Shubangi (and Other Newness)

have been fortunate to be playing lots of different gigs lately, both on big stages and stages more intimate.  but I’ve been missing that feeling of producing something new, putting something down and letting it out into the world in a more permanent form.

excited then to say that some newness is getting did.  and my first new release in ages is out as of just a few days ago: the new Shubangi Halt Dich Fest EP.

there’s a variety of stuff on there, including two produced singles.  but we also did a studio session as a band over two days and recorded four songs live and raw, which are also featured on there.  there are also videos for them: Erster Schritt, Halt Dich Fest, Freier Fall, and Gestrandet.

aside from that, a few weeks ago Andreas Liebrecht and I recorded a video together for his song “Who’s Chasing Me,” which is currently being edited.  I’m also going to record a song for Alex Rosenhof of bluespam next week, meet for a rehearsal with some friends towards the video-ification of two other kind of insane songs we wrote together, and get started on a percussion piece of my own I’ve been tooling around with.  so, hoping to head into winter with a small smorgasbord of new clips.

Spring 2017

Been pretty crap at posting updates, but I have kept up with the media pages in the meantime!  There are a couple new little video clips over there, both of jams and ideas as well as gigs.

I guess I haven’t mentioned new projects – James & Black is a great soul/funk duo out of Texas who’ve been touring Europe nonstop for years now.  I’ve had the pleasure of sitting in with them on Germany dates and the occasional Netherlands gig, and it’s been great fun.  Love hanging with fellow Americans over here in Europe, and they’re genuinely great people to boot.  Been able to play a couple big festivals with them, like Swingin’ Groningen and the Baltic Soul Festival (getting to see Sister Sledge perform “We Are Family” from backstage was a trip).

I’ve also begun playing with Bluespam, a blues/funk/rock group with some incredibly talented musicians… hearing an absolutely shredding guitarist trade solos with a ripping harmonica (!) player will never get old.  After our first gig together, an older man said to the guitarist that he had tears in his eyes during our take on “Little Wing” – “Jimmy Hendrix was here tonight.”  That’s amazing to hear!

I got asked to sub for The Urban Turbans, a great ska/balkan jazz group out of Muenster, as their drummer’s broken his hand.  While I wish him a speedy recovery, I’m enjoying playing some music that’s quite on another planet from what I’ve done so far!  Really fun stuff and looking forward to the three gigs we have coming up together.

I got to reunite with Bill Dwyer Band and do a tour with them through Germany, France, the Netherlands, and England… felt like home!  And there’s another EU tour in the works… also been doing a little touring with Mr. Kowalsky in the last year; how many things exist that can top playing ska on a boat in Paris with good friends?

Shubangi‘s still rocking, gearing up for some fresh gigs and festivals this spring and summer.  Last year had some real highlights, like Juicy Beats!  Feeling super fortunate.  Shubangi is working on an EP now for which we’ve even recorded a couple acoustic drum layers.  itshappening.gif

Also had the chance to play at Skater’s Palace 16 year anniversary party with AzudemSK, which was an absolute blast.  There will be some more ASK gigs this year, and I can’t wait!

Also rocking with some friends here in Muenster and hoping to get some videos and recordings going this spring/summer, so will post about that when that’s underway.  I’ve felt really fortunate to have met some folks who are not only incredibly talented and share some musical ground with me, but who are also great people and fun to work with.  Not something to take for granted, one is reminded as the years go by.  Here are two examples – these guys agreed to perform these pieces with me at a recent exam I took at my university, and we’re going to be doing videos for them in the near future.  But to have been able to rock these songs was just a real challenge and pleasure.  Great music and great performances: Alex Rosenhof’s “A Sleepless Night” and Andreas Liebrecht’s “Who’s Chasing Me?”

Adventures in Percussion

Got to play a really neat concert at the new-ish LWL Museum here in Muenster with the Musikhochschule Muenster percussion department a few days ago.  It was a “Student’s Night” there with apparently around 5,200 people attending, and the percussionists provided a lot of the music.  In the inner courtyard, we played a decent variety including a Steve Reich piece; a couple pieces for marimba (I played as voice one on a marimba trio song); a really badass piece for bongos, tamborines and hihats; a rumba; an original song by one of the students, and more.

