Archive for April, 2008

Banyan @ The Mint

I like music. A lot. I like it when musicians are not limited to one place to explore their musical talents and abilities. My favorite band is Wilco. The current guitar player, Nels Cline is one of the best guitar players ever. Hands down he is one of the best live guitar players I have EVER heard. There are moments that I know I just experienced something that I might never hear again. Cline is a LA native and plays with artists/musicians that are not Wilco. I’m down. I’ll check them out.

Some friends and I went to the Mint and experienced the Art, Noise, Jazz, Experimental band Banyan. “The core of the group features Stephen Perkins (Janes Addiction & Porno For Pyros) on drums and Willie Waldman (Memphis Horns & Snoop Doggie Dog) on Trumpet. The rest of the roster is a rotating of amazing guest musicians who happened to be Mike Watt (The Minutemen) and Nels Cline.

The experience that I had was amazing. Simply amazing. It was a night that I know that I won’t be able to experience again. It was spiritual. It was beautiful. It was life changing. It was these things because the music was chaotic and uncontrolled. The guitar playing of Nels was breath taking. It changed me and challenged me. He plays with a fluidity that is so rare. I love seeing live shows that you get lost in the moment of the music and you don’t worry about who is around you and what they are wearing but that you experienced some amazing musicianship and a man who creates/paints in the moment. I loved it.

There was nothing about Wednesday that I didn’t LOVE. Amazing. Simply amazing.

A Night in the Park

There is a great park in Pasadena called Memorial Park. It’s a train stop off the gold line and as you emerge from the underground tunnel into Old Town the park is right there. It’s usually quiet but there is a pavilion, ripe for opportunity to interact with the community. Last night in the park there was a benefit show to raise awareness on Human Sex Trafficking. I have the honor to have roommates that work for an organization, The Sold Project , that helps raise awareness of child prostitution in Thailand.

The night was fantastic because there was a large amount of people gathered to talk about the problem, engage in conversation, and there was quite a bit of music being played for the ears of the community. The songs were various, some covers while others were explorations of the soul. I loved it. I love the thought of people expressing themselves through song, in the middle of a city that rushes by, next to a metro stop station, ripe for opportunity. We have the ability to choose our own adventure. We have the chance to expand the way we live our lives with eyes wide open rather than mouths shut and robots consuming rather than interacting.

The music was local. It was not over produced but it was people sharing their life stories in a way to help others have some sort of life that is not filled with oppression but offers life that can be innocent and pure.

The Avett Brothers

I fell in love with the music of the Avett Brothers not to long ago. The record Emotionalism is a favorite as of late, for the americana feel and raw, passionate lyrics. Fellow Empty Framer, Travis and I (Amy) went and saw the Avett Brothers at the El Rey a couple of weeks ago.

Seeing a band live is something that can make or break my experience. The Avett Brothers only made me love them more. Their energy and passion was overwhelming through the first songs, and they reeled you in with their energy, screams, beats, and fantastic lyrics. They are a band hailing from North Carolina where it’s obvious that living in the South has shaped their musical personality. That was something I recognized when I walked out of the show. I was amazed at how they understood the music that came before them (Carter Family, Bluegrass) as well as knowing that you always need to push musical lines. They are definitely a group that understands where music also needs to reveal it’s current place in history. Beautiful.

Some of our favorite tracks of the night:
“The Ballad of Love and Hate”
“Die Die Die”

Here is a video from the tour:

I am a sucker for the banjo.