Posts tagged: the teaching

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

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