Richmond Marching Band assembles, gets busted

Apparently some fun and creative Richmond, VA musicians are forming a community marching band. Their first rehearsal was today, and it drew some governmental attention. Once in high school, a police officer showed up at a jam session we were having in the bassist’s carport. That feeling of seeing a cop pull up to your musical gathering is a neat combination of fear and pride.

RVAjazz: Richmond Marching Band assembles, gets busted:

“Two police officers casually strutted over to our rehearsal in the middle of the park. Like any appropriately-sized marching band, we were very loud. We were apparently too loud for the residents living next to the park. To paraphrase one of the cops, ‘They won’t call us about people doing drugs in the park, but they’ll call about things like this.'”


Read the whole account here.

Pazz and Jop with The Bad Plus | Indie Music Blog

I have mentioned the new TBP album here before, and the review linked below is a pretty good take on it. I really like the term “art rock song.”

Pazz and Jop with The Bad Plus | Indie Music Blog:

“I have almost always enjoyed their fusions of rock and jazz, not in the sense of 70s and 80-s era ‘jazz fusion,’ but a new hybrid that creates a type of ‘art rock song.’  The inclusion of an actual vocalist is a logical extension of these efforts.”

Uriel Jones, a Motown Drummer, Dies at 74 – Obituary (Obit) –

I was saddened to read this.

Uriel Jones, a Motown Drummer, Dies at 74 – Obituary (Obit) –

If you haven’t seen “Standing in the Shadows of Motown,” WATCH IT! It is excellent. And Uriel is great in it.

I had the pleasure of getting to be part of the horn section for a Funk Brothers show in New Orleans in May of 2004. Uriel was on that gig, and he was such a pleasure to work with. He had a good time, treated us extras with great respect, and still played his butt off.


This is some of the band backstage before the show. I feel bad that I can’t remember two of the guys names in this pic, but it is (l to r) Ray ??, Bob Babbitt, Larry Sieberth, Joe Hunter, Tom Scott, Barney Floyd, ??, Uriel Jones, and me.

Gratkowski and Drake @ Zeitgeist


Last Friday night we had the treat of having Frank Gratkowski and Hamid Drake perform in New Orleans. The concert was at Zeitgeist, and they were joined by Tim Green (tenor sax) and Bill Hunsinger (bass and things). It was a great show. Grooves, melodies, free jazz circus music, the sound of a 1977 Pontiac that needs power steering fluid..

One thing that makes hearing great musicians even more rewarding is knowing that they are cool people too. We had a nice Bywater meat hang after the gig, with lots of sausages and salamis, and grits and goat cheese. Hmm…grits and goat cheese might be a song title.


Pictured: Frank with venison sausage, seated next to cellist Helen Gillet.

Carl Stone – Frank Gratkowski and Hamid Drake

It is a good music weekend in New Orleans. Tomorrow night (Friday March 20), electronic musician extraordinaire Carl Stone will be at the CAC. That same night Hamid Drake, Frank Gratkowski, Tim Green and Bill Hunsinger will be at Zeitgeist.

Frank and Hamid are doing a series of gigs, and Frank is staying a few days longer than Hamid to do even more stuff. I will be playing with Frank on the Open Ears on March 24. All of the details of the Gratkowski and Drake residencies are at

How to be cool, funny, and give good customer service

Apparently whoever manufactures the CDs for our friends at Cryptogramophone got some bad glue. They just released Nels Cline’s newest CD, Coward, and it seems that some of the disc trays have not been clinging to the cool art as they should. I am sure this is driving them nuts, because I know that they pride themselves on great physical art to go along with the musical art. I must admit that I bought Coward as a download, so I have missed out on the cool physical art, and the detaching tray.

Check out the artist’s response to the issue. It makes me like Nels and the Crypto gang even more.

Brilliant! (sipping Guinness whilst piano falls on my head)

sommeil: a concert for sleep

Below is an excerpt from the press release for a sleep concert that will be presented on April 11 in New Orleans. I know Tanner (the instigator) from some things he has done upstairs at the Blue Nile, and they were very cool things. Click the link for the full info, and spread the word to anyone you think might be into it.

sommeil: a concert for sleep, official press release

“Tanner Menard, Antenna Gallery and Experimedia Records

presents Sommeil: A Concert for Sleep, an international collaborative

experiment. Sommeil will be an all-night event beginning

at 10:00 pm on Saturday April 11th and ending on Sunday April

12th at 7:00 am. Participants are asked to slowly fall asleep while

live ambient and environmental music is performed through the

night by Tanner Menard.

Sommeil: A Concert for Sleep will be Menard’s reinterpretation of

the sleep concert experiment, first created by Robert Rich in 1982

and will be presented at the Antenna Gallery 3161 Burgundy

St New Orleans, LA 70117 in the heart of the St Claude Arts

District. The concert will be realized with Rich’s permission and

guidance. Sleep concerts are all-night events in which the audience

is asked to attend the concert with a sleeping bag and pillow

and to fall asleep while a slowly unfolding sonic texture evolves

over the course of the night and into the morning. People attending

the event are asked to be willing to sleep during the event or

at least to remain silent during the course of the nine hour experience.

Not merely a recreation of Rich’s original idea, Sommeil is

a conceptual, global remix of a performance type that addresses

one of the most basic functionalities of ambient and environmental

sound; music by which to sleep.

In the spirit of remix and the Creative Commons movement, Menard,

a Louisiana native, has compiled submissions of audio material

for the concert from nearly seventy artists across the globe.

These artists answered a call for submissions marketed online by

Experimedia Records which asked for music and field recording

to be used, remixed and mashed up during this nocturnal event.

Submissions include drones, found sound, recordings of natural

and unnatural environments and synthetic music created on synthesizers

and computers. Submitters have included radio scientists,

geologists, psychologists, sound artists, musicians, composers,

installation artists as well as several well known figures in the

ambient music scene. During the course of the evening, Menard

will remix these sleep submissions into a constantly evolving

sonic texture that will lull the audience to sleep.”