Live at Mahall’s, Cleveland, OH. Photo by Rob Galo.
Tashi Dorji & I hit the road in late-March/early-April for a string of dates leading to and from our residency at the Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City. We recorded a great deal of material during our days-long session at Flat Black Studios in Lone Tree, Iowa with engineer/proprietor Luke Tweedy at the helm. Special thanks to Luke & Chris Wiersema for their efforts in making the residency come together in such a fantastic and accommodating way. It was truly sublime and rejuvenating to spend the week at Flat Black observing the transition from Winter to Spring across the undulating flatlands, ringing in the new season daily through hours of unencumbered playing. I’m grateful for the opportunity. Many thanks also to everyone who helped our tour dates come together; as always we were humbled to be treated so well, so often, by so many golden human beings.
Dave Rempis and I also got together in late-April for some duo action at the one-and-only Spot Tavern in Lafayette. Indiana. Here’s a clip from one of our two sets captured by Tom Burris:
Poster by Aaron Denton.
Additionally, (Thee) Open Sex has a short tour on the horizon (several of which include our Asheville psychedelic-compatriots, Acid Reign) for the first time in years. Here are the confirmed hits:
– Tuesday, June 13th – Open Sex w/ Lather Sommer Duo, Amy O, Rays (Oakland) @ Magnetic South (1305 S. Madison St.), Bloomington, IN
– Thursday, June 15th – Open Sex @ Terrapin Station (920 S. 12th St.), Murray, KY
– Friday, June 16th – Open Sex @ Far Out Nashville @ The East Room (2412 Gallatin Ave.), Nashville, TN
– Saturday, June 17th – Open Sex, duo w/ Thom Nguyen w/ Acid Reign @ All Go West Festival, West Asheville, NC
– Sunday, June 18th – Open Sex w/ Psychic Baos @ The Pilot Light (106 E. Jackson Ave.), Knoxville, TN
– Monday, June 19th – Open Sex w/ Jason Lescalleet (Berwick, ME), Acid Reign @ The Lazy Diamond (98-A Lexington Ave.), Asheville, NC
– Tuesday, June 20th – Open Sex w/ Acid Reign @ Neptune’s Parlour (14 W. Martin St.), Raleigh, NC
See you out there…
Open Sex also recently released a split cassette with Bloomington’s Lather Sommer Duo in a limited 100-tape run. Tony Conrad is an inspiration to us all and the tape is, loosely speaking, a tribute to Tony. Listen and download/order the cassette HERE. The tape is also available in Bloomington at Landlocked Music and TDs CDs and LPs. As a side note, if you haven’t yet had the chance to view the stunning documentary “Tony Conrad: Completely In The Present,” I highly recommend it. Tyler Hubby did an excellent job in presenting the legacy and spirit of this still-underrated giant.
Collage by Alex Cunningham. Original photo by Frederick Eberstadt.
Next up, Yoke has its first new release of 2017, YO-05. This time around we have an untitled one-off trio of NYC’s Daniel Carter on reeds & trumpet with Muyassar Kurdi on vocals, movements & electronics joined by yours truly on drums & percussion. Recorded with a handheld at a cavernous dance cooperative in Ridgewood, Queens one afternoon last Summer, this is a raw document unlike much else in my catalog. My intention was to have this one out sooner but it looks like I should have copies in hand by June. More to come…
Keeping in line with the tape theme, Tashi & I’s cassette on Astral Spirits, 2016’s “Live At The Spot +1,” was recently reviewed by one of my favorite shops in the country, Deep Thoughts in Jamaica Plain, Boston on their Cassette Gods blog. Check it out HERE. I sincerely appreciate reading that my playing is “beatifically disorienting and hypnotic and evocative of animal rutting and fighting and writhing…” Thanks Cassette Gods! This tape is now out-of-print but I’ll bet you can find one if you look hard enough…
Manas “III” artwork by Bill Nace.
