Aug 202011
 

In past posts, and in passing, I’ve mentioned that sometimes I got to my friend Michael’s secret bookstore, usually late at night, after some show, usually with my dear friend George… People have asked me about this bookstore, but, shhh… it’s a secret! ;-)
Anyway, somebody made a little short about him and posted it on Etsy, so here you go:

There’s No Place Like Here: Brazenhead Books from Etsy on Vimeo

Aug 112011
 

I love EastSide Sound studios in NYC! Besides all the obvious awesomeness (fully analog, digitally controlled, totally recallable and total automation Harrison console; great gear; great piano, drums and guitar collection; live room with 6 iso booths with line of sight and more) where else in New York City proper (ie lower Manhattan) can you do a recording session and hear a rooster doing ki-ki-ri-kiiiii when you step out on the street? I love that the studio is in the lower east side and when you step out the studio you see greenery instead of traffic! I love that when you step out of that studio you are in the heart of the most musically active, young, cool and lively neighborhood of the city!!! Established 1972 by the visionary oracle called Lou Holtzman, EastSide rocks my world. Long live to EastSide Sound and Ki-ki-ri-kiiiii!!!!!

Aug 102011
 

Presenting her first ever location-specific writings, Laurie Anderson (accompanied by the amazing Rob Burger on piano, keys, accordion, Moog bass and Orkestron and Eyvind Kang on effected viola) is offering her lyrical and musical genius to a full crowd on a beautiful warm breezy night that had been forecasted as rainy. Chilled downtempo electronic-ambient made from a beautiful mixture of loops and real instruments and augmented by her amazing talent for words that are true, funny, sad and poignant at the same time. Lou is playing on a song or two as well. Great night, great show and free too!

Aug 082011
 

Thanks to a totally random and serendipitous meeting (with the lovely booking agent of The Delancey called Dana) which took place in a London hotel lobby bar during the Lou Reed tour last month, tonight I am at The Delancey checking out Gary Hood (who was one of the guitar techs on the Lou Reed tour). Gary is touring with the Carrs and he happens to be in town for tomorrow’s Letterman show. The only times I’ve seen Gary jam was with our crew mates Joey Crifo and John Simpson and my friends in Italy, but tonight three SIR gentleman are sitting in on bass, cajon and shakers for this acoustic set.
Gary is killing it on guitar and harmonica delivering great vocals and words throughout his set.
Before Gary the Ashley, North Carolina based Aaron Wood played a set and he was really good as well. Go Aaron Wood!
Guess who’s going home with two new CD’s tonight? ;-)
Go Gary Hood!
For all those who missed this great night check him out online at Gary Hood and the Last Show Ever

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Aug 072011
 
Kent, UK

Just returned after more than 4 weeks abroad. The Lou Reed tour took us to UK, France and Italy and then I spent 4 days in Norway at the Sommerfesten music festival (more about that in a later post).

The tour went great and we had a fantastic crew which made it so much better and more fun.

I want say thank you to all the people I worked it, had fun with and learnt from on this tour. It was great to travel with my old crew mates Stewart Hurwood (don’t worry baby, it ain’t nothing new!), Matt Brown (you will rule the world someday!), Aaron Havill (napkin please?), Bill Berger, Kerri Welsh (did she just say poop???) and my new friends Joey Crifo (like a brother!), Bungee Kovacs (yes we do have a bungee!), John Simpson, Gary Hood, Jesse Lucerne (thanks for the rubs!), Dave McPhee (zen out buddy! …and don’t worry baby, it ain’t nothing new!!!), Giles Floodgate, James Brown (…don’t worry baby, it ain’t nothing new!!!), Chris Bailey, Kartsen, Brie and everyone else involved!

A special hello and thank you to my day-off traveling buddies. You know who you are and I saw your true colors (and loved them!!!). Great to hang and glad you came along for the rides.

I did my best to show the whole crew a great time while we were in Italy (since I knew people, good restaurants and the language) and the parts of the tour I’ll carry with me are certainly the ones that involved water, chairs, skis, amazing meals, great ice cream, day trips etc… I think that’s what we will all remember from this tour. ;-)

I really didn’t have much time for taking pictures but I snapped some iPhone shots here and there.
Here are some of the most beautiful places we played at (iPhone pics don’t do these places justice).

And here are some gory tour injury pictures at the end there, for those who love that kind of stuff… Flying road cases? Involuntary stage diving? Pulley ropes? There are stories behind a these injuries, and they are hilarious, but we won’t tell anyone how these happened because what happens on tour stays on tour! ;-)

Jun 292011
 

Sitting a JFK I’m thinking back on this busy month of June that is ending…

The month long European Summer Tour of Lou Reed and his great new 8 piece band (for which I’m doing FOH) starts tomorrow in the UK.

Less than 24 hours ago I was still in the studio with John Zorn, Bill Laswell, Rob Burger and Kevin Norton recording the soundtrack to a Polish theater production of Nosferatu that, as you can imagine, sounds sinister and creepy at times but also surprisingly different at other times (the presence of Bill brought some dub to the soundtrack!).

The day before I was recording the legendary drummer Bernard Purdie with Universal Japan recording artist Chihiro Yamanaka. Bugsby had some incredible stories about people he worked with, places he’s been and things he’s done as an adult and a kid. He was telling us about growing up in Maryland in the days of openly racist America and how he was the only black kid to eat at the white eatery and the first black student to graduate from his school. Of course his music stories were amazing. They would do a version of a standard picked by Yamanaka and Purdie would point out that he recorded the original that they were covering. This happened for three or four of the five tunes he recorded at EastSide Sound on Monday. Incredible!

The week before that we spent in the rehearsal studio with Lou Reed, the band and the crew preparing this tour down to every detail. It’s gonna be a great production, a great set list and a great bunch of people on the tour bus!

The week before that week I had a bunch of other sessions at the studio (such as the recording of Bojan Vuletic’s new piece) and another John Zorn file card piece recording and
prior to that I just returned from recording and producing the new Preachers Son album in Ireland.

Tomorrow morning I’ll be in the UK driving to our first gig up north and the Lou Reed tour will have officially started!

I am lucky to be working with all these amazing people and time is literally flying… at least it was until I got here to JFK!

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May 142011
 

I realize I haven’t posted anything in a while, not because I haven’t seen anything interesting but rather because I have been traveling and working a lot.
However I didn’t want to pass on the opportunity to mention the amazing performance of this historic japanese band called Haikashu at Japan Society tonight. Makigami Koichi’s unique singing and theremin-playing style is both improvisational and structured, wild and controlled… His band Haikashu opened the concert without Maki to support the first US visit of J-pop star Tomoe Shinohara, but I personally went to see Maki and the wait was worth it.
I’ll be recording Hikashu with Koichi in a few days at EastSide Sound and I’m very happy to have made his acquaintance (thanks to Zorn and Ikue Mori who brought Maki to my studio during the recording of her latest DVD release on Tzadik). It’s gonna be a memorable session… I’ll be lost in translation and totally dazzled by the music! Can’t wait!

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