Monday, April 28, 2014

The Weekend In Sounds

Had a great, very busy weekend that was very sound oriented. Let's revisit it, shall we?

Friday:  After work I hopped off the bus downtown to walk to a friends house for nachos, beer and cyser tasting on their lawn in town. Although the morning had started the day cold and rainy, it resolved itself into sunshine and warmth by late afternoon/early evening, and the community wide binge drinking was in full swing.  The air was filled with music from stereo speakers in apartment windows and blaring from cars with shouts of "woo hoo" puncutating the audio melange. Car horns honked at revelers and there was, of course, sirens.  It was Little 500 weekend. Friends, Bloomington was feeling no pain.

Saturday:  Fred Astaire drove up from Atlanta to run some Trowar tunes.  It looks like Trowar is again picking up steam - more on that later.  We rented a rehearsal space in Indianapolis that was cheap ($10/hour!) and very nice - a real find for sure.  We put in a solid 3 hours at low volume; and as our enthusiasm for the music increased, so too did the volume of our guitars.  We left primed/stoked/what have you to get back at it.  After scouting a couple local venues for gigs (and listening to the Pacers limp by the Hawks on the radio), Fred and I headed to the south side to Fountain Square. I have to tell you - that's a super cool section of Indianapolis from what I can tell.  I mean, we didn't walk around or anything (the beer and the pulled pork sandwiches were too good to leave behind), but the old skool vibe with a slight hipster veneer really did it for me.  Twas a great day and place to do some people watching.
I started to shoot a time lapse movie on my cell phone
of the rehearsal, but it didn't really turn out.  These are some
captures from that aborted attempt.

My wife met us at the restaurant.  We then walked across the street (Fred went in search of a hotel room) for the main event:  John Gorka at the Wheeler Community Arts Center.  John - and his opening act Antje Duevkot - were phenomenal.  It was a song writing clinic.  Lots of thoughtful, witty, evocative tunes; both artists have very awkward but a warm, humorous stage presence.  The venue was great too - very small room; very intimate.  I'd say there was maybe 150 people there, and that was a sold out show.  Lots to say about the show but I think I can summarize it with the crowd was into it, we were into it, and the night was pretty damn fun.
MB met both artists at the merch table.  Here is
some art that John Gorka made for our kids.  He
should probably stick with the singer/songwriter
MB was on cloud freakin' nine after this show.
Especially since a random dude, upon
overhearing that MB didn't have the cash
for Gorka's new release, fronted her the money
to buy it!  Way to pay it forward, random
Gorka fan!
Sunday: the usual business with church and church-related activities was followed by a brief acoustic demo recording session with Fred.  This was just me, Fred, his cool ass Tacoma acoustic and my four track.  No one was at my place of work, so we just recorded it there.  Bare in mind these songs are conceived as power blues tunes, played on electric instruments at very high volumes.  What surprises me (besides how great that Tacoma sounds) is how well these songs sound acoustically.  A lot of it has to do with how well Fred can play; but it also speaks volumes about his ability as a song writer.  Again - we left feeling energized about the project and life in general.

Of course, there are lots of other standard issue weekend noises I didn't mention:  lawn mowers, NPR in the mornings coming from the kitchen, the breeze in the laundry hanging out on the line.  But the whole weekend has again made me mindful of this wonderful thing called sound.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Some Random Notes On A Lost 80s Classic

I have such a hazy recollection of the Producer's "She Sheila" that I was beginning to think I imagined it.  Thank goddess for the collective memory that is the Internet - I'm not going crazy after all.  I don't ever remember having ever seen this video on MTV (even though it would've been airing before we ever had cable in our household, I used to watch MTV any chance I'd get when visiting friends and family who had cable); instead, I found it on the local Fox affiliate's video show called "Rockbox".
Besides the fact that the influence of the 1980s are in full swing (you know it's a big deal when marketers are picking over the era for inspiration), there are several things I'd like to point out:
  • I love the tone of the bass on this.  Very meaty; ballsy.
  • Look.  At. That. Keytar!  Being played by a guy that goes by the name of "Wayne Famous".  The cheese factor of both things just cranked it into the category of "awesome".
  • I have always found that the piano part keytar part on this is a major earworm for me.  And I'm okay with that.
  • If the fashion wasn't 80s enough for you, the bad lip syncing should be.  Throw in the Utopia-esque harmonies at the 2:40 mark and you should be verging on 80s overload.
  • About that fashion:  again - the 80s are alive and well apparently because to me, they look like any given band at Coachella 2014.
  • I'm pretty sure I used to see "Sheila" in Olan-Mills circulars in the Sunday paper when I was a kid.
Let's face it:  this is a pretty dopey song and a crappy video.  But I can't help loving it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Upcoming Gigs [Updated]

I've got some gigs coming up that I've failed to make public - if you're in the area, won't you stop by?

These gigs are with a group (tentatively) called Three On The Tree.  TOTT is:
Matt Zink - bass, backing vocals
Leslie Donovan - lead and backing vocals
Kevin Reynolds - lead and backing vocals, guitar, Dobro, lap steel, harmonica
I think the best way to describe what we play is "eclectic acoustic music".  We play both covers and originals.

May 3rd - Big Woods Brewery (Nashville, IN).  7:30 to 9:30 PM.
May 24th - Easley Winery (Indianapolis, IN).  2 to 5 PM.
June 13th - 3rd St. Park (Bloomington, IN), opening for Davis & Devitt

I think that's it for now.  I will upload some tunes soon so you can get a since of how exactly your world will be rocked.  Hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Off Topic: This Is A Public Service Announcement

Don't forget to check out "The Cool Folder", which this blog's sister blog.  As it is super random but consistently dope, I'm sure if you snoop around there long enough you'll find something that interests you.

Audio Scratch Pad: Wrong Number

I just got this voicemail on my work line.  The call was from Elgin, IL.  For some reason, this cracks me up.  I definitely need to work this in as a sample in a song.