It was strange to go from not seeing anybody for many months to rehearsing together, spending a total of more than 16 hours in a van together, and also dealing with all the people that work to make a concert happen. I am not complaining but it was strange, at least at first. We are the perfect test case because each of us in the band received a different vaccine. Jon got the J&J, Robby the Moderna, and I received the Pfizer.
It was great to have many hours of conversation in person with Jon and Robby because they are not only excellent musicians but also really fun to talk to. As many of us have discovered, an in-person conversation is much better than a video call!!
The performance was okay. Each of us made some small mistakes but there were also some really special moments. I think we are all looking forward to the little run at the end of September – Seattle, Oakland, Livermore and Denver – and the longer California run in February. And in between we have the show in Santa Fe in November.
Tomorrow we will perform for the first time in 15 months. We chose to drive to Las Vegas and the day was filled with fun conversation.
The last couple of weeks were filled with getting ideas and making plans to change the website, because most of it looks terrible on mobile and because it is time for a change.
I am considering doing a second subscription experiment. The first one happened in 2009-2010 and lots has changed since then. Certainly subscriptions don’t seem as strange and unusual now as they seemed then. Recordings, regular writing, videos, music etc.
This week I spoke to Stephen Duros about music and creativity. It’s been a while since the first conversation with Jon Gagan and it was good to do the second interview/conversation in that series.
I video-toasted a friend, who turned 80 this week, with a half bottle of champagne. What struck me was how different champagne bubbles are from soda bubbles. Soda bubbles are bright and hard, champagne bubbles soft, much less defined, and much prettier. I will have to buy another bottle so I can record the bubbles. Oh, the sacrifices I make.
I heard about the series “Painting with John” only recently and watched the first episode two nights ago. The John of the title is John Lurie, saxophonist of the band The Lounge Lizards, actor in several Jim Jarmusch movies – and probably more that I am not aware of – and now painter, writer, director, storyteller. The episodes are about twenty minutes long and consist of John Lurie working on a water color painting and telling stories. The pace is languid but here and there he throws a curve ball. The stories are great, especially as told in his gravely voice. This may be my favorite serial at the moment.
What I like about the new storytelling that has developed in the last decade out of TV and cable programming is that there is both a new very long format and a very short format. The best example of the new long format might be “Game of Thrones”, which is longer and larger in scope than any movie could be. It is not a serial in the sense of a TV show but rather it is experienced like an epic movie, a movie that would last three days and 16 minutes!
Then there is a new short format. I watched a series from India where each episode was around 10 to 15 minutes. Perhaps they were designed to be viewed during a commute, I wondered. But the episodes didn’t feel abbreviated, they felt complete in the way that short stories are as complete as a novel.
PS: I learned that there was a series called “Fishing with John” on TV in 1991.
Tomorrow is Bandcamp Friday again. That means Bandcamp will not take a commission on the music they sell. Very nice of them.
My entire catalog on Bandcamp will be discounted 15%. The code word for the discount is “spring”. If you thought about getting high definition FLAC files so you can hear the music in all its dimension, tomorrow is the day. :-)