Hey, you people! Hope everyone is happy and healthy in this crazy world, striving to help out. I want to talk about my new record, The Interplanetary Note/Beat Conference, with Nels Cline (Nels Cline Singers, Wilco) and Larry Goldings (who’s played with stellar musicians like Jack DeJohnette and John Scofield). Available on cdbaby.com and digitally on groundlift.org. Rad watercolor artwork by Mimiuniverse. Recorded in Silverlake in L.A. at the Carriage House, run by Sheldon Gomberg. It has the right vibe, gear, and posters! I’ve done all cool projects there including Mark Olson, M. Ward, and Rickie Lee Jones. And lately Zen master Keltner has been in there.
I started planning the recording a few years back. I was on a tour and spontaneously I’d write an idea in the back of the tour book on the blank pages. I’d write down an image real quick, like, “Let’s pretend we’re driving in a car in Israel in 1967.” (That became “Gypsy Cabster” with theatrical electric sitar, nutty ’60s drumbeat, and Teischord electric keyboard.) On that song I solo for eight bars towards the end, and I tried to capture the phrasing of a drunk poet.
The tune “1958” was inspired by a Stravinsky piece I memorized, “L’histoire Du Soldat.” Since there’s no bass player, Larry’s foot pedals provide that, and it is funky! I met Larry on a Rebecca Pidgeon gig. And Kenny Wollesen told him to look me up when he moved to L.A. Nels I’ve known since I moved here from D.C. “several seasons” ago. We’ve done some creative playing, the most recent being a record and performance called Dirty Baby, which is a bunch of us playing Nels’ musical impressions of “censor strips” projected on the wall by artist Ed Ruscha. This also included percussionists Alex Cline, Scott Amendola, and Brad Dutz.
There are also three percussion collages called “Nefarious 3,” “Nefarious 1,” and “Nefarious 2,” similar vibe intended. I wanted that reaction where you go, “Hey, there’s that person walking around the corner again.” It’s a layering of hi-hat, Udu, and bongos. And we flew in a bit of Nels’ electric sitar from another track that’s in a different tempo, so it shimmers over the percussion.
My friend Pablo calls this recording a psychedelic organ trio. Money Mark says he likes to clean his house while it’s on! Ha ha ha ha! It’s all good.
Thanks so much for reading this, readers, and thanks to Modern Drummer too—great read!