Posts tagged: Hardcoretet

Upcoming Tour Blog

By , April 3, 2014 3:13 pm

It’s less than a week now from when I will be on the longest tour I’ve ever done, three and a half weeks to New Orleans with the Polyrhythmics, and I haven’t done a tour blog since the first tour of my career, when Hardcoretet went down the coast to Los Angeles 5 years ago!

Stay tuned for posts from the road throughout April, and hopefully I will be able to put up a video or two as well.

April Excitement

By , March 8, 2014 4:48 pm

I had a nice excursion North to Bellingham the last couple of days; Theoretics had a solid first Bellingham show at the Wild Buffalo, and I was able to spend the following day with Karl, drummer for the band Polecat, who the Polyrhythmics have shared bills and festivals with pretty frequently.  It was good to talk about music as a career with someone else who has been doing it for a while:  how to make it work, the positives and negatives, and how to balance everything out.  Then that night we topped it all off with a great jam with Jeremy, guitarist for Polecat, Jefferson Rose, a killer bass player with a band of his own, and Mars, one of the best trombonists I know.  Right on, Bellingham!

A couple of things I’m looking forward to next month:

April 8th Hardcoretet will be releasing our third album, a full-length recording that we are all very excited about.  Not only that, we are also opening for Kneebody, a group that has been one of my primary musical influences for the last couple of years, and the show is at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard, one of my favorite venues in town!  Some preview tracks of the new album are available at the Hardcoretet band camp page:  https://hardcoretet.bandcamp.com/

The next day I embark on tour with the Polyrhythmics; we are travelling down the coast to Southern California, East through Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, and finishing in New Orleans.

I have never been to New Orleans and cannot wait to be there to take in as much as I possibly can.  The more I play and listen to music, the more I know I am influenced by that city.  Many of the musicians I enjoy listening to have spent significant time there, and its historical significance cannot be overstated, in my opinion.  I’m going to try to post a bit from the road, so stay tuned!

There is a fundraising campaign to help us minimize the expenses and costs of the tour; most of the places we are playing are new to us, so there will likely be a few lightly-attended gigs, so to speak.  If you want to help, please go here!  http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/polyrhythmics-new-orleans-jazz-fest-2014

Summer Recap

By , August 28, 2013 1:45 pm

sasquatch

 

Another eventful summer is coming to a close; in many ways this one was an extension of the tours, trips, and festivals that I really began to experience last year, and yet at the same time I could feel my “adult” life begin in Seattle.  I’ve become (slightly) more organized with my teaching schedule, I’ll be committed to living somewhere for longer than a year (unusual for me), and the dust has started to settle in this post-day-job life.  And all this was happening while traveling to Montana for the first time since I was a kid, performing in places that still seem unreal to me, and playing music for more people than I ever have in my life.

In addition to that juxtaposition, travel vs. home life, I’ve found the need to connect with listeners, friends, and family stronger than ever, and at the same really valuing the time I have by myself to organize my…self.  These two dualities, social and professional, are really what drove my summer.  I’m not sure whether feeling this way is healthy/helpful/sustainable, but for me it feels good.  It feels like I am experiencing life from as many different aspects as possible, and when it all comes down to it, it hasn’t kept me from being both happy and musically productive, and that’s really all that matters.

Plenty of fun things in the pipeline:  just finished recording the next Hardcoretet album; it will be the first time any band I’ve been in will get to three records!  The Polyrhythmics album will be coming out on vinyl soon, another first for me, and the artwork looks great!  Theoretics shows at Sasquatch and Capitol Hill Block Party were great successes and will be leading to more opportunities in the future.  Other than that, I’m just doing the best I can to be present, enjoy the moment, and put myself in good places!

 

 

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!

 

 

Pick it up, pick it up, pick it up

By , February 1, 2013 12:46 pm

D&H

 

It’s been a really fun run of performances the last couple of weeks.  Polyrhythmics had a memorable mountain show at the top of Heavenly Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe, Hardcoretet played the Comet Tavern for the first time with two great bands in Industrial Revelation and Skerik and really got to rock out, and there were a couple of pick-up gigs that felt great for my playing:  Grant and Delvon (airing out an old Pocket Change tune!), sitting in with McTuff, and a semi-Dexter-and-Hayes-reunion with Tarik, Tim, and Ian.

