Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Spring & summer update

Busy few months gone by there! Here's a summary (or summer-ry, if you will):

  • No Static, after a couple of gigs in June (San Mateo County Fair and the American Legion Coastside Post 474 in Princeton-by-the-Sea), had a very full August with six gigs – Pedro Point Brewing in Pacifica, Freewheel Brewery & Pub in Redwood City, the Burlingame On the Avenue street fair, the Wine Room in Moss Beach, Winters Tavern in Pacifica, and Scopo Divino in San Francisco.
  • In addition, in August I played a wedding with the terrific singer Le Perez and Jeff Moles on upright bass, and a gig with Jon Rubin at the Cigar Bar & Grill in San Francisco.
  • Sharon Lea has emerged from her hiatus and expressed interest in re-estblishing Lea & Co., as a duo again, so we've started to shake off the dust and we've scheduled an afternoon soon to record a few demos.
  • The erstwhile jamming entity consisting of Jeff Kamil, the bassist know to some as PJ, Tom DeFiglio, and myself managed to play together one Sunday in early July. I recorded it, and there were some nice moments, so I might go through and cull out a few clips to post on my SoundCloud page.
  • I had a lovely jamming session with bassist Scot Larsen and drummer Jesse Van Hiller in May; hope to do it again soon, but it's hard to find a time that works for us all.
  • Speaking of jamming, my infrequent appearances at Stan Erhart's weekly jam session at the American Legion Coastside Post 474 in Princeton-by-the-Sea continue to be pretty infrequent, about once every six or seven weeks. But I always have a good time, sometimes a great time... I really should go more frequently.
  • Aside from a small burst of recording several practice tracks in May for a planned playing party with my drumming friend Jeff O'Rourke that still has not taken place, I've done precious little recording. I've taken to watching too many Yankees baseball games since accidentally re-upping for MLB TV for the 2018 season.  Come October I'll have no such excuse until next March... But there are a couple of things I've been working up, maybe I'll get to them a bit. I have a solo arrangement of Jaco Pastorius' "Continuum" and a couple of other pieces with backing tracks, including Wayne Shorter's "Palladium," which I've been working on. 
  • Finally, in the Sound Toys department...
    • my most recent doohickey is the Electro-Harmonix Freeze Sound Retainer pedal, which allows you to record an instant slice of sound – for example, the initial strike of a chord – and have it continue as long as desired. It will take me some time and practice to become adept at using it, but it promises to be a helpful thing for playing solo guitar. I can, for example, play a harmony at the top of a section and then let it hang in the air as I improvise over it, and then drop that one and grab another moment as the chords change...
    • I have also tried to start actually learning how to use my Digitech JamMan Stereo looper that I've had for some time now. I've been interested in the possibilities of looping for some time but the learning curve has kept me at the threshold, never getting past the "quick start" section of the manual. To inspire me, I got a video course from TrueFire called "The Creative Looping Handbook," presented by Robbie Calvo, which I've been working my way through.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A new year

It's the middle of January 2018... days are starting to get longer as we slouch toward spring. Latest music stuff:
  • No Static played a Sunday late afternoon gig at Winters Tavern in Pacifica. We hope to get a bunch more soon. I finished mixing one remaining leftover track from the August recording session, the Steely Dan tune "Black Cow," and added it to our SoundCloud playlist.
  • Lea & Co. played a private Christmas party in early December, but Sharon has decided to put it on the shelf for the moment for personal reasons. Hopefully we'll be back before too long.