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REVIEW: Tomahawk @ Wonder Ballroom (Portland, OR – 2/13/13)

17th Feb 13 (Sun) 1 comment

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

Tomahawk 2013

Being a longtime Mike Patton fan, I got into Tomahawk right when the self-titled debut hit in 2001.  Mike Patton stated early on that Tomahawk was led by Duane Denison (from The Jesus Lizard).  It comes and goes at Duane’s pace.  With that, Tomahawk has tended to change a fair bit from album to album.  While Mit Gas (2003) was fairly similar to the debut in approach, the shape-shifting sound really caught me off-guard with their Native American-inspired third album – Anonymous (2007).Tomahawk - Oddfellows

Their latest album, Oddfellows, hit two weeks ago.  I’ve let it sink in a bit.  It’s a bit more “straight-forward” rock than their prior albums.  Still some Patton & Denison-isms thrown in to make it buck the normal rock trend.  Overall, it’s a solid record and I’ve been warming up nicely to it, getting ready for the show.

Their official video for the song “Oddfellows” came out late last week.  This is the one song on the album that I could see on the final Faith No More album (sandwiched in between Home Sick Home & Pristina perhaps)… it just has that “feel” to me…

The opener was Retox… and they played 30 minutes of homogenous tunes that were fairly screamy with muddy-drumming.  Nothing else to say there…Tomahawk

Tomahawk hit the stage a bit later than expected… at about 10pm after a 45-minute loop of the “Tomahawk Chop” chant (think Atlanta Braves cheering section, but with no game).  The band this go around is the previously mentioned Mike Patton on vocals/keys/sounds and Duane Denison on guitars with original Helmet drummer John Stanier and Mr. Bungle/Fantômas/Trio Convulsant/many more groups/NYC jazz bassist Trevor Dunn.

They played a great mix from their four records – showcasing the difference in the band’s catalog and the variety in Patton’s voice.  As this was the start to the tour, they seemed amped to be out there.  At one point during “God Hates A Coward,” Patton got a bit overzealous and yanked the cord out of his mic.  He got us to help him out, and while that’s oddly not a song where the “crowd takes over” technique would seem to fit, we worked through the technical difficulty well.

Setlist: about 90 minutes

  • Oddfellows
  • Flashback
  • 101 North
  • Stone Letter
  • Birdsong
  • Rape This Day
  • Baby Let’s Play ____
  • Capt. Midnight
  • White Hats / Black Hats
  • God Hates a Coward
  • I.O.U.
  • Rotgut
  • South Paw
  • Point and Click
  • Waratorium
  • Laredo
  • Encore 1: Totem
  • Stalkin’ [Duane Eddy]
  • *Encore 2: Pay To Cum [Bad Brains]
  •  Just One More [George Jones]
    *per FB & Setlist.fm commenters

Apparently they came back on after the 1st encore.  The house lights had already come on, and I was out the door before I heard anything; alas, I missed the 2nd encore. Damn!  I’m still stoked to have gotten to see them live – it had been far too long!

many more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

This was only the second date of the West Coast U.S. Tour; so definitely check out more tour dates below.  They’re hitting Australia after the U.S. West Coast and then hitting the rest of the U.S. hopefully later in the year.

Next show for me… two shows at the PDX Jazz Fest next weekend in Portland (Steve Kuhn Trio & Steven Bernstein’s Sex Mob).

~Dan – np: TomahawkMit Gas
Tomahawk - Mit Gas

TOMAHAWK PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2013 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Tomahawk – West Coast & Australia 2013 Tour

  • 2/12 Seattle, WA Showbox at the Market
  • 2/13 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom
  • 2/15 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
  • 2/16 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
  • 2/17 Santa Ana, CA The Observatory
  • 2/19 Los Angeles, CA The Mayan
  • 2/23 Brisbane, AUS RNA Showgrounds
  • 2/24 Sydney, AUS Olympic Park
  • 2/26 Sydney, AUS Metro Theatre
  • 2/27 Melbourne, AUS Billboard the Venue
  • 3/1 Melbourne, AUS Flemington Racecourse
  • 3/2 Adelaide, AUS Bonython Park
  • 3/4 Perth, AUS Claremont Showground
  • 3/30 Sao Paolo, BR Lollapalooza Brazil
  • 4/2 Buenos Aires, AR Malvinas Argentinas Stadium
  • 4/4 Santiago, CH Teatro La Cupula del Parque O’Higgins
  • 4/6 Santiago, CH Lollapalooza Chile