In addition, I’ve been able to take a little bit more time and practice, which has made a huge difference (what a surprise).  I hope to keep the momentum going in the coming birthday month!

 

 

Festival Mode

By , August 15, 2012 11:58 am

The hot weather took its time, but it is finally here, and my schedule has been pretty effective as far as getting me out there to enjoy it!

Festival performances with the Polyrhythmics and Theoretics have been really fun, especially because I hadn’t really gone to many music festivals before, either as an audience member or a performer.  The last few months really hooked me (combining car-camping with live music in the outdoors?  How can you go wrong?) and I hope to make it a tradition to go to at least 1 or 2 each Summer, regardless of whether I’m playing.

It’s not over yet though; I’m excited to hit the road in the next couple of months with both Polyrhythmics and Hardcoretet.  Also, Hardcoretet will be enjoying some new musical partnerships soon.  Time to start composing!

 

Updates

By , May 25, 2011 3:32 pm

Above:  A friendly moth from Lopez Island.  Just for fun.

 

 

Hardcoretet is packaging the new recordings and video footage for release as well as writing and rehearsing new material for the next round of performances.

The Polyrhythmics debut album will be released next week, with some fun festival work coming up this Spring/Summer.

Theoretics still has strong momentum from the album release a couple of months ago, and plans are in the works for possibly another music video and new material in the near future.

So some exciting things on the horizon!  Always work to do though…

I’ve been writing and trying to complete the same Hardcoretet music for quite a while, and it’s starting to get frustrating.  I’m practicing more, but the routine is still pretty inconsistent.  And I need to go to more shows.  I find myself in this 3-band cocoon where I play shows with them but don’t often get out and check out other music, as though I’m isolated from all of the other awesome bands and communities out there.

That’s just complainer-mode though; I’m lucky to be involved in such rewarding projects, and super lucky to have loved ones that are smart, funny, encouraging, and generally a joy to be around.  I know that if everything went to hell I would still have great friends, which is comforting.

I think I’m on the edge of something, but I’m not sure what’s to come.  I guess we’ll see.

-Art

 

Slumgum/Post lengths

By , April 27, 2011 3:18 pm

 

This past weekend the group Slumgum came to Seattle as part of their album release tour.  Slumgum is a quartet that plays a blend of free and composed elements that give them a really individual sound, sometimes delicate and other times in your face, sometimes long waves of sounds and other times precise rhythms, sometimes loose improvisations and other times intricate composed melodies.  The result is a style that is a lot of things all at once, and a really creative band that works as a team to bring a creative experience to the listener without losing interest or energy.  They’re awesome. 

My old roommate and friend Jon Armstrong, who graciously offered up his residence to all of us in Hardcoretet when we played with Slumgum in L.A. a while back, is the saxophonist in Slumgum, and it was wonderful to get the chance to catch up with him as well as talk to Trevor, Dave, and Rory a little bit about the band.  As it always happens with these kinds of conversations, I end up going Chris Farley on myself (“stupid, STUPID!”) 5 minutes after or the next day thinking of what I should have said or asked and wondering why the heck I said whatever it was I said.  And, of course, there was so much more I wanted to cover, but I guess I also didn’t want to corner them in an hour-long music conversation; another time, I suppose.

That’s it for now.  I’m planning on changing up the blogging a bit here.  Past posts have been fairly long, which has set up kind of a self-imposed pressure to only write if I can write extensively, and those longer posts can often be intimidating reading as well.  I’m hoping that with shorter entries from here on out, I can write more often and with more variety, and you will enjoy the site a little more too.

Stay tuned!

Art

Earshot

By , October 27, 2010 4:22 pm

So the Earshot Jazz Festival is about halfway over.  The Seattle Times talked about it a bit , as did Lucas Gillan of Accujazz and Jason Parker from One Working Musician.

As with every year, I am impressed with the diverse schedule of music and film, and several of the musicians in particular have been hype-worthy for me, in particular Mark Taylor, Steve Lehman, Dafnis Prieto and Agogic, and the Brian Blade Fellowship, but there really is something for everyone.

There’s some talk that the turn-out hasn’t been great for some shows,  but that seems to me to be par for the course at Earshot, and an understandable side effect of a festival that can book Robert Glasper, Charlie Musselwhite, and Steve Lehman in the same festival. 