Out on the outside corner of the building is a huge light art installation by Otto Piene, and twice over the course of the night, five of us were booked to perform an improvised piece to the lights.  During our first time slot the lights were having some issues and came on late, but otherwise, it was pretty successful.  We prepared a ~15 minute piece for hand percussion, tomtoms, gongs, cymbals, and drumset that moved between prepared groove sections and improvised passages where the improvisers would work off what the lights were doing at the time (the light show rotated randomly – and what’s more, it consisted suddenly of completely different shapes and movements than it had when we took video with which to rehearse and prepare!).

Although I feel like I’m working through a minor plateau in my drumset playing right now, I’m really feeling fortunate to be a part of these other more percussion based events like this one and the percussion department concerts; I never thought I’d be up on stage in a concert hall behind a marimba, or out on a street corner with four other drummers improvising to a light show surrounded by a few hundred people, but I’m really enjoying doing something a bit different.

Here are a couple pictures, and here’s a short video Lena managed to catch of the first improvised piece (this was at the end of one of the improvisational passages before the lights were working, then goes into one of the prepared sections).

lwl museum gig group shot

lwl museum gig action shot

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Efforts Towards Flexibility

I’m putting together a suitcase drumset.  Psyched about it.  This should allow me to take acoustic gigs and (very) small venue gigs without sacrificing the presence of a drumset for the sake of a cajon or some similar stand-in.  I’m not ragging on the cajon; I know those good with them can produce a lot of interesting sound.  But Shubangi has a few acoustic shows coming up, and I’d prefer to keep as close to the original drum sound as possible while scaling it back appropriately.  I’ve also recently had a couple sub gigs for Gin and Juice and G & the Boyz; both times we’ve done stripped back acoustic covers and both times I’ve wished I had a proper kit to better replicate the original grooves.

I’ve already had a couple conversations with other musicians about potentially getting out into the street and busking, and this kit would be perfect for that, as well as other guerilla type performance possibilities.

Total cost so far: 45 euros

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Building a Standing Desk

I have some old shelving from my last apartment sitting around, and decided the other day to put some of it to work.

Today, I cut one of the shelves up and screwed it back together in a different shape with exactly 0 planning, and now I can use my computer standing!

2013-03-06 15.56.59

I point out the “0 planning” bit because what follows is an account of building the desk, replete with some really ridiculous conundrums that could have easily been approached better or avoided entirely with a little foresight.  But I just wanted to build something; to hell with logistics.

It was pretty simple to put together and I made a real hack job of it (big surprise), so it only took a few hours including lunch.  And, it was free! – it only took 1 unused shelf, a couple old little wooden garden stakes, and some screws.  (Here’s a timelapse video of the process.)

I wanted the legs of the table about 13.5″ high so the finished desk would be about 14″ in height.  (Note the frequent use of the word “about.”)  So I stood the shelf on end and measured 13.5″ and 27″ from its edge, drawing guide lines using a level.  (I realized later that the garage floor itself isn’t level, so my lines were in fact somewhat slanted… but not enough to make a big difference in the end.)  I used an old hand saw to cut along the lines, creating two 13.5″ tall legs.  I flipped each of these and cut it in half along its length, making four legs.  The shelf was about 11″ deep; I did a pretty slop job of cutting the shelves in half, so two of the legs are around 5″ wide, and the other two are around 6″ wide.

I tested the legs for straightness by standing them on the floor on either end to see which end was the least wobbly on each leg.  Only two of them had no wobble at all, but for the other two I devised a little trick:  by sawing a shallow little arch or long notch in the middle of the edge (so shallow you can’t really even see it), leaving about an inch to half an inch of straight edge on either side of it, you can ensure it won’t wobble by giving it two smaller contact faces rather than one long one, which makes it less susceptible / impermeable to wobble.

I figured about 30″ was a good width for the desk.  I didn’t really measure this against my actual desk; I just decided my desk surely must be wide enough to accommodate a 30″ upper-level easily and hoped for the best.  (Worked out fine, as is evidenced by above photo, just so there is no mystery.)  I lined and cut 30″ and 60″ from the edge of the shelf, which left just a little of the shelf left.

I picked the less-ugly face of each 30″ board, and laid them down side by side, pretty-ish faces down.  The two boards had to stay together because there wasn’t going to be a leg between both, so I took the little shelf left-over chunk, cut it in half, and straddled the boards with them.  But then I realized I couldn’t figure out how to screw these braces to the bottom of the desk.

Ultimately, I put down the brace-boards first, then laid one desktop board over them, face up, screwed that to both braces, then did the same with the other.  I decided it was done and went to set it aside, but the desktop wouldn’t move.  I had actually ended up screwing the desktop straight onto my work table because the screws were a fair bit too long.  Duh.  You can see them poking out in the below picture.