Moonchild & Melvins Lite

17th Feb 12 (Fri) Leave a comment

The upcoming Moonchild record will be the first to feature lyrics that John Zorn has written for Mike Patton to sing.  Prior Moonchild albums have been trio affairs of noise/jazz metal glossolalia from Patton, Trevor Dunn (bass) and Joey Baron (drums) with a smattering of guests musicians like Ikue Mori, Jamie Saft and Marc Ribot.  The sixth (!!) Moonchild release is set for a 2012 delivery on Zorn’s Tzadik Records.  Based on info from Chippy (Tzadik’s art designer), the album name may very well be called Templars.

Here’s some more tidbits from the mixing/mastering crew:

Other related news… Trevor Dunn is also involved in the new stripped-down Melvins Lite band with the Melvins “core” members: King Buzzo and Dale Crover.  The debut album from this evolution of the band comes out in June 2012 on Patton’s Ipecac Recordings…

Source: Ipecac

Oh, Freak Puke… such lovely imagery…

~Dan – np: CelldwellerSoundtrack for the Voice in My Head Vol 2, Ch 2

Tomahawk – Eponymous to Anonymous (RSD 2012 vinyl)

15th Feb 12 (Wed) 2 comments

On Record Store Day 2012 (aka 4/21/12), Tomahawk will release its first three albums on vinyl – their first time ever in this format.  The vinyl boxset sleeve for “Eponymous to Anonymous” will also contain a space for their upcoming fourth record on vinyl as well (currently TBD)…

Source: Tomahawk FB page

For those not in the know, Tomahawk is the super-group led by Duane Denison on guitars/songwriting (The Jesus Lizard, U.S.S.A., etc) that features Mike Patton on vocals (Faith No More, Mr Bungle, Fantomas, Mondo Cane, Moonchild, etc), John Stanier on drums (Helmet, Battles, etc), and Trevor Dunn on bass (Mr Bungle, Trio Convulsant, MadLove, Moonchild, etc).

Their breakout debut (Tomahawk out on Ipecac in 2001) is amazing… the other two vinyls in the RSD2012 set are Mit Gas and Anonymous… also great from the ever-evolving group:

 

Again, Record Store Day 2012 is April 21.  Find out about more RSD2012 releases HERE.

~Dan – np: John Zorn’s The DreamersO’o

REVIEW: Trevor Dunn & Travis Laplante @ Wandering Goat (Eugene, OR – 1/31/12)

2nd Feb 12 (Thu) 8 comments

PHOTOS FROM THE SHOW AT THE BOTTOM

I’ve been a fan of Mr Bungle/Fantômas/John Zorn collaborative bass player Trevor Dunn for a while.  When I get a chance to see him, especially within biking distance, I go.  From Trevor Dunn’s website, the “Double Solo” tour was noted as a “West Coast spit-roasting agenda. I’ll be playing a 30 min solo bass piece & Travis [Laplante] will play a set for solo tenor saxophone.”  Ah, a night of avant-garde jazz… yum!

Ryan A. Miller from Portland was up first… he played about 30-40 minutes on solo acoustic guitar.  A lot of loops, noises, and a little bit of what might seem like “futzing around,” but I dug it.  There were definitely some odd parts, but I definitely thought his set was more interesting than not.  You could tell he had skills, just couldn’t tell how they were going to evolve and manifest.  Update 2/8/12: Ryan’s band (U SCO) was the opener for the Secret Chiefs 3 show in Portland the very next week.  U SCO is a wicked, rad schizophrenic proggy, jazzy rock trio.  Excellent stuff!

