Sunday, August 2, 2015 Leave a Comment
The Live Rig – Green Lake, WI
While I’ve had some serious (and fun!) gigs in the 2000’s, I haven’t gigged *seriously* (say, weekly) since the 1990’s, when I really cut my teeth on hundreds and hundreds of live shows…since then, the shows have tended to be spaced a few months apart…chill…
Aside from a few bands, and occasional one-off shows over the years, I’ve mainly focused on teaching and producing music – like a good ‘mensch’ artist with a music degree – chillin’ in the studio, yet very slowly evolving a wild new show in the background, even before I was aware of it.
I’d sometimes see my braver musician cohorts returning, dazed, from long, sweaty cross-country van tours…road-weary, just in time to catch a shift at their random day job…mmmmmm…no, thanks…
Then, one day in 2009, after 6 years of living in Israel, staring at the awe-inspiring view of Jerusalem from my 3rd floor balcony, I had a ‘spiritual awakening’. No, I didn’t decide to become a rabbi, master the kabbalah, or join the IDF…
I got real with myself. I missed the hell out of the stage…I *needed* to get back to gigging. But not to rehash an old show. I wanted the seemingly endless creativity that I could get combining all my crazy ethnic instruments with the wild computer technology that I had gotten exposed to working in music/high-tech in Tel-Aviv (for Waves Audio) and later as an independent producer…
I needed access to all the latest gear – and endless places to play – the good ol’ USA….I recorded the “Time To Rise” CD in my Jerusalem apartment/studio, got back to the the states, converted a huge purple van into a tour vehicle and started accumulating new music gear…there were a ton of (mis)adventures in there, too, of course. (Where’d those blog posts go?!)
Its taken much longer than I could have imagined to put this crazy 1 man “ElectrAcoustic World Funk” show together – the tech hurdle was killllllller – but I finally am getting it rolling! (Many thank-you’s forthcoming – You know who you are!)
Its been worth the wait…the first 2 gigs, a week apart, w/the new set-up (which keeps changing lol) went awesome! Genuinely warm crowds. I just loved “Hijynx” in Ft Atkinson, WI (back again Fri Sept 18) Wikked Sound system! Also had a really cool intimate show for the MANUS Hand Surgery club – they flew in from all over to hang at the Heidl House in Green Lake, WI. Super nice vibe.
The fact that I have more gigs on the books – and more floating in the breeze – feels wild. Sometimes I get a little intimidated. Thoughts like “Am I too old for this?!” “I had all the energy in the world in my 20’s – am I really doing this in my mid-40’s?!” “Am I nuts?” go through my head…but I feel compelled – I’m a *musician*. Its what I do. I have to put in the endless hours…I love it. I need it. Yah, I’m nuts. (And I’m keeping my private music teaching schedule and the occasional studio projects during the week!)
Each show is unique, in kind of a jam-band tradition – I improvise all the parts on my crazy instruments (w/ live laptop looping – top end audio plug-ins w/up to 25+ live improvised tracks – for the audio geeks), pulling out wild versions of cool cover songs, a few originals, some solo acoustic tunes, and just jamming…
Singing and playing w/all those instruments/tracks and a foot-controlled laptop while mixing my own sound and staying focused on the music – and the crowd is…INSANE….Its uber *Challenging*.
Over the years, I did some gigs w/early incarnations of this setup – I was sooooo stressed the first several times I tried it on stage my head spun…its a total tight rope walk…but I’m getting more and more comfortable – and its getting really FUN now!
I’ve made this super creative magic little aquarium to swim around in on stage and its just a blast…
Actors always say they take roles because they feel challenged by them. That’s whats going on…I love it…come catch a show or 2, and witness the continual evolution yourself – the current bookings are all ~40-50 minutes from Madison, WI.
Btw, I’m open to all sorts of gigs right now – private, house concerts, colleges, clubs, corporate – any venue that feels right. Love your ideas.
Thanks for reading – Cya Soon!
P.S. The names of some of these clubs are ridiculous, lol!