Monday, November 12, 2012

Transitions r us...

Back to the blog. Seems like my journaling corresponds to my life's transitions. The last time I posted, I had just left one job. Shortly after that, I managed to land on my feet at a corporate graphic gig - which lasted almost 2 1/2 years - until two weeks ago in fact, when corporate bean-counters decided the "contingent freelance" budget needed to be slashed. Bam! You're outta here AWG!

Not too worried yet. I've been in high gear with my networking, and applying right and left. I do have mad skills with Adobe CS, and an decent enough resumé - so I should be OK. And this time, I'll be able to draw unemployment, which, while not very much, will certainly keep the sting to a minimum.

Meanwhile, I've been keeping busy sprucing up my online presence. Graphic portfolio site? Check. Composer/artistic self-promo site (first time ever!)? Check. Band sites? Check. New business cards (not exactly online, but so what?)? Check. LinkedIn profile spruced up? Check. Facebook profile current? Well actually THAT hasn't been a problem!

Over the past couple of years, I've played more music (in bands) than maybe at any other time in my life. A quick recap:

Band Number 1:

Zentropy found a drummer in Spring 2011 - Mr. Corey Williams. Good player. But very unreliable. No phone. Terrible about answering emails. Nevertheless a good player and nice guy. Did a number of gigs. Recorded the third Zentropy CD - Zentangled. Shot some video. Launched an ultimately unsuccessful bid for the NACA market. Then, as we were announcing our CD release party a few weeks ago, he backed out on us for another gig with 2 weeks to go. The last straw. Fired him. Once again drummer-less. But there are at least two candidates ready to step in should we (I) decide to go that route. 

Why the hesitation? Gabe, Mr. Bass, is now Mr. Popular - playing symphony gigs almost every weekend, playing with at least 3 or 4 other bands when he's not symphonizing, etc. So about the only Zentropy gigs he can do are the ones that can be booked well in advance, have a lot of wiggle room on dates, and hopefully pay at least SOMETHING. So that pretty much means the only Zentropy gigs will be college or festival gigs, both of which haven't' been very forthcoming lately.

Gabe and I are meeting soon to discuss Zentropy's future. Is it a part time project that comes together for select gigs? Or does it need to be something more? Can it exist with a floating cast of fill-in players? I have some ideas, but none are very clear right now. I should know more after we talk next week.

Band Number 2:

With Phillip gone, Z-Axis just ain't happening. We tried out a couple of drummers, but the magic just wasn't' there. Z-Axis was more than the sum of the four of us, and simply can't be recaptured. We have all pretty much come to the conclusion that it should "cease to exist" - as soon as we release our third CD, which has been in progress for a few years now. There is enough strong material - in various stages of completion. All that has to be done is to finish it! We've set a goal to finish it by September 2013 - and do a final CD release blowout. It's Phillip's slow time at work, so he'll be able to come into town and play. I've been disciplining myself to work of Z-Axis tracks on a regular basis, since really, it's almost all on me to get it done at this point!

Band Number 3:

A little over a year ago, at an Eyedrum Music Committee meeting, a discussion of cover bands (and why Eyedrum generally doesn't book them) ensued. Present at the table was Toniet Galego, of the inimitable synth-pop band Fader Vixen. I remember commenting that maybe the only cover-type band I would consider might be a band that played old Bowie. She mentioned that her roommate and friend Joe Sikes just happened to be into that stuff and was a great singer. Fast forward to today - Jerome newton and the Band Who Fell to Earth has two full sets of Bowie and glam era material. Joe sings. Jeff from Z-Axis plays bass. Brian King, from the defunct prog band Lord Only (and also the Sisyphus band) plays guitar. Jim Dunn, also from Lord Only, plays drums. And Stan Satin, from local punk legends Vietnam, plays sax. And we have NAILED the sound and style. A couple of gigs under our belt and we're looking to get out there and make a splash. 

This is the most fun I've had playing music in a LONG time. maybe because it IS covers, I don't have as much ego tied up in them? I can just enjoy being a player. And speaking of being a player - I have stretched my abilities in so many ways playing this music. It's been a great surprise how well I've been able to pull off some of those amazing Mike Garson parts.

Other bands of note:

I was an active participant in Spaceseed for the past year or so - had some fun and channeled my inner adolescent playing their chunky riff-rock stuff. Good fun, but we outgrew each other - lots of tales to tell. Maybe someday?

Also still doing occasionally ambient electronic shows - sometime solo, sometimes with others. I did a great set with noisy avant-guitarist and local legend Kevin McFoy Dunn last Spring. Did another great set a few weeks ago with the aforementioned Stan Satin on sax. We called it Viet Zen. Might do some more of those shows! Stan's a great guy and we've developed a rapport.

Onward with my music:

What I've realized recently is that I really want to reboot my work as a composer for dance & theater. My new site should help. It gives me a place to send people who want to know what I do. I expect that over the coming weeks/months, I'll be spending a lot of energy in that direction.

OK - enough for now. More later.

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