Travis Laplante (Battle Trance) took his spot on the floor just off stage and gave us an initial onslaught of loud, raucous alto sax.  His first piece reminded me of Peter Evans solo trumpet show from 2008.  Ballistic, unfocused melodically, intense… what avant-garde jazz is meant to be.  His second piece was gentler and more melodic at first.  It was contained but not necessarily restrained before he finally let loose at the end.  His third and final piece was a dronier delight.

Trevor Dunn played last and gave us the 30-minute piece that he’s tentatively calling “The Pentagram.”  He dedicated it to Pisces.  It definitely had a “composed” feel to it (later confirmed with Trevor), but it was open and free enough to let him explore where it could go.  He plucked, he scraped, he bowed, he played below the bridge, he played with clothespins on the strings.  To sum it up in a word: fascinating.  You’ve gotta love it when he makes a few of his other bands (Mr Bungle/Fantômas) seem “too mainstream.”

Update 2/7/12: Check out this East Bay Express write-up of the Oakland show by Rachel Swan… waaaaaay better write-up (she’s a journalist and rightfully gets paid for it).  Gives you a better feel for the Dunn piece as a whole.

Trevor and Travis are wrapping up this tour this coming weekend… tonight in San Francisco, then Friday in Oakland, Saturday in Los Angeles and Sunday in Santa Cruz.  Check his Tour Page for more info.

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next show for me… Thee Silver Mt. Zion (splinter group from Godspeed You! Black Emperor) at Mississippi Studios on 2/4.

~Dan – np: Frank ZappaThem Or Us

TREVOR DUNN & TRAVIS LAPLANTE PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2012 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

John Zorn w/ Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn & John Medeski

27th Dec 11 (Tue) Leave a comment

These posts from Tzadik mixer extraordinaire Marc Urselli made me giddy…

Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn & John Medeski together on a future John Zorn release?!  Excellent!  It’s not listed on the Tzadik upcoming releases page, yet

~Dan – np: Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra – MTO Plays Sly

Fantômas – The Director’s Cut Live: A New Year’s Revolution (DVD)

19th Jul 11 (Tue) Leave a comment
Pushed back only slightly from the previously mentioned July 2011 date, Fantômas‘ newest release, the live DVD The Director’s Cut Live: A New Year’s Revolution (Ipecac IPC-129), hits on September 6, 2011.  There will also be a stand-alone audio download of the show.

Tracklist:

The Godfather
Night of the Hunter
Cape Fear
Experiment in Terror
One Step Beyond
Rosemary’s Baby
The Devil Rides Out
Spider Baby
The Omen (Ave Satani)
Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer
Vendetta
Investigation Of A Citizen Above Suspicion
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Der Golem
Charade
Intermission
Simply Beautiful [Al Green]
Chariot Choogle [Marc Bolan & T Rex]

No word on pre-order info yet… I’ll post a link once it’s available on the Amazons.

Fantômas is a noise-metal supergroup: Mike Patton on voice and electronics (Faith No More/Mr Bungle/Mondo Cane/Peeping Tom/Tomahawk/Moonchild/etc), Trevor Dunn on bass (Mr Bungle/Secret Chiefs 3/many John Zorn projects), King Buzzo on guitars (the Melvins), and Dave Lombardo on drums (Slayer).  The Director’s Cut is their second album of re-imagined mystery/horror/suspense movie scores… this is their front-to-back live recording of it from 12/31/2008.

~Dan – np: Sigur RósTakk

REVIEW: Nels Cline Singers with Yuka Honda @ Doug Fir Lounge (Portland, OR – 1/30/11)

2nd Feb 11 (Wed) 3 comments

 FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

I had heard of Nels Cline like many people… via Wilco.  I had even seen Wilco at some point on the A Ghost is Born tour (Taft Theatre, Cincinnati, 2000-and-something).  While I dig Wilco enough, more adventurous music is where it’s at for me nowadays.  I had heard of Nels and knew of his free jazz group, but I had only actually heard a little bit of his music – which gets me to my interest even being piqued in this show… enter Yuka C. Honda.