2013-03-06 15.11.38I sawed a thin garden stake in half, and then half again, backed out the desktop brace screws a little bit, scootched the desktop over so it was hanging over the edge of my work table, held the garden stakes in place under the holes where the screws had popped out of the bottom of the desktop, and pushed the screws down through the garden stakes.  I probably looked ridiculous, trying to accomplish holding the desktop in place and up against gravity, setting a screw, using a power drill, and holding the bits to be screwed to the underside, all at once and with just my two arms.  Anyway, I went through the trouble just so I wouldn’t stab myself later and curse; great success visible below.

2013-03-06 18.12.34I decided to attach the legs in the shape pictured below for stability.  If I make another, the back legs will not be at quite such an angle; there isn’t any wobble or backwards flex as it stands (heh heh), but I think it’d probably be a little less likely to fall backwards and break if the back legs were a little straighter, pointed more back-to-front than side-to-side.  Note: I recognize my sitting desk is a mess.

2013-03-06 18.28.492013-03-06 18.28.31Attaching the legs to the desk was the part that could have most used some planning, though.  I had no vice, no assistant, and no experience.  In fact, I don’t even know if a vice would have helped.

So, naturally, I took the most straight-forward and ridiculous approach possible of balancing the desktop on the legs while they stood precariously upright on the ground, and eyeballed my screw angles.  It shouldn’t have worked, but it did.  Without one misfire.  What wonders never cease.

One snafu: one of the legs, somehow, ended up about .5″ shorter than the others.  I took the tried-and-true tack:  garden stake to the rescue!

2013-03-06 15.42.03 2013-03-06 15.42.15The final desk does not wobble, and actually feels surprisingly sturdy.  Given that I did put a few hours into it, though, I might screw in some little metal braces underneath to keep the legs from buckling.  But this will presumably not happen, if luck’s got anything to do with it, until I have at least two glasses of liquid and a bowl of something stain-prone on it, so maybe avoiding such a scenario is a good enough defense.

2013-03-06 15.46.08 2013-03-06 18.43.59

Cob Oven: A Making Of, in Photos

(TL;DR: photos of cob oven construction below / timelapse video / basic how-to guide)

I visited my friend Dan Paluska in late August at Monkshood Farm and Nursery in Stuyvesant, NY.  Dan and I, apparently in parallel without knowing it, had both been looking into cob, that mysterious and alluring construction material that’s greener than anything you’ll find labeled “green” – it’s literally a mix of clay, water, sand, and straw/sawdust, or whatever you can find to suit the purpose.  “Green construction” might sound like a newfangled concept, but hey – this is how people have been building for thousands of years, and it works.  Beautifully, actually.

Anyway, a few chance emails later, we realized we we both wanted to get our hands dirty with this “cob” business we’d read about everywhere but had never actually seen in person, and Dan thought an outdoor oven would be a good addition to the farm.  So we both did a little research, I wrote a little guide you can find here, and we took a weekend and did it.  The guide is pretty exacting in some parts, but we didn’t have any way of reading it on the fly (neither of us thought to print it), so we used the basic ideas (and even ignored some of those) and the oven came out great just the same.

There was a swimming hole near the farm and we took a bunch of buckets (and a bunch of people) and had a clay digging / swimming party.  We got a couple bags of pre-moistened sand, but also used some extra sand from the driveway.  Some of the sand in the dome went in totally dry, and we used a cardboard base and a bit of white plastic tarp instead of newspaper to cover the sand dome and help it keep its shape.  While we were mixing the cob, we had a little trouble sometimes finding the right consistency – sometimes we’d use the right ratio of clay to sand, but due to the clay and/or sand that we were using, the texture would feel too sticky or too grainy.  So we had to do some adjusting and, in the end, realized that 3:1 is a good starting point, but considering that you’re pretty literally using the earth under your feet which varies from place to place, adjusting as you go to get a good texture is the most important consideration of all.  (The last couple pictures are of minor cracking that we spotted the morning after building that first layer, and I think those are from there being a little too much clay, without enough or the right sand to hold it all together.)

I wasn’t able to stay long enough to see the first layer of cob dry / help get the outer insulation layer of cob onto the oven, but it’s a process very similar to the first layer.  Also, we completely succeeded in the “getting our hands dirty” objective – so dirty that I couldn’t take any pictures in the middle of the process, but these pictures at least should help visualize a little bit what’s written in the guide.  Also, here’s a little timelapse video that shows us building, including the middle part that I couldn’t photograph, like stamping in the stuff to mix it.  It was fun.

