Posts tagged: racer sessions

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

Crossing Stylistic Lines

By , February 10, 2010 4:04 pm

I went to the Sunset Tavern in Ballard last night to watch Motorist, a rock band that includes musicians Jared Borkowski, Chris Icasiano, and Luke Bergman, who I met at the University of Washington, and Garrett Sand, who I met through the guys more recently, as well as frontman Robert Dale.  I really enjoyed the music and grabbed a free CD that I’m still listening to right now.

All of these people I met playing bebop-oriented jazz music, but that seems so long ago now, after watching them move on to play rock, as in last night, or more improvisatory music, as I’ve seen them recently do at the Racer Sessions.

It’s exciting and encouraging to know that there are cultural circles in this town that insist on taking in music from all sorts of different categories, no matter where it comes from, and I’m not just talking about musicians.  No matter what the style, no matter how popular it is or how far it is from the mainstream, people can recognize good music, and I think all of us, as performers, can take comfort in that.

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

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