the kids are all riot

if they are numb
this world is number.

2nd & 3rd nytimes blogs

the 2nd
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/02/stew-in-africa-artists-at-play-and-work/

3rd and final
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/11/stew-in-africa-colors-and-collaboration-that-wont-fade/.

/s

some questions answered…

hi,
folks from england always ask if we are ever going to come over and i guess the answer is, i don’t know.

we are coming out with a new record in january called “making it.” we’ll be playing here and there in the states to promote it and who knows maybe someone will want us to come over to england to play.
i love england and scotland. never been to ireland but i know i’d dig it.
the shows Heidi and i did opening for Arthur Lee and Love (our dear friends Baby Lemonade) in the UK were…almost impossible to describe. We figured we were in an impossible position opening for God but they were the best duo shows Heidi and I ever played. Going down as well as we did in places like Manchester and Liverpool especially, I have to say, for an admitted anglophile such as myself, it was the highlight of my life at the time.

England taught America important lessons about itself.
I owe it to the Stones for introducing me to Robert Johnson and
Muddy Waters. Black people in my world were trying to distance
themselves from all that greatness. The French taught us that our pulp fiction and b-movies were actually art but the brits gave us our music back to us – at least to those of us who wanted it.

Making It will feature songs from the live song-cycle we did at St Anns Warehouse last year called (guess) Making It. It’ll also feature some tunes that weren’t in the Making It show.

Somebody asked about the song “Speed.” It’ll be on that record.

Heidi and I are playing a show at Joe’s Pub on October 4th. I think we’re the first band to play the re-opening of the Pub with its new design. We’re doing it just us and Spurney, our guitar/keys cousin from PS, and it’s kind of a unplugged sort of show (is it lame to use the term unplugged still?). You know, its that “intimate” “an evening with” kinda deal…we’ll tell cute stories behind the songs and I’ll see how pissed I can make Heidi by making references to our break-up and post-break-up drama that was happening throughout all three runs of the play (Berkeley Rep, the Public and Broadway). So come on out to that show if you feel like it and you live in new york or if yer the kind of person who flies into new york for shows.

i’m teaching at the university of wisconsin in madison this Fall. It’s basically the class I always wanted to take. More about that when class gets going.

hope all is well with everyone.
be goodish,
/s

Go See Chris Rael’s Araby

If you came to Brooklyn Omnibus or our Passover Seder at Barbes or if you’ve been a student of the great new york underground for more than a little while, you know who Chris Rael is. He is the founding member of legendary New York band Church of Betty, he plays a mean sitar and sings up a storm. But most significantly, he writes amazing songs. And if that were not enough, he writes amazing works of music-theater as well!!! He also hangs with this dude named Joyce, an Irish cat who I hear is a real up and comer. Apparently, JJ is really easy to work with and him and Chris have done some kick-ass collaborating. Check out the below info and go see Chris and Co. do amazing things.
It’s gonna be DY-NO-MITE!

ARABY
Christopher Rael
Writer: Chris Rael, based on stories by James Joyce
Director: Awoye Timpo
Joyce’s Dubliners come to life in popular song: 15 stories in 15 songs. Soaring voices and chamber ensemble transform gut-wrenching vignettes into tales of redemption. From eastern-flavored Araby to gospel pastiche Grace to The Dead, beauty, joy and catharsis beckon.
1h 30m Local Brooklyn, New York
Musical Drama
Staycation: Literary Lane
www.myspace.com/ChrisRaelAraby
VENUE #9: The Ellen Stewart Theatre @ LA MAMA
Sat 13 @ 2:30 Wed 17 @ 6:15 Fri 19 @ 2 Sat 20 @ 7:30 Sun 21 @ 12

Our Man in Kenya

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/26/stew-in-africa-a-long-time-coming/

Passover Strange

hi,

i’m not on facebook but i think my name is. for an unknown period of time a very sweet assistant of mine was posting stuff on facebook and pretending it was me. this was her trying to be good to me by giving me a facebook presence because she knew all too well I couldn’t be bothered cuz i find email hard enough to keep up with.

in more interesting news, if yer in brooklyn and you wanna do passover strange with us come to barbes in park slope at 7pm sharp tonight Monday April 18th and we”ll have matzoh, wine and lotsa music for you.

and we’ll answer Burning Spear’s burning question…

“Do You Remember the Days of Slavery?”

7pm sharp Barbes Park Slope Brooklyn

/s

sxsw not

hey sorry there has been no official announcement of this from our camp but we are NOT playing sxsw this year despite the fact that we seem to be still listed as playing according to some people.
sorry for any confusion…or jazz fusion.
/s

SF -Yerba Buena Arts Center

This was one of those shows we will always remember…
even as I’ve forgotten key details of it already!
I do remember it had that electric goose-bump vibe from the beginning that good shows always have. It’s like the space is permeated by haze of warm, expectant grins. When you walk out the audience just kind of collectively sighs to you “We wanna have fun” and you go “So do we” and then you both start making fun together.

It had been a while since we’d played in SF… primarily because we fell in love with the Oakland Metro some time ago…a wonderfully unique, misfit space and a misfit band: we were a perfect fit.

But it was AMAZING to be back in SF.
And I can’t wait to get back. Met some great people
at the cd table along with some old friends.

SF has always been a hugely important
place for me ever since I rode up with my friends after
we graduated from the 10th grade and just generally
bummed around while trying to pretend it was 1968.
This was my first road trip.

After the gig, again, quiet conversation won out over screaming-
over-a-drink after-hang.

Nothing better than a rainy night in North Beach
just hanging quietly and laughing while the waiter
brings the wild, live flip-flopping sea bass to our table, water
spraying everywhere, for me to inspect.

I say “sorry brother fish”, then to my dining companion
“let’s get something green” and then we talk
about our kids while I remember being my daughter’s
age at this very same table some 30 years ago after just having come from City Lights Bookstore for the first time and being very excited about the fact that Kerouac ate here too.

/s

This is a good job.

davis 2…

…was us finally not feeling stunned by the fact that we did not have our Omnibus Orchestra behind us…it was a real club show and it was quite alot of fun saying things both in and between songs that made the young people laugh and the older people kinda squirm.

It only took a day or two to see
that the road has changed for me.
its different than it used to be.
i can tell by the kinds of things i do after shows.
i tend to seek out quiet conversation
over the intense drink-fest.

and i don’t think it’s a sign of being an aging hipster.
It’s me and Rodewald not being a couple anymore.
The dynamic is completely different now.
And very interesting.

/s

the hair of the gig that bit us…

yeah it was weird going from omnibus orchestra to five piece combo but the room @ davis is quiet warm and intimate and somehow that made sense last night. it’s the kinda room i’d like to do a week straight in just to figure it out.

omnibus was different from any show we’d ever done. i really felt more like the host of a cool party rather than the guy on the marquee.

spoke with davis students yesterday. sharp young people. what a strange world to be young in…which is i’m sure exactly what my parents thought…or did they?

“sexy brooklyn mami” translates quite well outside of brooklyn as we found out last night.

we started out as this LA band playing LA songs for New Yorkers. In a few days we’ll be this New York band playing New York songs for LA people.

Did that make sense?
Does anything,
when yer on tour?

/s