Although I haven’t been there yet to try the finished oven out, Dan says it’s great.  Briefly, as far as the end product is concerned and in case you don’t know anything about this type of oven, you start a fire in the back of the oven and let it fire for an hour to a couple hours.  The cob soaks up and holds the heat, and after you’ve cleared out the inside of fire debris, you can cook pizzas, breads, etc. – works like any oven.  I’ve heard of cob ovens reaching and maintaining 700 degrees.  I don’t know how capable ours is, but the purpose was to use it as a pizza oven, and it sounds like it was a success despite our off-the-cuff approach.

Cob Oven Proposal

Here is the rough proposal / guide I wrote that my friend Dan and I used to construct a cob oven.  Cob is basically an earthen mixture (clay, sand, water, straw or sawdust, with variations) that has been used for thousands of years as a construction material.  Mixed accordingly, it can have great thermal properties, eg. soaking up and slowly releasing heat (and sunlight heat energy!), or allowing cool air to similarly pass through.  Someday, I want to build a house of it.  Google “cob house” and prepare to have your mind blown.

Anyway, for now, Dan and I thought an oven would be a good introduction to cob, as its thermal properties make it a great outdoor oven option on the cheap/free; plus, it’s totally earth-friendly and all natural, and fun to build.  With this guide and maybe a little additional research, you should be able to make one, too.  Photos forthcoming!  Also, this is not edited or polished to be published.  I just felt like putting it up anyway.  (Note:  ultimately, we needed less detail/steps and less materials than this guide proposes to make our fully functional oven; we didn’t refer to this guide during the actual construction so we cut a few corners and still came out with a great product.)

The oven, after first cob layer

 In order to build an outdoor, wood-burning oven as cheaply and naturally as possible (while keeping durability and efficiency in mind), the process is designed around these ingredients:

 

  • Clay / subsoil with a high clay content
  • Sand
  • Straw (or sawdust)
  • Water
  • Empty beer bottles
  • Old cinder blocks / urbanite, or bricks, or stones
  • Some firebricks, or more bricks (preferably the old red clay type) with at least one flat surface
  • A large tarp
  • Newspaper
  • Cardboard (only as much as the mouth of the oven is big)
  • Scrap wood and a few nails (for oven door)

 

Time required:

A bit less than a day of construction + a couple sunny drying days during cobbing

 

Cob is (for our purposes) a mixture of water, clay or clay-rich subsoil, sand, and straw. High thermal mass cob is a mixture of around 25% clay and 75% sand. The most insulative cob is a mixture with as much straw in it as possible while keeping a form-able consistency. By building an oven of both types of cob in two layers, we can achieve high heat efficiency and long cooking length.

 

Foundation: old cinder blocks, or stones, or bricks. Between three and four feet high (think of a good working height). Around two feet in diameter would provide space in the oven for around three medium-sized loaves of bread or one or two personal-sized pizzas, so we can make it a bit bigger if we wish.

The foundation’s outer ring of stone is filled in until the top ~4”, leaving a small pit at the top of the foundation.

First into these top 4” is a flat, thin layer of wet (but of form-able consistency) sand. On top of the sand are the beer bottles, laid on their sides, as a layer of insulation. The space around the beer bottles is filled in with more wet sand, and this layer is then covered with another thin layer of wet sand, made as flat as possible. This top layer of sand may need to be a little thicker if the oven floor bricks are uneven on their bottom face.

The firebricks or red clay bricks are laid out as the floor of the oven on top of this last layer of sand, flattest face up. Laying brick outward from the middle using the “kissing” brick-laying technique and then tapping the bricks flush ensures as flat and tight an oven floor as possible, which is important for heat insulation and cleaning. (A couple bricks may jut out in one direction as a lip to make loading and cleaning the oven a bit easier.)

Once the oven floor is done, a dome of wet sand is made on top. The dome’s center is at the center of the oven floor, and the dome’s height should be 75% of the dome’s diameter.

Working inwards from the outer edge of the dome (the circumference can be drawn using a string from the center of the oven floor), the wet sand dome is built until it is of the right height. The dome is then covered with strips of newspaper.