I dig Yuka’s Japanese/American sugar-pop of Cibo Matto (with fellow Japanese ex-pat Miho Hatori), but I also dig her experimental acoustic-electronic albums on Tzadik.  My love of Yuka’s solo work led to her Portland tour date popping up on my radar…and I saw “oh, and with Nels Cline, I’ve heard some of his stuff.”

Boy, was I in for a surprise.

I found out about a week before the show that Yuka was actually playing with the Nels Cline Singers (the next generation of his NC Trio).  I found out later that they’re married ; so the joint tour totally made sense to me now.

Then I found out that one of my favorite bassists, Trevor Dunn, was playing in the group for this short West Coast tour.  Trevor played/plays with Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, Moonchild, Trio Convulsant, Electric Masada, et-fucking-cetera (tons upon tons of groups).

Then I found out that Scott Amendola was drumming with them… he’s the drummer for Mike Patton‘s fantastic Mondo Cane big-band.  Then, after seeing the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger* on Friday 1/28 in Portland, I thought… “hey, GOASTT is wrapping up their tour in Seattle on the 29th, and Nels Cline is starting their tour on the 29th in Seattle.  Sean Lennon (of GOASTT) & Yuka used to be together as a couple and still work in bands together, Sean & Nels are on the same label, I bet something’s up.”  Well, yeah, something was up…

*GOASTT is Sean Lennon & Charlotte Kemp Muhl‘s band (to the R of Nels).

As evidenced above, Sean & Charlotte watched from side of the stage during the first set, until Sean disappeared only to come up on stage to tambourine with the group for the last song in the first set.

So, now that my mind was thoroughly blown with all of the players on stage – let’s get on with the music.

Despite the “Singers” namesake, it’s an instrumental band.  Actually, it’s an instrumental force with which to reckon.  The first set started off with just the trio of Nels’ guitars and the battery of Trevor & Scott.  The first song “Forge” swooned and swelled before crashing down on our ears.

The group seemed to me to be a great mix of what I love about both free jazz and post-rock.  You don’t know what to expect, and you don’t want to know what to expect.  The wave-like rise and fall is part of the enjoyment.  If the wave doesn’t take you to where you wanted to go, well, you have to give in… it’s not your wave to control.

After the first few songs, Yuka came on and joined them on keyboards and percussion.  I think she evened out the sound a bit… less chaotic, but still adventurous.

1st Set: 60-70 minutes

  • Forge
  • A Mug Like Mine
  • Dedication
  • Thurston County
  • B86 (Inkblot Nebula)
  • Thoughts on Caetano [with Sean Lennon]

Brilliant wall of sound and magic coming from the Singers.  Alas, I had to call it a night.  They took about a 30-40 minute break before I threw in the towel (around 11pm).  They were going to come back on and do a 2nd full set.  Sunday night, long drive ahead of me… I headed back to Eugene.  I sooo very much wanted to stick around for the second set.  The cards were stacked against me; so I scurried to my car and hit the road… if any readers caught the second set – how was it? what did they play?

many more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

Next shows for me… Sir Elton John in Eugene on 2/17 and then Godspeed! You Black Emperor the next day in Portland.

~Dan – np: OpethOrchid

NELS CLINE SINGERS PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2011 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Winter 2011 West Coast Tour Dates

  • Jan 29 – Seattle, WA – Is That Jazz? Festival
  • Jan 30 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
  • Feb 2 – Arcata, CA – Arcata Playhouse
  • Feb 3 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent
  • Feb 4 – Santa Cruz, CA – Don Quixote’s
  • Feb 5 – Los Angeles, CA – Getty Center

Nels Cline Singers – Portland (photos on Wednesday)

31st Jan 11 (Mon) 1 comment

Last night’s show at the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland with the Nels Cline Singers (Nels, Trevor Dunn & Scott Amendola) with Yuka Honda was rad.  Due to my schedule, I won’t be able to post the review until late Tuesday Wednesday (Go Here for the Review/Photos).  Here are some teaser shots… one with Sean Lennon







More to come… check back Tuesday night Wednesday morning!  Sorry, utterly swamped at work…

