Monday, September 05, 2011

High Life Tour : Highlights 


I'm going to try and do my best with this summary of great things that happened on tour last month with Jason Ajemian and the High Life. We saw much. We made many great sounds. We rode the light into the bird's eye...


:::August 5 / Richmond, VA @ Balliceaux:::
We shared a bill with two great Scotts. Scott Clark (drums) + Scott Burton (guitar) = SCUO. It was a pleasant start to the tour, as the High Life played as a trio (bass, sax, drums) for the first couple of dates. It's been a while since I've seen/heard drums and guitar shred so effortlessly and quite musically. After both of our sets, we joined forces and played a few originals between the five of us. I would recommend visiting Richmond, VA for "the Scotts".   

:::August 7 / Chapel Hill, NC @ All Day Records:::
We played a record shop in a cute part of town (technically Carrboro) and 'bumped' at a tiny record shop. We were fortunate to witness the grand presence of a 6 piece band called Great Architect. They totally owned it. 

:::August 8 / Charleston, SC @ Tin Roof:::
FUN! We shared the evening with Lindsay Holler's Western Polaroids 2.0... and the house was full with warm community (and hot dogs). I will always call Charleston home. We met our 4th member and trumpeter, Jaimie Branch. She can very damn well play the trumpet. Later that night, I went skinny-dipping at the beach for the first time ever.

:::August 10 / Asheville, NC @ Bobo Gallery:::
We gained one Owen Stewart-Robertson on electric guitar. Strength and prowess are reinforced. 

:::August 11 / Columbia, SC @ Conundrum Music Hall:::
I never knew that this place existed in Columbia. It's a neat little performance room for multi-media performances and seats about 50-70 persons. There's also a great community of supporters of free jazz/experimental music. Tom Law is the man to know. 

:::August 12 / Charlotte, NC @ Neighborhood Theatre:::
We can has rock band? 

:::August 13 / Washington, DC @ ( ______ Jazz Loft? ):::
The name of the venue is still escaping me, yet... the vibe will forever be apart of my memories of DC. We played a free jazz spot in the downtown area. Of the handful of notable players, I was happy to meet Janel Leppin (of Janel and Anthony). She is a great cellist who I presume will be going quite far in her musical endeavors. I'm sure of it. She knows how to make the thing... SING. She also tours with Kyp Malone's Rain Machine.

Earlier in the set we were joined by a mongolian throat singer named Andrew Colewell. He is a good human with a good heart.

:::August 16 / New York, NY @ Cake Shop:::
We shared a bill with Mike Pride's 'From Bacteria To Boys'. Nate Chinen of the New York Times coined our musical genre as "deep mirk funk". This REVIEW was a hot topic of conversation for the next few days of tour. 

:::August 17 / Toledo, OH @ Toledo Bellows:::
This was one of the most intimate house shows I've ever played with a free jazz/funk/rock ensemble. It was peaceful. The locals who came out did not exceed 15 persons. It was off the 'beaten path' and one of the longest drive of the tour. Worth it. There is audio available from this concert. Just ask.

:::August 18 / Chicago, IL @ Heaven Gallery:::
This was a beautiful set of music. The reception was warm because of previous seeds that had been sown. I learned that many years ago, Jason Ajemian started a music series there which continues to be an attractive scene for experimental musicians in and around Chicago. Check it out.

:::August 19 / Chicago, IL:::
We had the night off so I went to an art opening. I watched a wax statue melt to the ground. I shared great conversation with a lady named Brynn. We exchanged our favorite punctuations. 

[ ; ] + [ & ]. 

Afterwards, I caught the end of a Joan Of Arc set at Subterranean. 

:::August 20 / Kenosha, WI @ ______'s Garage House Party:::
Umm... In between the vast spaces of the midwest which are mostly filled with corn fields and interstates... we found a party. It got wild. We left before it reached the point of no return. Many strange gifts were alloted to us. 

:::August 21 / Chicago, IL:::
Off day. Studio time. We recorded 2 albums worth of music? It's awesome?

:::August 22 / Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle:::
It was a free show. 'Love Of Everything' (led by Joan Of Arc's bassist, Bobby) was the headliner and lots of avid fans were out for that. It was one of our strongest (energetic) shows of the tour.  I met a cute girl. Oddly enough, her name was Bella.

:::August 23 / Bloomington, IN @ House Bar:::
Peter Hanson, our saxophonist (aka Daddy), is from Bloomington. His family and close friends came out to support the High Life. I felt like we were playing in a tiny tin roof bar with the B52's. There was a jump rope competition in the parking lot. Even my friend Glass Boy (Justin Lambert) made a cameo. Good times.

:::August 25 / Dayton, OH @ South Park Tavern:::
Yip. South Park Tavern. We shared a bill with Ed Ricart and Hyrrokkin. Rock and roll happened. We made some people dance. We made a few smile a lot. I met a wonderful massage therapist named Erin. The next day, for my 28th birthday, I recieved one of the best massages of my life. (I owe you one, Jason Ajemian.)

:::August 26 / Lexington, KY @ Collexion:::
Bluegrass meets Freejazz. Yummy. 

:::August 27 / Louisville, KY @ Connect Festival:::
This was a bit of a family festival scene. Right before we played I witnessed one of the most serene sunsets ever. It was a great way to end the tour. 


Phew. This doesn't even really do the storytelling aspect of going tour any justice, but I wanted to share at least a little bit in some way. Next up... Asphalt goes crazy with an indoor show. Keep your ears bent. 




Other things I am excited about in the near future include the new St. Vincent album release on the 13th. Yum. Thursday, I will be rocking out to Broken Social Scene and TV On The Radio. Yowzah. Let's drink some coffee together.