High thermal mass cob is mixed in the tarp. A ratio of 3 parts sand to 1 part clay is best. If subsoil, it should be certain that there are no organisms in the soil (no topsoil), as decay and rot can lead to some cracking. The clay and sand are folded and mixed on the tarp dry first as they’re difficult to mix when wet. Then, water can be added while the cob is stomped together until it is sticky enough to be form-able but not too liquidy – the consistency can be tested to be right by forming the cob into a ball and rolling it in the palm. The ball should be just sticky enough to keep its shape, but dry enough that it doesn’t pancake while rolling in the palm. If the ball is dropped, it should not go “splat.” The cob is then formed into small “loaves” or balls, which can be easily pressed into place during cobbing.

Also, an arched mouth of the oven is made by arranging and cob-mortaring bricks around a piece of cardboard cut and measured to represent the mouth opening. By a few accounts, the height of the mouth should be ~60% of the dome height so as to best draw cool air when firing. In one account, an experienced builder stated that he built his mouth at “a critical 63%” of the dome height.

The mouth of the oven can be put in place (over the brick lip if one was installed), and the thermal mass cob balls are formed around and pressed against the sand dome to create the inner oven wall, at a thickness of ~4 inches. This layer should be given a some time to dry.

After some drying time has been allowed, the sand can be dug from inside the oven. The newspaper strips over the sand dome provide a guide for when to stop digging as you’ve reached the cob wall!

Insulative cob is made as the outer wall layer. Thermal mass cob is made in the same way as described above. On the side, straw is chopped into smallish bits. It should be certain that the straw is straw rather than hay, that is, dead and dried, for the same decay/rot consideration mentioned before. (Sawdust can also be used). Handfuls of straw are then dropped and gradually stomped into the cob. Large clumps of straw are harder to integrate into the cob, so good practice is to “sprinkle” straw in front of you as you walk around in the cob and stomp it in gradually. Best consistency of insulative cob is a very high straw content while still form-able.

This layer of cob is applied over the thermal mass cob once that’s had some time to dry. A good thickness is between 2-4”. This cob is applied in the same way, but small finger holes can be made in the cob as it is applied. Subsequent cob “loaves” can be pressed into these holes so as to “lock” the straw together and better the overall structural integrity.

Using the scrap wood, make a little wood door with a handle to hold the heat after firing. The piece of rounded cardboard from earlier can be used to get the size right.

 

I’ve read that a natural plaster can be applied to the outside to help protect from the elements, like a lime-based plaster that would breathe and not cause cracking in the cob. This is also good for larger structure construction. For now (and even post-plastering), propping a tarp over the oven (especially before rains) is boranj!

 

Band Over Boston

They did this study. They isolated a group of people over time, and they monitored their abilities at crossword puzzles, right, in relation to the general population. And they secretly gave them a day-old crossword, one that had already been answered by thousands of other people, right. And their scores went up dramatically, like 20 percent. So it’s like once the answers are out there, people can pick up on them.”

 

So I had this project for a year called Band Over Boston.  (Ignore that quote for now; it’s not really important.)

It was a computer set up in the back room of In House Cafe, a little cafe at the corner of Harvard and Commonwealth Aves in Allston.  It had an iTunes playlist loaded full with local Boston (and suburban to Boston) music, and it was always connected to the In House WiFi network.  iTunes was open and the BOB playlist was set to “share over network,” with downloading disabled.

What this meant was that anyone in the cafe with their laptop open (which was generally a lot of people) and iTunes booted would see this playlist called “Band Over Boston” and could go in and browse, library- or jukebox-style, and listen to tons of local music, for free, at will, on their own computer.  I had flyers set up by the cash register advertising it and explaining how to find it; by the end of the project’s run, I was refilling a few dozen flyers about once a week.

The advertisement flyer I used outside of the cafe

As I was a local musician myself, the support and cooperation of the local music scene was
paramount to me, so I did not add anything to the library without permission, and I reached out to countless musicians to see if they wanted to take part.  Shortly after I announced the idea and started putting the word out, I had about 150 bands and musicians not only submitting their music by my request but getting in touch out of the blue, excited about the project.  I also gave some interviews and talked about the idea with press outlets like Northeast Performer Mag, Evolver.fm and Boston Band Crush.  The concept (plus some monetization ideas) also won a $1000 business concept competition at Boston University’s School of Management.  Two friends, Joan Cerdas and Patrick Coman, helped with some of the graphic work, design, and blog writing as the project unfolded.

The obvious intent here was to bring local music to a new audience.  Although music is reveling in myriad new ways to deliver music to people outside of the tired major label pipeline, some of the best music I’ve ever heard was in a little bar in front of a little stage with as few as 20 other people next to me in the audience.  I mean, and at the risk of tired simplification, Nirvana was that annoying band in the garage next door to someone at some point.  There’s great music being made right down the street, and I wanted more people to know they didn’t have to spend $80 to get into a big arena to get their socks knocked off by a guy slinging a guitar; they could be standing close enough to have his sweat slung onto them instead (awesome, right?!).