~Dan

Zorn @ Marciac (Aug 2010)

11th Dec 10 (Sat) Leave a comment

If you have 54 minutes to kill… and, well, maybe you should clear your schedule… John Zorn & Co @ Marciac Jazz Fest 2010

August 11, 2010

1. Little Bittern
2. Anulikwutsayl
3. Exodus
4. Karaim
5. Lilin

JOHN ZORN – direction, saxophone
MARC RIBOT – guitar
JAMIE SAFT – piano, orgue
TREVOR DUNN – bass
KENNY WOLLESEN – vibraphone
JOEY BARON – drums
CYRO BAPTISTA – percussion

~Dan – np: AutorYnoPastrami Bagel Social Club

astronome: a night at the opera

18th Oct 08 (Sat) Leave a comment

John Zorn’s Moonchild Trio (Mike Patton/Trevor Dunn/Joey Baron) is due out with a fourth recorded installment (The Crucible) later in 2008/early 2009.  Their second installment, 2006’s Astronome, is getting a revised treatment for the stage.  From the Downtown Music Gallery‘s newsletter this week:

ASTRONOME: A NIGHT AT THE OPERA!

Director Richard Foreman and musician John Zorn team up for Astronome: A Night at the Opera opening next year [2009] at Ontological-Hysteric Theater.

WATCH VIDEO FEED of rehearsals and see how Foreman develops this production… EVERY WEDNESDAY from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 26, 2008-Jan. 21, 2009 live from the Ontological-Hysteric Theater in Manhattan! [No rehearsals Dec. 24, 2008]

Tune in at http://www.free103point9.org

http://www.ontological.com/

hmm… No word in the above weblinks if the Patton/Dunn/Baron Moonchild Trio (pictured below) will be in the production.  I don’t know how it would work without them, but you never know.  I mean, it could probably only be non-rad if they got Renee Zellweger to play Mike Patton’s parts. :)  .

NYC trip in 2009 for me?  Unlikely.  But I can dream…

~Dan – np: Paul Brody’s SadawiFor the Moment


Fantômas & Mondo Cane 2009

12th Oct 08 (Sun) 5 comments

As reported by stubbadub/Rockarolla, 2009 may shape up to be a Mike Patton banner year

Mike Patton’s avant-garde, noise-metal quartet FANTÔMAS is set to record their fifth album.  Fantômas is Mike Patton on voice and electronics, Trevor Dunn (from Mr Bungle, Trio Convulsant, etc) on bass, Buzz Osbourne (from the Melvins) on guitars, and Dave Lombardo (from Slayer) on drums.  In live settings, I’ve even heard that Mike’s enlisted Terry Bozzio (from Frank Zappa’s band, etc) on drums when Dave Lombardo isn’t available.

Their albums have all had themes so far: the self-titled debut (aka Amenaza al Mundo) was based on a 30 page/picture graphic novel; their second, “most-accessible” album (The Director’s Cut) was reinterpretations of horror/ suspense/ gangster movie music; their third album (Delìrivm Còrdia) was a 74-minute, one-track meandering about anesthetic-free surgery (yes, you read that correctly); and their fourth album (Suspended Animation) was 30 tracks dedicated to the month of April 2005.


The rumors are that the 5th record will be an “all electronic” record.  I’m hoping that Mike will still utilize Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo despite this slant on the music.  I’ve also heard rumors (years ago) that Mike also wanted to do an all-acoustic Fantômas record – – which, IMO, would pwn.  Anyway, the Fantômas record is expected by June 2009.  We shall see…

For a feel for what Fantômas can be all about, here’s a “cute” 52-second animated video for “Page 25” from their debut:

http://ipecac.com/archives/extras/page25.php

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

In other news, Mike Patton’s Italian ’60s pop project (a la Ennio Morricone) called MONDO CANE is due out in March 2009.  I posted about the Mondo Cane concert in Amsterdam (which is available as streaming video) over HERE.

