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Eighth Blackbird at the National Gallery of Art

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National Gallery of Art

What a place to see one of my all time favorite contemporary music groups. Eighth Blackbird played the National Gallery 2.16.20, and the show was free. As always, the group featured brand new music from living composers, including: Nina Shekhar, Fjóla Evans, Andy Akiho, Holly Harrison, David Lang, Viet Cuong, Jonathan Bailey Holland, and Julius Eastman. This show included some ringers in for violin, flute, and clarinet.

Lisa Kaplan, fearless leader and director of eighth blackbird

My favorite set was the second, and my favorite piece was Viet Cuoug’s Electric Aroma (2017),

The most precious thing in the museum was Cora, of course.

Cora does contemporary

The setting (no pictures or recording during the show)

After the concert, there were a few minutes for art.

Then it was out and on the metro for cocktails and dinner at Baba.

Sundown on the mall

Smithsonian sculpture

Wholly Emily

Baba’s bar

john doe krisin hersh grant-lee phillips pittsburgh

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There were three of them. The setting was intimate at Club Cafe.  Negronis were available. Seating was not.

Ye olde van carpool crew

 

 

Krisin opened up with an interesting guitar song that involved intentionally bending chords on an acoustic.  After that song, all bets were off WRT tuning.  Who needs tuning for an intimate acoustic set?  EVERYONE. EVERYONE MUST TUNE.

(please tune)

 

Grant-lee joined in and tuning became mandatory.  This also allowed for some breathing.  Grant-lee is charismatic and fun to watch but about as deep as a puddle.

Duo to go

 

 

 

 

Picture picture for Em

John Doe was fantastic. Thank the stars for a poet singer like him.

John Doe

 

 

 

Hells yes on a great Pittsburgh Sunday night.  So good to see Alisa and Greg!!

Moon Hooch at the Bright Box

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The kids they danced and shook their bones.  There is no way to see Moon Hooch without dancing. And sweating.  Through your clothes.  YES.

The best part about seeing Moon Hooch perform at the Bright Box is the sheer intimacy of being 2 feet from the performance.  Invigorating.  Life affirming. Danceable. Fun.

We’re sad that James Muschler has moved on, but Moon Hooch still rocks the house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grace Potter at the Anthem: Rock and Roll, Baby

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Great show. Lots of dancing and joy.

 

 

Though this was the second encore, the solo version of Release was the most powerful song of the set.  Yes please.  Need some of this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rock and roll ending.

 

 

The Dead Bambis in Japan

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Best bass ever

Rock and Roll baby

Bitter Liberals 1.4.20

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Get your tickets here.

WILCO C’ville Life -or- love is everywhere?!

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Yep. Thank goodness.  Just in the nick of time.  Bill and Em to the rescue.

Wilco, cville

 

 

 

 

 

 

box of wilco

 

 

 

before

 

 

 

tiny

 

 

 

Hinge

 

 

 

fin. commencer. we die to live another day.

House Concert in Fort Thomas with Ritt and Wilder Deitz (cincinnati)

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Here are some pictures taken by Tessa Killen during a magical evening performance in the house concert series known as Parlor and Patio held in greater Cincinnati. The location and sound are ideal for an intimate evening—impressive attention to detail, warm and inviting hosts, and post show music (not to mention bourbon).

Ritt Deitz

More about the musicians, Ritt and Wilder Deitz and me.

Wilder Deitz on the actual wooden baby grand piano

Gary McGraw on the fiddle

In the action

House Concert in Bloomington with Ritt and Wilder Deitz

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Yes please. Music with an old friend from the college days spurred into action by the seredipitous planet of ours. I was slated to be in Bloomington for a Dean’s Advisory Council meeting of the Luddy School of Informatics. Then a post card arrived with a request to “alert the Bloomington troops” scrawled across the front announcing a house concert on the very same day.

So a sideman on the fiddle was added to the bill. What a magical evening. Intimate, energetic, and filled with love.

Sound check in the light of day

A scrumptious spread

Concert at dusk.

Ritt Deitz

Set 1

Wilder Deitz

Ritt and Wilder

Back to the Eastside You Go

Ritt and Wilder

I swear I played the fiddle too.

Hiroya Tsukamoto Plays the Barns of Rose Hill

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I first met Hiroya when he opened a sold out show for the Bitter Liberals in January 2018. We were frankly honored to have Hiro open for us. He was outstanding both in terms of technique and showmanship.

Hiro’s music tells a layered story soaked with emotional significance. Here are some pictures and videos from a recent show at the Barns of Rose Hill in Berryville, VA 10.19.18.

Visit Hiro’s website here.

The most remarkable piece of the evening was an improvisation that Hiro put together during the second set. Influences of Eno, Fripp, Japan, and banjo are all evident and are masterfully woven into a beautiful piece.

Gemini Bridge is a core piece of Hiro repertoire. If you like how this sounds, you should buy a copy of the CD Heartland.

Hiro plays one guitar with a set of electronics used for balancing and layering with a sampler. He is a master of his technology (more than can be said for most musicians), and his use of sampling is both subtle and seamless. Masterful.

This song about fire was inspired by peaceful campfires with family in Japan.

I am always in awe of musicians who perform and tour full time and are not associated with a huge corporate act with a small support army. Make sure to go see Hiroya play if you ever get a chance.

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