But the idea was not only to bring local music to a new audience, but also to bring a new audience to the cafe and, ultimately, other cafes and WiFi hotspots.  By advertising the project on social media and a few blogs and starting a little music review column (excerpts of which can be found on my music writing page), I spread the word not only about BOB but also its cafe home.  I had a website up with a description of the cafe and an embedded Google map pointing out exactly where it was.  Local music as a draw to a local, independent cafe.  I was soon hearing from people who worked the counter there that new customers had come in and asked about Band Over Boston, as well as musicians visiting the cafe to ask how to submit music.

My next step, in short, was to be to reach out to other cafes to expand the project to new WiFi hosts.  I would then print small logo stickers (something like the beside logo) and have them in a window at each cafe, as well as designated cafe “profile” pages on the BOB website, to visibly tie the project to its physical spaces in a non-intrusive way.

I also wanted to have a proprietary player programmed, so I didn’t have to run it through iTunes but so it could still be visible by iTunes.  I had a deep feature-set planned for the program and a parallel mobile app that would enable easy interaction with the local music scene based on what you listened to and what you gave a “thumbs up” within the player.  Features would have included pointing you towards buying music you liked directly from the musicians, adding you to email lists, and adding your favorite bands’ upcoming shows to your calendar of choice, among a number of other “one-click interactions” with your local scene.  Users could also just browse by what was being listened to or what was hot at the time if they wanted an entirely new experience (there would be a splash page chart), or browse “celebrity playlists” with a local spin – playlists created by local musicians – and other spotlight playlists by locals like cafe workers, politicians, public service workers, educators, etc.  The mobile app could add a plethora of GPS features; after all, we’re talking locality, here!

Not only does all this make a large local music landscape more digestible for the listener, it also provides a new tool to local-level musicians.  Musicians could find new bands they may not be socially or otherwise connected to that are similar enough to share the bill with.  And by checking out other cities’s libraries along a potential tour route, musicians could see what bands and, more broadly, what music was hot where to help them plan.

On the other side of things, I wanted to deepen the relationship between the music and the cafes (or other WiFi hotspots) by creating, with the cooperation of the WiFi host and select bands, certain deals, like “happy hour” specials (buy x between the hours of y and y2 and get album z for half price!), “buzz points” (get a free small coffee if you recommend the cafe or your own local music playlist to x number of friends), pairing deals (a free coffee if you buy a certain album or a certain number of albums), flash sales, recurring free song download periods, etc.

Ultimately, I wanted to take the project beyond Boston, and beyond local music ecosystems and tap into the broader music landscape.  I wanted the program to look at what (inter)national or major-label acts you listened to and suggest local bands based on those, for example.  And there would also be of course a local music library for every major city and its surrounding suburbs, and umbrella features would add a new dimension to traveling (or touring, for musicians) by suggesting local bands in other municipalities to you based on your hometown faves.

So why all the above “wanted to” and “would have” phrasing?  Alas, I was working on BOB when I was playing a lot of music and not making very much money, and I did not have the time or funds to pursue the project to the heights I envisioned.

Why am I writing all this, then, about a dead project?  First off, one of the goals of this website is to serve as a kind of EPK, and this is I think an important part of my musical past.  Also, in part because I believe in the underlying “hive mind” idea behind the quote that opened this little piece (from the movie Waking Life), that once ideas are out there, they’re part of a collective awareness – granted, that’s a little obvious if they’re written up online, but for both these reasons I wanted to put this idea and some of its heretofore un-publicly-discussed future concepts down in a public space.  Similarly and also, because I still think it’s a great idea and maybe, just maybe, someone will see this and start a similar venture in their city, or use some of these ideas and expound upon them to make a truly great tool for pairing people with their local music scenes and their local businesses.  Yes, there were some business elements baked into this idea that I could probably hoard, copyright/patent and pursue, but I want most to see the principles and the core motivations and values for the project reach their full potential, notwithstanding my own personal schedule or ability – and besides, many minds working together are greater than one alone.

So whether I begin the project anew myself, with a partner in one city, in parallel with a partner from another city, or whether someone completely different takes the reins and follows through on this or a completely different platform with the same core values, here’s hoping localization is the way of the future.  Because with an ever-thickening web being spun around us, it’s that much more satisfying to remember and appreciate just where you are.