~Dan – np: Goddamn Electric BillTopics for Gossip

JZ’s The Crucible, The Dreamers, biography, and JFJO grumbles

13th Sep 08 (Sat) Leave a comment

Well, first.. I didn’t end up at the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (JFJO) show last night.  Boo.  Stupid Eugene Celebration blocking off within 60 yards of the art gallery where they were playing and wanting me to buy a wristband to see a show I’d have to pay for that’s not on a stage at Eugene Celebration.  I think me skipping it was on principle, not on lack for wanting to see JFJO.  Rassen frassen… but I hope to catch the free Richard Crandell show today at Cozmic Pizza.  He’s a mbira player, and I have one of his composer series CDs on Tzadik Records.  He’s from frickin’ Eugene and on Tzadik Records – – how cool is that?

Speaking of Tzadik… on to some upcoming Jay-Z news… and by Jay-Z, I mean John Zorn (founder of Tzadik).

Graphic design artist extraordinaire Heung Heung “Chippy” posted on her blog about some new design stuff that she’s been working on for Tzadik:

I’m designing a book jacket for John Brackett’s biography on John Zorn, published by Indiana University Press.  Title: John Zorn Tradition and Transgression.  Cover photo by Scott Irvine, Book Jacket Design by myself, Book Interior Design by Jamison Cockerham.  It’s nearly done and looking pretty good. Please look for it and buy this first biography ever on one of New York City’s heroes.

FOR MORE JOHN ZORN MUSIC, we have many treats for you–he’s been releasing amazing FilmWorks CDs (yes, prolific), another one is on its way–this one is extra special, one I’ve been listening to everyday–very meaningful, touching upon so many personal levels. (The Last Supper, FilmWorks XXII).

For those who are eagerly waiting for The Crucible (Moonchild’s 4th CD), it is coming very soon. Expect more killer photography by Scott Irvine (Tzadik’s official photographer–thank you to all who voted for him this summer), design by myself. Powerful music. And yes, you can have your Mike Patton too.

And it doesn’t stop there. The Dreamers will be expanding like a Chippy dream come true. For you audiophiles, this is our first yet–can’t say now until I’m working on it. Expect limited edition. Speaking of Limited Edition–The Dreamers’ shirts–they will now be considered limited edition, so please get them at Zakka in Dumbo (childrens are only available there or through me) or http://www.tzadik.com Note: once these go and we reprint, the artwork will be different.

My recap in backwards order…

I imagine The Dreamers limited edition thing for audiophiles may very well be a vinyl issue.  That’s my inkling and heretofore a rumor.  Tzadik hasn’t done a vinyl yet, and what else for audiophiles is considered limited edition these days?  Sweet… The Dreamers is a fantastic, exotica meets Electric Masada ventures out earlier this year on Tzadik.  It’s one of my favs of 2008 so far.

The Crucible… yay!  A 4th installment from the noisemetal Moonchild Trio of Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn, and Joey Baron was inevitable.

I dig JZ’s Filmworks series… Sholem Aleichem: Filmworks XX is on its way to me now.

Additional info on the John Zorn biography… it’s due out in early 2009.  It’s a book.  With pages.  Some probably graphic (just judging based on JZ’s Naked City album artwork and Dr. Brackett’s recent presentations at recent conferences).

~Dan – np: The Tiptons Sax QuartetLaws of Motion

Sean Lennon

9th May 08 (Fri) Leave a comment

For fans of Sean Lennon… or potential fans of Sean Lennon… his 2006 album Friendly Fire was one of my absolute favorites that year. It’s short, but it comes with a DVD that’s ostensibly the entire album set to a music video (and shot very well with real artistic, movie-making direction). Anyway, check it out…


http://www.myspace.com/seanlennon

I just recently stumbled on a few more Sean Lennon projects…

The Ghost of a Saber Toothed Tiger: Sean and his girlfriend (Charlotte Kemp Muhl) have a new pop project… the band name is The Ghost of a Saber Toothed Tiger. They go by “Amatla & Zargifon” instead of Sean & Charlotte, and they have four songs available on their MySpace page. My favorite as of now is “Robot Boy.”

