1/9 | 7-9pm Dobra Tea – Thank You Show


Thurs 1/9, 7-9pm @ DOBRA TEA


BC GRIMMguqin, guzheng

DB PEDERSEN – throat singing, flutes, vox sfx

ERIC MILLER – bass viola da gamba

For three years The Brothers Grimm have been heading the experimental music series “Tea & Improv” at Dobra Tea.  Sadly, Dobra will close it’s doors this January, 2014.  We’ll have one last show on Thursday 1/9 as a way to say thanks to all who have worked/come out to enjoy these events since 2011.  DB, BC, & Eric will all perform short solo sets, as well as improvise together.

It can be difficult to find a welcoming platform for experimental & improvised music.  Dobra has been our enthusiastic home base for much of this Madison experience.  It has not simply been “a venue”, but a meeting place of disciplined philosophies, where music & tearoom perfectly alight in purpose – to have conversation.  In a vibrant, hue-struck room with no internet or to-go options, the result is meaningful discussion with close friends.  It was never the intent of our music to overpower the space (& people in it) to a hush, but rather to be another conversation & accept all happening sounds as music/inspiration.  3..2..1.. Now!  ~ All conversation is improvisation.  We fuel off the energy you give us and channel it back, vibrating the air.  No sound is excluded from this Cageian discourse ~ kettle boils, clayware scrapes, somewhere a laugh, all is music.

Perhaps the most important element of performance in Dobra has been a public space for unknowing teagoers to encounter “avant-garde”//”difficult-edgy-freaky-‘nonmusic’music-skronky-improvised-noise…stuff”.  We’re thankful for situations where people may come/go at any moment, have lively chit-chats, not feel they have to be classically-stuffy/know-the-rules, & happen upon experimental music over the flowing cup.  Hearing such racketous free-for-all (beautiful to some…) on a record, coming at you through the speakers can be challenging for unpracticed ears – but having that be a live experience and seeing that the musician performing extended techniques is another breathing, sweating, emoting, human being that is trying to communicate something to you – is when this music becomes immediate & relateable.  The more you as an audience give of your energy/vibes – the better the conversation is.

We’ve released a couple of albums at Dobra, including: Moonish Lodestar (2013) by Watercourse Quartet & Redolent Spires (2012) by The Borthers Grimm.  Had wonderful performers such as:  Watercourse Quartet w/ Ben Willis, Pat Reinholz (aka Weather Duo + Brothers Grimm); Lovely Socialite, db pedersen, Eric Miller, Thollem McDonas (aka Thollem Electric), Brian Tairaku Ritchie, Sult w/ Jacob Felix Heule, Guro Skumsnes Moe, Håvard Skaset; Timbre, Samuel Lockridge, Brother Stripes w/ Timothy Russell & Nick Zoulek; Prom Night Records w/ Brad Henkel, Nathaniel Morgan, & David Grollman; Dale Kaminski, Joey Molinaro, Zane Merritt, TJ Borden, Wrest Trio w/ Benjamin Bennett, Jack Wright, Evan Lipson; Stray Passage w/ Geoff Brady, Brennan Connors & more! – The tearoom has also played host to local Hindustani & Carnatic Indian Music group Saaz, Baroque & early western period instruments, & Yuri on the Russian domra.

Thanks to Qi Hong for fostering communitea.

Thank to the close friends who have come out over the years to support  &/or participate in these happenings.

Thanks to all of the great Devoteas who have worked at Dobra & become a part of our lives.

Much love & one cup!

~ BCG   (on behalf of The Brothers Grimm)


Thollem McDonas + Brothers Grimm 8/9 Dobra 7pm

Poster by John Praw Kruse (Head of Mine All Mine Records) will be available at the show! $5 each!


Thollem McDonas + The Brothers Grimm

feat. Watercourse Quartet

 7pm | Dobra Tea House

Madison, WI

suggested $5 donation (w/ purchase of tea)


As Beniot Willis and Saucy Pat of Weather Duo leave Mad-town, this shall prove to be our last Watercourse Q4 show for a spell ~ it’s been an absolute pleasure to develop our free improv with you, our Tea Family, during the many Dobra shows we’ve had in the last year!  Keep your ears to the ground, we have recorded an album this summer and will master/print it soon!

“Thollem travels perpetually as a pianist, vocalist, collaborator
and facilitator. His musical experiences are extremely diverse
and his ever expanding variety of approaches to making music
result in dramatically new and different outcomes. He plays in
punk clubs, museums, concert halls and riots. He works regularly
with film makers, dancers, poets and painters as well as a wide
array of divergent musicians and communities. He is the founding
director of Estamos Ensemble, a Mexican-American cross-border
ensemble for musical exchange, as well as lead singer of Tsigoti,
a socio-politically charged avant-punk band among many other
groups and collaborations.”

….still need further incentive to see this show ~ just check out Tholl’s list of recent collaborators!


Anonymous Choir, Watercourse Quartet w/ Page Foster & Liz Sexe, Elephant Michah

Tuesday, June 5
Olin Park Pavilion
7:00 PM, $8

~ Isthmus writes:

“In a special concert at Olin Park Pavilion, the Minneapolis-based Anonymous Choir will be joined by Madison’s most eclectic string ensemble, the Watercourse Quartet. Also performing will be singer/songwriter of cult status, Elephant Micah.

The Anonymous Choir is the project of Dark Dark Dark’s Nona Invie. Nona has established herself as a writer of songs of melancholic beauty for DDD, and has toured the world with that group. This choir of all women, a relatively new ensemble, has come together over the joy of singing together. Seeing them perform in the intimate and reverberant space of Gates of Heaven will be a rare pleasure.

The Watercourse Quartet, made up of two well-established string duos in Madison: the Weather Duo and the Brothers Grimm, specialize in improvisation and collaboration. Exploring concepts ranging from ancient Chinese music to contemporary texture-based sound art, their performances are experiential and engrossing. They will be joined in this performance by Madison-based singer/songwriter Page Foster, & Dancer Liz Sexe.

Elephant Micah  has released many albums over the last decade, and has become a cult figure in the underground folk world.

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Watercourse Q4 @ Olin Park

Mine All Mine Records presents

Watercourse Quartet (Mad)

 Anonymous Choir (MPLS)

 Elephant Micah (Indy)

 @ Olin Park Pavilion

 Tue, June 5th 2012

6:00 pm

Watercourse Q4 will record an album at the pavilion before the concert!  Get Excited!!  Check out our performance from Nuit Blanche at Gates of Heaven earlier this spring! >>