Tashi & I also have another LP on the horizon, this time as MANAS w/ drummer-and-homie-extraordinaire Thom Nguyen. To be fair and accurate, I’m actually the guest on this one as Thom & Tashi have been ripping it up in duo style as MANAS for many years now. The new LP, entitled III, is the follow-up to 2015’s self-titled LP on Florence, Mass’ Feeding Tube Records. Test presses have been approved and this one should see the light of day soon, also via Feeding Tube…
Lastly, Tashi & I will be going on tour again this September in support of the aforementioned releases (and some still unmentioned), concluding with 2017’s Cropped Out Festival, arguably my favorite fest anywhere. Dates and details coming soon…but in the meantime, GET STOKED on that Cropped Out lineup! – T
May 28, 2017 [permalink] Acid Reign, Cassette Gods, Cropped Out, Cropped Out Festival, Daniel Carter, Dave Rempis, Discography, Duo, Feeding Tube, Live, Manas, MIssion Creek Festival, Muyassar Kurdi, Open Sex, Recording, Residency, Review, Tashi Dorji, Thee Open Sex, Thom Nguyen, tour, Trio, Video, Yoke
Open Sex @ Kafka, Hồ Chí Minh City, Việt Nam, January 4th, 2017. Photo by Nguyễn Minh Hoàng.
I arrived in the States late last Wednesday from almost 5 weeks abroad in Vietnam. I’ve spent the last week getting my ducks in a row and recovering from jet lag but, more importantly, I must highlight what an incredible privilege it was to have the chance not only to visit but also to collaborate with some outstanding musicians and new friends. I sincerely hope that it is not my only opportunity – already looking forward to the next! I cannot express enough gratitude to everyone who had a hand in organizing shows, lending gear, time and energy, sharing studio and rehearsal spaces or just simply making us feel welcome and showing us around. I am already planning to return in my mind…below are a handful of shots from performances during the trip:
Solo at Kafka, Hồ Chí Minh City, Việt Nam, January 4th, 2017. Photo by Nguyễn Minh Hoàng.
Solo @ Manzi, Hà Nội, Việt Nam, December 22nd, 2016. Photo by Nguyễn Bá Hiển.
Generally speaking, there looks to be a busy year ahead…several recording sessions are booked, tours are being planned and/or confirmed and there are many new releases in the queue, featuring collaborations with the likes of Muyassar Kurdi & Daniel Carter, Dave Rempis, Darin Gray, Tashi Dorji, Thom Nguyen, Eddie Flowers, Eric Weddle & Will Staler, Thee Open Sex, Ohmme, Golden Braid and more…
Elastic Arts, Chicago, November 4th, 2016. Photo by Piotr Lewandowski.
Additionally, Tashi Dorji & I have been selected to be the artists-in-residency for this year’s Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City. We are taking this opportunity to work on our 2nd studio full-length and will be performing at the festival on April 7th w/ our homies 75 Dollar Bill. We are touring around this date beginning March 31st and concluding on April 12th. Here are the official dates (many details TBA):
– Friday, March 31st – duo w/ Tashi Dorji @ Duke Coffeehouse (Crowell Building, Epworth Dorm Ln.), Durham, NC
– Sunday, April 2nd – duo w/ Tashi Dorji @ TBA, Cincinnati, OH
– Friday, April 7th – duo w/ Tashi Dorji w/ 75 Dollar Bill @ Mission Creek Festival @ Trumpet Blossom Cafe (310 E Prentiss St.), Iowa City, IA
– Saturday, April 8th – duo w/ Tashi Dorji w/ Tontine Ensemble @ Acme Records (2341 S Kinnickinnic Ave.), Milwaukee, WI
– Sunday, April 9th – duo w/ Tashi Dorji w/ Six Organs Of Admittance @ Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western Ave.), Chicago, IL
– Monday, April 10th – duo w/ Tashi Dorji @ TBA, Cleveland, OH
– Tuesday, April 11th – duo w/ Tashi Dorji @ TBA, Baltimore, MD
– Wednesday, April 12th – duo w/ Tashi Dorji @ TBA, Asheville, NC
Tashi & I are grateful to have had “Both Will Escape,” our debut studio LP released in October of 2016, featured in several year-end lists, both personal and for publications. Thank you all for the continued support…
Elastic Arts, Chicago, November 4th, 2016. Photo by Piotr Lewandowski.
