Friday, December 26, 2008

Musicians should write about what they do

Seriously illuminating interview with the Ronald Reagan of jazz, Wynton Marsalis, here. The Bad Plus' blog Do the Math is an incredible repository of writings. Always inspiring reading, because it's journalism of the highest order written by a musician. I remember struggling as an undergrad with the seemingly irreconcilable problem of wanting to play jazz and write about it. I pretty much gave up on writing about it (and presumably, according to Wynton...). A quick look at the length of most of my blog posts will confirm that. So kudos to Ethan Iverson for taking the time to balance the scales. Musicians should write about what they do.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Powerful Story

My mom gave Sara and I a copy of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's powerful memoir Infidel a couple weeks ago. Sara tore through it and I'm about 3/4 of the way into it now. Generally favorable reviews at Metacritic. Fascinating account of Somali life and life in exile in Saudi Arabia, Kenya and the Netherlands. In a seemingly unlikely match, Ali is a now a fellow at the right-wing American Enterprise Institute. Amazing story and definitely recommended holiday reading.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Top Ten Heard, Read, Seen in 2008

Here they are folks. My Top 10 of 2008 heard, read, and seen. Of course many of the films, TV shows, and books weren't created this year. I just happened to encounter them in 2008. The concerts all happened in the last twelve months. Feels a little weird to be home on a Friday evening compiling these lists and not at the concert of Elliot Carter's music at Carnegie Hall going on RIGHT NOW, but I need a night off, yo! The photo included is from his Boston Symphony Orch at Carnegie Hall centenary celebration last night. Wish I could have been there. Had a gig. Can't do everything. So it goes in New York.

1. Messiaen Turangalila at Carnegie Hall Feb
2. Messiaen organ concerts at St Thomas Church Oct/Nov
3. Elliot Carter Focus Festival concerts at Juilliard Jan
4. Smith/Abrams/Lewis AACM event May
5. Angelique Kidjo private party at ABC furniture Nov
6. AACM mini-fest at the Kitchen Oct
7. Gagaku Winds at Japan Society Oct
8. Cecil Taylor/Tony Oxley at the Village Vanguard Nov
9. The Engines at Union Hall Jan
10. Aram Shelton’s Arrive at Zebulon Aug

1. “Power Stronger than Itself” George E. Lewis
2. “A Fine Balance” Rohinton Mistry
3. “Leviathan” Paul Auster
4. “King Suckerman” George Pelecanos
5. “Bridge of Sighs” Richard Russo
6. “The Rest is Noise” Alex Ross
7. “Oracle Nights” Paul Auster
8. “The Big Blowdown” George Pelecanos
9. “Single and Single” John Le Carre
10. “The Road to Wellness” T.C. Boyle

1. The Wire season 5
2. State of Play
3. Foyle’s War season 5
4. The Shield season 5
5. The Shield season 6
6. Flight of the Conchords season 1
7. Foyles War season 6
8. Prime Suspect season 1
9. John Adams
10. Prime Suspect season 2

1. The Fall
2. Ashes of Time Redux
3. Persepolis
4. Days of Heaven
5. Eastern Promises
6. The Counterfeiters
7. War Dance
8. Molaade
9. Tai Chi Master
10. Step Brothers

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Canada Day this Wednesday 12/3 Friday 12/5


If any are free this Wednesday or Friday night, please come on down to
Canada Day's final two gigs of 2008 in preparation for a Clean Feed
recording December 6.

This band has played regularly for a year and a half and the material is
sounding great.


Wednesday, December 3rd 2008 @ Monkeytown
Canada Day at Monkeytown
Admission: $5, $10 minimum
Showtime: 8:00pm

Friday December 5th 2008 @ Cornelia Street Café
Canada Day at Cornelia St Cafe
Admission: $10
Showtimes: 9pm, 10:30pm


Harris Eisenstadt's Canada Day

Nate Wooley (trumpet)
Matt Bauder (tenor saxophone)
Chris Dingman (vibraphone)
Eivind Opsvik (bass)
Harris Eisenstadt (drums, compositions)


"Eisenstadt's Canada Day is a striking blend of spacious groove and textural
intimacy." - Time Out New York

"He's perpetually building new ensembles to suit the variety of music he
hears in his head — that's what composers do. That music is just abstract
enough to fall on the avant side of the tracks, but there are usually
cohesive threads and kinetic triggers guiding the action. This quintet with
vibes, reeds, and brass up front should suit his not-so-hidden yen for
textural splendor." Village Voice