Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Neon Brown Presents: "JCR(15)"!

Set 1 50 megs
Set 2 30 megs

Here are two sets by a drummerless-but-plenty-solid-nonetheless trio of TQ Berg (Destroyer), Colin Higgins (Electric Guitar...in his first appearance with NBP in several years due to his busy guitar-teaching schedule), and Me Woods ("Bass" + Loops and Vocals). ...an anonymous artist's rendering is included to the left here.

The theme for the evening was Juggler's Challenge, and the first set is indeed partly influenced by input from the Listeners (Challengers). I set out 4x6 cards and a noxious Sharpie and -- much like the past two Juggler's Challenge Revival episodes -- sang/exhorted the audience to put anything on the cards that they thought might make interesting inspiration for music. First set we got a great page of lyrics (by a guy named David that I'm pretty sure I've met a few times at the Chai House before), and a beautifully-minimalist card with the words 'A Boy Named "Pines"' on it, and even a brief guest-vocal appearance by the afore-parenthetically-mentioned David. I still don't have the overhead projector that I'm certain will really kick-start this Juggler's Challenge concept for people, but it seemed that the small crowd was paying attention enough to keep up with what we were working on anyway.

(Left: Daylight Savings Time had just kicked in the previous weekend. The abrupt change to setting up the gear before sunset is always cool and a little pleasantly melancholy somehow.)

Back to the music: In spite of my idea that I would try not to, "bass" was looped, and it did indeed seem to provide a nice bed for all manner of harmonic and textural exploration. All three of us were holding back a bit it seemed, allowing a gentle and spacious collective vibe to emerge. It's been a while since the last time all three of us played together, but it's possible that people besides me will hear a certain mutual confidence in our approach here. Nobody (except possibly that annoying bassist! ;) is trying too hard to "make it happen" and so the music is relaxed, even when it builds energy. Speaking of energy, anyone who was there for the "great bass-induced power-amp explosion of 2009" (see "Ninja Poodles on Beets" below), might be mildly entertained to hear that I had replaced my deceased neon-brown-era power amp with a wildly overpowered hEEnd-era Peavey CS-800. It performed admirably, though I fear that with repeated uses my back wouldn't!
The crowd was significantly sparser for the second set, and so -- partly due to my neglecting to mention the format for the evening again -- my only themed-utterance was mockery along the lines of "Screw you guys for not providing any input in the second set!" But the trio's approach really seemed to grow a bit here, with a less reserved and even less idiomatic approach to our weaving and tumbling lines.

So that's about it on this one from me, but please add your own comments here if you were there or listened to the recordings and noticed anything entertaining that I might've pointed out.


Snoose Junction said...

Holy yum!

Anonymous said...

I like playing destroyer.

F R E E L A B said...

So much more exciting than "bass"! ;)

Anonymous said...

Bass pshaw!