In addition, you’ve got multiple shows going on at the same time sometimes, so the audiences are split, not to mention that at 20-25 bucks a pop folks like me are going to pick and choose what they can afford to go to.

 I can specifically remember going to festival events in the past that were on both sides of the attendance spectrum (Manuel Valera and Kris Davis are two concerts where I remember thinking there should be way more people there, while Ravi Coltrane’s first appearance at the festival I nearly didn’t get into), and I’ve talked with some musician friends of mine that know for a fact some acts are booked for the festival with full knowledge that they might not necessarily bring an incredible amount of listeners, but the music is bad-ass, so Earshot does it anyway.  I really admire that. 

I’m also really happy that Earshot continues to feature local groups as well as out-of-town groups.  Hardcoretet was fortunate enough to have our cd release party as part of the Festival last year, and who knows?  Maybe we will have the chance again, but until then there are plenty of top-notch Seattle musicians on the schedule, all of them well worth supporting (Mark Taylor and the Teaching both come to mind). 

A coworker took his family to see the Darius Jones Trio on Saturday.  He didn’t know Jones’ music, he just knew that Earshot was going on and wanted to see at least one concert and take his kids too.  I was able to forward him this post from Destination:  OUT on the trio’s New York appearance and their most recent release.  He soon realized Darius and company was a little outside of his comfort zone, but enjoyed the show anyway and was glad he went.  I think it’s safe to say he never would have gone to see, much less heard of, the Darius Jones trio if not for the Earshot Festival, which is as strong a piece of testimony as I can think of for the value of the Festival (not that I ever thought its value was in question).

What does Earshot mean for local musicians the rest of the year?  Not much, in my opinion.  The festival is a great platform to have in the moment, but once that time is over, it doesn’t really lead to much else, and although the Earshot organization does have some concert series at other parts of the year, they don’t seem to me to do much more in terms of a band’s promotion than a gig that the band went out and booked itself would.  That said, I always look forward to Fall in Seattle, I check out the artists list as soon as its announced, and I hope Earshot continues for a long, long time.

Hardcoretet @ Cafe Racer this Friday

By , September 22, 2010 4:57 pm

This Friday, September 24th, at 9 pm, Hardcoretet will be playing with Friendly Creature and Chemical Clock at Cafe Racer.  This will be the first time we’ve played at Racer, but I’ve gone to the weekly Sunday Racer Sessions several times and seen some other shows there as well, and I enjoy it very much.

Both Friendly Creature and Chemical Clock are bands that are closely connected to the community of creative musicians that center around Cafe Racer (the band we played with at our past show at Cafe Solstice, Dead Zerious, led by Andrew Swanson, is another such band).  Cameron Sharif, the keyboardist in Chemical Clock, is one of the founding members of the Racer Sessions (as well as Aaron, our keyboardist in Hardcoretet), and Brennan Carter, who plays trumpet in Friendly Creature, was one of the organizers of this year’s Improvised Music Project, a festival of events planned by current and former University of Washington students, most of who have also been a part of the Racer Sessions since the beginning.

I know I’ve talked about them on this blog several times before, but this community of musicians is creating some of the most exciting and interesting music in town, and they are also a very tight-knit group.  They collaborate musically in various combinations, come together to check out each other’s shows, or just hang out together.  That’s why although I’m really happy to get a chance to play or talk with them, it’s also somewhat intimidating!  The really silly part about that, though, is that they are all really great people, super friendly, and genuinely interested in getting the whole town involved in what they’re doing.

This is not to say that effort isn’t being made in other circles; David Pierre-Louis, The Teaching and other bands in the Lucid community have expressed a similar goal of building community and sharing sincere music with people.  And that’s just in the improvised music community; my musical peer in the Theoretics, MC Diztortion, has been hosting a forum for hip hop and spoken word called the Cornerstone for a while now, and I’m sure there are other cyphers and hip hop forums throughout the city.  Then there are the indie rock circles, african music circles, brazilian music circles….There could be a whole blog entry on the diverse selection of musical communities in this town (and on why they are so seperated, but that’s for another time).

Right now, I’m just excited to share Hardcoretet’s music with such an innovative and supportive group of musicians, and I know that it will inspire us to play and write better music in the future.

And if you can’t catch the show on Friday, be sure to drop by Racer some Sunday and see what the Sessions are all about!

– Art

Panorama Theme by Themocracy