Chas and I caught a Fishbone/English Beat show in DC.  Fishbone remains a hurricane of loud, sweaty, mosh-pit dance fun, while English Beat satisfied the easy listening, feel-good swaying needs of gray haired dudes in blazers and their wine sipping dates. Dave Wakeling was in fine voice, and his backing band of slick, highly polished fellows were precise, if not too young to remember when the English Beat records actually came out.

Upon taking the stage, Fishbone’s Angelo Moore walked out into the middle of the audience on the floor and MADE everyone dance like ska-monkeys (which we did) before Fishbone would start their engine. Then it was on to Ma & Pa, Lying Ass Bitch (pointed directly at “anti-Obama, Tea Party mother-f*ck*rs who should just let the man do his job”), Bonin’ in the Boneyard, Cholly, Party at Ground Zero among others.  At one point, HR from Bad Brains joined the band on stage  – words cannot describe the awesome. I’m so happy I got to experience that.

Post sweaty fun.

@ 9:30

Angelo Moore after coming off stage.

Angelo has long been one of my heroes – he’s unstoppable. Chas is, too, really. It was a great night.  Completely Awesome.

Set list as I remember it:

  1. Skankin’ To The Beat
  2. Ma & Pa
  3. Cholly
  4. ?
  5. Suffering
  6. Alcoholic
  7. Give It Up
  8. Bonin’ in the Boneyard
  9. Behind Closed Doors
  10. Let Dem Ho’s Fight
  11. Lyin’ Ass Bitch
  12. Banned In DC (Bad Brains cover with HR)
  13. Party At Ground Zero

John Cage Says

For Amy Souza’s Spark project, I did two prompts this time, this one them being music. Amy Moffitt provided a poem for my inspiration piece called August Prayer.

Here is my response.

I had planned on recording a new, less experimental song (I wrote the parts) but my archaic audio gear wouldn’t cooperate. So, I used my iPhone, a tape deck and my laptop to piece this together. It’s funny how these things work out, because I think this piece is a perfect summer response to Amy’s poem. Also – I smell an opportunity for some new audio stuff, though.


Music Magic

I saw a meme on Facebook that I can’t resist – the albums that we find most influenced us in our lives. I don’t care for Facebook. I hang a shingle there for peeps who don’t blog, flickr or twitter.  [NOTE: The BDavis tagged me after I wrote this – thank you Brian!] But, I digress. Here are some my favorite records, in no particular order.

  • Ken Nordine‘s Word Jazz was my introduction to beat-ness
  • Beatles: Sargent Peppers was the first rock music I ever loved
  • Reader’s Digest Collection of favorite Classical Music: Mozart My dad played Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550 many times when I was a very little kid. It still haunts me. 
  • Rush: Moving Pictures was my introduction to Neil Peart. Sums up junior high school.
  • Cheap Trick: One on One was the first album I bought with my own money
  • Police: Outlandos d’Amour made me want to be in a band
  • Thelonius Monk: Best of the Bluenote Years was my introduction to Monk…I don’t think I’d ever listened as hard to music as I did with this collection
  • Ornette ColemanThe Art of the Improvisers
  • Diana Froley: You’re not Broke but I’m going to fix You Diana recorded this in her kitchen. I still find inspiration in this music.
  • Iron Maiden: The Number of the Beast While I loved this music as a lad, this album gave my Dad and I a chance to discuss the differences between dogma, theology, art and story telling. It was a moment when I realized how cool my dad really was.
  • Buddy Rich: Plays and plays and plays and plays I wore this record out
  • Helmet: Born Annoying, Meantime
  • Fishbone The Reality of My Surroundings
  • Captain Beefheart & his Magic Band Trout Mask Replica always sounds new to me
  • Tom Waits Bone Machine is my favorite Tom Waits album – probably my favorite album period. Someone, please play this at my funeral, just for fun.
  • The Dukes of Dixieland, West Side Story and Camelot lps in my parents’ stereo system
  • Posh Hits, Vol 1 featuring the Circle Jerks, Agent Orange, Black Flag
  • Donald Fagen The Nightfly
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers Mother’s Milk
  • The Cure Head on the Door My college years
  • Fugazi Repeater
  • Bill Evans Trio Portrait in Jazz True introspection
  • Oingo Boingo Dead Man’s Party Play this at my funeral, too – right after Tom Waits
  • Medeski Martin & Wood Friday Afternoon in the Universe
  • Tommy Flanagan Montreux ’77
  • The Ventures Batman Theme

This last one took me a while to track down. I had this record in my basement as a kid, and it made a profound impact on me. The dissonance in the reverb soaked surf guitar was intriguing to me. I still love it.

The Ventures Play TV Themes

There are many other singles, albums and bands worth listing. For example, Neil made me plenty a-fine-mix-tape of outstanding music. Tim and J Cookson shared lots of hardcore and punk (Angry Samoans, Dead Kennedy’s, Marginal Man, Dead Milkmen, Butthole Surfers and Minor Threat). I am still into my old Knitting Factory records, Latin Jazz, 1950’s be-bop and indie rock. But the records above all contributed something important to my musical DNA.

This is an incomplete list. What about YOU? What records do YOU hold dear to your soul?


Blister Freak Circus raffle

I just found this as I was unpacking. It’s from show I once played, where the band sponsored a contest to win several pounds of scrapple. I’m fairly certain that the scrapple ended up in a toilet supply tank at that club.

How to make scrapple


Cold Drinks

Cold Drinks CD cover

Finally! Patrick O’Donnell’s latest CD is released into the wild (Skoda Records). I love getting mail. This is his best music to date (in my opinion). And not just because I contributed drum tracks, either.

What a nice way to start the musical new year!