Saturday, January 30, 2010

WAO Presents: "Butane-Bob and the Blue Flames"!

Set 1 (101 megs)

Not only was Tuesday, January 26th (2010) the last 'Woodland Acoustic Orchestra' show (a tradition that I was surprised to look back and discover started all the way back in February of 2007 with the original 4-piece lineup of Philpin, Smith, Strauss, and Woods and "Neon Brown Beats the Rainbows out of Kittens"), but it was also the last 'Neon Brown Presents:' show, (a tradition that's been running twice a month since summer solstice of 2002 ... but more on that in my NBP wrap-up post.)

Befitting just such a momentous finale, we had a huuuuge orchestra, including long-time collaborators TQ Berg (guitar and voice), William Precht (accordion, bass-box-drum, and others), Dave Foley (stick-tambourine) Dennis Jolin (ukelele and voice), Ian McKagen (guitar and voice), Jesse Silvertrees (djembe and voice), Daniel Nelon (voice), Bill Wolford (banjo and iPod), and Me Woods (bass-box, trumpet, percussion, voice), *plus* first-timers Elliot Levin (guitar) and "this guy", whose name I never did learn. Anybody? ...not to mention the spirit of John Foss on 'super-barista'!!!

After a fantastic 6-8pm DJ set by Skoi and a speedy setup, we kicked it off with a "3, 2, 1 Lunch" (what Tina and I say before hoisting Lucy up over our heads) and rolled our bittersweet way to 10pm with a steady cascade of grooves -- shifted periodically by our traditional white-board-based signaling system -- and lyrics -- improvised on the spot either from the evening's theme or some other half-conscious brain-tickle brought to the fore and decorated.

With the late start and the momentum provided by the strong collective vibe, it was really just a single set, with only a brief stall at 9:20-ish as we unplugged Elliot and Bill and added William. But I might break it up there, depending on how it feels on a second listen. (Aw screw it! I'm leaving it all there for posterity. There's a bit of entertaining banter there and the rest is a pretty nice sound-collage-intermission.)

All in all, it was a great glowing musical celebration and a fitting farewell to the series at Mr. Spot's Chai House. (Thanks to Robert and Tina for the photos!)


robert said...


'twas a good run mangs, glad to have seen as much of it as I did. Thanks for all the music.

Armand D'Ciopper said...

Who is the vocalist around 28:00 -- he did a great job.

F R E E L A B said...

Thanks Robert! Great to have you there again for these last couple.

The vocalist at 28:00-ish is Daniel Nelon. Always fantastic! ...materializes for a few minutes at a time and then vaporizes back into the chill Ballard evening.

F R E E L A B said...

19:20 ... pretty cool repeating modulation perhaps, but the part that keeps killing me is the "everything is minor" at 19:53 (cracks me up every time :))

drew said...

Enjoying the hell out of this recording. Sorry I didn't find you until your last hurrah. Tell TQ hello from his old friend Drew.

Rock on!

F R E E L A B said...

Hey Drew, will do! Not sure if I've met you before, but I'm glad you found us. Perhaps you've already figured it out by now, but the last few months worth of shows still have the recordings archived and linked correctly, and I'm pretty sure TQ is on all of them. :)

In any case, I'm hoping we'll be back out on the road in a similar form again soon, so check back here for the first recordings of that as it happens!

F R E E L A B said...

Oops!! Just fixed the date I listed for the first WAO show. Until just today, it said Feb 2002 ... that was a typo. I would've been surprised indeed to look back and see that it had started that far back, since the Chai House was still in its old location at that point and we hadn't even started NBP.

Anonymous said...

Drew are you?