http://www.myspace.com/theghostofasabertoothedtiger

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead: Sean’s done the score for this upcoming movie… apparently Ralph “Karate Kid” Macchio has a role in it (thanks for the heads-up Steve)… http://undeadflick.com/

Live at The Stone, Jan 2008: The Stone is John Zorn’s club in NYC’s East Village (C Ave a few blocks from the Bowery). I went there for a show last March. It’s an amazing, but small, space dedicated to the arts. 100% of the proceeds each night go to the artist. There is no food/drink vending. They have artist curators every month (artists pick who they want to perform). They usually have two performances a night. The way they bring in money to maintain The Stone is by having annual benefit concerts and by selling their annual benefit CDs (Volume 3 is a Lou Reed/John Zorn/Laurie Anderson improv set and it’s available at thestonenyc.com).

Anyway, Sean Lennon and some friends had a gig at The Stone in early January 2008. I’ll warn you that it’s avant-garde / experimental — and not his usual pop fare. It features some of my favorites in the downtown NYC scene (Trevor Dunn from Mr. Bungle & Fantômas, as well as Yuka Honda from Cibo Matto & her wonderful solo releases). The show is available as streaming and downloadable (low quality mp3) at http://seanonolennon.com/music/stone/mp3player/

Enjoy!
~Dan – np: Bar Kokhba SextetMasada Book Two: Lucifer

REVIEW: John Zorn’s Moonchild @ The Moore Theatre / Earshot Jazz (Seattle, WA – – 11/4/07)

6th Nov 07 (Tue) 6 comments

Two statements needed to be made prior to really starting this review… 1) caveat for the non-Moonchild enthusiast: “They’re like an audible Jackson Pollock,” and 2) I feel sorry for the ushers who obviously didn’t know what they were getting into when they signed up for this.

A little background / sidenote… I came into being a John Zorn fan through first being a Mike Patton fan. One of Mike Patton’s (and Trevor Dunn’s) early bands, Mr. Bungle, had a Zorn link early on (JZ produced their Warner debut in 1991). However, I didn’t really start getting into Zorn until about 2-3 years ago when I stumbled on his jazz-klez band Masada. I didn’t know that John Zorn did such melodic work; so Masada totally caught me off guard. Anyway, by that time in my musical meanderings, my interests had started getting into more experimental bands anyway. When I dug deeper into John Zorn’s back catalog I really dug most of his work – whether it be the melodic Masada incarnations, Bar Kohkba, FilmWorks, et cetera or the experimental, harder-edged Naked City, Painkiller, et cetera.

By the time the first mention of the upcoming album Moonchild: Songs Without Words (on his label Tzadik or an email from Downtown Music Gallery), I about flipped… as an experimental/avant-garde trio with Mike Patton (the aforementioned Mr Bungle, Fantômas, Tomahawk, Peeping Tom, Faith No More, many many more), Trevor Dunn (the aforementioned Mr Bungle, Fantômas, Trio Convulsant, many more), and Joey Baron (Masada, Barondown, many more) was right up my alley. After that initial album in early 2006, Moonchild: Songs Without Words, the trio has put out two more albums of John Zorn’s compositions… Astronome (late 2006) and Six Litanies for Heliogabalus (early 2007) which also includes a chorus and other players (Ikue Mori, Jamie Saft, and Zorn himself).

All beautifully packaged and musically brutal, I don’t know where composition from Zorn stops and improvising by the Trio begins, but it can be as breath-taking as it is ear-hurting (remember my line above about it being an “audible Jackson Pollock“…?).

OK, now on to the concert review… note: 6 video snippets and 14 pictures are linked at the bottom of this review.

