Posts tagged: avant-garde

Congratulations to Bad Luck

By , November 16, 2009 11:03 am

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Bad Luck is a drums and saxophone duo with Chris Icasiano and Neil Welch, two classmates of mine from the University of Washington days, who have taken off on an amazing path of music-making since then.  Chris has gone on to work in a diverse range of settings, from free jazz to rock to West African music, and Neil has been leading a 7-piece group that fuses Indian music and jazz, releasing an album, as well as playing with Chris and squeezing in a road trip that spanned almost all 50 states! 

That being said, I was very excited to to see the Bad Luck CD release concert on Saturday night and hear what Chris and Neil were up to.  I had not heard the group since Hardcoretet played a show with them months ago at Lucid, which I still look back on regretfully and with some guilt, as the owner of the club asked us to cut Bad Luck short that night, and we did that rather than stand up for them and refuse to do so.

That unfortunate experience has done nothing to slow the duo’s momentum, however, and it was evident at the show on Saturday.  The Good Sheperd Center was packed, and it was definitely the place to be if you were a Seattle musician.  The compositions moved from wildly energetic and raw to achingly delicate and introspective, sometimes in a very short span of time, and Chris and Neil were on the same wavelength the entire night.  It was inspiring, interesting, and new, something any music scene needs as much of as possible.  Congratulations guys!

Hardcoretet

By , August 17, 2009 12:12 pm

This past weekend Hardcoretet had a great rehearsal after a small break after recording, and began talking about putting a tour together.  Just the idea of touring stirs up all sorts of anxiety:  Where can we play this music?  How much will it cost?  Will anybody show up?

This is interesting because I’ve been reading a lot about the death of jazz lately, and also heard a lot about musicians brainstorming how they can make money/get people to come to shows/sell records.  Then I re-read this interview with Tim Berne on the blog for the band the Bad Plus:  http://thebadplus.typepad.com/dothemath/2009/06/interview-with-tim-berne-part-one.html

Here is a guy that plays saxophone music that is decidedly avant-garde, and is definitely not going to be booked for any weddings or restaurant gigs any time soon, and he is working his butt off playing and touring and putting cds together because he believes in his music, and there are people around the world who do too, even if it is a smaller group than the one that’s got Top 40 on their radio.

I’m biased; I have a day job, and have the luxury of not trying to pay rent and bills off of music alone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be successful playing the music you want to play if you work hard at it like Berne and so many other fringe musicians have.  I’m also in NO WAY comparing myself to these musicians; they have a motivation and work ethic that I have yet to find in myself!  I guess all I’m really trying to say is that I hope I can get to the point where I care more about who comes to hear me than how many come to hear me.  Props to all my awesome friends and family that support the shows, I’m extremely lucky to have them.

If we get this tour together and play for one guy in San Francisco that likes our stuff, I hope I can feel like I accomplished something

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