shuffle discoveries – Halvorson & Sickafoose



I’ve developed a habit of putting all of the new music that I download or rip into a playlist (called “new music”…how creative). I started doing this as a way to make sure that I listened to everything. Kind of like the way I used to keep new CDs stacked next to the stereo, and would only put them into their place in the collection after they had been digested (or at least chewed a little). A handy by-product of my new music playlist system is that when I put that playlist on shuffle, the new music gets to me free of any expectations. I often have to pull out the ipod to see who is playing. It is nice when I hear something unknown, and like it. It gives me confidence that it is the music and not the name that is moving me.

Two recent eMusic scores that struck me in shuffle mode ambushes are Mary Havorson Trio Dragon’s Head, and Todd Sickafoose Tiny Resistors.

I was doing the new music shuffle at the grocery store the other day, and each time a track from one of these albums would come on, I would have to look and see who was making the strikingly good music. I got the Halvorson, because I have been wanting to check her out on her own musical terms, having heard her and about her with Braxton, Taylor Ho Bynum, etc. I got the Sickafoose, because it kept showing up on people’s year end lists, and my interest was piqued. Both are worth purchasing.

Minnesota, suits, and steam refresh

A couple of weekends ago, I went to Minneapolis with Luther Kent and Trick Bag. We played at Dakota. It is a nice club, and they treated us very well. Even though the day time high temperatures were single digit numbers when we were there, it was a nice trip.

Somewhat related to that, I have a bad habit of not really unpacking after a trip. I tend to just leave the suitcase out until I have worn everything that didn’t get worn on the trip.

As my professional life has morphed over the last few years, I have been doing fewer tuxedo-wearing-jobbing gigs. I don’t even own a tux any more. I wear a black suit when I have to don the uniform that marks the caste of the private function musician.

These factors all collided mightily last night when I started to get ready for my tuxedo-wearing-make-enough-to-pay-my-publicist New Year’s Eve gig. As I began to get dressed, I realized that my black suit was still in the folding part of my suitcase from the trip to Minnesota 10 days ago. It looked like it had been wadded up for 10 days.

My wife recently bought one of those fancy front-loading high efficiency washer and dryer combos. The washer has a steam refresh cycle. It says not to use it on wool garments, but I took the gamble on my suit. 15 minutes in there and it looked like it just came back from the cleaners. I love technology.

Happy New Year!