I took this concert trip alone… While I ease my lovely wife into listening to some of Zorn’s music (like Masada), I know when to not even bother (like Moonchild). I’m sure she’ll check out the video below and think I’m even more crazy than she already thinks I am for all of the cross-country concerting. But I think she’ll at least be thankful that I didn’t try to drag her to it, too… :)

I really had no idea or expectations for this show. I mean, I knew what to expect musically, but I didn’t know what to expect of the venue or the crowd. The venue, the Moore Theatre in downtown Seattle, was um… OK. I’ve been in better places, but I’ve been in worse. I was surprised at how big it was (capacity of 1419) compared to what I was thinking (a small venue, maybe not as small as The Stone, but not much bigger than 100 people). By the time the start time rolled around, the theatre was fairly full (the main floor was sold out, and I know the balcony was also open, too). Great turnout maybe due to the Earshot Jazz Festival or maybe due to the potentially “handful of shows only” nature of this band.

The band came on around 8:15pm… and blistered through around a solid hour of compositions. All three of them had sheet music on stands; so I’m fully aware that it’s somewhat composed music. Again, where the composition stops and the improvisation begins… your guess is as good as mine. Due to the lack of other players (like Saft, Mori, Zorn), and my lack of identifying the Moonchild trio’s “song” names… let’s just say that they stuck to a good mix of Moonchild and Astronome tracks.

Mike Patton was fairly wild for most of the set: jumping, squat-walking, tying himself up in the mic cord, swallowing the mic while screaming into it, spitting and belting out noises that made my throat sore just listening. He left the stage maybe 30-40 minutes in to let Joey Baron and Trevor Dunn have their way with our ears. I’d only previously seen Dunn in Mr. Bungle and Baron in Masada. In this entirely different setting with Moonchild, they really put out a veritable wall of sound. Even without Mike Patton’s screeching and guttural belts, Dunn and Baron were menacing in their own right.

The sound in the room was brutal. Loud, loud, loud. I thank my local music store for Hearos(tm). And, again, bless those poor ushers who didn’t know what they were getting into. I bet they were equally stunned with this “music” and the overwhelming positive crowd response. I wonder what they told their loved ones after going home from this ushering gig. hmmm…

The capper for the show proper was when Joey and Trevor left the stage. Mike Patton ripped into a 12-minute vocal solo which to me had many elements of “Litany IV”… probably the only Six Litanies piece in the set.

After a short break, they all came back for an encore… with the man himself, John Zorn. I had hoped that he was there, but after the main set was half over, I had written that off. He came out and directed them through a rippin’ tune… it could’a been 10 minutes, it could be 20 minutes, it could’a been 2 minutes. All I know was that it was intense, and Mike/Joey/Trevor definitely fed off of his energy on stage with them. My only desire on this one would have been for John Zorn to come out with his alto sax and do some of the call-and-repeat sax vs. voice that he did with Patton on Six Litanies… alas, I’ll have to wait another lifetime, perhaps.

All in all… great show – probably an hour twenty or just shy of an hour thirty of Zorn/Patton/Dunn/Baron. Worth the 8 hour roundtrip from Eugene, Oregon. Worth losing a little bit of sleep and homework time reading accounting valuation doctoral papers (blah blah blah). The Earshot Jazz Festival, or at least the only piece I could attend, was fantastic!! Being one of a potential handful of Moonchild appearances ever, I was happy to be in attendance and happy to document some of it in words above and in {cheap/low quality} video/pictures below.

Enjoy! :)

VIDEO SNIPPETS (6 totaltoggle amongst them in lower section of YouTube screen)

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=B84E0210411747E9

These are digital camera “movie file” snippets. Low quality? Sure. Posted mainly for “(blurry) fly on the (noisy) wall” add-on to this review. MOONCHILD is Mike Patton (voice), Trevor Dunn (bass), Joey Baron (drums), and John Zorn (director/composer). All music copyright John Zorn, 2006-2007.

PICTURES
(14 totalclick thumbnail for larger)

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~Dan – np: Hiromi’s SonicbloomTime Control

PS– to the guy who was handing out free CDs after the show… I got one… maybe you were trying to give them to Earshot Jazz “bigwigs,” but somehow I got one. I love it!!! Anyone interested in some great instrumental music, The Coma LiliesMemento Mori -EP- is GREAT!! The Coma Lilies‘ MySpace page is HERE. Listen to their stuff, it’s goooood.

PPS– other related MySpace & other Links (some fan sites, some official):

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