A Full Week Of Music

A Sunday to recover from a very full week of music. Music is, all in all, a very satisfying way to make a living. But still it wears me out. Had a full week of writing for Susan Koch’s film. The Other City. I am thru the first pass. Now to send the master editor Jeff Werner, my ruffs. We’ll see how he likes what I have done…

On Wednesday, Tommy B., Pete O. and MO and I laid down rhythm tracks for the new Chaise Lounge CD. It was sooooo much fun. Some days it just flows. We got five – count ’em 5!!!! finished in a little over three hours. The engineer is, of course, Ken Schubert. Even he was enthusiastic about this. And Ken is the most placid guy I know. I think his resting pulse is about 30 bpm. Marilyn sang scratch vocals just to make it easy to play. She was sick and generally exhausted and still if I were to press the CD using those vocals I think people would love them. That girl just cannot sing out of tune or with any apparent stress in her voice. Just being around her lowers my blood pressure.

Met with Sonny Izon to look at his new film, Chocolate Soldiers. It is the story of all the African American troops that served in WW2. A million. That surprised me. Of all the pictures of “the greatest generation” you never see any – really any – African American troops. Yet there were a million. The story of the segregation that the Army brought to Europe is heartbreaking. This could be a really good film .

I got a flu shot.

The Redskins play Philly tomorrow night on national TV – Monday night football. I am predicting a horrific outcome.

Atomic Music

Over the weekend I went to Atomic Music. What a slice of rock and roll life here in Washington DC. It is a steady stream of people walking in with amplifiers and guitars that smell like someone’s basement. In a good way. It’s that basement smell of bands getting their songs together. I love that aroma. There is a particular smell of an amp that hasn’t been turned on in a while. I guess it is the dust burning off the tubes. I love that smell. Also the smell of a guitar case that locked in the air from the last gig it was on. If it is an older guitar and hasn’t been played in a while – it will smell like cigarette smoke. Luis runs this place with the flair of a casino croupier, or a livestock auctioneer. It is amazing how quickly he knows how much an amp, a guitar, or a drum kit, is worth and how much he will be able to re-sell it for. I let a Fender Amp, an old Korg Keyboard and a PA amp go. In return (well.. I had to spend actual cash) I got a new (to me..) Takamine amplified acoustic guitar that is the color of a fake plastic banana. I can see why it didn’t sell. It was just waiting for a guy like me to come along. I love this color. It will look so good with a blue suit.

On a more hi-toned note. The Washington Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra had their second performance of “The Far Tortoogas” at Bishop Ireton High School. A much better sounding space. I’m telling you, this orchestra is a jewel! It is a shame that concerts like this don’t get reviewed.

Redskins are now officially a joke.

Trip To Cue Recording Studios

On Monday I went to Cue Recording Studios and recorded drum tracks with Juju. He brought his friend Marcus to play the congas. Juju is a legend. He is the most famous go-go drummer. But he plays everything. Mostly he is touring with Chaka Khan and Roberta Flack now. I was lucky enough to catch him at home and get him into the studio for an afternoon. Eventually these tracks will be played in “The Other City”. Listening to him made me want to record a go-go style Cd of jazz standards. Hmmm what an odd thing to want to do? We’ll see how long this idea keeps rattling around my head.

Yesterday I did an interview with On Tap magazine. The very nice Ashley Bryant listened to be blather on for an hour. I hope she can make sense of a very non-linear, eposodic style of conversation. I have never been able to work through a conversation in a logical, orderly way.

And for the Chaise Lounge part of this. Tommy , Pete and I will be leaping back into recording rhythm tracks for the new CL CD next week.

Work Is Surrounding Me

Work is surrounding me. That is generally a very good thing. I function best when I am busy. Here are some things that are coming up.

  1. Susan Koch’s new feature doc about AIDS in Washington DC
  2. A series theme for a news (duh) show produced by the Newseum. Paul Sparrow is the producer. It is very slick.
  3. A promotional video for Bono’s “One” foundation. Produced by Susan Koch and Neil Barret. But NOT shot by him. The footage came from students using flip cams. FYI – filmmaking is generally best left to filmmakers. Just because the technology exists for everyone… that doesn’t make everyone a filmmaker. This is not an elite sort of thing to feel. I am rightfully proud of the field I work in.
  4. I am also looking forward to The Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic playing The Far Tortoogas on October 11th and 18th. I love their conductor, Ulysses James. What a cool guy. A man truly dedicated to the discovery of new good music. He should get a medal for the work he does.

But the really fun thing has been buying a CD called “Oliver Nelson: Fantabulous.” It was originally issued in 1964 on the ARGO label. Recorded in Chicago with some famous players, (Grady Tate is on Drums and Phil Woods is on Alto.) butt mostly players I don’t know. It is an entirely cool and groovy large band – swinging so hard it makes me laugh out loud. I got this while buying a classic – Oliver Nelson’s “Blues and The Abstract Truth.” As always Amazon popped up a little ad that said “if you like this … then you will like this too…” Man were they right! I love this record.

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