duo, Naked and Shameless:

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Both guys were very cool and supportive, though, not to mention hilarious.  After them was a singer-songwriter, Asia Whiteacre, who sounded great, with well-written pop songs and a clear voice that still had a lot of character.  This, however, made us a bit of a wierd fit.  We decided to just do our thing and let the chips fall where they may, which was a lot easier to do with the support of friends and family that were in town!

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Thank you so much to my brother and sister, Charlie Patnoe, and my old friend Matt Hovland!

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We said our goodbyes to L.A. this morning, and I was somewhat sad to leave, but I know we’ll be back soon!

Hardcoretet Tourblog, days 2 and 3

By , October 21, 2009 2:02 pm

Bocci’s Cellar Monday night began as possible tragedy but ended in triumph. We arrived to the gig to find another band set up inside…the gig had been double booked!

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Fearless leader Abouzied was on the case:

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Eventually it was determined that the other band would play a set, and we would follow, so we settled in at the bar:

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During the first set though, Tim thought up the idea of just opening up our set so that in addition to some of our music, the Santa Cruz guys could sit in and we could all play together. The result was fun had by all. Thanks to Barry, Ben, Jake, Stuart, and Melanie for making our night!

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Day 3 found us grabbing a little Continental breakfast courtesy of the Comfort Inn, and hitting the road for L.A. We rolled in around 5:30 and settled in at our friend Jon’s house. We met his lady friend Erin and his roommate Sarah, and at about 6:30 Jon got back from work:

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Jon is my best friend from my time at UW, and it’s a crying shame I haven’t been in touch with him more, but it was incredible to see him again. It was also great to hang out with Erin and all of Jon’s friends, who are all awesome people!

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Unfortunately, guess who forgot their camera at the house after leaving for the gig at Juanita’s last night? FYI, it went really well. The crowd was super supportive and all of the bands killed it.  Jon’s group Slumgum freely moved between slower, more expressive melodies, free jazz, and rhythmic ideas, Chicano Batman was a great rock band that incorporated some Cumbia rhythms with wah guitar and organ, and Hardcoretet closed the night doing our thing.  all in all, a great couple of nights!

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Hardcoretet tour, day 1

By , October 19, 2009 2:39 pm

Hardcoretet took off early yesterday morning for our West coast mini-tour, San Francisco bound! The minivan was a bit of a tight squeeze:

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but we made it work! Most of the guys had gigs the night before, so I had planned on taking driving duties the first leg of the trip, which basically was this:

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and this:

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and this:

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There were some moments in the drive with great scenic views, although my photos don’t really do them justice, so I’ll post those elsewhere.
14 hours later, we were in San Francisco! We had a bit of time to hang out with our awesome and gracious host Ashley and her friends in the Mission District, then headed home to hit some hardwood floor and go to bed:

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The next morning, Aaron hooked us up with an amazing breakfast joint, also in the Mission District, called St. Francis:

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Really loved the public graffiti art in that area as well; Seattle could use more of this:

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From there it was off to Santa Cruz for our first gig, tonight at Bocci’s Cellar:

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I’ll let you know how it went!

Dave Mathews Band/Bumbershoot

By , September 10, 2009 2:38 pm

What an amazing Labor Day weekend…

For about 10 years now, I’ve had an annual trip to a campsite on the Columbia River across from Vantage, WA on Labor Day weekend to see the Dave Mathews Band at the Gorge. Over time, this trip has morphed into as much a reunion with old friends as a concert to go to, and the camping is almost as important as the show. Many of the friends I end up camping with are the ones I’ve known the longest and are most important to me. That being said, DMB still put on a hell of a live show and are, in my opinion, one of the best pop/rock/jam/whatever-you-want-to-call-it bands around. The songs are melodic and singable, touch on a wide range of styles (even if it is just on the surface), are played by top notch players, open up to some great jams, and translate well to a huge venue like the Gorge. A fair amount of people hate on that band, but it does not seem to me to be legit at all.

After the Gorge, Vunt Foom got the opportunity to play behind RA Scion of Common Market for Bumbershoot on Sunday. This was by far the biggest show I’ve ever played; about 6,000 people packed the lawn in front of the Fisher Green stage, and RA killed it. He had put together an entire theatrical Act, set to a soundtrack of Common Market’s music, with all of us playing parts, and it was an incredible amount of fun. Here are some clips, including my debut on triangle!

The awesome cap to all of this was Raphael Saadiq performing that night. I think I’ve raved about this show to everyone I know by now, but it was that good! The whole band had ridiculous energy, and they were up there dancing and grooving and basically sounding awesome for 3 hours and 2 encores. Amazing vocals, and we’re talking deep, deep groove here. Some clips from that show:

My crush starts doing her thing at about 1:05

Thanks everyone! / Dexter and Hayes

By , August 13, 2009 8:43 am

Thank you for all of your support and great comments about the site!  I never really know how well it works or looks to other folks, so I’m glad it works as well as I’d hoped.

Tuesday night I headed down to the Dexter and Hayes pub to play standards and straight-ahead jazz with Gravity, a trio featuring Tim Kennedy, Ian Sheridan, and Claudio Rochat-Felix.  These guys know so much about so many different styles of music, but when it’s time to throw down and play a certain type of material, they just get into it and always sound super tight and burning.  Plus, they always have a lot of fun doing it.

The people at the D&H know all this too.  There are the regulars, young and old, that come through and get hugs from the guys, hang out with them, and throw some money in the tip jar, but there are also always at least one to two people that end up sitting in one of the booths and really digging the music.  Then there are the musicians that come through too.  There are definitely slow Tuesdays sometimes, like anywhere, but when it’s cracking it’s really cracking.  It’s too bad this session and the jam session at the Owl and Thistle are the same night, as the Owl attracts the same badass musicians, and is really the only other steady straight-ahead session in town.

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