Lastly, here are a handful of other upcoming live dates for those interested:
– Thursday, January 26th – quintet w/ Dave Rempis, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Jason Stein, Michael Zerang w/ Boneshaker @ Elastic Arts (3429 Diversey Ave. #208), Chicago, IL
– Friday, February 3rd – solo w/ Drekka, Dante Augustus Scarlatti @ The Artifex Guild (1017 S. Walnut St.), Bloomington, IN
– Saturday, February 11th – quartet w/ Matthew Setzler, Kyle Quass & Jeff Greene w/ Show-Me Boys (Cincinnati) @ The Blockhouse (201 S. College Ave.), Bloomington, IN
– Friday, February 17th – Open Sex quintet w/ Laffing Gas, Tropical Trash (Louisville) @ Jan’s Rooms (1102 S. Washington St.), Bloomington, IN
– Saturday, February 18th – Open Sex quintet w/ Total Disgust, Tropical Trash (Louisville) @ State Street Pub (243 N. State Ave.), Indianapolis, IN
– Sunday, February 19th – Open Sex quintet w/ Bitchin’ Bajas, Tropical Trash (Louisville) @ The Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia Ave.), Chicago, IL
– Friday, April 21st – solo & duo w/ Dave Rempis @ The Spot Tavern (409 S. 4th St.), Lafayette, IN
January 18, 2017 [permalink] Daniel Carter, Darin Gray, Dave Rempis, Eddie Flowers, Eric Weddle, Golden Braid, Ha Noi, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Iowa City, Jason Stein, John Dawson, Live, Manas, Manas Trio, Michael Zerang, MIssion Creek Festival, Muyassar Kurdi, Open Sex, Recording, Residency, Saigon, Tashi Dorji, Thee Open Sex, Thom Nguyen, tour, Vietnam, Will Staler
Photo by Ryan O’Connor at the Hungry Brain, Chicago
Last evening I wrapped up the last of three duo dates w/ Chicago percussionist Skyler Rowe, a first-time outing for us and also my first public venture into duo percussion improvisations. Our chemistry was evident from note one, in both musical and personal terms, and I could not have hoped for a better time. It remains affirming to successfully engage with players in a way that yields results both fresh and familiar and to also recognize the potential for outward expansion into the future. Yeah, man. This was a strong theme over the past weekend…
In addition to the new duo work with Skyler, I also engaged in two other first-time collaborations over the weekend; firstly, a trio w/ Tashi Dorji & percussionist Thom Nguyen (who often perform en duo form as Manas) who debuted Friday evening at the Spot Tavern in Lafayette (and again in Chicago on Saturday), as well as a quartet w/ Dave Rempis (reeds), Ingebrigt Håker-Flaten (bass) and Jason Adasiewicz (vibraphone) at the Astral Spirits Festival hosted by the Hungry Brain in Chicago. Both permutations proved to be fantastic combinations, which Bill Meyer graciously recognized in DownBeat in his review of the AS fest. I’ve finally snuck in the side-door to capital J Jazz…
On Manas trio:
“While each drummer has recorded and toured previously with Dorji, they were new to each other, but there was nothing tentative about the way their playing melded into a wall of high-volume sound. Dorji alternately added to it with layers of harmonics and loops or chipped away at its surface with short, flinty phrases.”
“Håker-Flaten, Rempis and Adasiewicz have refined their duo chemistries in a host of bands over the years, so their rapport was not so much a surprise as an exhilarating confirmation of possibilities. Damon not only fit right in to this web of affiliations, but he projected a complementary density of attack and contrasting tones from his trap kit (…) His performance was easily one of the festival’s high points.”
See the full article HERE. Many thanks to Bill Meyer for his kind words…
Lastly, I owe a massive (and overdue) ‘thank you’ to everyone involved in the incredibly successful June outing with Tashi Dorji & Mette Rasmussen. It was likely the greatest tour I’ve ever been a part of and it was an incredible privilege to share time and music with Tashi & Mette and, if only for a day, with Muya Kurdi & Daniel Carter. So, anyway…thank you!
I’ve added a few late Summer/early fall dates to the LIVE page, including appearances with Open Sex and a duo with Sacramento’s Ross Hammond. Check ’em out, bye for now…
July 28, 2016 [permalink] Astral Spirits, Bill Meyer, Daniel Carter, Dave Rempis, DownBeat, Duo, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Jason Adasiewicz, Live, Mette Rasmussen, Muyassar Kurdi, Press, Quartet, Skyler Rowe, Tashi Dorji, Thom Nguyen, tour, Trio