It was my first ever live-stream, and it ended up being much longer and more dramatic than I originally planned! I was getting my #sarangicello tuned up and ready for last Thursday’s (03/17/22) St. Patty’s Day performance at Al Ringling Brewing co. in Baraboo, WI. Bandleader Chad Canfield, Chickpezio Nazario and I formed a trio version of the steam-punk band Vardo! Unfortunately, as I was getting things tuned up, two of my D strings broke!! Yikes! Follow me on this adventure as I battle against my temperamental sarangicello, all while explaining its unique gut string setup!
If you want to check out what Vardo has cooking, you can come see us play again at the Al Ringling Brewing Company on April 1st, from 6-8pm! Trio style with Rusty Chicken on Violin this time!
In the last 5 years, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating in various ways with ambient bassist & vocalist CJ Boyd (Joyful Noise Recordings; Obsolete Media Objects). We have a track “Horses” coming out on his yet-to-be-released, mammoth sized “50 states project” (more on that when the time comes!). Back in 2014, I contributed a track to his fundraiser compilation for reproductive rights: Running Up That Hill. When CJ came through town in 2013, it was the impetus for Mine All Mine Records + GrimmusiK Records ambient compilation Colias. I also made an official remix of “slowly by your passing” for his Visions & Revisions remix compilation. The point being, for someone who is on perpetual tour I’ve managed to collaborate with CJ nearly as much as some of my regular bandmates in town! Now multiply that by all of the musicians that he is keeping track of on the road, constantly in a cycle of scheduling tours, booking shows, recording albums (sometimes in our local coffee shop bathrooms!), releasing collaborative projects, etc…. this guy is busy! I am always impressed by the hard work and persistence I see from full time touring musician CJ Boyd.
CJ still finds time to have a voice in matters of social injustice, whether it’s through social media platforms or directly in his music. The timing doesn’t always work out when he is coming through town, but I’m glad it did this year! As always, I am excited to spend some time with CJ before/after the show and to enjoy his ambient music stylings at Madison’s new all ages venue, Communication.
CJ and I are both fans of Taralie Peterson’s musical output, including her solo projects as Tar Pet, Louise Bock, and in the dynamic duo Spires That In The Sunset Rise. A multi-instrumentalist and improviser extraordinaire, Taralie has the rare gift to pull sounds through the void from other dimensions for you to hold momentarily. This will be our first duo collaboration and I am honored to sit next to her on stage this Thursday.
//////////////////////////////THOLLEM (On Tour)
With a synthesizer and a microphone, Thollem’s Hot Pursuit Of Happiness forges elements of Punk Rock, Blue and Psychedelia, among many other influences. Including new songs and solo arrangements of Tsigoti songs, with “fluid keys pulverization” (Brad Cohan, Spin Magazine), Thollem’s work is ”political debauchery and a forward vocal delivery … that comes a-swingin’ right out of the gate” (Chocolate Grinder, Tiny Mix Tapes)
Over the last decade, Thollem’s toured non-stop internationally, recording with over a hundred different musicians from a wide variety of genres resulting in more than 60 albums on 22 different vanguard labels. As a vocalist, Thollem’s been releasing albums the last 10 years with his Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti (5th album soon), Hand To Man Band (Mike Watt, John Dieterich, Tim Barnes) and Andy Kaufman plus his initial solo album ‘Machine in The Ghost’. He’s planning on releasing the first HPOH album later this year.
Thollem has performed and recorded with members of Deerhoof, The Minutemen, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Half Japanese, Wilco, Unwound, Old Time Relijun, Cibo Matto, Jealousy Party, Stars Like Fleas, Tenderizor and more.
Personal Note: Thollem McDonas is one of my favorite perma-tour Experimental artists. He has been very influential to my free improvisation explorations in the last decade. I’m thrilled to share a bill with him once again! Also, I can’t wait to see Angela, I always learn so much from her. It’s been a couple of years, they are beautiful people and there’s much to catch up on. Thollem has collaborated with GrimmusiK Records in the past on both the Colias experimental/ambient compilation, live free-improv collaborations at Dobra Tea, and with a marvelous performance at our Audio For the Arts series (can’t seem to hunt down the live recording for that, unfortunately). Thollem has an overwhelming discography, check out his extensive releases here. < So much wonderful music to explore in his collaboration filled catalog.
////////////////////////////// Brennan Connors & Stray Passage (Madison, WI) is a jazz trio that embraces free and structured improvisation, original compositions, groove based material, and sound exploration. The breadth of a performance ranges from fiery high energy music to focused minimalism, all while maintaining a sense of narrative organization and compelling ensemble interplay. “Emergence” CD (setola di miale) available at the show!
////////////////////////////// Glassmen (Madison, WI) is experimental indie rock with guitar, organ pedals, drums, and vibrato. The sound, sometimes jarring, is fragile, sharp, and reflective — like glass.
Sarah Jennings Evans started Glassmen in 2012 after being diagnosed with a rare joint condition that left her unable to use her arms. She created music with voice, organ pedals, and loops of old recordings. Guitar came back as her arms recovered. Meanwhile, multi-instrumentalist Vivian Lin (TUO TUO) kept busy playing in other people’s side projects (The Party Drug, The Divine Hammers), but was looking for a musical home. She joined Glassmen in 2015 to add drums and vocals.
Personal Note: I’ve been meaning to get on a bill with Glassmen for a couple of years now and it’s finally going down! ^ Check out this live version of Needle, love the sound. Excited to hear their live set!
////////////////////////////// Space Tugboat(Madison, WI)is dark catchy punk rock, with a twist of demented humor of reality.
Personal Note: Big thanks to Dan from Space Tugboat for hooking up the show and taking care of booking. Dan has supported Stray Passage for years and given us opportunities to play. Now we finally get to share a bill together!!